The Science of Taste: Available February – March

Duration: 2.5 hours

Location: Downtown Ithaca & The Commons

Ticket Price:


All sales are final and non refundable. Tickets must be purchased by 9am for today's tour.

Experiences make the best gifts!

Rediscover your five basic tastes while exploring Downtown 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!

This tour will have a limited run in February 2018; please click "Book Now" for dates.

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.

Hawi Ethiopian Cuisine

Authentic ethiopian recipes prepared by chef and owner Gedese Degebasa.

Coltivare Culinary Center

Seasonal cusine and wine pairings served at the culinary center of TC3's (Tompkins Cortland Community College's) innovative Farm-to-Bistro program.

Press Café

Minimalist café serving espresso drinks, brewed coffees, and blended herbal teas at the entrance to Press Bay Alley.

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.)

Meeting Location

215-299 E M.L.K. Jr. St
Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

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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