June 12, 2019

FoodieTrip: Eat Like a Local Everywhere

FoodieTrip is a peer-to-peer marketplace that connects travelers and adventure seekers with local food guides for authentic gastronomic experiences all over the world. It is the first company to take fragmentation within the culinary tourism head-on by consolidating and curating high-quality experiences led by locals, for travelers worldwide. 

I caught up with Founder and CEO Matan Magril to learn more about his company, including its origin story, what's next, and more.

How did FoodieTrip come to be?

FoodieTrip was born from a journey I took to Vietnam back in 2012. I was planning a three-month motorcycle tour across the country and the only two things I cared about pre-trip were having a functional motorcycle and eating local authentic food. There wasn't a single online resource that aggregated unadulterated local food recommendations, so I spent hours on local food blogs collecting what seemed to be authentic venues. When I landed in Ho Chi Minh City, I jumped on my bike and started heading out to the restaurants and bars I had found through my long research process. I was disappointed to find out that I was surrounded by other travelers, not locals. On my third night in the city, I came across a sign that said "nighttime motorcycle food tour" and called the number on it. At 9 PM a local guide was waiting outside my hotel with a motorcycle signaling for me to jump on. We were joined by another 8 motorcycle guides and travelers and got to enjoy the best truly local restaurants, bar, and night markets the city had to offer. More than the food, the experience allowed me to connect with locals and other travelers in a way that no restaurant could. I decided that I wanted to replicate the experience in every country I traveled to, and that's when FoodieTrip was born.  

For those who don't know, what is FoodieTrip?

FoodieTrip is a marketplace that connects travelers with super passionate local food guides so that those travelers could eat like locals everywhere they go. We're now in 117 cities worldwide, ensuring travelers don't get stuck at a tourist trap, or worse a McDonald's. 

How does it work?

Travelers search for their next holiday destination and choose from a slew of verified food experiences listed by local guides in that specific destination. 

How big is the team? Any positions you're looking to hire for in the coming months?

We're a team of 6. Always looking for intelligent, curious people to join our NYC based team. 
What's next?
Additional geographical expansion, as well as product development in the form of more support for the guides themselves. There are thousands of mom-and-pop food tour operators that do an incredible job showcasing their local food culture, but are not nearly as familiar with creating a digital footprint for their businesses. Our goal is to help them out with a standalone product. 
Any final thoughts?
We truly believe that the best way to connect to a different culture is by breaking bread with people from that culture. There is nothing more powerful than having a beer with a local in the sense that it creates a true emotional connection. That is our goal at FoodieTrip, and that's why we want all travelers to EAT LIKE LOCALS EVERYWHERE! 

Alexander Culafi is Editor and Producer at VentureFizz. He also edits and produces The VentureFizz Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @culafia.

Company description from this press release.