7 foodie tours, classes, and museums that leave us hungry for more

Food experiences engage your senses and nurture family bonds

All over the world, there is nothing like the experience of sharing a meal or snack together. From Texas to Thailand, our family’s journeys have taken us to incredible food cultures around the world. Our family of four makes no bones about how we eat to travel and travel to eat (though we sometimes use said bones to make stock or broth). Foodie tours not only engage the senses. They encourage bonding and togetherness.

Many of our fondest family travel memories with our kids come from shared food experiences, like the ones below.

Naturally, availability, experiences, offerings, pricing, and other details are all subject to change without notice.

1. Seattle Chocolate Factory Tour

Washington State, USA

In Seattle’s Southside area, a bright, white room helped us focus on the cacao pods on top of the long table where we sat with the kids. A guide discussed where cocoa comes from, and how chocolatiers such as Seattle Chocolate source it. Tools, guides, and flavor wheels aided our understanding of the range of chocolate’s forms, scents, tastes, and textures, and gave us terminology so we could express what we were experiencing with each sniff or bite.

After gaining a better understanding of the ingredients and process that go into each Seattle Chocolate bar, we toured the factory floor and got to watch chocolate throughout its journey to become a wrapped, delicious bar of Seattle Chocolate.

And after this chocolate foodie tour? We returned to the classroom one more time, for a chocolate tasting.

About Seattle Chocolate

Learn more about Seattle Southside

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2. Cookventure Thai Cooking Class

Chiang Mai, Thailand

One of Anthony’s most memorable experiences of his first trip to Thailand was taking a cooking class in Chiang Mai in 2003. So when we took the kids to Thailand in 2023, a Thai food cooking class was top on our list of things we wanted to do in Thailand.

Led by our guide and experienced cook Apple, we toured one of the city’s few remaining covered markets. Along with sampling and discussing ingredients we’d be using, such as galangal and lemongrass, we helped grind our own coconut milk.

In a ground-floor cozy, clean, well-stocked classroom, Apple presented us with a five-course menu, with various options for each course. Each one of us got to design our own personal Thai food feast, selecting the dishes we wanted to make. From there, we—including the kids—sliced chicken, fried fish, minced aromatics, and even ground our own curry pastes in mortars and pestles.

The end result? Not only a stunning meal, but a new set of Thai cooking class memories that continue to delight us when we think back on or talk about our experience.

Learn more about traveling to Thailand

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3. Medina Food and Walking Tour

Tangier, Morocco

On the northern edge of Morocco, you can look across the water and see Spain. This area has held trade, military, and other strategic importance for centuries. That’s also made Tangier a city where you might hear Arabic, French, Spanish, and English all around you, sometimes even in the same conversation.

Tangier was our introduction to Morocco. Since we use food to help us get to know a place and its people better, we booked a food and walking tour. Our half-day tour roamed along neighborhoods, markets, and the Tangier Medina. From side street soup shops to a Berber open-air food market, fruit smoothies to succulent couscous, we finished our tour with tired feet, full bellies, and happy hearts.

Learn more about our Tangier food tour experience

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4. Pub Burger Cooking Class at CCK

Mesquite, Texas, USA

Mesquite is a small city east of Dallas, close enough to easily head into town to enjoy the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but far enough away to feel like its own distinct city. The gleaming, airy yet cozy space of Culinary Community Kitchen (CCK) serves both as a commercial kitchen for smaller-scale food makers in the Mesquite area, and it’s a community learning space. From gardening events to cooking classes, the CCK team knows that food builds strong bonds both within families and within broader communities.

From roasting our own millionaire bacon to grinding and seasoning beef for succulent burger patties, the kids were kitchen champs during our evening burger cooking class in Mesquite, Texas. Our guide walked us through what makes a good burger patty both cohesive yet the right balance of soft and cohesive, and he showed the kids how to work a meat grinder.

Throughout the evening, we chatted and laughed. Yet at each step, our guide made sure we were comfortable with the work we were doing. Sometimes he would help us refine a knife grip, or work with the kids on the best way to chop a vegetable.

