For a curious traveler, part of globetrotting is exploring new cuisines and trying unique food. We like to treat our appetite with something different from time to time, and if you are a bold food aficionado, you would not even hesitate to try quirky stuff.
When it comes to eating out, you have options ranging from Michelin star restaurants to street food stalls. But, have you ever considered dining with a local expert who knows about the food you eat – who can feed your curiosity while you feed your appetite?
That’s what EatWith tries to offer you. Curious?
Read our EatWith review to find out what it’s all about and how this platform can change your dining experience!
What is EatWith?
Dubbed as the “Airbnb for home-cooked food,” EatWith is a platform that connects diners with local hosts who can be anyone from professional chefs to home cooks to other food experts. Founded in 2012 by Camille Rumani and Jean-Michel Petit, the marketplace aims to provide a unique experience for food lovers and anyone up for an authentic local dining experience. It was previously known as VizEat.
You can sign up for a food tour, cooking class, or meal with a host via EatWith. At present, EatWith is available in over 130 cities worldwide. You can either use its website or mobile app to use its services.
How does EatWith work?
In order to use EatWith, you will have to create an account, which is free. But, you can always browse the available events/experiences without it.
- If you visit the homepage, you will see a search bar where you have to enter the name of the city, host, or experience along with the date and number of guests.
- When you click search, a list of relevant options will appear. You can narrow the results by using filters such as the budget, event type, cuisine type, host language, accommodation, and special diet.
- If you find something interesting, click on it to view a detailed description of it. You can read the bio about the chef, menu, photos, amenities provided, and reviews left by past diners.
- You can get more details about the EatWith event/experience and chat with the host once you have made the booking, but you won’t be charged until the host accepts it from their end.
What are the experiences offered by EatWith?
EatWith offers experiences under four main categories.
- Meals: Brunches, lunches, dinners, picnics, aperitifs, and tea-times. You and your travel mates can join a cooking specialist at their home for a shared meal.
- Cooking classes or wine/food tastings: A 2-3-hour hands-on session, where an experienced chef explains the tips and techniques of preparing a particular dish/food item. The food/wine tasting is where you get to try local specialties prepped by an expert.
- Food tours: A walk in the host’s neighborhood, exploring stalls selling local produce and trying street food and other special dishes of the locality.
- Online experience: Learn how to cook different dishes from the comfort of your own home from experienced chefs from around the world.
What are some of the most popular experiences on EatWith?
We rounded up some of the most popular events, just to give you an idea of services offered via EatWith. All of them have great reviews from diners!
Enjoy an intimate dinner overlooking the picturesque Amsterdam canal while listening to some great music. You will be treated to a 4-course traditional French-European meal with a variety of options for beverages. The hosts are famed for knowing a lot about Dutch culture. 2-6 guests per session.
It is an ideal choice for vegans looking for a rich platter to feast on. The 7-course meal includes a variety of vegan dishes cooked using high-quality local produce. Guests are told to expect modern British dishes with a touch of different cuisines from around the world. 1-2 guests per session.
If you have ever attempted it, you would know that getting French Macarons right is a deal-breaker. This cooking class in Paris conducted by MasterChef Jean-Yves will show you the secret tips and techniques of perfecting macarons. 2-4 guests per class.
You can try classic Italian street food and varieties of wine and explore one of the biggest markets in Europe. The host will take you to some of the most popular food spots among locals. 1 to 20 people per tour.
What we liked about EatWith.
- A unique experience
Although the idea of dining in a stranger’s house might come with a bit of skepticism, EatWith is surely an interesting concept. It makes dining in your locality or abroad a memorable and intimate one. You get to enjoy a nice meal, make new friends, and learn new things – something traditional dining experiences won’t offer you. Besides, all hosts are selected through a rigorous vetting process to provide a good experience for you.
- An opportunity to socialize with locals
Familiarizing yourself with local life during your tour is more like a privilege. Unless you really make an effort, it’s unlikely that you get the opportunity to spend some quality time with locals. EatWith is a great way to bond with a local who is actually interested in having a chat over a shared meal!
- Good roundup of choices
What we disliked about EatWith.
- Quite expensive
Usually, food experiences available for purchase on EatWith are more expensive than conventional dining options. The justification here is the one-of-a-kind experience they offer in comparison to their traditional counterparts. However, it’s important for the price point to be attractive for EatWith to become more popular, especially with budgeted backpackers.
- Faulty app
We came across many EatWith reviews complaining how the app isn’t user-friendly, crashes very often, and makes it difficult to book experiences via it. It makes the service unreliable. This is a serious concern they should address as it can deter people from using EatWith.
Is EatWith Worth It?
If you are comfortable with the price point, we think EatWith is a great service to try! It’s a change of scene from the restaurant ambiance and also seems to add more value to a simple dining experience. Besides, nothing really beats making new experiences whilst traveling by literally eating with local hosts!
Try out Pilot!
Whether or not you're a fan of EatWith, you'll need a way to plan your restaurants ahead while traveling so nothing catches you and your close ones by surprise. It's definitely a letdown when the restaurant you're dying to try in the country you're visiting is suddenly fully booked or closed. Here's where Pilot can help!