Food Walking Tours San Francisco: 8 Best to Savor Local Goodies

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: October 30, 2023

The food walking tours in San Francisco offer you the best of our diverse foodie culture. You will savor several treats during each tour while learning more about the local neighborhood or market. 

This is one of my favorite ways to try different cuisines while on vacation and find some great restaurants to check out during my stay. Some of the top districts you could visit include Chinatown, North Beach, and the Mission District. Each offer a distinct set of dishes.

Below is a list of the 8 top food walking tours in San Francisco. 

Food Tours Image with Chinatown and North Beach Murals

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

My Three Top Picks

Don't have time to read through all of the food tours? Here are my top three picks and why I love them.

  1. Little Italy and North Beach Tour: Sample the best local Italian food and learn about the history of this distinct district.
  2. Chinatown Food Tour: Learn more about and sample the best dim sum on this small group tour.
  3. North Beach & Chinatown Food Tour: Get a small sampling of both of these top districts.

1. Little Italy and North Beach Walking Tour

Do you love Italian food? If so, then this San Francisco food walking tour is a must for you!

This 3-hour walk heads through the North Beach neighborhood also called Little Italy. During the trip, you will taste several Italian goodies, from cappuccinos to authentic Italian pizza. You also get to sample chocolates, olive oils, and Italian pastries. 

As you are sampling, you will learn a little about the history of the neighborhood, see how coffee is roasted, and watch as chocolates are made. You will also get a peek at 130-year-old ovens and explore some places where the Beat Generation hung out in the 1960s.

This tour is so popular that it runs most days of the week and starts mid-morning (10:30 am). Depending on the date you choose, there may be an additional afternoon option offered (beginning at 2 or 2:30 pm).

It covers around 7 or 8 blocks, all on a flat path. All food and drinks sampled during the trip are included in the price.

You can find tickets for this North Beach walking tour on GetYourGuide

2. Chinatown and North Beach Walking Tour

Another one of the best food walking tours in San Francisco is the combined Chinatown and North Beach tour. During this one, you get the chance to taste authentic Italian and Chinese treats.

This 4-hour trek starts at 2:30 pm in Chinatown, where you will enjoy dim sum from Chinatown's oldest bakery, see how fortune cookies are made, and even savor some traditional Chinese teas.

You will also explore the real Chinatown. You will learn more about its culture, sculptures, and architecture.

After the Chinatown portion, you will head just a couple of blocks to North Beach. Here you will savor Italian coffees, explore the Beat Generation's favorite hangouts, and sample some delicious authentic Italian pizza and wine. 

Tickets for this daily tour are available on GetYourGuide. Reserve your spot today! 

>> Find additional walking tours of Chinatown

3. Mission District Walking Food Tour

The Mission District in San Francisco has an unprecedented mix of ethnic cuisines due to the rich diversity of its community. 

What I love most about this 3-hour tour is that you will visit several local mom-and-pop restaurants. You'll get the chance to sample a variety of dishes along the way as you learn more about these highly-rated establishments. 

In total, you will stop at five different places. Most tours offer you the chance to sample some of the tastiest marinated meat tacos in SF, visit a bakery with an award winning chef, and taste Neapolitan thin crust pizzas.

The Mission District has hundreds of beautifully crafted murals that celebrate the history of the area and its people. As you walk from place to place, you will then get a chance to see some of its most colorful murals. See some photos of the Mission District murals here.

This is one of the food walking tours in San Francisco that runs a just a couple days week, usually Fridays and Sundays. It starts at 11 am. You can buy tickets for this tour on GetYourGuide, one of the top online travel agencies and one that I use quite often. 

4. Curated, Multi-Course Food Tour in North Beach

The North Beach District is one of San Francisco's most historic, having played an important role in the Gold Rush era and then becoming the home of the city's Italian immigrants.

That cultural legacy still looms large, so get ready to enjoy a multi-course meal—appetizers, entree, and dessert—that highlights the best of Italian-American cuisine: authentic wood-fired pizza, SF-original seafood cioppino, delightful crisp arancini, and a trio of gelato.

