C ulinary tourism, the pursuit of unique and memorable dining and drinking experiences in a given place, is one of the hottest trends in travel. And with Nashville stealing the spotlight as both one of this country’s top travel destinations and an “it” city for foodies, it should come as no surprise that some of the most delicious and informative food tours around are happening right here in Music City. Tourists and locals alike are flocking to sample the breadth of our city’s cuisine and learn more about its rich history; if you are looking to explore Nashville bite by bite, Local Table has done the legwork for you and rounded up three great tours to take now while tourist season is at low tide…and one to pencil in for the future.
Local Tastes of Nashville offers two distinct tours: one in Germantown, and one in the Gulch. Each is a walking tour of approximately 1.5 miles, and includes five to six stops—enough tastings to make a meal, along with a rich dose of history about the neighborhood. Restaurants are subject to change depending on the date of your tour, but your Germantown offerings may include B&C BBQ, the Cupcake Collection, Tempered European Indulgence, Butchertown Hall, Cochon Butcher and/or Christie Cookie. The Gulch tour may include Prime 108, M. Restaurant, Biscuit Love, Peg Leg Porker, Colts Chocolates, Juice Nashville, Watermark, the Turnip Truck and/or City Fire. Each tour is $49 and lasts approximately 2 ½ hours. Says Local Tastes’ Debbie Warden, “Some guests enjoy one tour so much, they do both! We offer a $10 discount to experience the second tour.” Private tours can also be arranged.
Sample TripAdvisor review: “The…Gulch tour is the best food tour we’ve taken. Our…guide did a terrific job of explaining the history of every venue…The tour included no less than six food stops, ranging from the historic Union Station Hotel, a 4th-generation bar-b-que, a chocolatier, a cold-pressed juice bar, nouveau southern cuisine by a Food Network star and Biscuit Love…where diets go to die…a real bargain.”
For tour dates/times, reservations and more information: localtastesofnashville.com, or call (866) 736-6343.
Do you like choices? Then Nashville Food Adventures is the tour for you—they offer nearly a dozen different food tours! Tour participants will ride in a small passenger van and visit four-six narrated stops. Says partner TJ Fritz, “We assemble…tours made up of tastings of Nashville’s most iconic foods and drinks, including bourbon, craft beer, barbecue, hot chicken and other local favorites.” The diverse tour offerings include the Barbecue Pit Stops tour, the Just Desserts tour, the Music City Coffee Club, the Global Eats Tour, the Food Truck Chasedown Tour and many more. Most of the tours last three hours and are $65/person plus tax. Custom tours are also available. If you’d rather walk than ride, opt for the Music City Bites and Sites tour. “[It’s] the oldest operating walking tour in Nashville,” says TJ, “And covers the city’s history, culture, architecture and, of course, its food!”
Sample TripAdvisor review: “Our group of eight women took the BBQ tour. It was delicious, filling, informative and a great way to see the city. The van was comfortable and TJ was an interesting and knowledgeable guide. We would definitely recommend.”
For tour dates/times, reservations and more information: dabblestudio.com, or call (615) 678-8784.
Walk Eat Nashville offers three delicious tour options: East Nashville, Midtown/Vanderbilt and SoBro/downtown. Each tour features six tasting stops and, depending on the location and date you choose, you may enjoy fare from Five Points Pizza, Lockeland Table, Marche Artisan Foods, Bongo Java, Tavern, Midtown Café, the Elliston Place Soda Shop, Husk, Etch and the Cherry Street Eatery, among many others. Says Walk Eat Nashville owner Karen-Lee Ryan, “A Walk Eat Nashville tour shares the stories of the people, places and food that make Nashville such a wonderful place to visit and live. We sample locally made dishes and interact with chefs, restaurant owners and food artisans. Between bites, we walk through a historic…neighborhood filled with…landmarks and lore that even locals don’t know about.” Each tour lasts approximately three hours and covers 1.5 miles. Ticket prices vary; check website for details. Private tours are also available upon request.
Sample TripAdvisor review: “[Tour guide] Karen-Lee was very friendly and informative and had a relaxed style of touring. We visited some amazing foodie locations and the best part was talking intimately with the chefs…about their restaurants and the inspirations behind their food and menus. Found out a lot about Nashville that we wouldn’t have known otherwise. Would definitely recommend!”
For tour dates/times, reservations and more information: walkeatnashville.com, or call (615) 587-6138.
Anyone who loves ethnic cuisine will be counting the days until next spring, when Chef Paulette Licitra will introduce a new food tour featuring cross-ethnic tasting up and down Nolensville Road. “When you drive on Nolensville, sometimes you’re not sure where to stop,” says Paulette. “This will be a great introduction into the richness of this fabulous corridor. We’ll sit and dine on samplers from Kurdish, Ethiopian, Thai, Mexican and Indian [restaurants]. We will also shop in the ethnic markets and bring home treats!”
The tours, which will kick off in April, will be small and intimate and last four-five hours. Says Paulette, “It will feel like a friends’ day out.” The tour cost will be $150 per person.
For more information: ChefPaulette.net, or firstname.lastname@example.org.