A Food Tour in Paris!
By Kortney Kwong Hing, Allergy Girl Eats
Forget about museums, statues, monuments, and parks; it seems like lately the number one thing to do when travelling is to dive into the local cuisine, try the street food, and hit up the hottest new cafe serving who knows what in an avocado. If all you hear about a city is how excellent their fast food is or you can’t go without eating at restaurant XYZ, then travelling with food allergies can feel impossible. But guess what! Food is just one part of an experience, and if you don’t get to try the schnitzel in Germany or the paella in Spain, you aren’t missing any bit of that place’s essence.
If, however, you are a foodie and want to try a little something local, a great way to do so is to take a food tour! Food tours are the perfect way to try vetted locations and to have someone research for you, which is helpful when you’re visiting a place where you don't speak the language. You are also able to contact the company beforehand to discuss your dietary needs.
Kortney takes on Paris one tour at a time!
I had always been hesitant about doing a food tour since I am not adventurous about trying new food-related things. When I went to Paris two years ago with my mom and sister, we planned a full-on gourmand trip. Part of it was to a food tour of Les Halles. We contacted the tour company to let them know about my allergies and chose a tour where you go around to different artisans and buy food to try later. I was able to decide what to eat and talk directly to some of the shop owners so I knew if the food would be safe for me.
The great thing about taking a food tour with food allergies is that the guide has a relationship with the places they take you. This way I felt like even if I couldn’t eat the food I got to learn more about the culture through the people.
Gluten Free Tours in Paris
Last year, I met up with Chiara, aka Baci di Dama, who hosts a gluten-free food tour in Paris. We met for a coffee to chat about the challenges of organizing a tour for specific diets. The thing that Chiara stressed is that the tour is not just about food, it is about the human connection - you get to be with other people who share the same experiences as you. She wants to celebrate how food brings people together no matter what your dietary needs are.
Chiara develops close relationships with all the places on her tour, which gives her the confidence to share these cafes, shops, or restaurants. The best part is that Chiara knows Paris and wants her participants to get something out of their time with her. If you are interested in seeing something and she can show it to you, the tour may take an unexpected turn bringing you somewhere that will hopefully live in your memories for years to come.
If you are heading to the city of lights, Chiara recommends you check out:
Check out Kortney’s Paris recommendations in her Allergy Friendly Guide to Paris