Top 14 California Food Tours
Food unlocks the soul of a place, and if you want to experience the best of what the Golden State has to offer, California food tours are a great way to get a taste.
California is crammed with food-filled finds everywhere you turn — from cannoli in San Diego’s Little Italy, to tacos in East LA, to wine in Sonoma. But, how’s a food explorer to know where to grab the best bites? California food tours are a great way to find grub that locals love, bringing you regional flavors served with edible insights. Whether you’re in your own town or visiting a distant destination, California food tours are sure to sate your adventurous appetite.
Perhaps you’ll taste the original “California pizza” in Berkeley’s gourmet ghetto. Maybe you want to sip your way through San Diego’s bustling beer scene. Or perchance you’d like to try the best Korean food in Los Angeles.
Whatever your cravings, these tours will feed your face and your brain — all in the company of friendly, food-loving guides. Peruse our top 14 California food tours below. Your belly will thank you.
1. Food Tours on Cozymeal, San Francisco
The best food in San Francisco isn’t in Michelin-starred restaurants or at Fisherman's Wharf. Instead, you’ll find the most memorable bites in eclectic mom-and-pop eateries, local hotspots, hidden gems and farmers markets. You can explore all these special foodie spots and more with food tours in San Francisco on Cozymeal.
Explore North Beach’s Italian roots, discover dim sum in Chinatown, visit the Mission District’s one-of-a-kind taquerias and more. On these expert-led California food tours, you’ll get a true taste of the city by the Bay.
2. Little Italy Tours, San Diego
Little Italy, San Diego is one of the country’s most vibrant Italian quarters, boasting over 80 eateries spread out over 48 square blocks. With Little Italy Tours, you’ll join the company of an Italian-born chef, where you’ll relish “Old School” dishes that the Sicilian and Genovese fishermen prepared for their families — handmade cannoli, slow-simmered polpette (meatballs) and wood-fired pizzas.
On these California food tours, you’ll also uncover historic landmarks and visit family-run food shops in the neighborhood. Little Italy Tours offers guests both join-in and private tours.
3. Taste of Korea, Los Angeles
LA is more than Hollywood stars and Malibu sunsets. It’s also home to some of the best California food tours.
In Los Angeles’ Koreatown, you can enjoy a savory-spicy-sweet taste of authentic Korean food, from hand-formed mandoo (dumplings) to tangy kimchi. Taste of Korea LA brings curious diners the fiery delights of Korean fare — one of Asia’s yummiest and lesser-known cuisines.
During this LA-centric California food tour, your local guide will share with you a plethora of palate-pleasing plates. Tastings span a Michelin-awarded restaurant, a crispy seafood pancake and traditional Korean sweets. Along the way, you’ll learn about both the evolution of Korea’s cuisine and the neighborhood’s proud immigrant heritage.
4. Beer Train Trolley Tour, San Diego
San Diego is beer city, USA, home to nearly 200 micro-breweries and tasting rooms. Craft beer aficionados will be in hoppy heaven here. With a guzzle-friendly glut of breweries, drinking a pint in San Diego goes far beyond your usual drafts.
The Beer Train Trolley Tour from San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours takes you around to four San Diego breweries, where you’ll get to enjoy a beer flight at each stop (that’s up to 16 pours!). On this 5.5 hour California food tour, beer isn’t the only thing served — a light lunch is also included.
5. Delicious Dumplings, San Gabriel
Whether steamed, pan-fried or swimming in a soup, dumplings will delight your tongue. On this walking food tour of multi-ethnic San Gabriel, California, you’ll dive into all things filled and noodles — from savory Taiwanese soup dumplings to cold sesame noodles, and from thick noodles dressed in black bean sauce to dumplings stuffed with sea cucumber.
On your four-hour Delicious Dumplings tour from Six Taste, you’ll enjoy over 10 distinct tastings — learning about the area’s rich Chinese heritage at each family-style stop. As an added bonus, this California food tour also stops at San Gabriel’s historic Mission (built in 1771).
6. Ojai Olive Oil, Ojai
Tucked in a postcard-perfect valley just 75 miles north of Los Angeles, Ojai overflows with small-town charisma and artistic flare. It’s also home to the oldest producer of extra virgin olive oil in the area, fed by the strong SoCal sun.
Family-operated, Ojai Olive Oil offers scenic tours immersed in the history and beauty of the silvery-green olive groves. Your guide will explain how extra virgin olive oil differs from lower grade “olive oils,” including how to select and cook with the green good stuff. Before capping off your California food tour with an on-site tasting, you’ll observe how extra virgin oil is cold-pressed here from sun-ripened organic olives.
7. Cheese Tasting Tour, Marin County
Just north of San Francisco lies the rolling hills of Marin County, filled with fertile bays, enormous redwoods and delicious California food tours. This bountiful stretch of Northern California also produces some of the best brie this side of Paris.
