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Our Commitment to Safe, Responsible and Sustainable Travel

Like all of you, we are pleased to see the return of the kind of travel Culinary Backstreets stands for. But we are also aware that this new era requires a different way of doing things. As the cities we work in reopen to travel, we are using this period as an opportunity to reinforce our commitment to the safety of our guests and to the practice of responsible and sustainable travel.


As travel to most of the cities where we work has resumed, Culinary Backstreets is working with a new set of safety guidelines designed for the physical well-being of our guests, guides and members of the local community that we encounter. These guidelines have been developed in line with the best practices published by governments and health officials in the countries where CB works with regard to restaurant and tour and trip operation. With these procedures in place, our guests — led by our team of professional guides, who are being trained accordingly — can explore with peace of mind. The new procedures we are instituting include:

  • Disinfection: Our guides carry hand sanitizer and provide it to guests frequently while also encouraging them to wash hands whenever a sink is available. Our guides also carry disinfecting wipes to clean surfaces during the tour or trip.
  • Maintaining social distancing requirements: Our guides maintain social distancing during tours and trips, according to regulations issued by local health authorities.
  • Wearing masks: Our guides and guests wear masks wherever required by local regulations. We request that guests come to the tour with their own mask, although our guides will provide masks to those who do not have one.
  • Visiting restaurants safely: Our tours and trips only visit restaurants and shops that are adhering to official safety standards and regulations and, where applicable, have been certified as such. We also avoid visiting restaurants during peak times so that they are less crowded and in order to not displace hungry locals. In restaurants and shops, our guides make sure that guests adhere to the establishments’ social distancing rules and ascertain whether the rules are being followed by other diners.
  • Tasting food safely: Our guides make sure that food is sampled and distributed safely and according to local health regulations.
  • Vaccinated guides: Most Culinary Backstreets guides have been vaccinated, and the few remaining are testing themselves regularly while they wait for the jab.


Culinary Backstreets’ mission has always been to preserve, protect and celebrate local culinary traditions and the unsung heroes of the kitchen. Now, more than ever, we remain focused on this goal. These days, we are paying close attention to the physical, economic and psychological well-being of the local communities and the people who keep them fed. We view this as an opportunity for cities to develop a tourism model that makes sense for them and that avoids the mistakes of the past, and for companies like Culinary Backstreets to be part of that process by renewing our commitment to a more sustainable way of traveling and working. By joining our tours and trips, you are contributing to this effort, which includes:

  • Going local: Our food tours and culinary trips continue to feature independent, family-run businesses and spotlight local products and small producers.
  • Respecting local needs: Since new regulations require restaurants to limit their seating, we will make sure that our tours and trips don’t displace local patrons.
  • Honoring tradition: We continue to honor the traditions of the communities we work with by promoting their cultural and culinary heritage.
  • Preserving community memory: By telling the stories of the unsung culinary heroes of these communities, we continue to help preserve community memory and keep the unique spirit of neighborhoods and their local businesses alive.
  • Expressing appreciation: Human contact with the local community is one of the joys of our tours and trips and the reason many of us travel. Despite the requirements of social distancing, we continue to safely express our appreciation of all the culinary masters we meet along the way.
  • Supporting independent businesses: Small, independent businesses are what make our cities and their culinary landscape so spectacular. These businesses — from neighborhood bodega in Barcelona to grill joints in Tokyo — are highly vulnerable these days and it is particularly challenging for them to adapt to the new conditions. Our support, now more than ever, is particularly important.
  • Reducing ground transportation: Conscious of the carbon footprint of our tours and trips, we are redoubling our effort to keep our tours and trips, as much as possible, on foot.
  • Reducing single-use plastic: We are working to reduce single-use plastics on all of our tours and trips, most significantly water bottles. We encourage guests to bring their own water bottle which we can refill throughout the day. We’re also persuading restaurants to offer filtered water as an alternative to plastic bottles.

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