This walking and tasting tour lasts about 3 hours and includes stops at 3 or 4 different restaurants, where you'll skip the lines and be seated and served at reserved tables. In between, your experienced guide will tell you stories about the local chefs and food scene, as well as the historic neighborhood. 

This tour does not include the gratuities or optional alcoholic beverage pairings. Make sure to bring a valid ID if you plan to drink along the way.

The North Beach walking food tour runs less frequently, usually just on Saturday afternoons at 3 pm. 

>> Learn more about this tour and book your spot today

5. Ferry Building and Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

The Ferry Building in San Francisco is a gourmet food lover's dream. This renovated 1898 ferry terminal is home to dozens of specialty shops selling everything from freshly baked bread to locally produced chocolates.

Many local and famous chefs shop here frequently to create their daily masterpieces.

During this 1.5-hour walk, you will sample your way through the Ferry Building's delicacies while you learn more about each one.

The Ferry Building food tour runs most Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10 am. It also runs some Thursdays during the busier travel season. These are the days that the vibrant farmers market set up shop in front of the Ferry Building.

This is one of the most popular food walking tours in San Francisco due to the location and the quality of samples available at the Ferry Building. It's also one of the shortest tours, both in duration and in distance that you'll cover walking. All tastings are included in the price.

Find tickets today

6. Chinatown: Tea & Dim Sum Food Tour

Head over to the vibrant Chinatown District for this fun tea and dim sum tour. I love this tour since you get the chance to learn more about both the food and the history of this iconic SF neighborhood.

You'll sample some tasty bubble tea, try the local dim sum, and step inside our small fortune cookie company. 

I also love the tea session where you'll learn all about Chinese tea (history, common varieties, etc.). Another favorite of mine is being able to sample some authentic Cantonese-style duck.

If you want to learn more about Chinatown and some traditional dishes, then this is a great tour for you!

This 3-hour tour is offered most Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11:30 am. 

>> Find out more about this unique tour

7. Sausalito Food and Wine Tour

This unique culinary walking tour takes place not in the city, but just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge in the cute waterside village of Sausalito, where you'll get panoramic views of San Francisco and the bay. 

On this 3.5-hour tour, you'll taste gourmet offerings from renowned eateries, with lunch, beverages, and wine pairings included. To top off the experience, you'll take a refreshing walk along the Sausalito Boardwalk to finish with dessert and coffee at a festive beach bar.

One great feature is the personalized attention, as spots are limited to 10 people. Your guide will fill you in on the local history as you make your way through the restaurants and taverns.

This tour is offered on Mondays and Wednesdays at 11 am. It starts in Viña del Mar Park and ends in the same place, right next to the Ferry Building for easy access back to San Francisco.

>> Find out more about the tour and check for availability

8. Chinatown Food & History Tour

My final recommendation is another tour in Chinatown. These tours are always so popular, so I like to offer a few different options.

This one will take you on a walk through Chinatown, the largest and oldest Chinatown in the US. You'll learn all about this district and find some of the best spots to eat.

You'll learn more about the Dragon's Gate and get tips on how to order and sample dim sum. You'll also stop by the fortune cookie factory and get the chance to ask questions about this colorful, historic district.

The tour includes the cost of the food and coffee/tea. It runs for about 2 hours and 30 minutes, every day of the week, except Sundays and Wednesdays, at 11 am.

>> Find out more about this tour and check for availability during your stay

Additional Options for Exploring SF on Foot

Night Tours: Are you looking for something fun to do at night? Here you will find the best night tours, from neighborhood-specific ghost walks to romantic sunset cruises.

Other Guided Treks: Here you will find a wide range of walking journeys in San Francisco. Find options for Fisherman's Wharf and some of the most visited SF attractions. This is also where you can find a list of the current discounted tickets offered on Goldstar. 

Self-Guided: Do you prefer to head out on your own while still learning more about where you are visiting? If so, then these self-guided trips might be your answer.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

I would love for you to join me in my private Facebook group

It's a great place to interact with me and others who know the area well.

You can ask questions, get advice for your upcoming stay, and then share your photos and advice with others when you return home. It's a great community and the fastest way to get answers to those nagging questions about your visit!

Come join the fun here!

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