Once the burgers we done, we all sat together at a round table, doing what we do best: enjoying a delicious, homemade meal, with a kind, experienced, capable pro who loved to share his knowledge and passion for food in a way that helps bring Mesquite, and even visitors from out of town, closer together

About CCK

Learn more about visiting Mesquite, Texas

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5. Cup Noodle Museum and Custom Noodle Cup Workshop

Osaka, Japan

The iconic Cup Noodle began in post-WWII Japan. Today, it continues to promise cheap, easy sustenance, and we unabashedly enjoy cup noodles and their variants throughout our travels.

In Osaka, the Cup Noodle Museum is free to enter, and you can wander an immersive, interactive history of the process, trial and error, and growth of Cup Noodles first in Japan, and then around the world.

Our favorite part, however, is the Design Your Own Cup Noodle Workshop. For ¥500 per person, you can pick up your own empty noodle cup, head to a table where you can draw on designs, and then go through a line where you can have your choice of seasoning and mix-ins added. From there, your own personal, tailor-made, snazzy-looking Cup Noodle is sealed and wrapped for you to enjoy whenever you want, just add hot water.

About the Cup Noodle Museum

Learn more about our travel experiences in Osaka, Japan

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6. Carpigiani Gelato Museum Tour and Workshop

Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

On the outskirts of Bologna (and accessible via local bus), Carpigiani has been evolving its gelato and soft-serve equipment for over a hundred years. A museum tour takes the global brand’s humble beginnings, the design behind its gelato makers, and the different machines the company has used over the years. From industrial cone irons to bicycle gelato vendors, it’s a sweet wander through history.

At the back of the museum area, you can don an apron, hat, and gloves to make your own sorbet and gelato. The sorbet varies with the season (for our early spring visit, it was apricot), and the gelato is usually a simple cream base. We made a kilo of gelato. And while we didn’t eat all of it, we came pretty close.

About Carpigiani

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7. Cookies, Pastries, and Moroccan Baking Classes at Palais Bab Sahra Restaurant

Fes, Morocco

One of our greatest joys of eating in Morocco was the incredible variety of fresh-baked cookies. While cooking classes abound for making iconic dishes such as tagines or couscous, we wanted to dig into the sweet side of Moroccan food. When it turned out we could take a class on baking Moroccan cookies, we made our way to a restaurant on a quiet side street in the Fes Medina.

Our class was held in the Palais Bab Sahra Restaurant, with a clean, bright, well-stocked kitchen. We had the benefit of two guides. Fatima directed us with gestures and examples, and Mohammed spoke excellent English to help make sure we understood what was what.

Before we knew it, we were dining on two cookie recipes we baked, while enjoying Moroccan mint green tea on the restaurant’s rooftop terrace, which overlooks the medina and gives a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.

Our specific class isn’t offered anymore. Instead, however, Palais Bab Sahra Restaurant offers other baking and pastry classes, along with explorations of other Moroccan dishes, including tagines and couscous.

Learn more about our Fes baking class experience

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Foodie tours bring people together, broaden your food experiences, and help you enjoy the world’s foods

Wherever you go, you’ve got to eat. From piadina sandwich stalls in Bologna to air-conditioned respite restaurants in the midst of Cambodia’s Angkor ruins, we use food and eating not only to fuel our bodies, but to show our children the many ways folks get food on the table around the world.

Our kids know that any meal or snack’s journey begins long before it ever gets to the plate and belly. By engaging together with foodie tours, classes, and museums around the world, we not only get to enjoy delicious food. We cook together, building strong family bonds that give us so many delicious memories to look back on.

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Foodie tours vary by offering, and whether they are private or public. Many foodie tours can also accommodate dietary considerations or disabilities; please check with the tour operator to discuss your needs.

About the author
Learners and Makers
We are the St. Clair Family: Anthony, Jodie, Connor, and Aster. As Learners and Makers, our family of four slows down, connects, and enjoys the world and each other's company. We have been traveling full time since 2022.

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