Food and Beverage Questions
Will we just be visiting restaurants to sample food?
Definitely not! In addition to delicious local food tastings, we also serve up a hearty helping of neighborhood commentary. We’ll share interesting information about the backgrounds and inspiration of the chefs/owners behind the eateries we visit, as well as plenty of historical, cultural and architectural information relevant to the neighborhood we are visiting.
How much food can I expect to eat during the tour?
Our tours include tastings from 5-6 local eateries and collectively provide enough food for a satisfying lunch for most people. We provide tastings, so please do not expect a full meal at each location. Tastings vary in portion size, with some tastings served while seated inside the restaurant, and others served in a more “on the go” manner to also allow time for the neighborhood component of the tour.
What about beverages?
Bites are the main focus of our tastings. Sips are included when it makes sense as a compliment to the main tasting. The beverage samples we include may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, are subject to change, and vary between tours. We are able to provide non-alcoholic alternatives for those who do not drink alcohol and those under 21 with advance notice. Please indicate this in your reservation under dietary restrictions when purchasing tickets.
Seeing as a good portion of our tours is spent outdoors and on foot exploring the local neighborhood, not all tasting stops are long enough for and/or conducive to serving beverages, including water. As such, we highly recommend bringing along bottled water if you’d enjoy having something to drink throughout the experience.
Are there vegetarian options available?
We can provide vegetarian options in most tasting locations with advance notice. Please be sure to make this request when purchasing tickets as we will not be able to arrange for alternative options on the day of the tour.
We are not able to accommodate a vegan diet on any of our tours.
What if I have a dietary restriction or food allergy?
The dietary restrictions and allergies we are able to accommodate with alternative tastings are listed and may be selected for each guest at checkout for each tour. All substitutions must be requested in advance, so please indicate accordingly in your reservation when purchasing tickets. Tastings are prepared ahead of time based on reservation notes, so we are unable to make changes to the orders on the fly on the day of the tour.
For allergies and restrictions not listed, as there may not always be a “next best” best option that also meets specific dietary needs, we are not able to provide substitutions in all tasting locations. However, our tours offer a good mix of foods, including vegetarian, pescatarian and gluten-free options.
Do I need to purchase tickets in advance?
Tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets may be purchased through FareHarbor either online or by calling 617-702-2483. Cash is not accepted for ticket purchases.
What is your Cancellation/ Refund Policy
All sales are final. Tour tickets are sold based on availability for a specific date and time and your ticket is valid for that event only. We do not offer refunds, exchanges or re-scheduling once tickets have been purchased. There are no exceptions.
Does the tour guide accept gratuities? Are they included in the ticket price?
Tour guide gratuities are not included in the ticket price. While not mandatory, if you had a great time, gratuities will be graciously accepted by your tour guide at the end of the tour. The standard gratuity in the industry is 10-20%.
Are gratuities for the servers included in my ticket price?
Yes, in the tasting locations where we are seated and served, gratuities for the servers are included in the price of your ticket and have been taken care of behind the scenes.
Can children participate in the tour?
Children ages 12 and older are welcome to participate.
Our tours last 2.5 – 3 hours and include a significant amount historical, cultural and/or architectural information. We spend a lot of time outdoors and on our feet, talking about and exploring the local neighborhood, and past experience has shown this to be quite challenging for the attention spans of young children.
What about infants and strollers?
Children ages 12 and older are welcome to participate in our tours. This activity is not appropriate to attend with infants and, due to space limitations, strollers are not permitted on any of our tours.
Do you offer discounted tickets for children or seniors?
At this time, we do not offer discounted tickets for children or seniors.
Are gift certificates available?
Yes, Gift Certificates are available and make great gifts for holidays, birthdays, weddings and other special occasions! Please click here to purchase Gift Certificates.
Can I book a Private Group Tour?
Yes, Bites of Boston Food Tours can accommodate private group tours. Please visit the Private Group Tours page for more details.
Tour Logistics Questions
Where does the tour begin and end?
South End – The tour meets near the intersection of Washington Street and Union Park Street in Boston’s South End. The exact meeting location will be provided at the time of ticket purchase. The tour ends 2 blocks from where it begins.
Allston – The tour meets near the intersection of Cambridge Street and Harvard Avenue. The exact meeting location will be provided at the time of ticket purchase. The tour ends 2 blocks from where it begins.
How much walking does the tour involve? What is the pace like?
Tours last between 2.5 – 3 hours and cover less than 2 miles. While we will be on our feet most of the time, we do walk at a moderately casual pace and stop frequently at tasting locations and neighborhood sites.
Can I make purchases during the tour?
Seeing as our tours have been coordinated in advance to ensure an on-time tour and fresh food-tastings, it is critical for us to stay on schedule. We do ask that you refrain from shopping until after the tour, but everything is within close proximity and we will provide all the information you need to return to your favorite spots easily.
Are tours given in bad weather?
Tours are held rain or shine. We do ask that you check the weather forecast and plan ahead. If rain is predicted, please bring an umbrella and proper rain gear. Boston weather is quite variable, so please also plan attire accordingly for hot or cold temperatures depending the time of year you visit us!
Is parking available near the starting location of the tour?
South End – Parking is available but limited near the meeting location. Additionally, city parking meters have a 2-hour maximum limit, which is not sufficient to cover the duration of the tour. We find using the T or arriving in a cab is easiest, but parking garage options will be provided in a confirmation email following ticket purchase. We do recommend using one of the suggested parking garages to avoid any confusion with Boston parking rules and regulations.
