It's no secret that Oakland's food scene is top-notch, and upping the ante every day. It's tough to know which places to try first, but one local food tour company, See.Eat.Love., offers intimate culinary strolls through Oakland's bustling neighborhoods. Offering tours since 2014, the company isn't staffed by historians and doesn't pretend to be, which makes for low-key tours that give you a taste of what a lazy Saturday afternoon might look like for a foodie who lives in the neighborhood—sprinkled with just the right amount of historical facts.
Each tour includes a variety of epicurean stops that go beyond just restaurants and bars, including food purveyors, cheese shops, spice shops, and culinary and kitchen supply stores. Most tours are led by the owner, Raquel Navarro, or one of her hip and knowledgeable ambassadors, many of whom possess culinary training, cooking experience, or food writing backgrounds. And the best part of the tour? You'll have the chance to eat or drink at each of the five tour stops, and it's all included in the price.
Navarro confesses that she started these tours as a means to get her friends from SF to come over and visit after she moved to Oakland—a struggle that East Bay residents will understand all too well. Raquel's goal was to introduce her friends to Oakland's top-notch culinary scene, and she delivered. Her project started going viral as her friends started inviting other friends, and the intitiative's success inspired her to turn the weekend excursions into a business.
Along with providing the perfect way for a foodie to spend a Saturday, See.Eat.Love tours also drum up support for local businesses. Three-quarters of tour participants are from Oakland and looking to discover new places in their neighborhood, while others come from the surrounding areas and want to get to know Oakland's larger culinary scene. What's more, See.Eat.Love gives back a portion of the sales from every tour to a local non-profit, which rotates every month.