These days, you can find foodie adventures in every corner of the Bay Area. You can tour farmers markets with pros, go chocolate tasting with a guide or winery-hop through the Livermore Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains.
Here are five food-related adventures to get you started:
This San Jose-based company has reinvented pub crawls for gourmets. You walk, you talk, you nosh and sip at four or more restaurants all within a few blocks of each other. Every few days, a new Dishcrawl takes foodies through different culinary terrain -- a stroll through San Francisco's Mission district, or an exploration of San Jose's eclectic delights. Locations are kept secret until
Chocolate lovers will want to explore these three-hour cocoa-filled walking tours through San Francisco. The tours ($52), which start at Justin Herman Plaza at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays and 2 p.m. Saturdays, include seven chocolate-tasting stops. Die-hard chocolate devotees may want to spring for the Ultra Chocolate version ($75), which departs from the Mandarin Oriental
Led by Lisa Rogovin and her team, these culinary strolls showcase food-centric neighborhoods, such as Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto and San Francisco's Mission District, Japantown and the Ferry Building Marketplace, offering talks and tastes of everything from artisan sodas and handcrafted breads to gourmet cheeses, gelato and more. The Gourmet Ghetto tour ($75) is offered Thursdays and Saturdays. Details: www.edibleexcursions.net.
Download this scavenger hunt app on your smartphone, grab your walking shoes and head out for a two- to three-hour, food-centric walking tour ($12) of San Francisco's North Beach that will have you traipsing in the footsteps of ravioli makers and Beat poets. The interactive Chinatown tour sends you into dim sum restaurants, tea parlors, markets and temples. Details: www.strayboots.com.
Food, culture and history come together on these three-plus hour tours ($45) that showcase the sweet and savory components of Oakland's Jack London Square, with stops at Miette, Bocanova, Chop Bar and more. Details: http://savoroaklandfoodtours.com.
Don't forget ...
Join a CSA -- community-supported agriculture -- farm and you'll get more than a weekly box of veggies. Members of Eatwell Farms in Dixon, for example, can visit the farm for tomato-canning parties, strawberry days and even a summer solstice sleepover. Full Belly Farms in Guinda offers tours, dinners and a Hoes Down Harvest Festival -- as in, put your hoes down and party. And at Pie Ranch in Pescadero, the community is invited to lend a hand in the fields, then join the crew for a potluck dinner and barn dance on the third Saturday of each month. Details: http://eatwell.com, http://fullbellyfarm.com and www.pieranch.org.