Allston – We do not recommend trying to park in Allston. Parking is limited to meters with 2-hour limits in Allston, which is not sufficient to cover the duration of the tour. We highly recommend using the T or arriving by cab. Directions will be provided in a confirmation email following ticket purchase.
Are restrooms available during the tour?
South End – Restrooms will be available at the beginning and end of the tour at the corresponding tasting locations.
Allston – Please use the restroom before arriving as restrooms will not be available at the meeting location or for the first hour or so of the tour.
Are cameras allowed on the tour?
Yes! Cameras are permitted and photos are highly encouraged. In fact, please feel free to share your photos on our social media pages or directly through email – we love to see them!
Is the tour wheelchair accessible?
Yes, our tours are accessible for wheelchairs.
For the South End tour, please be aware this is a historic neighborhood and many of the sidewalks are old, made of brick, and quite uneven in some places. Additionally, a few of the tasting locations themselves are not wheelchair accessible. While entry to the eatery may not be possible, we are usually able to accommodate with outdoor tastings at those locations. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com – we are happy to help assess your individual situation with a wheelchair.
At what point in my vacation is it best to take this tour?
We highly recommend you take this tour toward the beginning of your vacation so you have time to re-visit the neighborhood and your new favorite local eateries! In addition to the tasting locations visited as part of the tour, we also talk about and provide a list of other favorite local eateries. As for day of the week, any day is an excellent day for a food tour! However, tours do sell out quickly, so please book your tour well in advance for the best chance of getting tickets for your preferred date.
I live in or around Boston – are your tours for me?
Absolutely! While you may be familiar with the neighborhoods we visit and some of the stops along the way, you will likely try new foods at many tasting locations, as well as learn more about the establishments themselves. Additionally, we share some fun facts about the neighborhood’s history, architecture and culture that you may not be aware of. Being a local, you will also have the unique opportunity to re-visit many of the eateries we visit, as well as others we recommend, at your leisure! You may also consider taking our tours with visitors – our tours are an excellent activity with which to entertain out-of-town family and guests!
Are pets allowed on the tour?
For the comfort of all of our guests and per Massachusetts regulations prohibiting animals in establishments serving food, we do not allow pets on our tours.
Can I smoke during the tour?
For the comfort of all of our guests, we kindly ask that you refrain from smoking during our tours.
“Super knowledgeable with info on the neighborhood….”
My husband and I went on an afternoon date on the South End tour and LOVED it! Laurel was super knowledgeable with info on the neighborhood and the food tastings were great. I would highly recommend this tour, even as a local!
– Karen P.
“I wish I had extra hands so I could give this tour more than two thumbs up!”
I wish I had extra hands so I could give this tour more than two thumbs up! Alyssa’s intimate knowledge of each establishment we visited provided another dimension to a curated selection of some of the South End’s finest eating establishments. The food, neighborhood history, and culture combine to create a recipe for a truly delicious and satisfying experience.
– Andy M.
“Looking forward to trying the new tour in Allston!”
My brother and I went on this tour with Alyssa as the tour guide and it was incredible! The restaurants, as well as the stops along the way in each neighborhood where she told us the historical aspects could not have been better chosen. Not only did I learn a lot on this tour but I also had a blast and really enjoyed all of the tastes. Definitely a tour I would recommend to anyone looking for an afternoon activity. I am looking forward to trying the new tour in Allston!
– Sean D
“Such an awesome way to see a unique part of the city.”
Such an awesome way to see a unique part of the city. We spent the afternoon doing the South End tour with a group of extended family – my parents, my husband, and sister. There was truly something for everyone…fun facts about the neighborhoods for the history buffs and delicious eats along the way for everyone. My parents, who have lived outside of Boston for 40+ years, loved hearing new and interesting stories about this neighborhood. Every detail was well thought out and executed. I highly recommend – you will learn new things and taste new things, even if you have spent your whole life nearby. We will definitely be back to try Bites of Boston tours in other neighborhoods.
– Heidi M.
“They were able to support our whole group.”
We went on the Sweet and Savory South End Tour for my boyfriends birthday, they were able to support our whole group (11 people). We all had a lot of fun, really great food and very interesting history we wouldn’t have known! Our group included people who have lived in the area for a long time and some Boston transplants, but everyone learned something new and felt like a local by the end of it! We had one food allergy that was not mentioned until we arrived, but they were able to accommodate. Really a great time for anyone interested in food, history or learning more about a neighborhood!
– Samantha D.
“… Fun to do alone or with friends.”
Definitely a worthwhile experience, whether you’re a visitor to Boston or a local. My tour guide (Laurel) was extremely poised and knowledgeable and interspersed history with food deftly along the way. You will be full by the end, and you will have been on your feet for about 3 hours, so be prepared! It’s totally fun to do alone or with friends.
– Brandi G.
“It was BEYOND my expectations!”
I live in Boston and decided to take my visiting mom (from Atlanta) on the South End Boston Bites tour — it was BEYOND my expectations!!! The food was delicious and diverse, just like the South End neighborhood, but what’s even more impressive was the AMAZING tour guide, Laurel. She was knowledgeable, charming, and incredibly sweet. I would recommend this tour to visitors and locals alike!!!
– Madison T.