Food Tours in Bermuda: A Complete Guide
What are food tours
Food tours in Bermuda is a great way to sample traditional and international flavors while taking a walking tour along the roads, lanes and alleyways of the island imbibing its history and culture as imparted by excellent tour guides. These food tours are quite unique as a concept. In a small group of usually five to ten, a guided tour on foot is organized by various tour operators. Here you get to walk around the island and visit various food venues, each distinct in its style of cuisine.
The tour guides also fill you in on interesting historical facts about the various delicacies, the architecturally rich establishments these outlets are housed in, about the culture and tradition of the island and its people. These are well rounded, informative and fun tours to do, covering various aspects of the island you might otherwise miss out on.
Apart from the walking tours, there are also a few other tours that are quite distinct in their style and experience. You can take a tour along the shoreline in a cruise and indulge in an excellent tasting session of the island's fine rums or even delve deep into the art of brewing the local beers in Bermuda by taking a tour in the island's only microbrewery. If you are not keen on hitting the roads and lanes of the island on foot, yet the idea of a food tour appeals to you, you can also look at other options like taking a tour on a taxi.
Thus, you will find that a host of different options tweaked as per your preferences are presented here for a wholesome experience of the island's culinary culture.
So what is new about these tours and how is it different from other guided sightseeing tours. On these guided food tours, you get a chance to stroll around the island the way the local population does, through nooks and crannies which are otherwise not known to visitors; less treaded side streets and reclusive passageways; the best places to enjoy their freshest fares; knowledgeable tour guides who make it a fun experience by sharing little trivia along the way, give valuable advice and tips on local shopping and accommodation and impart insightful accounts about the architecture, natural bounty that the island is graced with and highlights on interesting historical facts.
The Tours and Operators
There are several operators in Bermuda who organize these food tours. Each of them has a distinct platter of choices to suit your palate and style. Again, each operator might have several different tours scheduled for different days of the week. Below is a detailed overview on what each of them has on offer. This will help you pick your choice based on your likings.
Bermuda Food Tours
This tour takes you down the streets of the City of Hamilton to its most interesting attractions and eateries. The tour covers around 1.5 miles in distance over a span of 3-3.5 hours and across 6-7 stops. There are three different tours that they have to offer depending on which day of the week it is.
Sites and Bites
Tuesdays and Thursdays. Duration: 10:45am-1:45/2:15pm
Culture and Cuisine
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Duration: 11:15am-2:15/2:45pm
Flavor and Flare
Saturdays. Duration- 11:15am - 2:15/2:45pm
Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Duration: 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Three places in three hours. Tour includes appetizers and specially made cocktail at two places followed by dinner, drinks and dessert at another place.
Ticket is priced at approx. $124 (except 'After Hours' which costs $149). All food and most beverages included for adults and children alike. Also tickets (non refundable) for the tour needs to be purchased in advance before 0900hrs for the same day's tour. Tickets can be purchased only with Visa/ AMEX/ MasterCard from their website or you can make a call to them. Paying by cash on the day of the tour is not accepted.
Tours meet at 49, Front Street which is near the English Sports Shop. It is to be noted that this tour is not accessible to disabled/handicapped visitors because of the terrain that it covers which often includes climbing stairs/hilly landscapes.
This is a three hour tour which starts at 11am and the meeting point is at the Dockyard ferry dock. This food tour stands apart from the other regular ones as this does not cover restaurants for the food tastings. It takes you to various sites and along the route, local fares are offered for tasting.
Also unlike other food tours, there isn't much walking involved and the tour is done in a taxi, the taxi driver being your tour guide. Great food that includes Johnny cakes, fish chowder, chicken pot pie, fried chicken and fish, rice and beans, steak, ice cream and much more along with their histories, origins and other interesting facts are shared.
West Dockyard, Somerset Village, Bermuda
Phone: +1 441-705-6606
Gosling's Rum Tasting Cruise
A great way to taste one of Bermuda's best rums as you sail down the waters of the vast Atlantic viewing the spectacular mix of colours as the sun sets on the horizon. Accompanied with an excellent guide to fill you in on the history of the island and its traditions along with an account of Bermuda's oldest business house which dates back to more than two centuries when James Gosling set up shop here. You also get to sample locally baked rum cakes and watch as the crew prepares the "Rum Swizzle" and "Dark and Stormy", the famous Bermuda drinks. And what's more... you also get to buy the Gosling's products duty free at the end of the cruise.
