In an effort to keep our guests and staff safe and not overwhelm our restaurant partners while they are operating with limited capacity, we have put our tours on an indefinite hiatus.
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Click on the following topics to find answers to common questions.
Our Downtown Ithaca Food Tour includes one local beer, wine, or cider pairing. Non-alcoholic options are available, and water is provided throughout.
Our Science of Taste Food Tour includes two alcoholic drink pairings with similar non-alcoholic options. Water is provided throughout.
Our Downtown Ithaca Craft Beverage Tour includes an alcoholic beverage or tasting of multiple beverages at each stop. Non-alcoholic options are not available. Water is available throughout.
Our Downtown Ithaca Food Tour and The Science of Taste Food Tour serve generous tastings which most participants replaces a meal. With the combination of drink and food tastings along with breaks for architectural, cultural, and historical insight, most participants are comfortably full after our food tours. Please understand our experiences are not intended to replace two meals, so please consider eating breakfast before your tour.
Our Downtown Ithaca Craft Beverage Tour serves light tastings to accompany the beverages – think of it as cocktail hour on foot! Most participants are feel satisfied but could eat more. This tour also includes a voucher for a free dessert which could be used in the same evening or at another date.
We ask that you please wait to shop until after the tour so that we can stay on schedule and continue with the informative tour and food tastings in a timely manner. Allow time at the end of the tour to return to your favorite stores and vendors to take advantage of our exclusive coupons, only available to our tour participants!
Your ticket price includes:
Return to your favorite restaurants, shops, and vendors and receive a special discount off your entire purchase or meal (usually 10-15% off).
Tour guide gratuity is not included in the ticket price, but is always greatly appreciated.
Due to the various food establishments we visit, pets are not allowed.
Some of our guests have used rover.com to hire a dog sitter for the duration of the tour. Some sitters may even be able to pick up the dog at the starting location of the tour and meet back up with the group at the end point.
Our Downtown Ithaca Food Tour lasts 3 hours and covers about 1 mile. Participants can expect to be standing or walking for a majority of the time. We walk at a moderate pace and also provide at least two sit-down locations for at least 45 minutes total during the tour.
Our Science of Taste Food Tour lasts 2.5 hours and covers about 0.5 mile. Participants can expect to be standing or walking for about a third of the time. We walk at a moderate pace and also provide at least three sit-down locations for at least 90 minutes total during the tour.
Our Downtown Ithaca Craft Beverage Tour lasts 2 hours and covers about 0.5 mile. Participants can expect to be standing or walking for about half of the time. We walk at a moderate pace and also provide at least two sit-down locations for at least 60 minutes total during the tour.
Definitely! Many of our attendees live right here in Ithaca. Locals should join us to learn about the history of local foodie mainstays and new additions to our local restaurant scene! Ithaca is brimming with history and cultural icons that will surprise you. A food tour is a low-risk way to try restaurants you’ve never visited before, and sometimes our tour guests enjoy exclusive off-menu tastings.
For guests that are hard of hearing, a written script of the narration will be available if requested in advance during the ticket purchase process.
Once they have been purchased, tickets cannot be refunded. However, if you are unable to attend on your selected date we would be happy to assist you in rescheduling your tour, so long as you contact us 24 hours before your scheduled tour start time. After that point, date exchanges are not available.
No partial refunds or rescheduling are allowed for partial attendance, no shows, late arrivals, etc. Tours begin promptly at the scheduled time. Your arrival at the correct location at the correct time is your responsibility. Thank you for your understanding.
For more details, please read the Refunds and Exchanges section of our Terms and Conditions.
Yes, there are many parking options near Downtown Ithaca.
Covered parking is available at the Seneca Street Parking Garage at 215 N. Tioga Street, the Green Street Parking Garage at 120 E. Green Street, or the Cayuga Street Parking Garage at 235 S. Cayuga Street. The garages are pay-to-park at a rate of $1.00/hour. Parking is free all day on weekends.
Street parking is abundant downtown. Most streets within 5 blocks of The Ithaca Commons are pay-to-park at a rate of $1.50/hour. Rates apply Monday through Friday from 8am until 6pm. Parking is free after 6pm weekdays and all day on weekends.
