Philadelphia Food Tour Guide
I find that one of the best ways to truly experience a destination is to sample and experience the local cuisine. A Philadelphia food tour is a great way to not only see, but also get a taste of Philadelphia.
Depending on your interests, tastes and time constraints there are a number of Philadelphia Food Tours from which to choose.
Taste of Philly Food Tour - This 75 minute tour takes place entirely at the Reading Terminal Market. Participants learn about Philly food favorites such as cheesesteaks, hoagies and pretzels. This Philadelphia food tour focuses on food history rather than tasting. Small bites of about 5 different food items are provided.
Flavors of Philly Food Tour - This 2 hour tour also focuses on Philly food favorites including cheesesteaks, hoagies, pretzels and much more. There is ample tasting (enough for a light lunch) on this 6-stop tour along with opportunity to view some of Philadelphia's architectural highlights.
Decadent Gourmet Tour - Get set for 2.5 hours of culinary indulgence featuring artisanal cheeses, gourmet chocolates, refreshing gelato and wonderful teas. Be sure to read our review of this Philadelphia food tour.
Craft Beer and Artisanal Cheese Tour - Old City is the setting for this 2 hour tour. Visit one of the city's best microbreweries to sample 8 different craft beers. From there, walk to a gourmet cheese boutique to sample a variety of cheeses. A nice, relaxed taste of Philadelphia.
Taste of Northern Liberties - This new Philadelphia Food tour takes you to 5 hot spots in this up and coming neighborhood. From pasta to cheesecake to beer and much more, you will learn about and taste them all. Come hungry for this 2 hour tour!
Learn more about the Taste of Philadelphia Food Tour
Learn more about all other Philadelphia Food ToursReview of Philadelphia Decadent Gourmet Food Tour
By Lisa Petrocelli
My husband and I recently had the pleasure of partaking in the Decadent Gourmet Tour offered by City Food Tours in Philadelphia.
Our Saturday afternoon tour kicked off at Di Bruno Bros. gourmet grocery in Rittenhouse Square. It was here that we met our fellow tour mates along with Robert, our affable guide and co-owner of City Food Tours in Philadelphia.
Robert herded our group of 12 to the back of Di Bruno's where we gathered in a small area of the cheese department to learn how cheese is made and about various types of cheeses. After a few minutes, it was time to start tasting.
I started to regret having eaten a fairly large lunch about 2 hours prior to the tour as I was a little too full to really enjoy the cheeses. Of the four cheeses offered, my clear favorite was the last one - a semi-firm goat cheese. After a few minutes of free time to explore Di Bruno's impressive selection of gourmet foods, it was off to our next stop.
During the 6 block walk to our next destination, Robert proved to be a worthy tour guide, pointing out architectural details and sites of interest including where scenes from the movies The Sixth Sense and Trading Places were filmed. A 23 year resident of the city, Robert seemed to know just about every person we passed on the street.
Our second stop on the tour took us to Tbar, a hip urban tea salon. Robert provided a brief tea primer (Who knew herbal teas aren't true teas?) and then the tasting began. We tasted three different teas - a green tea, a black tea and a rooibus (which is technically not a tea). All of the teas were extremely aromatic and, in their dry form, looked so much more inviting than the teas that this tea novice is used to. My hands down favorite was the rooibus which tasted exactly like an orange creamsicle. When I learned that it is naturally caffeine free and has more antioxidents than green tea, I was totally sold. Unfortunately, in my excitement to get to our final tour stop, I neglected to buy some of this wonderful rooibus to take home.
By the time we reached our last stop, I was no longer feeling so full from lunch and was ready to indulge in some major gelato tasting at Capogiro. Once again, Robert enlightened us about the gelato we were about to sample and informed us about the differences (of which there are many) between gelato, ice cream and sorbet. This time, the tasting was a bit different because it was a blind tasting where we had to identify the gelato flavor. Some, like pistachio and black cherry, were pretty easy to determine but several of us were stumped by the flavor of one particular sample. While the flavor was familiar, we just couldn't put our finger on it. Turns out the mystery flavor was basil. Yes, basil - and it was delicious! In all, we sampled 6 different flavors with too many favorites for me to choose just one. This is one taste of Philadelphia that I will definitely re-visit.
Depending on the day of the week the tour is taken, a visit to a gourmet chocolate cafe - The Naked Chocolate Cafe, is sometimes substituted for the tea tasting or the gelato tasting. Having visited this chocolate cafe I can vouch that a stop here is definitely worth your time. I can also highly recommend the frozen hot chocolate drink pictured here.
Between tour stops I had a chance to talk to Robert about City Food Tours in Philadelphia. He shared that the more specialized tours such as the Decadent Gourmet, Northern Liberties and Craft Beer tours tend to attract locals and those who live within an hour or two of the city while the Flavors of Philly tour is typically filled with out of town visitors who want to experience some traditional Philly foods. According to Robert, custom tours and private dining events are also popular and can accommodate anywhere from 2 to 150 people with specific themes such as French pastry tastings, soap making, Brazilian cocktail tastings, wine and chocolate pairings and almost anything else you can think of.
Insider Tips: Understand the amount of food offered on your tour so you know whether to eat beforehand or arrive hungry. For example, the quantity and type of food offered on the Flavors of Philly tour is equivalent to a meal while the Decadent Gourmet Tour tasting is more of a light snack.
Most of the tours last 2-2.5 hours with less than 30 minutes of walking. Be advised that while many of the tour stops provide seating, some do not. For example, the cheese tasting portion of the Decadent Gourmet tour requires standing for about 20 minutes.
Book early, especially during peak Philly travel times such as in the summer. Our tour on a Saturday in mid-April was completely sold out.
Philadelphia Sightseeing Tours
Philadelphia Tourist Attractions
Pennsylvania Vacation Guide Home
Philadelphia Food Tour features, itineraries and policies subject to change. Please verify features directly with the Philadelphia Food Tour Operator.