The Science of Taste: Available February – April

Duration: 2.5 hours

Location: Downtown Ithaca & The Commons

Ticket Price:


All sales are final and non refundable. Tickets must be purchased by 10am for today's tour.

Experiences make the best gifts!

Gift certificates available for the foodie in your life. They never expire and can be gifted in any amount!

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

  • 5 satisfying tastings - enough for a complete lunch!
  • Explore how you experience food as we discuss the science behind each course.
  • The tour route keeps the group warm with short walks from one establishment to the next!

Tour dates live now! Public tours offered from 2 - 4:30pm on Saturdays beginning 2/9/19.

Vegetarian & gluten-free substitutions available. Please inquire about other dietary restrictions.

We recommend having a light breakfast the morning 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) at each. While you experience these building blocks of culinary delight, you’ll learn about the science behind them and how they work together to allow you to experience an infinite number of flavors.

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.

F. Oliver's Oils and Vinegars

A specialty culinary boutique featuring high quality extra virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and custom spice blends.

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.

Alley Cat Cafe

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

Wild Flour Baked Goods

Vintage inspired baked goods with a modern twist, lovingly created in small batches.

Where to Meet

Near the Aurora Street end of The Commons. (Precise meeting location will be provided with ticket purchase.)

Get Directions

Have questions? Here's the most frequently asked.

Your ticket price includes:

  • All food and drink tastings (enough for a meal)
  • Gratuities for staff at all restaurants
  • Ithaca is Foodies merchant and dining guide
  • 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 winter 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.

To schedule your private tour, please fill out our Plan Your Private Group Tour form and we will contact you as soon as possible.

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

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