Have you ever been on a food tour before? It’s kind of like going on a shopping spree, but instead of going into each store and trying your luck on clothes that may or may not work, you are guided by an expert who has the ins and outs of the hottest hidden spots. He brings you samples of the best dishes from each place and when you think you can’t eat anymore, he fills you with juicy stories and secrets of the neighborhood until your tummy is ready for the next round of deliciousness.
This food tour was my birthday present this year. It took place in The Mission, the Latino quarter of San Francisco. While it wasn’t my first food tour, it was definitely hands-down the best one I had.
So what makes a good food tour? Great food is obviously essential, but it’s all about the WHOLE experience. The whole experience includes the guide’s knowledge and charisma, their relationships with the restauranteurs, the eating experience (local ambiance and service), the pace of the tour, the unexpected surprises and general comfort like, napkins, water, restroom stops, etc.
Food from Chris Milano’s Foodie Adventure met all of the above and beyond. We stuffed ourselves silly with delicias to last for days. I wish I could be more specific about the food we had, but I don’t want to spoil the fun and surprises of the tour. Since the Mission District is the mecca of Latino eats, we visited pretty much all of the best taquerias to pupuserias and more for your imagination. Many of which we would never have gone ourselves without some español or neighborhood locals. Some were also very well known on Yelp, but our guide Chris, a charming 6th generation SF local, made us feel like VIPs when he guided us in. His interaction with the staff and owners made you think he was part of the family business. His knowledge of food is like the vast grand canyon and his passion for food is so contagious. By the end of the tour, I think everyone was obsessed with Latino cuisine.
So before you go on a Foodie Adventure, or any food tour, remember to skip breakfast/lunch and wear real baggy clothes and comfortable shoes for the ultimate experience.
By the way, I skipped the birthday cake and dinner this year. Honestly, who needs a birthday cake/dinner when you can have 3 hours of none-stop eating and fun? Look at the illustration again, we had ALL of those. I will trade my birthday cake for a food tour anytime! Maybe Chinatown or Little Italy North Beach tour for Mother’s day celebration =)
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