I first became serious about the finer points of life while living in Paris and the quaint town of Aix-en-Provence in Southern France. After drinking wine at three in the afternoon as per the cultural norm and gorging my way through the countryside, I returned to the United States and began reading "Wine for Dummies" with the hope of adding an academic wine approach to my informal wine education. Now, years later, I am a certified sommelier.
A UCLA graduate, I studied Art History, French and Mandarin Chinese but wish I could have majored in Chocolate. Returning to my hometown of San Francisco after living in Shanghai working in the Chinese Contemporary art market, I began to pursue my interest in art and food professionally. I have been leading artisan food and wine tours for the past four years. Most recently, I appeared on the Travel Channel and in 2011 served as a judge at the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon.
We're locals, and we thought the tour was really informative, fun, and delicious. Our tour guide Melissa was knowledgeable, sweet, and engaging. We haven't spent that much time in NB in the past, but now have a few gems to go back to now!
We had a great time with Zev on our Mission District Food Tour. The food and drink throughout were fantastic as was the background information provided by Zev. For those new to San Francisco, this is a welcome adventure away from the usual tourist sites. For those who have been in SF a long time, you have missed something special!
Avital is GREAT. She really knows the Mission neighborhood. From the restaurants, the culture, etc. She makes sure that everyone on the tour is having a blast and has a very personal experience. Was really fun to go on her tour and learn about the place where I live!!! (yes, it's embarrassing that I'm lacking so much of that kinda knowledge!) Thanks Avital!
Avital's tour was the highlight of our trip to SF. Over the course of three hours she immersed us in the Mission District (an area to which I'd been before, but never like this!) We thoroughly enjoyed the sights and sounds as Avital took us on a progressive dining tour through the area. Hard to pick a favorite stop, although we did end up returning to the cheese shop after our tour for another round of cheeses and beer pairings. Avital is a true professional, knows her stuff, engages her audience, and is clearly loved by the restaurant owners as well. We loved it...well worth the price!
The moment I first met Avital, I was immediately impressed by the passion that she exhibits for San Francisco and the Mission District. Being from San Francisco, her knowledge of the area is unmatched. From the historical significance of the murals, to being friends with the owners of the restaurants we visited, I was truly engaged in all of the places we visited. And of course the food was great! Trying all different flavors of the mission in a span of three hours is pretty exhilarating. There was never a time when I thought we stayed somewhere too long, or we were moving too quickly. Everything seemed perfectly timed and well thought-out and the 3 hours that our troupe got to spend with Avital was a blast. I would definitely encourage everyone to take this tour, especially if you are interested in learning about food and art in the mission. Thanks Avital!!
With the help of Avital and her insider knowledge of food, art and wine in The Mission District, I fell back in love with my own city. Avital organized an incredible day full of exclusive access to local kitchens, private coffee tutorials from the best in the industry and a one encounter after the next with the most knowledgeable, passionate people in food in San Francisco. Avital herself seems to have boundless knowledge of the neighborhood, the restaurants and the stories. Her tour itself is a thoughtful narrative weaving all the characters, sights, sounds and flavors together. I highly recommend this tour to anyone and everyone with eyes and a stomach. It won't disappoint.
Avital is a rockstar! She exudes, literally oozes, a true passion for food and for SF (in particular the Mission)...she is the real definition of what a "foodie" is. Avital leverages her inside connections in the culinary world to deliver an extremely insightful, informative, and of course DELICIOUS, three-hour journey through the Mission. You'll have the opportunity to meet and have good one-on-one time owners/proprietors of many go-to spots (I won't divulge the locations, you'll just how to go on the tour and be surprised), which is my opinion is the best part of the tour as you really get a sense of what drives and inspires these individuals. You'll also have the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes and how much love and energy is actually put into churning out delicious food for us lucky folk. Best of all...no waiting in lines for any of it...consider Avital your personal fasttrack pass. If you're interested in a bit of a Mission history lesson paired with some tasty treats, I highly recommend booking a tour with Avital. Cheers!
March 10th 2012. AVITAL'S TOUR: WE LOVE IT! Avital's walking tour of the Mission District, last Saturday. Very seldom one has the opportunity of tasting delicious food and meeting the young entrepreneurs with a great vision of new wave of culinary cuisine. At the same time, feeling the essence of the people in the community by learning about their murals—the impressive colorful murals done by local artist. They reflect in their walls, history, success, dreams and hopes for the future. Not ancient history; actual, alive, modern, vibrant. The group included my husband and 8 other very pleasant, friendly people led by Avital. Her pleasant and friendly personality put the whole group at easy from the beginning. We were very impress with the three-hours tour. Avital's knowledge, connections, and her wit made the tour enjoyable, fun, enlightening and interesting. Highlights of the tour for me: Learning about all the murals (the Women's Building mural) Tasting oysters and ham (a delicious combination) The Cheese bar (bought two of my favorites cheese) The just baked “empanadas” (a type of turnover stuffed with meat/veggies-- delicious. I was in heaven and I bought a half-dozen to take home) And an out-of-this-world ice-cream sandwich (ready to pick up, and enjoyed at Dolores Park on a warm and sunny day). LOVE IT I recommend it to anyone (locals or visitors). **** Mariah M., Santa Clara, California
I visited San Francisco earlier this month with the goal of seeing the best that San Francisco had to offer. I was excited to go on the Mission tour with Avital Food Tours to have a SF local share the best sites and foods in the popular Mission district. My expectations were exceeded- not only did we try delicious foods that I don't get a chance to try often, I was mesmerized with the artwork in the city and engaged every step of the way with Avital's stories of the history of the area, shops, and artwork. Meeting the owners of several of the shops was a real treat- it was so cool to get the inside scoop of these trendy and unique establishments. Avital's energy and enthusiasm made the tour so fun and enjoyable, and her passion for the city, food, and art was contagious- I found myself even more enchanted with the great city of SF. I'll definitely go on another Avital Tour when I return to the city and highly recommend the tour to all!