FAQ

Need some help? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions before sending us an email. Still not see what you're looking for, send us an email at info@avitaltours.com

TICKETING QUESTIONS

Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?

Yes, advance ticket purchase is required. Tours typically sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the date, time, and number of tickets you prefer, please book well in advance. We recommend 2 weeks notice.

Do I have to purchase the alcohol pairing in advance?

Our curated alcohol pairing is meant to add another layer and perspective to your culinary experience. Even if you are not drinking on the tour, you will still learn about the pairings, how to pair alcohol and food, and awesome ingredients in the cocktails.

The alcohol pairing is two small tasting sized drinks – we do not want our guests to get drunk or buzzed, so we keep them appropriately sized.

If you purchased your tickets but didn’t add the alcohol pairing, you can email us at info@avitaltours.com to upgrade before the tour or tell your guide at the beginning of the progressive meal that you would like to add it. Your guide can process your credit card for the upgrade while on the tour.

Can I get a refund or reschedule my ticket?

All tickets are nonrefundable. Consider it like buying a concert ticket – that seat is reserved for you. As a small business with only 12 tickets per tour, its important that you purchase tickets when you’re sure you can go. If you can’t make it to the tour you purchased, the tickets are transferrable. Post the tickets on Facebook or Craigslist or ask a friend or colleague if they want to purchase your tickets.

Tours can be rescheduled with 2 weeks advance notice for parties of 4 or less by emailing info@avitaltours.com. Please arrive on time as tours depart promptly.

Is gratuity included?

San Francisco is an expensive place to eat and drink, so our tour guides appreciate recognition for a job well done, so they can fuel their foodie habits. 15%-20% is customary in the tourism industry. That’s about $10 per person.

If a tour is sold out, can I get on the waiting list?

Yes, please email us at info@avitaltours.com.

Do you offer discounts for children and seniors?

We currently do not offer discounted tickets for children and seniors.

Is this tour appropriate for children?

The tour content is not geared toward children, though many older children may definitely enjoy trying new foods and learning about them! Our Mission and North Beach progressive meals do allow for children, though the experience requires a good attention span and walking, so the tour may be appropriate for older children. You know your children best and if they’re foodies, curious and excited about learning, they are welcome. Babies are allowed if you are mindful of other guests and pull the baby away if they are disruptive to the experience. If you are bringing a stroller, please give us a heads up by leaving a note in the comments section of the booking process.

Do you offer tours in other languages?

Currently, we only offer our tours in English. However, if you are reading this, your English is likely good enough to join 🙂 Please keep in mind, that our value is not in the food, so we recommend having good English listening skills to understand the stories and the industry experts who speak to the group.

Also, this is a communal social dining experience, so our guides will not simply have monologues or speeches aimed at our guests. They will interact and ask you questions and hope to get to know you better and provide tailored stories to your interests.

TOUR LOGISTICS

What happens if it rains?

Our tours are held rain or shine regardless of weather conditions. This is a great activity to do in the rain since you’ll be spending the majority of your time seated inside the heated restaurants eating and drinking. Please bring an umbrella during the winter months for walking between restaurants and do dress warmly. This may be a great time to try on those Wellies that have been sitting in the closet.

How strenuous is the walk?

Most reasonably active people should be able to handle our walks. All our tours are flat and range from half a mile to approximately a mile and half. The North Beach Progressive Meal does have stairs and some slight hills.

Can you accommodate wheelchair guests?

Yes, we can. Please email us to let us know beforehand so that we can make sure to reserve the appropriate tables at restaurants. The North Beach Progressive Meal has slight hills, so we do recommend the Mission District or craft cocktail tours for guests in wheelchairs.

How long does the tour last?

Our Mission and North Beach Tours are 3 hours and our Craft Cocktail Tour is 2 hours. Occasionally, tours will end 15 minutes early or late, depending on the group size. We do try to end exactly on time, but we don’t recommend making plans right after our tours. Give yourself some buffer time to get to your next activity.

Are there any opportunities to sit?

