Questions & Answers About Mountain State Food Tours
What types of food are served on the food tour?
Food is provided by locally owned ethnic eateries, specialty food shops and area restaurants. For a detailed list of stores and restaurants visited on the tours, please see the individual Food Tour pages.
What restaurants will we visit on the food tour?
A list of all the current tasting locations can be found on the individual tour pages. While rare, food tasting locations can change without notice.
What happens if it rains?
Rain or shine, we dine. However, we advise you to check the weather conditions for your day’s event and dress appropriately. On rare occasions, we will contact you in the event of anticipated severe weather.
What if I have dietary restrictions or food allergies?
Please be sure to let us know if you (or anyone in your group) has a dietary restriction when you purchase your tickets. We do need advance notice to make arrangements with each restaurant, but as long as we know in advance, we can accommodate most needs including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-conscious, diabetic or certain allergies.
Do your tours have anything to appeal to a native Charlestonian?
Yes! Charlestonians can participate in our tours to learn a little more about their wonderful city and to enjoy a great midday or evening stroll with some new friends -- not to mention savoring delicious bites from unique specialty stores and authentic restaurants in Charleston’s tastiest spots. So far everyone who's taken our tour has learned something they didn't know about the city, the state and the local food scene. Most guests say they never realized Charleston was so fascinating!
Does the tour end at the same place we meet?
No. We do not finish at the exact location as the meeting point. However, we're always within a few blocks and detailed instructions are provided after ticket purchase with starting and ending point locations.
Can I pay with cash?
No. Unfortunately, cash is not accepted. Tickets can only be purchased with a Visa, AMEX, or MasterCard from our ticketing company or by calling 301-728-9705 .
Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
Yes. Tickets must be purchased in advance. We halt sales when a maximum number of guests has been reached or two hours before the start of each tour. This allows each restaurant to be fully prepared to accommodate our guests. To maximize your chances of getting the day, time, and number of tickets you prefer, please book well in advance.
What is the best time to take the tour?
If you're visiting Charleston, we highly recommend taking our food tours at the beginning of your visit so that you may enjoy returning to your favorite food tasting locations. For area residents, our tours are a great way to entertain guests or have a new experience with friends, family, clubs or other organizations. It's also a great date night!
Is there parking near the tour meeting point?
Yes. There are several public parking garages as well as metered street parking located near the meeting points. Specific parking information will be given after purchasing your tickets.
Is there a waiting list in the event that a tour is sold out?
No. Unfortunately, there is no waiting list. However, if a date and time is sold out, there is always a good chance that we will add an additional tour on that day.
Are any beverages served on the tour?
Yes. Most of the tasting locations provide water and/or beverages during the tour. During the Sips & Samples tour, alcoholic beverages are included at each stop, with an option for non-alcoholic beverages at each site. You can also purchase additional beverages at most stops.
How much food will be included in the tastings?
Most guests of Mountain State Food Tours find that the tastings provide plenty of food for lunch or dinner. While portion sizes are smaller than the full plates you might purchase at any of these locations on your own, there are at least five different tastings, and our guests almost always find themselves comfortable and satiated by tour’s end.
How much walking is involved?
Tours last approximately 2.5 hours and participants can expect to be standing or walking for roughly half of the time in 20-25 minute stretches. We walk at a moderate pace to cover about a mile.
If I am bringing an infant/very young child, do I need to purchase a ticket for them?
No. If your young child will not be participating in the tastings, you do not need to purchase a ticket for them. However, please do let us know if you will be attending with an infant or young child when you purchase tickets so that we can provide any additional seating they may need. Parents are also welcome to bring snacks for young children to enjoy along the way.
Does the tour leader accept gratuity?
Yes. Gratuities are greatly appreciated, although not mandatory. The standard gratuity in the service industry is 15%.
Do we just walk around and sample food?
NO!!! Mountain State Food Tours include architectural commentary, historical facts, local culture, custom and culinary knowledge in a fun, exciting and distinctive 2.5-hour experience.
Are bathrooms available on the tour?
Yes. Bathrooms are available during the tour at selected food-tasting locations.
Can I shop during the tour?
No. As with many other tours, you’ll have to wait until the end to check out the “gift shops.” The tour needs to stay on a tight schedule so we arrive at each tasting location when the food is at its optimum freshness (e.g., when hot dishes are hot and cold dishes are cold). To maximize the enjoyment of the tour, we ask you to allow time at the end of the tour to return to your favorite locations.
Can I book a private group tour?
Yes. To set up or learn more, please visit our Private Group Tours page and click the "Sign Up" button to complete a short form. A Mountain State Food Tour representative will contact you shortly thereafter with payment and further instructions.
Are there vegetarian options on the tour?
Yes. Most of the stops on our tours offer alternative tasting options for vegetarians and vegans, as well as other dietary restrictions. Be sure to note these requirements when you book your ticket so that we can be fully prepared to accommodate your needs.
Are cameras allowed on the tour?
Yes. Please take as many photos or film as you like! In fact, we would love it if you shared pictures and videos of your experience with us either by email or via Facebook. If you email us, please let us know if we can publish your pictures/videos on our website and/or Facebook.
Any other questions?
Give us a call or shoot us an email. We'll be happy to respond as quickly as possible!