Best Culinary Destinations in the U.S. and Caribbean


The United States and Caribbean are rich with unique, regional culinary scenes for foodies of all kinds. When you work with Nine Muses Travel, you'll receive intimate access to chefs and their kitchens, producers and their methods, and all styles of cooking classes. You won't get the standard, scripted, urban food tours either. Instead, a local insider with close community relationships in world-class culinary destinations will guide you behind the scenes and customize your tour so no two are ever alike. Enjoy an immersive farm to table experience like visiting oyster farms on the West or East Coast to learn the science behind their aquaculture. Kids and adults both have fun seeing where their food comes from, in its natural setting.

For the ultra foodie experience, a top chef can even join your trip and cook for you. Whether we're arranging a dining experience on the top of a butte or mesa that you reach by helicopter, creating meals for your private yurt or glamp camp site, or bringing you right onto the farm for fresh tastings, Nine Muses Travel will have your mouth watering for more!

Nine Muses Travel's Favorite Culinary Experiences

  • Access to top restaurants: impossible to get  reservations, Michelin-starred restaurants, etc.

  • Specialized cooking classes: diverse, regional cuisine and intimate venues

  • Urban food tours: meeting chefs and purveyors, behind the scenes kitchen tours, etc. 

  • Immersive farm to table experiences with amazing guides

  • Top private chefs flown to your trip: from NYC penthouses to remote glamp camps or private yachts

  • Special private dinners: unique locales with breathtaking views

Jamaica

With a negative PCR test, you can escape to the lush and luxurious lures of Jamaica. Stay at GoldenEye, the former home of Ian Fleming and birthplace of his character, Bond - James Bond. Jamaica Inn has beautiful beaches, and Round Hill Hotel & Villas is a former pineapple and coconut plantation where you can wake up each morning to a cup of  Blue Mountain coffee, renowned as one of the world's best coffees.

Top Experiences

  • Blue Mountains coffee farm visit

  • Vegan Rastafarian cooking class

  • Waterfalls and rum distillery tour

  • Negil to Kingston: South Coast flavors tour

  • Jamaican jerk cooking class on a private estate

  • Maroon community cultural immersion

  • Day trip to Pantrepant Farm

Grenada & St. Lucia

Grenada is known as the Spice Island because of all the spices it produces. You can join a private guide to harvest cacao, roast it, and learn how it's processed and made into chocolate. For seafood lovers, you can go out with a fishing captain, return to shore with your catch, meet with a local chef, then dine on your day's work overlooking the harbor. You'll never want to check out of your paradise at Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort or Silversands Grenada.

Top Experiences

  • Grenada spice farm tour

  • St. Lucia secret garden dinner

  • Private cooking class with an award-winning Caribbean chef

  • Saturday market tour and cooking demonstration

  • Bean to chocolate experience

  • Private hook and cook excursion 

Napa & Sonoma, CA

This beloved wine country will come back soon enough from the fires, and we have so many delicious destinations here. Visit a small but well-known chocolate shop in Napa Valley for an exclusive behind the scenes experience with the chocolatier to mix flavors, pour the molds, and make your own truffle. Check out local cheese caves and explore farms and learn how our food is grown and harvested. Specially infused olive oils & wine tastings can be arranged so you're meeting with producers as you savor your snacks and wonderful wines.

Top Experiences

  • Point Reyes food and farm tour

  • Healdsburg artisan and farm tour

  • Olive grove visit with wine tastings

  • Sommelier guided food and wine pairing tour

  • Napa Valley cooking class

  • Private chocolate workshop

San Francisco

San Francisco is one of America's most prestigious foodie cities. You can easily spend an entire day in the Ferry Building alone. It's an incredible food hall and one of the original ones before their popularity took off and spread around the country. Center your visit around this eclectic city with its various Asian influences, and you can still add enjoy Napa and Sonoma wines in one of the city's scenic venues.

Top Experiences

  • Insider's tour of Chinatown

  • Ferry Building tasting tour

  • Mission District food tour

  • Private speakeasy experience

  • San Francisco's ethnic neighborhoods

  • Napa or Sonoma wine tasting in private venue

The California Central Coast

This region is generally described as being between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. You'll want to spend at least a night in Carmel as you take in the thrilling scenic drive down Highway 1. Your private guide can take you around Carmel, restaurant to restaurant, and introduce you to the people who run the restaurants here as you savor all the town has to offer. 

Top Experiences

  • Private beekeeping experience with honey tasting

  • Carmel-by-the-Sea food tour

  • Farm tour with cheese tasting

  • Local food exploration of Highway 1 beach towns

Portland & The Willamette Valley

Another prestigious culinary destination, a big attraction here is to go truffle hunting in the Spring. You'll be joined by your truffle-sniffing dog, shovel in hand, before a bucolic picnic lunch paired with some Willamette Valley pinot noir. Springtime is worth a drive around the countryside to pick up fresh cherries and other fruits in season. 

Top Experiences

  • Craft coffee and doughnuts breakfast tour

  • Downtown Portland restaurants and food carts tour

  • Family-friendly food truck tour

  • Columbia Gorge and Mount Hood loop excursion

  • Spring truffle hunt and wine paired picnic lunch

New York City

Whatever you do, don't use a knife and fork on your New York pizza if you want to eat like the locals do. We've got seriously tasty pizza here, and the whole family will have a blast in a NY pizza cooking class. Adults only fun can be found at a boutique gin distillery in the city where you'll meet the gin maker and share a tasting. The Museum of Food and Drink is one of the newest, buzziest in the city, and you can go behind the scenes with the Director of the museum. From private cooking classes with Central Park views to bike rides through Brooklyn for hip eateries, coffee shops and rooftop farms, New York always has something for everyone.

