What is a culinary tour?
A culinary tour, also known as a food tour, is a fun way to try several different restaurants and food shops in a two to three hour timeframe. While you walk to each location you learn about the history that has shaped our growing college town. Upon arrival at each location, you are greeted by an owner, manager or chef who will share with you a little bit about their restaurant or specialty shop and the food you will be tasting.
How much food is served on the tour?
There is enough food served on the tour to make a meal for most everyone. We recommend eating very little prior to the tour so you have plenty of room for all the delicious samples.
How do I schedule a private tour?
Once you have looked through our various types of tours located on the ABOUT > OUR TOURS page, select BOOK A TOUR or BOOK ONLINE. Select the Private Tour option and you will see a description as well as a calendar of availability. Any of the dates in green notate a private tour can be arranged. Please fill out a contact form noting the date you are considering or give us a call at (573) 268-6087. We will work with you to coordinate how many people you will have in your group, send you a payment link which you can share with your group, confirm time and date and answer any questions you may have.
Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
Yes, tickets must be purchased in advance. Private tours must be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance.
How much walking is involved on a tour?
Downtown Columbia is pedestrian friendly and walking to each location is a great way to enjoy the beautifully restored buildings and soak up our downtown culture. Walking will be at a comfortable pace and we will typically walk less than one mile, spread out between five to seven locations. Please remember to wear comfortable shoes!
How many people are in a tour group?
The group size can vary depending upon the situation, but the typical tour group will have 8-14 people. For groups of 8 or more, a private tour can be arranged.
Are cameras allowed on the tour?
Absolutely! You will want to capture the beautiful food presentations and the unique downtown architecture along the way! We would love for you to share your pictures with your friends and with us!
Will the tour be canceled due to weather?
Rain or shine, we will dine! Mid-Missouri weather can go from one extreme to another in a short period of time. Please be mindful of weather conditions on the day of your tour and dress accordingly.
Are children allowed on the tour?
Tours last 2 to 3 hours, involve walking to each location, and listening to the owner/manager/chef at each location. Not all children will enjoy these aspects of the tour. We let you decide if this is a good fit for your child.
Are restrooms available?
Yes, restrooms are available at each restaurant.
Are the tours just for visitors or would a local also enjoy it?
Our tours are suited for anyone who loves great food at great restaurants and enjoys learning more about Columbia. Whether you are a long time local or a first time visitor, you will enjoy exploring downtown and sampling the best food offerings from handpicked restaurants and specialty shops.
What is your cancellation policy?
Once tickets are purchased, there are no refunds.
Is there a waiting list for tour dates that are full?
We don’t have a waiting list at this time, but for groups of 8 or more, contact us and we will set up an additional tour just for your group!
When do you have tours?
A schedule of tours can be found on our Book A Tour page. Please note that tours are typically available in the afternoon Tuesdays - Saturdays and evenings Tuesdays - Thursdays. We do not offer evening tours on Fridays or Saturdays as our tour partners are full those evenings! If you don’t see a date that works with your schedule, please contact us. New tour experiences are always in the works!
Are beverages served on the tour?
Each restaurant serves at least water with their samples.
Some may choose to also offer alcoholic beverages as a part of their tour sample. Others may offer specialty beverages at an additional cost throughout the tour. These transactions will be directly between the tour guest and restaurant. Only those 21 and over will be served alcohol.
What if I have dietary restrictions?
Please contact us in advance if you have dietary restrictions. Each restaurant chooses which dishes they want to showcase, so we may not be able to accommodate you. However, we can see if substitutions might be possible for your particular restriction.
Where do tours begin and is parking available?
After selecting a tour and purchasing a ticket, you will receive a pre-visit email with details including where your tour will begin, as well as parking options. The downtown area has several parking garages and metered street parking that offer over a two-hour parking limit.