What is a food tour?
A few years ago, I went to Miami on vacation. While searching for things to do, I came across a food tour. I didn't even know what a food tour was. I just saw that they would bring us to restaurants, and I love eating out, so I booked it.
We walked through South Beach, stopping at different restaurants and sampling food from an Argentinian bakery, Cuban restaurant, gelato and pizza shop and more. Along the way, our tour guide shared historical facts behind the gorgeous art deco buildings that make up South Beach.
This was a fantastic way to learn about Miami through its melding cultures, and of course, through food. It also kicked off a new way of travel for me. I then took food tours in cities like Athens, Greece, learning about the people and the countries through their best dishes.
"You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together." - Anthony Bourdain
Creating a Food Tour in Atlanta
I wanted to create a similar food tour in my hometown of Atlanta. I have lived on the Atlanta BeltLine for 9 years, and seen an explosion of restaurants along the trail. I have tried nearly every one, and brought my friends and family to these new restaurants. Which is why I launched a Food and Street Art Tour of the Atlanta BeltLine several years ago.
A food tour is the perfect way to experience Atlanta's foodie scene, and to learn about the Atlanta BeltLine, the city's most popular walking trail. The BeltLine is where Atlantans come out to play and show their creative side. It is a rotating outdoor gallery of street art, and on any given day, you might see people joyfully riding bikes, scooters, hover boards - basically anything with wheels. Plus, there are often musicians and DJs set up on weekends. It's a fun place to see and be seen.
If you like to try new restaurants, and you're wondering if a food tour is right for you, we break it down for you below.
Here are 5 reasons to take a food tour of Atlanta:
1 Get a sampling of Atlanta's foodie scene.
If you think we only eat Southern here, think again. Yes, you can still find fried okra and grits here, but Atlanta's food scene has become diverse and inventive. The chefs are not only racking up James Beard awards - the Oscars of the food world - but celebrities like Sean Brock and Marcus Samuelsson (guest chef for President Obama) are planting their flag here. On our Food and Street Art Tour, we sample everything from Detroit style pizza to Tex-Mex to New Orleans beignets and more. Plus a margarita tasting from one of the funnest restaurant bars in the city.
2 Make new friends.
Anthony Bourdain said, "You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together." Our tour guests come from metro Atlanta, from across the U.S. and even from other countries. The best part is when guests make friends with each other. They have been known to exchange contact info, offer each other a place to stay, and share a drink together after the tour.
3 Don't risk having a bad meal.
When you go to a new city, finding the best restaurants can be the hardest part. Yes, you can check out Google reviews and Yelp for guidance, but it can take hours to vet the good spots. We do it all for you. The restaurants on our tour are all places I highly recommend. Plus, you get a sampling of several restaurants for one ticket price. It would cost you a lot more if you went to each one on your own.
4 Experience Atlanta like a local.
We don't bring you to tourist traps, or restaurants owned by our friend's cousin who is desperate for business. We bring you to the restaurants that locals go to, the ones that are packed on a Saturday night. And we show you the best parts of the Atlanta BeltLine, which is where locals come out on weekends. You can hit all the sights listed in your tour guide, but if you want to see the real Atlanta, come on our tour.
5 Got a sweet tooth?
You've come to the right place. Our tours start and end with dessert. You'll kick things off with a stop at a chocolate micro-factory, where you can sample different flavors from around the world. You might even want to bring some home. And the margaritas are made from real fruit, no sour mix, so you can feel good about all that sweetness.
So you can wing it on your own, but if you want to create memories that will last a lifetime (like my memories of Miami), there's no better way than to book a food tour of Atlanta.
What are you waiting for?
If you want to sample some of the best restaurants in Atlanta, book a BiteLines Food and Street Art Tour of the Atlanta BeltLine. Margaritas and chocolate included! And dog lovers, we've got an activity exclusively for your fur baby. Bring your dog on Barks & Bites: Doggie Food Crawl on the BeltLine. Book today before they sell out!
An Atlanta native, Nicole Gustin is the Founder and CEO of BiteLines, which offers walking Food and Street Art Tours on the Atlanta BeltLine. She considers the BeltLine her backyard, and is excited to see how Atlanta is reinventing itself. To sample some of Atlanta's best restaurants and street art, join us on our fabulous Food and Street Art Tour of the Atlanta BeltLine. Or bring your fur baby on Barks & Bites: Doggie Food Crawl on the BeltLine. Follow on TikTok and Instagram @bitelinesatl.