Yes, all tickets must be purchased in advance – up to 2 hours before the start of the tour, subject to availability.
No cash payments or walk-ups are accepted.
This allows us to accurately place all of our orders before the food tour, and to ensure that all tastings are fresh and prepared upon our arrival at each location.
Do I need a ticket if I'm not eating?
Yes, everyone on the tour must purchase a ticket, regardless of if they are eating.
Your ticket price not only covers the cost of food tastings, but your tour guide’s wages as well. Your guide is providing valuable commentary on Charleston’s history, architecture, and culture along the tour route.
Non-paying individuals will not be able to join the tour for any reason.
Are children allowed on the tour?
We do NOT recommend our tours for younger children under the age of five, especially since they last around three hours with a lot of standing and walking.
If you think your child would have a difficult time attending throughout the entirety of the tour, they may not be appropriate. However, you know your child best, and we recommend that you make this decision on an individual basis. Please note that tours are not stroller accessible.
All guests are required to purchase a ticket, regardless of age, due to limited seating at our tasting locations.
How long is the tour?
We tell guests to allow three hours to complete our Downtown’s Local Flavors Tour.
There are many factors involved in the pace and timing of our Charleston food tour, including the eating and walking speed of the group that day.
We try our best to stay within 15 minutes of our suggested times.
The Southern Snack Tour lasts between one hour and one hour and fifteen minutes.
Can you add more people to a tour?
Unfortunately, we are not able to add additional spaces to our tours, as we visit very small restaurants with limited seating. The number of tickets available on our calendar reflects the true availability of the tour for a given day.
What happens if it rains or there is inclement weather?
We run our tours rain or shine! Be sure to dress for the weather to your own comfort, and remember we have many stops indoors.
In the event of severe weather (i.e. a hurricane or severe flooding) we may have to cancel a tour. Chow Down Charleston will contact you in such an event.
Does this tour offer anything to a local Charlestonian?
Of course! Our tours are designed to explore Charleston with exciting insight into the history, culture, and culinary excellence that locals and visitors alike can appreciate.
How much food is served on the tour?
Our food tours in Charleston offer five to six different tastings. This is enough food to create a lunch meal for the majority of our guests, and most leave comfortably full. Since every tummy is different, we recommend that you still eat a light breakfast beforehand.
The Southern Snack tour provides 3-4 snacks along the way and will not replace a meal. Please plan to eat a normal meal before/after the tour as you can always save your snacks for later!
Can you accommodate dietary restrictions and/or allergies?
All of our tour routes offer a set tasting menu with some substitutions available.
Downtown’s Local Flavors Tour can accommodate many different food allergies as well as vegetarians. Several of our tasting locations have substitutions available; however, please keep in mind that we may not be able to accommodate certain dietary restrictions at every tasting location.
Please let us know of your needs upon ticket purchase and feel free to contact us with concerns regarding severe allergies.
Please note that reporting your food allergies does not ensure that we will have substitutions available at every tasting location. We are unable to accommodate last-minute reporting of allergies when you arrive for the tour, as we pre-order our food in advance.
The Southern Snack Tour does NOT have substitutions available. Common allergens include peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and dairy.
Do you have vegetarian options?
Yes, there are vegetarian options on our Downtown’s Local Flavors Tour.
Please let us know of your dietary preferences upon ticket purchase.
Do you have vegan options?
At this time we are unable to accommodate a vegan diet on our tours.
Are beverages available on the tour?
Several tasting locations have water available throughout the tour, however, we would strongly recommend bringing a water bottle or beverage to stay properly hydrated throughout the Downtown’s Local Flavors Tour.
Bottled water is provided on the Southern Snack Tour.
What types of food are served on the tour?
Our tours feature tastings from neighborhood restaurants, cafés, specialty food stores, and other local artisans.
Where does the tour start?
Downtown’s Local Flavors Tour starts in downtown Charleston, near the intersection of Broad and Church streets.
Southern Snack Tour starts in downtown Charleston, near the intersection of Broad and East Bay streets.
The exact meeting locations will be provided upon ticket purchase.
Does the tour start and end at the same place?
Our tours do NOT start and end in the same location, but you won’t end up too far from our initial meeting point.
Check your ticket confirmation email for details on the start and end points of the tour so you can plan appropriately for parking.
What are the minimum/maximum number of people allowed on tours?
Tours require a minimum of two people to run as scheduled. If the minimum is not met, you will be contacted in order to reschedule your event.
Downtown’s Local Flavors Tour has a maximum of nine people, which cannot be increased.
Southern Snack Tour has a maximum of twenty people. Contact us for a private tour option if your group is greater than 20 people.
How much walking is involved in the tour?
Downtown’s Local Flavors Tour covers 1.4 miles with easy terrain and we keep a moderate walking pace.
While you should plan on standing for the majority of the tour, there are several opportunities to stop along the route, and seating is available at select tasting locations.
Southern Snack Tour covers 1.0 miles with easy terrain. No seating is available along this tour.
Is the tour stroller and/or wheelchair accessible?
While Charleston shines in its historical preservation, this does not always lend itself to total accessibility. We are walking down narrow streets and uneven walkways at times, as well as visiting tasting locations with steps and very limited indoor space.
For those reasons, our tour is not wheelchair accessible. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Strollers are also not recommended on the tour, and you will be asked to park strollers outside of most tasting locations due to limited indoor space.
Are there bathrooms available on the tour?
Yes, there are bathrooms available at select tasting locations along the Downtown’s Local Flavors Tour. Your tour guide informs you of the opportunities for bathroom breaks.
No bathrooms are available during the Southern Snack Tour. We end across the street from public restrooms.
Is parking available near the tour start?
Yes, there are public parking garages located near the start and end points of our tours.
Downtown’s Local Flavors Tour: The garage at 93 Queen Street is halfway between the start and end point of the tour.
Do NOT park on the street due to the two-hour time limit on the meters. (The tour last approximately three hours.)
Southern Snack Tour: The garage at 25 Prioleau St is the closest to this tour.
We will provide additional information on these parking garage locations as well as tips for free public transportation. Check your ticket confirmation email for these suggestions.
Is there time for shopping during the tour?
We ask that you refrain from shopping during the tour. This way we can stay on time and arrive as scheduled to our tasting locations and enjoy our food while it is fresh.
Some of our vendors offer generous coupons exclusive to Chow Down Charleston Food Tour guests so that you can return to stock up after the tour. We also provide you with a map of all of our locations so that you can return to shop at your own pace.
Are tours only conducted in English?
Yes, at this time tours are only conducted in English. Contact us if you would like to discuss the use of your personal interpreter on a private group tour.
Are gratuities included in the price?
We do not include gratuities in the price of your ticket. Gratuities are graciously accepted by your tour guide, although never mandatory.
What if my plans change, can I cancel?
Tickets are refundable up to 48 hours prior to your scheduled tour.
If you are worried about plans changing, tickets may also be purchased up to 2 hours before the start of the tour, subject to availability.