Food is an intrinsic part of experiencing a new place. The Goan fish-curry-rice is as important a Goa experience as lounging on Baga beach or exploring the flea market of Anjuna. Or can you imagine a trip to Mumbai and not tase its famous pav bhaji, or visit Lucknow and not eat kebab? Many of the dishes that are intertwined with the identity of the place are like little plates of history−they have interesting origin stories and tell more about the people there than even the built heritage. Which is why, when you travel you should eat local. Going on a food tour with a local travel company is one of the best ways to get an intimate introduction to the culinary heritage of a destination. here are six travel companies and the food tours they offer that will make you drool:
1. Old Delhi Food Tour, Delhi Food Walks
With people of varied communities making Delhi their home over the centuries, this great and historic city has a food heritage and culture that is unparalleled. From the bylanes of Old Delhi to the newer enclaves in greater NCR like Noida and Gaziabad, wherever you go you will find good food. From delicious kababs and niharis and piquant chats to lip smackingly good momos and unique fusion dishes like butter chicken pasta! And Delhi Food Walks will give you a taste of them all. The walks are highly immersive and participants get to not just taste the food but also understand the stories behind the dishes and also the stories of the communities who created these dishes. The walking tours cover areas like Old Delhi, Majnu Ka Tila and New Delhi. While every tour is great, the Old Delhi Night Food Walk is the classic.
2. Best of Mysore, Gully Tours
While this experiential travel outfit offers tours in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Coorg and Kochi, their Mysuru walks stand out. This tour has all the right ingredients - history, food, culture and fun. Learn about the opulent lives of the maharajas and how one of the then richest men on the planet lived. Explore a century-old market, the plaza around Dufferin clock tower where the locals gather, and the evening bazaar. Best of all, taste the delicious Mysore Pak, Mysore Masala Dosa, Mysore Churumuri - the list of gastronomical delights from the city goes on.
3. Khau Gully and Kabab and Curry walks (Mumbai), No Footprints
No Footprints shares the stories of all the communities, from Bohris and Parsis to East Indians, Kolis and even Jews, that have made Mumbai their home over many decades and even centuries. Their tours are varied, but its the food walks that stand out. The ‘Khau Gully’ walk is focuseed on Mumbai’s rightly famous ‘veg’ street food. You get to savour many interesting tales along with the food, like how the odd hours of of the thousands of textile mill workers resulted in a street food revolution and contributed to the creation of the Pav Bhaji. The ‘Kabab and Curry’ walk takes you to the nervecentre of the non-vegetarian street food—Mohammad Ali Road and Bohri Mohulla. Along with tales of the Bohra Muslim business community, you get to taste quintessential Bohri dishes like the 12 pot curry, sherbets, Chana Batata, Boti Kebab and Seekh Kebab. You will get to visit hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are more famous than some Michelin starred restaurants! You will also be able to taste a myriad sweets, along with the numerous meat delicacies.
4. Dehra Dun Food Walk, Been There Doon That
Been There Doon That (BTDT) offers numerous walks through historic Dehra Dun, a city that has, unfortunately, been seen by tourists as only a quick stopover on the way to the more sought after hill stations. It offers many interesting walks, like the Ruskin’s Dehra Walk and the Kipling Trail. Not many may associate Dehra with a strong food culture, but travellers are in for a surprise! The two-hour food walk is perfect for every foodie as they get a taste of Pahari, Afghan and British delicacies along with the more earthy dishes of the plains on a walk through the Paltan Bazaar.
5. The Secret food Trail (Goa), Soul Travelling
Soul Travelling offers a set of walking tours and day tours that are curated and focus on different aspects of Goa that are not really explored by tourists. It is like peeking behind a curtain at the hidden Goa that is out of reach for those visiting the state just for a few days. Their culinary tours take travellers on a delicious journey through Goa's rich food culture. The three-hour Secret Food Trail of Panaji takes travellers to secret food locations in Panaji, where the Soul Travelling Ambassador will share little known stories about the food, the people and the city.
6. Jodhpur Heritage Walk
Jodhpur Heritage Walk, run by Jodhpur locals, offers walking tours, food tours and photography tours that are all about local interaction. The travel outfit offers daily morning and evening heritage walks that take travellers through the labyrinth lanes of the Old City. Travellers visit temples, shops and even a local home where they get to have a cup of tea and talk to the people. The highlights of the tour are the stops at the local snack shops to taste delicacies like gulab jamun and ghee ki kachori!