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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The Science of Taste Food Tour: On Hiatus

Duration: 2.5 hours

Location: Downtown Ithaca & The Commons

Without Alcohol Pairings


With Alcohol Pairings



All sales are final and non refundable. Tickets must be purchased by 11am for today's tour.

Wondering where to eat?

Receive our free Ithaca Restaurant Guide when you sign up for our mailing list.

Rediscover your five basic tastes while exploring Ithaca's restaurants on this special tour designed with winter weather in mind.

  • Savor 5 generous tastings and 3 delicious drink pairings.
  • Explore one of your five basic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami) with each course.
  • Redefine how you experience food as we discuss the hidden elements behind each taste.
  • The tour route keeps the group warm with short walks from one establishment to the next!

Tours offered weekly on Saturdays from 3:00pm - 5:30pm.

Vegetarian substitutions available. Please inquire about other dietary restrictions.

We recommend having a light lunch the day of your tour.

Our tours take place rain, snow, or shine. Please dress accordingly.

What to Expect

The Science of Taste is a narrated, guided tour. You will visit five local establishments, exploring a different one of the five basic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami) with a satisfying tasting at each. We’ll discuss how we perceive these tastes, the ways in which they interact with each other, and the difference between taste and flavor. You’ll also learn how they’re used in cooking and you’ll find out whether or not you’re a super-taster!

We'll savor the 5 basic tastes with the assistance of 5 fabulous local establishments and 1 local bakery.

Luna Inspired Street Food

Street food dishes from around the globe recreated with regionally-sourced ingredients.

Bickering Twins Restaurant

Latin American cuisine with a focus on simple but classic ingredients and flavors.

Monks on the Commons

Thoughtfully-prepared food and drink with a nod to tradition and a healthy dose of novelty.

Thompson & Bleecker

Neopolitan pizza and organic wines served in a modern tavern space.

Alley Cat Cafe (ft. Sinfully Delicious Baking Co.)

Inclusive community cafe with extensive tea selection and separate cat petting rooms with felines rescued by Browncoat Cat Rescue.

Sinfully Delicious Baking Company

A custom bakery specializing in healthier & allergen friendly baked goods using locally sourced, organic and non-gmo ingredients.

Where to Meet

Tompkins Center for History and Culture (Further details provided with ticket purchase.)

Get Directions

Have questions? Here's the most frequently asked.

Your ticket price includes:

  • All food and drink tastings
  • Gratuities for staff at all restaurants
  • Exclusive coupons which are only available to tour participants

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.

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.

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.


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 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.

Still have questions?   Visit our FAQ page to submit your own

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