I’m the type of traveler who researches food tours as the first step in my travel planning. Learning about the food in a new destination is very important to me. It shows me a bit about the culture, allows me to meet local store owners, and find foods that I wouldn’t have found on my own. But I often lament the fact that food tours often involve traipsing around the city with a large group of slow walkers and picky eaters who make the tour only slightly better than going around on my own.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to learn that there’s now a really great self-guided food tour option that you can do at your own pace with the help of a detailed and well-organized map. It’s called Bitemojo and it comes in the form of an app that you download and then use to find your way around.
What is Bitemojo?
Bitemojo was founded in 2016 by two forward thinking foodie travelers, Yael and Michael, who themselves love to discover a destination through its food. The app is the first of its kind to offer culinary walking tours that are completely self paced. Tours are currently available in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Berlin, Barcelona, and Rome, with many others planned in cities around the world.
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All you have to do to take part in a bitemojo tour is to log into the app, pay for your preferred tour, and start walking. The app gives you all the pertinent information along the way, including a map with the stops pinpointed, the addresses and important information for each location, including hours of operation and a bit of information about the place, the people and the food you’ll be eating. When you arrive at a designated stop, you just show your app, and they will bring out your food.
The food at each stop is included in the cost of the tour, so there’s nothing extra to pay for, unless you wish to add additional food to your order. After you’ve finished the bite, the app will instruct you to move on, and will allow you to rate the bite before continuing.
The map also includes points of interest you may pass as you go along. A tour typically takes about 2.5-3 hours, depending on your pace, and includes 6 bites. Some tours vary in length and number of bites. You can check out all the information on the app before purchasing.
And just in case you’re wondering, there are specific tours for vegans and there are vegetarian options on the regular tours, as well.
Okay, but can this self-guided food app really live up to expectations?
Food Tours with an App?
In order to find out if a self-guided tour with an app was worth it, we went on a tour. And we liked it so much that we went on a second one! The first was a tour of six popular dining establishments in Jerusalem (which is no longer available). The second was the Mitte Food Tour: Off-Alexanderplatz in Berlin. Both tours included a variety of food and drinks.
Jerusalem Food Tour
In Jerusalem, we had the best hummus I’ve ever tasted from a small shop outside the city wall, called Hummus Ikermawi. It was the first stop on the tour and made the whole thing worth it just in one bite. The owner of the shop was happy to sit and chat with us and tell us the story of his shop. His hospitality was a great start to a fun food tour.
Also the way in Jerusalem, we also had a nice cheese plate from the rooftop restaurant at the Notre Dam of Jerusalem center guest house. The view from the roof is incredible. We had a plate of really creamy, delicious polenta with roasted mushrooms at Luciana in the mall near Jaffa Gate. And we tried some local craft beer on draught from Biratenu. We didn’t have a completely uneventful tour – we got lost once, didn’t have very good service at one establishment, and had to skip the last stop due to time constraints – but on a whole, it was a great tour with so much tasty food.
Berlin Food Tour
The tour in Berlin took place in the Mitte neighborhood, which is where many of the major tourist attractions are, like the Brandenburg Gate. The neighborhood is, not surprisingly, very international, and the food on the tour reflected that fact.
The first bite of the tour was a meat and bread board, with stone-ground mustard and a pickle. There was a plate of Polish perogies, a Vietnamese bahn mi, and a quiche that came with a praline on the side.
The tour took a little over the expected 3 hours and we ran out of time to try the final bite, which was frozen yogurt. The total path was 2.14 km, and the tour cost 25 euros. All of the bites were good, though none stood out as a truly outstanding. We also didn’t meet any vivacious owners like we did in Jerusalem. However, it was definitely enough food for a full lunch, and it was fun to walk through the Mitte neighborhood and learn about some of the shops that make the neighborhood unique.
If you’re looking for something fun to do, but don’t necessarily want to join a full-blown food tour, Bitemojo is the perfect way to try some new foods and discover a new neighborhood on your own, at your own pace. There are many available tours, and they are all a good value for the money. Food tours can be really expensive, but Bitemojo makes them accessible even for travelers on a budget.
Before you head off to one of the cities where there are tours, download the app and check it out for yourself.
(Disclaimer: I was provided with free access to the two tours in the app for the purposes of reviewing them. However, that doesn’t influence the opinions stated here.)
Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.