There are two types of meters: “lollipop” meters and solar powered pay stations. Please reference this map to identify the locations of meters, as well as handicap accessible spaces. Traditional “lollipop” meters accept only coins (nickels, dimes, and quarters). The solar powered pay stations accept coins (nickels, dimes, quarters), bills ($1, $5, $10, etc.), and credit/debit cards. Pay stations are generally in the middle of a block, though patrons may need to cross the street to get to them. Patrons may use the Parkmobile app to purchase parking on blocks which have a solar powered pay station.
We welcome young foodies on our both our Downtown Ithaca Food Tour and The Science of Taste Food Tour, but they must be accompanied by an adult.
Please keep in mind that our tours average 3 hours in length and do involve a fair degree of standing and walking, so we ask that you consider whether your child would like to participate on a food tour. Parents, who know their children best, should assess the situation individually.
Children age 3 or younger not participating in the tastings do not require a separate ticket. (Tickets must be purchased for children above the age of 3.) Please do let us know in the notes section when you purchase tickets if you will be attending with an infant or young child.
Our Downtown Ithaca Craft Beverage Tour is only open to individuals over 21 years of age.
Absolutely not! Each tour has an additional theme which makes it a unique experience. Our Downtown Ithaca Food Tour is interspersed with architectural commentary, historical facts, and local culture. Our Science of Taste Food Tour combines food science with culinary insights. The Downtown Ithaca Craft Beverage Tour explores the history of Finger Lakes beverages. Imagine strolling through Ithaca sampling our local artisans’ most delicious food and drink while learning a bit along the way!
When you purchase your tickets, please be sure and let us know if you (or anyone in your group) has a dietary restriction (e.g. vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, allergy, etc.).
Standard substitutions for each tour are are listed on the tour page.
Substitutions for other dietary restrictions may or may not be available; please contact us directly before purchasing tickets for details.
Substitutions must be requested in advance with your ticket purchase. All tastings have been prepared in advance at each location, based on the information you provided to us at the time of ticket purchase. Last minute dietary changes on tour can not be accommodated.
We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Our food tours have been designed to highlight the best and most distinctive foods from each establishment. Therefore, there isn’t always a “next best” option that meets the special dietary needs of each of our guests. Since we have your health (and palate!) in mind, we truly appreciate your understanding on this issue.
If you have serious food allergies please contact us before purchasing tickets.
Yes, advance ticket purchase is required. Ticket sales end at 9:00am EST the morning of the tour. Cash and/or walk-up traffic the day of the tour is not accepted. To maximize your chances of getting the day, time, and number of tickets you prefer, please book well in advance.
We do not provide a waiting list. If a date and time is sold out, there is a chance that we will add an additional tour on that day. Please contact us to let us know what date you are interested in if you do not see availability.
Gratuities are greatly appreciated, although not mandatory. They are therefore not included in your tour price, but if you had a great time gratuities are accepted by our tour guides. The standard gratuity in the service industry is 15%-20%.
Gratuities for restaurant staff are included in your ticket price.
Yes, bathrooms are available during the tour at the tour start location and at selected food-tasting locations. Since there are bathrooms at the tour start locations, you may want to arrive early to allow time to use the facilities.
The tours are held rain, shine, or snow. In the event of inclement weather, we will be able to go inside many of the establishments on the tour. However, you should dress appropriately for the day’s weather conditions and bring an umbrella if necessary. If there is ever a weather emergency and safety of participants is an issue, we will address these rare circumstances accordingly.
Unfortunately about half of our tasting locations must be accessed by stairs. Due to this we are unable to accommodate strollers or wheelchairs on our standard tours. Arrangements may be possible with advance notice. Please contact us to discuss further.
Yes, we only offer tours in English at this time. Please contact us if you would like to make arrangements for your own interpreter to join the tour.
We absolutely do! We can accommodate a variety of special requests (family reunions, birthday parties, out of town guests, corporate, conventions, festivals, parades, grand openings and more). Please see our Private Tours page for more information.
In addition to a healthy appetite, please bring along your e-ticket (electronic form is fine) or a photo ID to show to your tour guide at the tour starting point.
In terms of clothing, we suggest that you wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes. When it’s really hot out, we recommend that you wear sun protection i.e. sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, etc. During the cooler seasons it’s important to wear an extra layer of clothing, a jacket, and consider bringing gloves and a scarf. If it looks like rain, an umbrella or poncho is recommended.
Water will be provided at several of our tasting locations throughout the tour to help keep you hydrated. However, you might also like to bring your own bottle of water with you.
We also suggest you bring a camera to capture the memories you’ll create during the tour! And lastly: gratuity for your tour guide if they impress you.