Last Updated on January 18, 2022 by Candy Wafford
Looking for a San Diego food tour? So was I when I found out I would be in San Diego for business. One of my favorite things to do when I travel, food tours (like this one in Lisbon and this one in Naples) provide you with the chance to see the sites and enjoy great food. What’s not to love? But I quickly found out that all of the food tours in San Diego were only offered on the weekend. Or at times that did not work with my schedule. Enter TastePro’s self-guided walking food tours.
I had heard San Diego food is amazing. So I was disappointed that I couldn’t find a food tour that would work with my travel dates and my work obligations. And this isn’t the first time this has happened, especially when I’m traveling for work. So this time I decided to try and put something together myself when I stumbled on TastePro.
What is a Self-Guided Food Tour?
TastePro combines the best of a traditional food tour with convenience and affordability. Simply browse the list of San Diego food tours available and select the date and the number of people in your party. You’ll find walking food tours in all of the hot spots in San Diego including Pacific Beach, Gaslamp, and North Park. Payment includes tasting at all of the restaurants on your tour and tax and tip.
The best part? You can go on your tour when it’s convenient for you! Just show up at the restaurants on the date of the tour and between the times listed. On my recent tour, the time windows at each restaurant were wide open, but double-check when booking. Some restaurants will restrict the window during popular dining hours, especially on weekends. I loved having the flexibility to start the tour when it fit into my schedule.
Another nice feature of TastePro’s food tours is that you can see the restaurants on the tour including the tasting menu, seating options, dress code, and more. Having this information up front means there aren’t any surprises while on the tour.
Walking Food Tour San Diego
I chose the North Park Luxury Trio for my San Diego food tour because I heard it was a cool area with lots of great restaurants. I booked the tour and immediately received an email confirming my tour and instructions on how to have the best possible experience. Now all I had to do was eat my way through the best restaurants in North Park.
Not having to show up at a specific time really added to the overall experience. During a food tour that I took in Victoria, British Columbia, my husband and I had trouble finding the meeting location. We’re the type that doesn’t like to be late and keep others waiting and while we made it on time, it added stress to a situation. None of that with a self-guided tour! Not checking the time every couple of minutes on the ride over was such a nice way to start!
San Diego Food Tour – The Restaurants
First up, was the gastropub Encontro. Another nice feature of this San Diego culinary tour is that you can visit the restaurants in any order. Want dessert first? Start there.
You simply show your email from TastePro when arriving. The tasting menus are set on the tours, but each restaurant offers multiple options that include vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free choices. I spent a few minutes soaking up the California sunshine in their outdoor dining area and before I knew it, my food was brought to the table.
I chose the mini corn dog and crispy green beans. The crispy green beans were phenomenal! The batter was light and crisp and the lemon zest and spicy aioli added brightness. I loved them! The mini corn dog wasn’t that mini, a plump cheddar bratwurst was wrapped in a housemade batter and served with whole grain mustard and more of that creamy aioli. This is elevated bar food at its finest. You have the option to add drinks when booking and I wish I had gotten one of San Diego’s famous craft beers.
The servings were generous and I didn’t finish everything because I still had two more stops. I saw that the next stops were close, so I took time to sightsee and pop in some of the cool shops in the area. I really enjoyed this aspect of a self-guided tour. No rushing to the next place and no waiting on others to finish.
North Park Food Tour – Stops 2 & 3
My next stop was 619 Spirits where they distill Six One Nine craft vodka. The option here was to select from one of their specialty cocktails, a cocktail flight, or a mocktail, or a small plate of food. The cocktail flight was too tempting and I chose the spicy berry, berry pina colada, and smoked palomule all made with their signature vodkas. Each one was delicious but the smoked palomule, with its slightly smoky, slightly spicy flavors, was my favorite.
After more sightseeing, I made my way to the final stop on my North Park food tour, Figaro Dessert Cafe. I passed four ice cream shops in this neighborhood and resisted stopping so that I would have room for dessert! Choices here included one of their beautiful and fancy French dessert, gelato, or a sweet crepe. The crepes seem to be their specialty but I couldn’t resist the gorgeous chocolate marquise. It was divine.
Should I Take a San Diego Self-Guided Food Tour?
Absolutely! And the self-guided food tours offered by TastePro are one of the best food experiences in San Diego.
Founder, Benjamin Brown said that TastePro, “…amplifies everything people love about dining out, while making everything easier and delivering way more bank for your buck.” I agree, and here are some other reasons I highly recommend this experience:
- Convenience – I loved having the convenience to take a food tour when it fit my schedule. And all of the stops are located within walking distance of one another which makes the experience super easy.
- Flexibility – I chose to do my tour at lunch but appreciated the flexibility to change my plans if I needed to.
- Pace – One of the things I really enjoyed about a self-guided food tour over a traditional one, was the freedom to take my time. I especially liked being able to pop into any place that caught my eye.
- Value – I found food to be expensive in San Diego. The tour is already paid for so you don’t have to worry yourself with menus and additional costs. And taxes and tips are included, making this an all-inclusive experience. If you opt to include drinks, you’ll save up to 60% off the regular menu price!
- Great Food – TastePro has curated tours that include hotspots and out of the way spots. Giving you an experience that you wouldn’t get on your own.
I did miss having a local guide to share history and other interesting tidbits during the tour. But, this was so convenient and perfect for those times when a traditional food tour doesn’t work with your schedule, desires, or budget!
Check out my 10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of a Food Tour!
TastePro currently offers self guided food tours in San Diego and is adding tours in Los Angeles. I’m looking forward to their business expanding in other cities so I can do more walking food tours!