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Thursday, June 18, 2020


By the Staff of Culinary Back Streets, an online travel and cuisine site.
As the cities where we work and live in reopen – from Naples to Lisbon, Tbilisi to Tokyo – we have eagerly made our way back to the table to support the beloved local restaurants that we’ve been missing for months. What we took for granted just a few months ago – the simple pleasure of lunch in a neighborhood restaurant among familiar faces – has taken on a much deeper meaning to us.

With our cities reopening, we are also ready to get back to work and start offering our tours and trips again. We are doing this after much consideration and planning. Quite honestly, during the period that the backstreets and their businesses were mostly shut down, we had a hard time visualizing our work. As much as we have all been dreaming of certain experiences – a perfect pizza in Naples, a stroll among the fishmongers in Lisbon, sitting at the grill in an Istanbul kebab shop – really doing it felt like a distant possibility, at least until recently, when we could get back out there and see for ourselves how the streets have come back to life.

There are other considerations as well. Articles in Afar and The New York Times have raised interesting questions about what it means to travel this summer and its potential impact on different destinations. As a company that serves as a host and guide in destination cities, we know we have a responsibility to you as well as to our local communities. We’ve also been listening to our guides, who have been telling us their thoughts about how to maintain the quality of the experiences we offer while also introducing new safety measures, and gathering the thoughts and suggestions of restaurant owners and others whom we visit on our tours.

Although we know it won’t be possible for many of you to make the trip this summer due to travel regulations, we’re pleased to report that we can still explore the backstreets safely and responsibly while taking all necessary precautions, and that it still feels so right, mask and all.

This return to travel also gives us a chance to start things off in the right way. With that in mind, we have created a “Safe, Responsible and Sustainable Travel” plan to ease back into the backstreets, being respectful and protective of the communities we visit while maximizing the comfort and experience of our guests.

[click here for the plan]

And although our tours and trips have always used a small group format, this summer we will be making all tours private at no additional cost and offering the chance to book private multi-day trips as well. A week exploring the seafood paradise of Spain’s Galician coast in a small group of family and friends is the kind of reunion many of us could probably use this year. Additionally, we’ll be offering unique day trips outside of the city and some different outdoor activities inside the city, like a lavish picnic in the gardens outside of Istanbul’s old city walls.

If you are interested in a private trip or custom itinerary, please reach out to And if you have any questions about any of our new protocols, please contact We look forward to hearing from you and, when the time is right, having you back with us.

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