This epicurean stroll is along W. 3rd Street in mid-city Los Angeles, from the famous Farmers Market at Fairfax Avenue to the stylish Beverly Center at La Cienega Blvd.
The Farmers Market will acquaint guests with family businesses owned as far back as the 1930s. Along W. 3rd Street we'll drop in to restaurants, cafes, gourmet groceries, and little known haunts frequented by celebrities.
Food tastings, both savory and sweet, are sure to satisfy in the best of ways, and include signature dishes from:
- Ethnic eateries (Japanese, French, Brazilian)
- New York style deli/bakery
- Doughnut shop
- Handmade candy kitchen
- European style bakery
What Is Not Included?
Parking at the starting point is not included. Parking rates are as follows and will cost approximately $6:
- 2 hours free (we provide validation for Farmers Market lots only)
- $4 charge for the third hour
- $1 for every 20 minutes thereafter.
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance? Can I pay cash?
- Tickets must be purchased in advance to guarantee your spots. To maximize your chances of getting the tour you want, please book well in advance. Tickets can only be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express. Cash is not accepted.
- If I am bringing an infant or very young child, do I need to purchase a ticket for them?
- Children are most certainly welcome on the tour, and infants or young children under the age of 5 do not need tickets IF THEY WILL NOT BE PARTICIPATING IN THE TASTINGS. Please let us know if you will be attending with an infant or young child when you purchase tickets.
- If a tour is sold out, can I get on a waiting list?
- We do not provide a waiting list. If a date is sold out, there may be a possibility that we can add one or two people more to the scheduled tour. We may even possibly add another tour. Please contact us directly by clicking on the "Contact MeltingPot" link to let us know the date in which you are interested.
- Is time allotted for shopping during the tour?
- We have so much to cover during the course of the tour that we allow minimal time for shopping. You will be provided a printed guide at the beginning of the tour, so you can easily return to your favorite stores to shop at the end of the tour.
- How much food is served on the tour?
- There are 10 stops for food tastings on the tour. Some of the tastes are bite size, and others are more ample. For most people, there is enough food that lunch afterwards is not necessary.
- What types of food are served on the tour?
- Tastes are both savory and sweet from a variety of establishments including ethnic eateries (Japanese/French/Brazilian/Indian), a European grocery store, a New York style deli/bakery, a doughnut shop and a handmade candy shop.
- What if I have dietary restrictions?
- Please let us know if anyone in your group has a dietary restriction (i.e., vegetarian, nut allergy, etc.) when you purchase your tickets. As long as we know far enough in advance, we can usually accommodate your needs. If we do not find out about the dietary restriction until the morning of the tour, however, it is not possible for us to adjust in time to accommodate special requests.
- Are there vegetarian options on the tour?
- Yes. Please specify in your reservation if you are vegetarian or if you are vegan (and do not consume cheese, eggs, fish, etc.). By notifying us in advance, we will do our best to arrange equally tasty vegetarian options where appropriate.
- What if I have a nut allergy?
- The candy shop we stop at makes candy with and without nuts, and we sample a salad at one location with nuts. By notifying us in advance, we will do our best to arrange equally tasty options where appropriate.
- Are there any beverages served on the tour?
- We enjoy coffee at our first tasting, and water is served at some of the locations we visit. You are advised to bring along your own bottle of water, especially if it is a warm day. There are also places to purchase water and drinking fountains along the tour route.
- Is there any alcohol served on the tour?
- There are no wine tastings or other alcoholic beverages served on this tour. Beer and wine is served at locations in the Farmers Market for purchase on your own if you so desire (not included in the tour price).
- Are there restrooms on the tour?
- Yes - several of the establishments including the Farmers Market have restrooms which you can use.
- Is the tour wheelchair and/or stroller accessible?
- All of the establishments we visit are wheelchair and stroller accessible. The bus we take to return to the Farmers Market at the end of the tour is also handicap accessible.
- Should I give the guide a tip?
- Tipping tour guides is customary in the industry, especially if you had a great time and wish to recognize the guide for a job well done. An $8 tip per guest (approx. 15%) is appreciated. Guides do carry change.
- Why would an L.A. local take this tour?
- Unless you live in the immediate neighborhood of this tour, chances are good that you may not be familiar with what's new and different since your last visit (as change is an ongoing phenomenon in Los Angeles). We think locals will find a food tasting tour to be a fun and novel alternative to the usual leisurely lunch, and locals just might find a few new favorite haunts along the way.
- Are tours offered only in English?
- Yes. At this time we are only offering tours in English. If you would like to make arrangements for your own interpreter to join the tour, please contact Melting Pot Tours by clicking on the "Contact MeltingPot" link.
- How far do we walk? Is it a fast-paced tour?
- We walk approximately 1 mile on flat ground (no hills or inclines) from the Farmers Market (after touring the Market) to the Beverly Center, so you are strongly encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes. We walk at a comfortable slow pace with frequent stops most of the way except for a 4-5 block stretch immediately after leaving Farmers Market where there are minimal short stops. You have the option of taking a public bus, on which we will escort you, back to the starting point at the end of the tour (bus fare included in the price of the tour).
- Do we just walk around and sample food?
- Not at all! Aside from sampling delicious food from a variety of food establishments along the way, you will also get an insider's look at what life in this particular neighborhood of Los Angeles is like. The tour is fully narrated by your guide who will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the neighborhood from its history to its residential character to its celebrity haunts and more. The tour guide will also point out and discuss noteworthy restaurants, bars, clubs and theatres in the neighborhood which participants may choose to explore on their own at a later time.
- What happens if it rains?
- The tours are held rain or shine. While rain is a rare occurrence in southern California, it does rain occasionally. In instances of heavy rain or local flooding, you may be notified that the tour for that date and time is canceled, and you would be able to reschedule your tickets, receive credit for a future tour or be entitled to a full refund.
- How should I dress?
- Casual and comfortable is key. If you are sun sensitive, we strongly recommend a hat and sunscreen, as 3rd Street is mostly unshaded. The Farmers Market portion of the tour, however, is completely under cover. You will be on your feet the majority of the 3.5 hours during the tour, so please wear comfortable walking shoes. Also keep in mind the tour is about one mile in length.
- May I bring my dog on the tour?
- Animals are typically not allowed in food establishments in California, nor are they allowed in the Farmers Market, so we can't allow them either. Sorry!
- Can I book a private tour?
- Yes, private tours can be arranged for up to 30 people (minimum party size is 8). Please click on the "Contact MeltingPot" link and let us know what you're interested in!
- Are gift certificates available?
- Yes indeed. Drop an email to "firstname.lastname@example.org" or visit our website at www.meltingpottours.com to purchase online. Gift certificates for the LA Latin Spice Tour are $59 per ticket. Gift certificates good for either the Farmers Market/3rd Street or the Old Pasadena tours (recipient's choice) are $53 per ticket.
Melting Pot Food Tours
Given their lifetimes of experience living and working in the Los Angeles area, the Scalia sisters are particularly well qualified to select the most interesting and intriguing neighborhoods in the city and surrounding communities in which to conduct food tours. Their careful selection of locales for their tours ensure their guests an entertaining, fulfilling and memorable culinary experience.
Melting Pot Food Tours started in June 2008 and since that time has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the local CBS Evening News, the Pasadena Star News, Daily Candy, Tasting Table, AAA World magazine, the KTLA morning news with Gayle Anderson, the Los Angeles Daily News, So Cal Now television, AARP magazine and online and Where Los Angeles. It is also consistently one of the highest rated attractions in Los Angeles on Trip Advisor.