Is it safe to ride LA's public transportation system?
Absolutely. You will be safely and confidently led by a guide who is well-versed in riding our local trains and how to navigate around the train stations. It is strongly recommended that you stay with the guide at all times. The provider is confident that you will very much enjoy this special journey, especially if it's your first time riding the Metro trains!
Do I buy my own train ticket before the tour starts?
No, your ticket for the tour includes your train transportation.
This seems like a long tour. Do people get bored?
The guides do their best to keep all guests thoroughly entertained for the duration of the tour, and most feel that the time goes by very quickly. This amount of time is needed to transport guests between tasting stops via the train, so the tour is subject to the train schedules and even minor delays on occasion. An important part of the tour is the train experience, so travel time must be included for the distance that is covered. Rather than becoming bored, most guests are stimulated by an exciting sense of adventure!
If I am bringing an infant or very young child, do I need a ticket for them?
Children are most certainly welcome on the tour, and infants or young children under the age of 5 do not need tickets if they will not be participating in the tastings. Please let us know if you will be attending with an infant or young child at the time of booking.
Are there restrooms on the tour?
Yes - at most tour stops a restroom is available. There are no restrooms at the Metro Stations. Be advised that there is no restroom available immediately before the tour begins. The first stop with a restroom is visited about 20 minutes after the tour begins.
How much food is served on the tour?
There are 8 stops for food tastings and servings are fairly substantial. For most people, the tastings provide enough food so that lunch afterward is not necessary.
What types of food are served on the tour?
You'll taste foods from Latin eateries exclusively, many of which are prepared from traditional recipes that include animal product ingredients. Fresh salsas, tamales, roasted meats, fresh tortillas, Mexican chocolate, and pupusas are the signatures of this neighborhood, and those which are sampled on this tour.
What if I have dietary restrictions?
Please let us know if anyone in your group has a dietary restriction (i.e., vegetarian, nut allergy, gluten free, etc.) at the time of booking. With enough advance notice, we can arrange for substitutions in some instances (i.e., vegetarians, nut allergies). This tour has limited options for other dietary restrictions. Please be advised that for those with dairy or gluten allergies, no substitutes are available at 2 or 3 of the 8 tasting stops. For vegans, there are no substitutions available at 4 of the 8 tasting stops.
Are there any beverages served on the tour?
Three tasting stops include a traditional beverage. It is recommended that you bring along a bottle of water or other non-alcoholic beverage; especially in warm weather, we recommend staying hydrated. Food and beverages are not allowed on Metrorail trains or platforms.
Is there any alcohol served on the tour?
There are no wine tastings or other alcoholic beverages served on this tour. It is recommended that guests return to visit certain merchants after the tour, to leisurely enjoy an alcoholic beverage if they'd like.
Is the tour wheelchair and/or stroller accessible?
The Metro Gold Line trains are wheelchair and stroller accessible, as are all of the stations (elevators), and all tour stops. Please let us know in advance if you are in a wheelchair or have any mobility issues, and we will do everything possible to ensure you remain with the group at all times.
Should I give the guide a tip?
Tipping tour guides is customary in the industry, especially if you had a great time and wish to recognize the guide for a job well done. A $9 tip per guest is appreciated.
Why would an L.A. local take this tour?
Unless you live in the immediate neighborhood of this tour, chances are good that you are unfamiliar with what is unique and special and you may have never explored these off-the-beaten-track tour stops! Trying something new and different keeps the LA local spirit alive and our guides think locals will find a food tasting tour to be a fun and novel alternative to the usual leisurely lunch, a great way to spend time with a group of friends, or even celebrate a special occasion. It's also entirely possible that one just might find a few new favorite dining or shopping haunts along the way. Finally, if you haven't experienced riding the Metro Gold Line, you are in for a treat.
How far do we walk? Is it a fast-paced tour?
You will walk approximately one mile, between tour stops and within Metro stations. Most of the walking is on flat, easy terrain, with escalators/elevators in the metro stations. Walking is mostly at a leisurely pace, but please do be advised that it is necessary to arrive at train stations on time so that the tour maintains its schedule for everyone's benefit.
Do we just walk around and sample food?
Not at all! Aside from sampling delicious food from a variety of eateries along the way, you will also get an insider's look at what life is like in this particular neighborhood of Los Angeles. The tour is fully narrated by your guide who will offer you colorful insight about the neighborhood, from its history to architecture to surprising local legends and more. The tour guide will also point out and discuss additional, noteworthy restaurants and other interesting places in the neighborhood which guests may choose to explore on their own at a later time.
What happens if it rains?
The tours are held rain or shine. While rain is a rare occurrence in southern California, it does rain occasionally. In instances of heavy rain or local flooding, you may be notified that the tour for that date and time is canceled, and you would be able to reschedule your tickets, receive credit for a future tour or receive Virgin Experience Gifts credit for another experience.
How should I dress?
Casual and comfortable is key. If you are sun sensitive, it is strongly recommend to bring a hat or a parasol and sunscreen, as depending on the time of year, some of the walking you'll do will be in bright sunshine. You will be on your feet for a significant portion of the tour walking between tour stops and within Metro stations, so please wear comfortable walking shoes.
Is there time to shop on the tour?
A limited amount of time is allowed for shopping at several stops. Some wonderful souvenir items, Latin groceries, and prepared foods are available for great prices, and guests are encouraged to shop. You are welcome to bring your own lightweight canvas or insulated bag for carrying purchases.