Eat the World culinary tour, St Georg, Hamburg

What you eat can make or break a trip — a memorable meal will linger on your tastebuds for years to come, and a bad snack could be the topic of travel stories for some time. Every destination has something interesting to offer, from traditional specialties to variations on foreign imports, and tasting some of the options can help your stomach see as much as your eyes do.

Eat The World offers “culinary cultural tours” in eight cities across Germany, and we recently joined one in Hamburg’s St Georg district. All of the tours on offer cost the same price (€30), all last three hours, and all include seven food samples during the duration of the tour.

Ours started outside the Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, where our guide Peter explained a little about the history and architecture of the monumental station as well as telling us about a nearby theatre that was currently under reconstruction. Then, we made our way to our first stop, the Kräuterhouse, where we were greeted by a friendly member of staff and given tea and bread with home-made spreads. Other stops included a cheese shop, a Persian biscuit shop, and a baklava bakery; we had flammkuchen at our longer stop and three types of cake at the last cafe. My favourite stop was the penultimate; a German imbiss tent restaurant where we were served homemade beef patties and fried potatoes, followed by a small portion of dessert.

It's not just about eating, you also learn about the city.

It’s not just about eating, you also learn about the city.

At each stop and en route between them, Peter told us about the history of the area as well as indicating points of interest. Our group was small (it was Tuesday morning, after all), so I had the chance to ask him all sorts of questions, which he cheerfully answered. For example, he told us why Hamburg is known as the Hanseatic City — it was the largest city in the Hansa trade union.

All food was included in the price of the tour, but drinks had to be ordered and paid for separately. This was clearly explained at the beginning of the walk, and if you didn’t want a drink it was no problem — but I’d recommend you budget another €5-10 for drinks along the way. We had a soft drink each at the longer stop and a coffee at the end; Craig also had a beer in the imbiss tent, and for these five drinks we paid around €10.

We really enjoyed the tour and learned a lot about the St Georg area of Hamburg, as well as about the people who live there and the food they eat. Although some of the portions were quite small, at the end of the walk we were all full — seven small portions makes a pretty large meal! I appreciated the range of flavours, though I would have liked some more traditionally German options. With four sweet and four savoury snacks, there was a good balance there (we had one of each at the imbiss), though on reflection I preferred the savoury ones — that cheese was amazing!

Based on our experience in Hamburg, I’d highly recommend an Eat The World tour; they’re a great way to get a taste of a city.

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