Yes, there is time to sit and eat at each restaurant though please be prepared to be on your feet since we get to each restaurant via walking.

Are there bathroom breaks?

Yes, bathroom breaks are available throughout the tour though it is recommended to use the restroom facilities before the tour begins.

What should I bring with me?

It was once said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” so please bring a jacket and dress appropriately as weather varies in San Francisco, especially for evening tours. We also suggest wearing comfortable shoes and bringing a bottle of water.

Does the tour end at the same place where we began?

The tours end within a few blocks of the starting point at our dessert course. Your culinary guide will be happy to assist with directions at the end of the tour or walk you to the start location.

Is there parking nearby?

Yes, there are paid parking lots convenient to all our tours. Your confirmation email will include some suggestions.

Can I take public transportation?

We definitely encourage using public transportation. All our tours are easily accessible via BART and multitudes of public buses. Please allow enough time to arrive at the meeting location, as our tours do begin promptly.

Are cameras allowed?

We love it when tour guests take pictures and send them to us, or post on our Facebook Page.

Are there any age restrictions?

Children are allowed on the tours though please keep in mind that there is a good deal of walking and listening involved. Tour content is not geared toward young children. Customers who purchase tours including alcohol must be 21 or older and provide proof of identification.

Are pets allowed on the tour?

Pets are not allowed.

Are the tours appropriate for San Francisco natives?

Yes, in fact the tours are geared toward locals since we hope to introduce you to hidden gems in your own backyard, while meeting the chefs, owners and industry experts. Locals have a great time on our tours and often attend when family is in town or when celebrating a special occasion.

FOOD RELATED QUESTIONS

How much food is included?

Our Progressive Meals provide a generous amount of tasting and is considered a full lunchtime meal for an average eater. Please keep in mind though that our tours focus on quality not quantity and the overall storytelling experience.

Additionally, the amount of food that you are eating is spread out over 3 hours, so you won’t feel overly stuffed… Its like going out for an incredible sushi meal. You leave happy and content but don’t end up in a food coma.

Should I eat beforehand?

Our Saturday tours are best for lunch, so a lite breakfast beforehand is recommended. Our evening food tours should be considered a lite dinner, so don’t skip all your meals early in the day and arrive ravenous. We are happy to provide restaurant recommendations for before or after our cocktail tours as a full meal may be desired.

Are you able to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies?

One of our core values at Avital is Breathe Curiosity. We enjoy introducing you to new foods and old favorites in new ways. We very much encourage guests to be adventurous and try something new – we’ve even had an 80-year old man try his first oyster with us!  Thus, while we love the diverse ways our guests choose to eat, we can accommodate the following restrictions.

  • Vegetarian
  • Pescatarian
  • Gluten-free
  • Pregnant Guests
  • No Pork
  • No Seafood

You will be asked for your dietary restrictions during your booking process. If you are unsure if we can accommodate your restriction, please email us at info@avitaltours.com. Please note that this tour may include nuts, dairy, seafood, spicy food and pork.

We do not recommend the North Beach Culinary Experience for Gluten-free or dairy-free guests.

Please note that we don’t put our brand behind substitutions. There is not always an option that is equal to the original tasting, but we don’t want you to be left out, so we will serve you a substitute dish. This substitute may not tie into the overall experience as seamlessly or you may feel that you did not get as much value as those who had the dish that was curated and chosen for the tour.

Are there vegetarian options?

Yes, we can usually make appropriate substitutions if indicated at the time of ticket purchase. See note about substitute tastings above.

MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS

How do I buy a gift certificate?

Click here to buy gift certificates. A perfect gift for a special occasion or just to say thank you!

How do I redeem a gift certificate?

Your gift certificate should have a number on it. Once you click on your desired tour date and time, enter the gift certificate number exactly as it appears on the certificate into the box that says “Promo code or gift certificate?”

How do I book a private tour?

Email groups@avitaltours.com with your contact information, and desired date and time and we will get back to you.

Any other questions? Please text us at 415.355.4044 or send an email to info@avitaltours.com.