i’ve always heard so many good things about food tours, but never been on an official one with a proper guide. they’re a great way to experience a city’s culture and the food they have to offer in a short(er) space of time, whilst being taken round the best little hotspots and having a guide tell you all about the history and culture of both the tourist spots and the food that you’re eating. in short, you’re learning a lot and eating a lot, so everyone’s a winner! the only downside really is that you’re in a group with people you don’t know, it’s pretty structured so you have to finish the whole thing (or leave early and waste your money), you can’t dawdle or hang back at certain spots you enjoyed the most; essentially there’s just not much flexibility.
enter, bitemojo! the self-proclaimed “ultimate food discovery experience” is an app you can download onto your smartphone, so that you can take a food tour completely independently, at your own pace, and even pause it and go back to it the next day if you fancy. the idea behind the app is that you pay 25-30€ to download a tour, which includes 5 or 6 restaurants/bars/cafes to ‘claim a bite’ at, and 12 ‘hidden gem’ tourist spots along the way, with information on the app about them all so that you can educate yourselves at your own pace with all the flexibility you desire.
bitemojo currently have destinations all over the place, including berlin, rome, budapest, singapore, bangkok, and our recent holiday spot, barcelona! the barcelona section had three choices: el born, la boqueria, and the gothic quarter. the gothic quarter was the most veggie-friendly (you can view the bites beforehand), and it’s our favourite place to hang out in barcelona so we downloaded the tour and off we went!
so, we got off to a bit of a shaky start. as we opened the app to begin, we got a notification letting us know the first stop on the tour, where we were to have a “sandwich, or brownie & coffee” no longer wished to partake in bitemojo, and so we were gifted 2000 bitecredits (the equivalent of two “bites” – i swear it’s not all as confusing as it sounds), which basically meant we could choose to go to any other spot and get food there instead – not just the ones on our tour, but on any other tour in barcelona and in fact any of their destinations in general, within the next six months. so we banked those for later, and headed to the final stop on the tour instead. the beauty of the app is that it’s all in your hands, and i like that we could pick and choose the order we wanted to do things in.
while writing this, i’ve already discovered a con of this app. looking back at the tour i did, the app doesn’t let me know what each stop on the tour was called, it only tells me what we ate and drank there. i feel this isn’t very useful as i wasn’t jotting down the name of every single bar we went to, as we went, but i’ll continue the best i can!
we started at a small bar which reminded me of somewhere we would hang out in england. it was dark and casual, and the guy behind the bar let us know they opened up the basement every night for a gig, and on wednesdays they did comedy nights in english. i was already impressed that bitemojo had taken us somewhere we really liked, that we wouldn’t have found without the app. but then we asked to redeem our “patatas bravas and artisan beer” bite, and the bartender had absolutely no idea what we were talking about. after maybe five minutes of awkward back and forth “here’s the app! we want the patatas bravas” “cool i know, but you have to pay for it!” “no like, we’ve already paid on the app”, his manager came down and pointed at the bitemojo sticker on the wall and informed him of the whole procedure. i’m guessing the tour is fairly knew there, or maybe the app just isn’t very well known yet. we weren’t phased though! the food and beer was great, we really liked the bar, and despite the minor setback it was all off to a good start.
we hit up a few of the tourist spots the app lead us to on the way to the next place. i think that was maybe our favourite part of the whole bitemojo experience – a mini history tour being so accessible and easy to fit into the day.
the next place we went to offered a “pincho and glass of beer or vermouth” on the app, so we were pretty disappointed when we got there and were told it’s actually only vermouth. the guys who worked there were pretty standoff-ish and it kinda felt like we were just asking for free food. i think if i had paid for this tour (it was gifted), i would be feeling pretty disappointed, as you’re still technically paying for the food through the app, you’re just not giving it directly to the food establishments. so i was left feeling a little like a free loader, sipping two glasses of vermouth while danny sat there with nothing due to the lack of beer. and, just our luck, as we were in this slightly uncomfortable cafe situation, it started pissing it down with rain. and i mean, pissing it down. i have honestly never seen anything like it, it was the heaviest storm i’ve ever been caught up in, and upon checking the weather app we realised it wasn’t going to stop for another five hours. baring in mind it was currently maybe 6pm on our last night and we had planned to get boozy and eat tons of food, we decided to pause the tour for the day and run 15 minutes back to our house to regroup. we actually ended up going to cat bar and for a bunch of cocktails later on in the night but that’s very un-bitemojo related so shh yasmin.
so the next day, we went out early and i was pretty thirsty so we hit up the “vegetable quiche and homemade lemonade” cafe, which was gorgeous and quiet, and again i was very thankful the app had taken us somewhere so unique. i felt bad as danny is vegan so can’t eat quiche, and i’m not a huge fan, but the lemonade was really fresh and bitter (which is a good thing in my eyes). we didn’t spend too long there as it was our last day and i was trying to fit quite a lot in.
the spot i had been most looking forward to on the tour was gourmet ice cream shop, swiit, which so many people had hyped me up for as their desserts are made with really fresh ingredients. danny didn’t have his so i redeemed them both in one cone, and got one hazelnut scoop and one belgian chocolate, and it was absolutely heavenly. i couldn’t actually finish it by the end but i gave it a bloody good go.
we still had our bitecredits left to redeem, so i took a peek at what we could choose to spend them on, and found a chocolate shop called chok., which was pretty much the only veggie option, so for our final stop of the tour we got some donuts! there were so many to choose from and they were all beautifully decorated, i normally go for anything caramel or toffee but there was a beautiful pink and white one so i branched out a bit instead.
this review has been a little all over the place, but that’s mostly due to the fact that our tour was a little all over the place. like i said, i adore the concept and despite all of the mini setbacks i would be more than tempted to try this again in a different city. there are certain destinations, such as tel-aviv and i think berlin, that have vegan-specific tours which would work much better for us as danny couldn’t eat most things on this tour, and i have a majority-vegan diet so didn’t like most of the savoury dishes. obviously that’s a total personal preference though and i probably shouldn’t have accepted to go on a tour that wasn’t 100% suitable for our diets, but i wanted to try out the app and i’m glad i did.
PROS: don’t be fooled, i love the app. it’s so useful and accessible, i love that it’s flexible, i loved all the hidden gem spots, and the easy to find map. i love that you can redeem the bite credits on any other tour, and earn bite credits by doing simple things such as rating each bite you’ve had or reviewing them, therefore earning yourself free food! i liked that it took us to places we might not have found ourselves, and there was quite a good range of fancy cafes, dingy bars, sweet shops etc so we got a bit of everything. it’s affordable, it’s a good present for a friend who likes to travel (there is a “gift the tour” option). i like that they included a mix of savoury and sweet places on the tour, and both soft/alcoholic drinks to go along with most of the bites.
CONS: pretty much just the miscommunication. nothing to fault bitemojo on really, i just feel the owners of the establishments should be making their staff aware of the app and what to do when an app user arrives. also amendments should be made to certain bites being offered that weren’t actually there, for example the beer and vermouth actually just being vermouth. also on a purely selfish note, i would love if there was a vegan tour in every city – i think it would be hugely popular! vegans often have a hard time finding food in a new country and have to do a lot of their own research, so to have a tour of 5 cool places that offer plant-based meals would be really well received.
thanks 4 reading!
disclaimer: this tour was gifted, thanks bitemojo! all opinions are my own and not influenced by anything other than my own experience x