Indicative Cost : $70 per traveler;
Dockyard Brewing Tour and Tasting/ Bermuda Brewery Tour
This guided tour of the Royal Naval Yard, includes a brewery visit and pub tasting. As you walk through the hallowed paths of the Yard which is standing here for more than two centuries and had served as the storehouse of food supplies for the Royal Naval fleet, you get a fascinating account of its interesting historical past.
The island's only microbrewery- Dockyard Brewing Co. is situated nearby and is a part of the walking tour. Here, a brew master takes you through the interesting process of producing beer. You get a first hand learning account of the malts and hops that they use for the different stages of brewing- mashing, fermentation, conditioning and barrelling.
The next stop on the tour is at the Frog and Onion Pub. Here you get to taste five local brews crafted onsite. These include lagers, porters, ales and wheat beers.
This tour has a few prerequisites that you need to keep in mind before embarking on it. The minimum age of the guests willing to participate has to be 18 (which is the legal age for drinking in Bermuda) and has to be accompanied by someone at least 21 years of age. Also, guests must weigh less than 300 pounds to be able to participate. Guests with disabilities must be accompanied by someone who can assist them as this tour involves walking across various surfaces. Tour operators discourage pregnant women and those with concerns with their physical fitness levels from joining.
This tour lasts approximately 1.5 hours and costs around $59 per head.
Sip and Savor Bermuda
With a promise of giving you a feel of the "Unseen and Untasted" Bermuda, this tour takes you away from the beaten path to hidden treasures and trails. The tour focuses on the diversity that the island portrays, including cuisines from the West Indies, Portugal, Philippines, India and others making it a wholesome well rounded experience of Bermuda.
Tours in Hamilton city start at 11am Monday to Friday and 2.30pm on Saturday. At St. George's the tour operates only on Tuesday at 11am. It is closed on Sundays and public holidays. The tour lasts about 2.5-3 hours over a distance of less than one mile of walking covering 5-9 restaurants depending on which tour you choose. The tour offers 'Selfie-Stops' at certain locations where you can click memorable pictures.
Tour operators need to be informed about any dietary restrictions/ food allergies / disability beforehand. Also guests need to be of an age of at least 18 years to be able to partake of alcoholic beverages.
The tours on offer are-
City of Hamilton Walking Tour and Private Bus Tour
A combination of eight different tasting venues, the culinary variety on this tour ranges from Texas Bermudian BBQ to the famous Bermuda fish chowder along with tastings of the national drinks- Rum swizzle and Dark and Stormy. Food outlets include a mix of different food trucks, takeout restaurants, cafes and fine dining venues.
The tour lasts around 2.5 hours of walking at a comfortable pace.
Tours meet at the Visitors' Information Center at Hamilton City or St. George's. Reservations for participating on the tour has to be made 48 hrs in advance by logging on to their website. Payment can be made by credit card or PayPal.
Phone: 441 - 70SAVOR/ Toll Free 1800-880-8570
Tips and Suggestions
If this is your first visit to Bermuda, it is a good idea to take the food tour towards the beginning of your visit. This helps greatly in familiarising yourself with its layout, ways and culinary delights early on in your visit. You learn about the best places to shop and put up along the tour, so you can always visit these places again later in your stay here.
Although most tours take care of unforeseen weather challenges like a sudden downpour of rain, check the weather conditions for your date of the tour so you can dress in accordance with it or carry necessary ponchos/ umbrellas/ wind jackets etc with you.
Since some these tours involve tastings of alcoholic beverages and the legal drinking age in Bermuda is 18, carry your valid identification/ age proof with you.
Wear comfortable clothes and a good pair of walking shoes/ sneakers on the tour as this involves a good deal of walking albeit at a comfortable pace. Also the weather here can get pretty humid and hot, so loose fitting cotton clothes, hats and sunglasses work well.
Carry your camera with you as you will get umpteen opportunities to capture great sights along the less traveled paths of the island. Tour operators encourage you to take photographs of the foods sampled and places visited and also give your posts and reviews on the social media.
Tips/ gratuity to the tour guides at the end of the tour is not mandatory but it is a good sign on appreciation and encouragement.
With its innumerable characteristics this little getaway from the hustle and bustle of an otherwise mundane life, Bermuda is a treat to all our senses. The food tours that the island offers to locals and visitors alike are designed in such a way that it caters to and also appeals to a wide variety of palates. It is also one of the best ways to explore the hidden "gems" in this amazing island that is already garbed in an intrigue and mystery of its own.
Visitors' Reviews and Comments