Taste Vancouver’s Vibrant Culinary Offerings on a Food Tour

Photo: Taste Vancouver Food Tours (North Vancouver’s Shipyards District)

Vancouver has such an abundance of delicious and diverse food options that it can be hard to decide what to try on any given day. One solution is to take part in a food tour, led by culinary insiders who will take you to the best spots in the city for eating and drinking.

Many of the food tours are neighbourhood specific while some are customized to a particular beloved food item. Regardless of the focus of the tour, you’ll leave with a better appreciation of Vancouver’s exciting culinary landscape, as well as a belly full of bites and sips from the various stops along your journey.

Here are some food and drink tours that are on offer in Vancouver (subject to seasonality):

Vancouver Food Tour

Photo: Vancouver Food Tour

Vancouver Food Tour offers a wide range of specialized tours to suit every kind of palate and food and drink interest. Options include a tour of Richmond’s dumpling trail, a craft beer ‘n’ bites tour, a Gastown tasting tour, and a vegan food tour. For the Gastown tour, for instance, you’ll visit three locations with a beer flight at each, paired with tasty gastropub eats. You’ll learn about the history of the beer, as well as the process behind brewing it. Private tours can customize the experience you want.

Taste Vancouver Food Tours

Photo: Little Italy Tour

Taste Vancouver Food Tours offers a variety of both public as well as private tours that are culinary related. Their three main tours each cover a unique food neighbourhood in Vancouver: Gastown, Little Italy on Commercial Drive, and North Vancouver’s Shipyards District. For example, for the Gastown one, you’ll wander the area’s iconic cobblestone streets, sampling everything from craft beer to gourmet soft serve ice cream. Meanwhile, an improv actor will regale you with stories of the historical neighourhood. They also offer private food tours for companies, family and friends, and bachelorette parties.

Vancouver Foodie Tours

Photo: Vancouver Foodie Tours

Since 2010, Vancouver Foodie Tours has been sharing founder Michelle Ng’s passion for Vancouver food with others. Currently, they have three main tours on offer: Granville Island Market, Authentic Asian Eats, and Festive Favourite Markets. They also have a Gastronomic Gastown tour in the works. The company is best known for their Granville Island tour that gives you VIP access to the artisan vendors in the market for tastings of everything from charcuterie to some of the best doughnuts in town.

A Wok Around Chinatown and Around Granville Island

Photo: A Wok Around Chinatown

Run by Robert Sung, a third-generation Chinese Canadian, Robert Sung Tours offers two exciting selections: A Wok Around Chinatown and A Wok Around Granville Island. The popular Chinatown tour starts at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden and then will take you on a walking tour through the many culinary and cultural highlights that Chinatown has to offer, including barbecue and herbal medicine stores. A dim sum lunch will be one of the most memorable parts of the tour.

Historical Chinatown Tours

Photo: Historical Chinatown Tours; dumpling making

Judy Lam Maxwell, who specializes in and has a passion for Chinatowns and particularly Vancouver’s one, leads all her Historical Chinatown Tours, including a “Chinatown Walk, Historic Talk, and Dim Sum Tour.” Besides a dim sum lunch, you’ll learn about Chinatown’s history, the intersection between food and culture, as well as the many food-related businesses in the neighbourhood. Lam Maxwell is also an expert in dumpling-making and runs masterclasses and dumpling parties.

Tours by Locals

Photo: Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar (Leila Kwok) – one of the potential stops on Fine Dining with Canada’s Foremost Food Writer

Tours by Locals gives you access to Vancouver insiders who are enthusiastic to share their knowledge about the city with you. If you search specifically for food and drink tours in Vancouver, you’ll find a range of options, including a full-day tour of wineries and breweries, a taste of the craft beer scene, and a tour of Granville Island. Food critic Alexandra Gill leads two tours: Fine Dining with Canada’s Foremost Food Writer and Chinese Feast with a Judge for the Chinese Restaurant Awards. Both tours would be informative and highly curated for discerning palates.

Canadian Craft Tours

Photo: Canadian Craft Tours

As their name suggests, Canadian Craft Tours specializes in brewery tours that take you to a few top craft breweries in the city. You’ll get behind the scenes knowledge about their brewing process, as well as get the chance to sample beer flights. They also offer beer tours of Port Moody, Langley, Squamish, and North Vancouver. Those who want to learn about and sample local wine can embark on their Fraser Valley wine tour, or opt for the Mashup Tour, which combines breweries, distilleries, cideries, and urban wineries.

Vancouver Brewery Tours

Photo: Vancouver Brewery Tours

Get to know Vancouver’s craft beer scene with Vancouver Brewery Tours. In addition to fun beer bike tours in Vancouver and North Vancouver, they offer brewery tours through both municipalities. Over the course of a few hours, you’ll tour three breweries, such as Main Street Brewing (subject to change for each tour), and enjoy a flight of beer at each. Or, if you’re wanting a meal as well, there’s the Vancouver Beer and Food Brewery Tour that comes with a meal at Big Rock Urban Brewery & Eatery.

Vine and Hops Wine and Craft Beer Tours

Photo: Vine and Hops Wine and Craft Beer Tours

Vine and Hops Wine and Craft Beer Tours provides a variety of tours centred around Vancouver’s drink producers. They offer a Langley Wine Tour, a Vancouver Urban Wine Tour, a Vancouver Brewery Tour, and finally a Mashup Tour that combines all your favourite libations. Expect a spirited time with a fun and knowledgeable crew.

Lawrence Tours: Fraser Valley Wine Tour

Photo: Lawrence Tours

Lawrence Tours has a Fraser Valley Wine Tour that will take you to at least three wineries where you’ll learn about their history and wine-making processes, as well as sample their wines.  At the third, you’ll sample cheese and charcuterie.

Discover Canada Tours: Fraser Valley Wine Tours

Vineyard tour at Whispering Horse Winery; Photo: Destination BC/Hubert Kang

Discover Canada Tours also provides a Fraser Valley Wine Tour, a full-day expedition which involves a visit to Country Vines Winery in  Richmond, a tour of the scenic Fraser Valley, and stop off at two other wineries (customized to your wine preferences). Visits to Fort Langley and/or one of the local farms for purchasing produce, as well the Sunflower Festival (when it’s running) are possible, depending on interest.

Lotus Land Tours

Photo: Lotus Land Tours

Lotus Land Tours has a Vancouver Winery Tour, which visits three wineries in the Fraser Valley, and includes a light lunch at the Bacchus Bistro at the Chaberton Estate Winery.

Toonie Tours

Photo: Toonie Tours

If you love specialty drink and art, you’re going to love Toonie Tours. They run a Street Art and Craft Beer Walking Tour, as well as one that features coffee. For the beer tour, you’ll visit artist studies, admire street murals, as well as visit local craft breweries.

Swallow Tail Culinary Adventures

Photo: Swallow Tail Culinary Adventures

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, Swallow Tail Culinary Adventures leads fun and informative foraging field trips. Their most popular is a Wild Mushroom Education Field Trip, but they also offer a Sea Foraging Experience. In the former, you’ll learn how to identify sought after mushrooms such as chanterelles as well as how to harvest in an ethical and sustainable manner. The Sea Foraging Experience will teach you how to harvest seafood such as sea urchin, and you’ll be served a bowl of delicious foraged chowder.

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