Top Experiences

  • Brooklyn bike and food tour

  • New York pizza-making class

  • Food cart and curbside kitchen walking tour

  • Gin-making workshop

  • Prohibition era cellar wine tasting and gourmet feast

  • Celebrity chef cooking demo

  • Chelsea Market and High Line food tour

  • Museum of Food and Drink immersive experience

Chicago

Chicago is a brilliant blend of high and low brow foodie culture. From decadent hot dogs and deep dish pizza to a high end and sophisticated culinary scene, its diversity is its best feature. Ethnic foods really shine here too especially Greek, Middle Eastern, and Mexican. 

Top Experiences

  • Chicago deep dish pizza making class

  • Classic Chicago fare food tour

  • Chicago's multicultural heritage private food tour

  • Tastes of Chicago's "Little Italy" on Taylor Street

  • Chicago foodie tour by bicycle

Santa Fe & Albuquerque

The history of New Mexico cuisine is linked with the chili pepper, which is grown in this state. Take a cooking class to learn how you can best work with and manipulate the chili pepper so you can use it in cocktails, desserts, chocolate, and spicy entrees. The flavors here are influenced by the Spanish and Native American cuisine, making this one hot foodie destination!

Top Experiences

  • Private Native American cooking class with an award-winning chef

  • Old Town Albuquerque food tour

  • Sunset River rafting with a gourmet cookout

  • Contemporary or traditional Southwest cooking class

  • Tacos and tequila private tasting

Nashville & Memphis

You can't visit Memphis without trying its famous Memphis style BBQ and pork ribs. Nashville has a hip, trendy, and delicious restaurant scene, but the must-have meal is the Nashville Hot Chicken - best served on a piece of plain white bread. This is also the land of whiskey, so get out into countryside for classic tours of big name distilleries like Jack Daniels or more intimate experiences at boutique distilleries. Either way, you'll have a driver taking you on this excursion so you can drink as much as you'd like! 

Top Experiences

  • Private Southern cooking class

  • Tennessee whiskey distillery tour

  • Nashville BBQ and beer tour

  • Memphis BBQ tasting tour

Charleston & Savannah

In the South, Charleston is most known for having an incredible culinary scene. You'll meet with Gullah who descended from slaves from the Sea Islands; they were so isolated that their culture and cooking developed its own unique qualities and traditions. You must experience an authentic Lowcountry Boil with some combination of sausage, shrimp, clams, crawfish, corn, and potatoes. We'll combine that with a boat tour where you pull up on uninhabited island and have your boil dinner right on the beach!

Top Experiences

  • Gullah cooking class and demonstration

  • Lowcountry cruise and beachside boil

  • Learn to cook with a Lowcountry / celebrity chef

  • Bourbon and whiskey tasting experience at Husk

  • Charleston culinary tour

New Orleans

Cafe du Monde may be a bit touristy now, but the beignets and coffee are still so satisfying at this French Quarter icon. It's still the best place to start your day with a cafe au lait and beignet which is like a donut covered in powdered sugar. New Orleans is the birthplace of the cocktail, and you can have fun learning to make hurricanes in a private mixology class. We can arrange for you to try your hand at Creole cooking, then enjoy your meal from a private French Quarter balcony as you people watch from your privileged perch in the Big Easy.

Top Experiences

  • Cajun and Creole cooking class

  • French Quarter foodie tour

  • Big Easy hands-on mixology experience with a James Beard winner

  • Crawfish boil on a French Quarter balcony

  • Private pop-up speakeasy

  • Privately chartered streetcar cocktail crawl

Suggested Itineraries

  • Flavors of the Windward Islands: Grenada, Barbados, Canouan 

  • Sonoma to Napa, a Food and Wine Lover's Heaven: Napa, Sonoma

  • Maine for Foodies: Kennebunk, Portland, Camden, Bar Harbor

  • Wild! The Wonders of Oregon: Portland, Williamette Valley, Oregon Coast, Bend

  • Toronto to Quebec City, a Luxury Adventure: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City

Other GREAT Foodie Destinations in the U.S.

  • Miami, Florida

  • Los Angeles, California

  • San Diego, California

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Birmingham, Alabama

  • Washington, D.C.

  • Maui, Hawaii

  • Austin, Texas

  • Houston, Texas

  • Atlanta, Georgia

  • Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Seattle, Washington

  • New England

Nine Muses Travel works with exceptional tour operators who add unparalleled value for my clients.

  • Expert guides for private tours: historians, naturalists, artists, unique locals

  • Exclusive experiences

  • Comfortable, sanitized, and luxurious vehicles

  • Custom-designed routings

  • 24/7 real-time support

  • Competitive rates at four and five star properties with strict health and safety protocols

  • Deep destination knowledge

  • Flexible and worry-free cancellation policies, including 100% refunds until shortly before travel

Contact Nine Muses Travel when you're ready for exclusive culinary delights in the U.S. and Caribbean and learn more about me and what I can do for you!



I design journeys that inspire by highlighting local arts and culture, history, and cuisine for intellectually curious clients longing to feel deeply inspired by exciting destinations, culinary delights, and authentic cultural experiences on a life-changing, joyful journey of discovery.


Danielle Dybiec

President of Nine Muses Travel

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