The Behind-the-Scenes Cheese Tasting Tour on Viator will escort you through Marin County’s dairy delights, including a visit to the famed Cowgirl Creamery — renowned for its Mt. Tam triple-cream brie. This chauffeured outing makes stops at three artisanal creameries, where you’ll relish a behind-the-scenes tour and learn how your favorite cheeses morph from milk to Marin’s finest fromage.
Animal lovers will swoon at the chance to meet the goats, sheep and cows who yield California’s top craft cheeses. This California food tour includes gourmet guide, transportation, tastings and a picnic-style farm lunch.
8. Wine and History Tour, Sonoma
Sure, Sonoma is known around the globe for its earthy reds and crisp whites. But, did you know it’s also the beating heart of the farm-to-table food movement? On this walking California food tour from Sonoma Food Tour, you’ll savor a smattering of tastings as you wander around the scenic Sonoma Plaza, including artisanal chocolates, cask-aged wines, locally-produced cheeses and European-style crusty breads.
Each tasting reflects traditional techniques and what is most seasonally available from Sonoma County’s organic farms and family-operated dairies.
9. Food and Wine Tour, Sausalito
North of San Francisco, on the sunnier side of the Golden Gate, you’ll find the charming seaside town of Sausalito, which boasts its own share of California food tours.
A food-loving local will share with you an array of elegant eats during your 3.5 hour walking Sausalito Food and Wine Tour, courtesy of Gourmet Food & Wine Tours. Mouth-pleasing moments include Northern California wines, pillowy gnocchi and sea-to-table tastings at four Sausalito restaurants — including one with an extravagant view of fog-hugged San Francisco in the distance.
10. Distillery Tour, St. George
St. George’s Spirits, situated on the island of Alameda in the San Francisco Bay, has been distilling small-batch booze since 1982 — including award-winning gins, brandies and liqueurs.
On this guided California food tour, you’ll visit the distillery to learn how six distinct spirits are made here on site. Potential tastings include botanical-infused gin, green chile vodka, spiced pear brandy, coffee liqueur, dry reposado gin and absinthe verte.
During the tour, an on-staff guide will take you onto the production floor where you can observe copper stills and distilling accouterment. Before enjoying your tasting, you’ll learn about this craft distillery’s history and philosophy, allowing you to further savor what’s in your glass.
11. Chinatown Walking Food Tour, San Francisco
San Francisco’s Chinatown is one of the city’s main tourist destinations — home to historic buildings, bustling markets, countless hole-in-the-wall eateries and of course, many great California food tours.
On the Chinatown Walking Food Tour from Local Tastes of the City Tours, you’ll eat through this charming neighborhood with a real local, visiting the back street and hidden gems only the local residents know.
Along the way, you’ll visit Chinese bakeries in San Francisco and learn how fortune cookies were invented in the Bay Area. Your tour will include authentic dim sum, Shanghai soup dumplings and a behind-the-scenes tour of the oldest cathedral in San Francisco.
12. Biking Wine Country, Sonoma
Wine lovers in-the-know skip the mass-market tasting rooms in Napa and head instead to quieter Sonoma County, just an hour north of San Francisco. Here, you can find California food tours that take you on an in-depth exploration of this beautiful wine country.
On the Sonoma Adventures’ biking tour, a local guide will plunge you into the history and landscape of the fertile Sonoma valley. Your leisurely food tour brings you down country roads, passing scenic wineries and family farms. Tastings include small-batch bottles that are near impossible to find outside of Sonoma.
In addition to enjoying wine where it’s made, this California food tour includes a scenic picnic lunch at one of the wineries — featuring locally-sourced foods.
13. LA Farmers Market, Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Farmers Market dates back to 1934. Since then, it’s been a food-filled favorite of local residents and restaurant chefs, and a popular California food tour destination.
On the Original Farmers Market Food and History Tour by Melting Pot Food Tours, your group will go-behind-the-scenes of the best “non-grocery store” in Southern California, enjoying a plentiful sampling of savory and sweet foods here. Each day 100 vendors serve up belly-pleasing dishes at the Los Angeles Farmers Market — from Middle Eastern mezze to craft ice cream, and from fluffy artisanal donuts to Brazilian-style barbecue.
Your guide will introduce you to the best of the best in this hunger-inducing, must-do California food tour.
14. Downtown Food Tour, Los Angeles
Downtown LA has experienced a radical rebirth in recent years, transforming into a diverse, artistic and delicious destination for Los Angelinos and visitors alike. This makes LA a haven for a multitude of California food tours, each offering something unique about the city’s food scene.
The Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour by Sidewalk Food Tours of Los Angeles spotlights the international influences and innovative vibrancy of this neighborhood, bringing you inside the hideaways where locals love to nosh. Your guided food tour of Los Angeles might include culinary treasures like an authentic French baguette, Texas-style BBQ, artisanal cheeses and Mexican street tacos — running the gamut from ethnic eateries to a gourmet market.
No matter where your tastes lie, an abundance of California food tours will allow you to eat and drink your way across the Golden State. From diverse cuisine to renowned wines and beers, what culinary hub will be your first stop?
Hungry for more California food tours? Check out more food tours happening near you on Cozymeal.