Visiting a city such as Los Angeles can be overwhelming with all the restaurants and bars available. Locals come from all over the world bringing their different cultures and cuisines, which can make it difficult not only to decide what restaurant to go to but also what type of food to eat. For instance, Latin food alone can range from Salvadoran to Mexican to Peruvian — each having their own unique flavor. Because of all the options, food tours are available for visitors to experience the most the city has to offer while sampling a piece of L.A. culture along the way. These five food tours add the perfect amount of spice to any foodie adventure.
Melting Pot Food Tours introduces visitors to one of Los Angeles’ original farmers market, which started in 1932. Artisan butchers, bakers and candy makers set up shop next to a gourmet grocery emporium, which has one of the best cheese counters in the area. The 2.5-hour tour gives insight into the market’s history, telling stories of the families that turned the location into a foodie must-visit. Tour guests will try various food samples along the way, such as pizza from the city’s first pizzeria or a donut from one of the best-rated shops in the country.
Tourists will get a taste of Pasadena’s historic district on the Old Pasadena Food Tasting Walking Tour. On this walking tour, tour guests will walk down old alleyways and through brick archways while listening to tour guides explain the history of the area, which was once just a field of orange groves. The guests will taste fare from locally owned restaurants such as Beyond the Olive, an olive oil specialty store, and Choza Mama, an authentic Peruvian-style restaurant, as well as make a visit to the Italian gelato counter, chocolatier, and tea bar and emporium.
Six Taste offers a variety of food tours throughout Los Angeles. All of the tours have a similar itinerary in which guests will be led on a route to about four to six eateries to taste some of the area’s best cuisine. The company doesn’t have a schedule of its tours because it customizes the itineraries solely on the group’s food preference and budget. The Downtown LA tour, for instance, could include stops to Soi 7, a local favorite Thai restaurant, or Syrup Desserts for Nutella waffles. The four-hour tours not only take guests to popular eateries, but guides will also offer insight into the local cuisine shaped by the area’s cultural history.
Guests that want to stray off the beaten Los Angeles path and delve a bit more into the city’s Latin culture should take the East L.A. Latin Flavors Tour. The tour starts off with strong coffee and fresh baked goods, followed by hand-made tamales. Then, tour guests will make a stop at the area’s open air market, where they will explore a tortilla factory and sample the wide variety of salsas and guacamole dips available. Lunch in Mariachi Plaza consists of goat and pupusa, a traditional Salvadoran dish made of thick, handmade corn tortillas filled with cheese and ground pork. For dessert: Guests will eat iced Mexican chocolate with a side of fresh-baked pan dulce.
People are always fascinated by Los Angeles’ history with the Hollywood film industry. This Historic Hollywood Stars & Bars Tour goes back to the Hollywood golden years when cocktails were stiff and the idea of glamour didn’t include plastic surgery. Tour guests will visit Hollywood bars once frequented by Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe and Ernest Hemingway. Speakeasies and mobster hangouts are other highlights along the tour, which starts at the famous Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard and features drink tastings along the way. While not guaranteed, a celebrity sighting or two is always a possibility in these classic spots.