Our little town has some quirks - make sure you've read everything to ensure that all your questions have been answered.
These tours are designed to showcase the foods of Carmel and Monterey County and are not available with a la carte options. We have carefully selected food tastings in partnership with our vendors that reflect the uniqueness of our area and its food scene, and these selections often include meat, wheat, and dairy products. We CAN accommodate vegetarian/pescatarian diets. Please understand that by adhering to a Vegan, Gluten-Free, lactose-intolerant, or low-FODMAPs diet you will have limited tastings that fit your dietary preferences, and that substitutions may not resemble the selections made for guests without restrictions, or may not be available at all.
Our vendors endeavor to provide alternative tasting options for vegetarians. Please be sure to let us know any dietary restrictions when you purchase tickets for your tour (all tastings are arranged prior to the start of the tour, and we are unable to make changes without advance notice).
While a few of the tastings are vegan-friendly, many of them are not. The tour visits several specialty shops where vegan options are not available. While vegans are welcome to take the tour and learn about the history and culture of Carmel, they should do so with the knowledge that we will not be able to provide vegan-friendly options at most of the tasting stops.
You may not have another chance to try these specially-selected food items, so for these few hours we invite you to gently place your self-inflicted diet (Atkins, South Beach, etc.) in a box, tie it with a bow, and put it aside.
Carmel is fond of its many trees, which sometimes affect the width and/or the smoothness of sidewalks. Restaurants and specialty shops are often cozy and may ask you to leave your stroller outside if they are full. There are several short flights of stairs on the route which we can direct you around, and there are steps into some our tasting locations. You are the best judge of your abilities to push and/or assist over any obstacles.
Our tour leaders are aware that not everyone walks at the same speed, and we consciously set a pace that generally works for the entire group. With that in mind, this is a walking tour. We do not offer alternative means of transportation; no wheelchairs, walkers, or town cars are available unless they are arranged by you, prior to the start of the tour. You are the best judge of your ability or the ability of your friends/relatives.
The Classic Carmel Food Tour covers about 1.3 miles with easy walking, pretty much on level ground, with stops for food tasting, restroom breaks and cultural presentations. This tour generally lasts about 3 hours. The Gimme-a-Breakfast Tour covers approximately .75 miles and lasts a little over two hours. These are walking tours with multiple stops, many of which – but not all – offer an opportunity to sit and enjoy the food and drink being presented. We recommend that you wear comfortable – and sensible – shoes. High heels are discouraged.
Our tours are geared more toward adults, however well-behaved children may join us with a paid ticket. The tour is 2.5-3 hours long and some children have a limited attention span; therefore the tour may not be appropriate for them. Parents, who know their children best, should assess their situation individually. Since there is a lot of standing, walking and listening, please consider this when deciding whether the tour is appropriate for your child. We are unable to accommodate children who are not included in your paid reservation as all participants are required to have a ticket. All participants must purchase a full-priced ticket in advance, even if they do not wish to participate in food tastings.
All participants over 3 years old must purchase a full-priced ticket. The content of this tour is geared more towards those interested in culinary facts, Carmel culture, and “grown up” food. Therefore, we discourage bringing your sprout since the 2.5-3 hour tour is typically not enjoyable for younger children. However, if you have an infant or toddler who is 3-years-old or younger and would like to discuss bringing them on the tour, please email us. We handle these requests on a case-by-case basis.
Even though you are visiting one of the most pet-friendly cities on earth, animals are not allowed inside places that serve food. And even though we love them, not everyone else loves dogs. Please respect your fellow guests and leave your pooches snuggled up in their beds. If you will be accompanied by a service animal please let us know when you book your tour.
Yes, tickets must be purchased in advance. Tours often sell out so we suggest purchasing your tickets early to guarantee your desired tour day. You can buy your Carmel Food Tours tickets with Visa, MasterCard or American Express.
We do not provide a waiting list, tour tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Yes, we tour rain or shine! Our experience is that food tastes even better in the rain. If you don’t have your compact umbrella with you, there’s no need to worry: We have disposable rain ponchos that are almost certain to make you feel like a kid again.
Yes, Gift Certificates are available for all tours. To purchase a gift certificate, please click here.
Yes, Carmel Food Private Group Tours are available. To arrange a private tour, please click here.
