TRAVEL & FOOD TOURS

Born Toro Walking Food Tour

So what exactly is a Food Tour?

Misty Barker, The Food Obsessed Irish Tour Girl

22 March 2016

What is it that makes a walking food tour such an incredible thing to do in Barcelona? Is it the tour guide? Is it the tastings? Is it the tour group maybe?…

No – It is the real people behind the scenes. The real hard working families, incredible staff & owners that make a walking food tour great! And at Born Toro Walking Food Tour that is what it is all about & we have in abundance.

When I first left Ireland to follow my food driven passions & create my very own food tour, I genuinely had no idea exactly how it would all work. When I look back I’ll be honest it was a much harder task than I ever could have imagined. But when I see how far it has come today, I am filled with pride. (A little soppy, I know!) There is so much organising behind the scenes that guests are never aware of it. Which is a good thing – because the only job my guests have is to relax, enjoy & have an amazing Barcelona experience.

Toro Walking Food Tour Barcelona

The best of the best in the El Born Food Tour.

Born Toro Food Tours Barcelona

Walking Food Tours are still a relatively new concept in most major cities across the world. But here in Barcelona we have lots of great companies – just as passionate as I am – that have created some magnificent food journeys through our cobble stoned streets.

Yet, still every day I am constantly asked a serious of questions by curious friends & family… ‘So what exactly is a walking food tour?’ ‘Do you just go around eating all day?’ ‘Is it just food, what about wine?’ … The list goes on and on believe me.

And so, I think it’s time we explained, don’t you!?…

A Walking Food Tour is an amazing way to explore a city – with someone who knows every inch of it – and most importantly loves it! It is the best way to avoid the tourist traps (that we are all guilty of ending up eating awful food / drink in on the first day of a trip somewhere and spending a fortune on just for the privilege!) and becoming an honorary local after just a few hours.

Forget about getting lost down windy streets or sticking to the same square for your whole trip, just because you found somewhere you enjoyed on the first night. On a great food tour, you should meet local business owners, get VIP treatment and behind the scenes access to some real, authentic kitchens, bars & even bakeries around the city. On a Born Toro Food Tour, our venues are the real stars of the show!

We start the day in one of the oldest Patisseries in El Born, with some of the most incredible bakers and the kindest third generation owner. He welcome all of the guests like old friends as he brings them in to the kitchens, showing them the bakers hard at work and explaining all about the family history and how it all began. It is a wonderful story that starts what is a wonderful day for the guests, in the most perfect way. And of course – that is not the end for this venue. They then get a delicious pastry – a typical Catalan Xuixo made freshly for our group that morning in the very kitchen they just visited. We than wander to an old square close by with our freshly wrapped treats & munch them down while I tell them all about the legend that led to their creation many years ago in Girona…. And so our journey begins.

Next up we visit the beautiful local Santa Caterina Market just a 5 minute stroll away – taking in the beautiful architecture of the narrow winding medieval streets & stopping along the way at all sorts of great bars, restaurants & cafes – I never pass anywhere that I think my guests would enjoy without pointing them out. That is what is so great about the tours – it gives you so many ideas of places to visit during your stay – which is why I always advise guests to take the tour as early in their trip as possible – if not you would be devastated at the thoughts of all of the great places around that you never got to try!

At the market, we meet two families who have been there for many years, one of which started two generations ago! We taste some of their best produce and learn all about the process of how it is made. Now, of course I can’t give away too many more of our stops – or it would ruin the element of surprise for my lovely guests. But what I can say is the next four stops are as exciting as the first two!

Jamon-Fuet-Barcelona Market

Jamon & Fuet tastings at a local market stall.

Just one of many treats we taste at the market!

All our guests on our walking food tour get to sample all sorts of treats typical to Barcelona. Vermouth tastings, food demonstrations, 2 sit down food samplings, cava, olive oils and so so much more!! It is the perfect day in El Born Barcelona and that I am sure of. The one thing every single venue has in common is that each venue has an incredible story, owner, staff & product. Each is so different to the next and as good as the one that came before.

 

Check out our video below to see a little sample of what the four hours entail of!

As we wander from venue to venue, my guests also learn all about El Born. An area so steeped in history and legends. So full of incredible buildings and areas, from The Picasso Museum to the Santa Maria Del Mar and so many more I couldn’t even list them. We wander down streets that back in the 1400s used to be canals for local traders and through the Passeig Del Born which was once an area used for Jousting Tournaments, even stopping at The Born Cultural Centre. In 4 hours you will earn more, laugh more and taste more than you possibly could alone. That, as MasterCard would say, is priceless!!

Each venue has something so special to offer & each has story about why or how they are there. The stories all about the food / drink that you know has been perfected over years – passed from generation to generation, from mother to daughter, father to son. I love those stories… the ones that take you deep into your childhood imagination! The ones that stick with you for years after, somewhere lodged in your senses – that link themselves to the best steak, calamari, mojito that you have ever had!… I call them The Food Tales.

Story Bar Barcelona Jazz

So that is what a Walking Food Tour is all about. It is a serious of amazing Food Tales, amazing tastes & an amazing experience that links them all together. And there is just one final ingredient. One final thing that needs to be added to all of this to make it a perfect day. And that is the guests. And what amazes me every time is how incredible they all are. A mix of so many people that integrate so seamlessly well and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience together. My guests come from different backgrounds, countries, ages, religion and yet always have so much fun together. It’s like they have been friends for years. These could be people that you may never have met or spoken to on a normal trip, but yet the tour brings them together.

The fun and laughs that I have witnessed on these tours is nothing short of incredible. Every time I am blown away by how so many different types of people just seem to gel together so well. There is only one conclusion that I have come to as to why. And it really is very simple when you think about it. In actual fact the answer is all in a quote that I once read…

 

‘Food is our common ground – A universal experience.’ – James Beard

 

And isn’t that the truth! So, the next time you are in a city, I implore you, check out a food tour wherever you are visiting in the world! Or why not even visit one in the city you live! Maybe you will find some incredible gems you never even knew existed. Because let’s face it – life is all about experience. So why not experience it through food!

If you’re in Barcelona one day make sure to check out my Walking Food Tour in El Born, Barcelona. I would love to welcome you along.

 

Love & Gambas,

Misty x

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