We realize that most people who cancel their reservations do so out of necessity. Nevertheless, cancellations are costly to administer and involve dedicated staff time and communications costs. Therefore, we have instituted the following policy:
Carmel Food Tours serve enough food that for most participants, lunch afterwards is not necessary. With the combination of drink and food tastings combined with breaks for architectural, cultural, and historical insight, most participants are comfortably full after our food tours. Please understand our food tours are only intended to replace one meal, so please plan your day (and intake) appropriately for your individual needs.
Absolutely not! Carmel Food Tours combines architectural commentary, historical facts, local culture and culinary insight into a unique 3-hour experience. Imagine walking through Carmel sampling delicious foods from unique restaurants and specialty shops, while learning about Carmel from real locals. Tours are insightful, informative and fun – not to mention tasty!
Yes, bathrooms are available during the tour at select food-tasting locations.
We ask that you please wait to shop until after the tour so that we can stay on our food-tasting schedule and continue with the informative tour and food tastings in a timely manner. We ask that you allow time at the end of the tour to return to your favorite locations and/or stores. The tours are scheduled for arrival at each tasting location so the food is freshly prepared for the participants.
Our Classic Food Tours have one wine tasting and one (small) cocktail pairing included in the tour. Water is provided by the majority of our tasting stops, and wine pairings are provided at two restaurants. Non-alcoholic beverages are available at any place that would otherwise provide an alcoholic options. You may bring a personal bottle of water or enjoy the water or other beverages provided at stops throughout the tour. Our Gimme-a-Breakfast Tour provides samples of coffee, juices (with or without alcohol), and also provides water where applicable.
Wine and cocktail pairing options are available at several stops on the Classic Food Tour. The Gimme-a-Breakfast Tour also offers options for adult beverages. Non-alcoholic options are always available.
Yes. Cameras and filming are allowed during the tour. We strongly encourage participants to take photos during the tour.
At this time tours are only given in English. We believe that food and wine are universal, however, and are confident that even if you don’t understand all the words, the tastings will create a sense of community with your fellow guests.
Yes, there is public and street parking located near the meeting location of the Food Tour. Specific parking details are included in the meeting location directions after purchasing ticket(s) with location, pricing, and hours. We recommend that you do NOT park on the street within the business district (pay attention to signage) because there is a strict two-hour limit and the tours are 2.5-3 hours long. The parking patrol is diligent, even on Sundays.
No, but both of our food tour options end 1.5-2 blocks from the meeting point. Detailed instructions are provided after ticket purchase with starting point location, and all participants receive a map with the tour route at the beginning of the tour.
If you feel that the tour leader met or exceeded your expectations you are welcome to reward him/her as an expression of your appreciation. Leaving a gratuity is at your discretion, and the standard gratuity in the service industry is 15%.
We will enjoy six or seven delicious tastings, depending on your choice of tour, with stops at a combination of specialty shops and restaurants.
Definitely! A number of our attendees live right here in Carmel. Locals are often surprised to learn things about the town that they had never heard before, and nearly always find new passageways and eateries to explore.
Food is provided by specialty eateries, various unique food shops and local restaurants. The majority of the food sampled on the tour is locally grown and/or produced. Tastings may vary from tour to tour, but we will sample both sweet and savory items.
Tasting stops are subject to change, however the probable list for each tour is available on that tour’s description page. You can be sure the restaurants and specialty shops are uniquely representative of Carmel!
Our tour prices are subject to change (infrequently, but it occurs every few years). We will always honor the VALUE of your e-certificate, and you’ll be responsible for any balance due when you decide to see if it still works after finding it in your drawer from four birthdays ago.
The weather is typically pleasant, but layered clothing is a smart choice. We will provide you with a disposable rain poncho if the weather is inclement.
While the vast majority of guests are responsible and respectful, occasionally there is a disruptive guest. If anyone in the tour group is abusive, offensive, obnoxious, or overly irritating, and the rest of the group is impacted negatively by that behavior, the offending party will be asked to discontinue the tour. If that behavior is apparent prior to the start of a tour, that person will be excluded from the tour altogether. This is the Company’s policy. Tour leaders have the discretion and authority to enforce this policy. No refunds will be offered.