There is a reason Wendy's food + natural wine bar tours sell out months in advance. She's been featured in The New York Times | The Wall St Journal | NBC TODAY | Travel + Leisure | Food & Wine Magazine | The Travel Channel with Andrew Zimmern + Anthony Bourdain
After working as a restaurant consultant, tv producer, and journalist in the food & wine industry for 20+ years, you can depend on me to know this city like the back of my hand. It’s my job to obsess over the newest spots every single day.
The best way to start your trip is to book on the front end so you get the feel of the place with a local.
What’s the difference between the day/evening?
Request the AM if you are interested in bakeries, coffee culture, open-air food markets, and a leisurely sit-down lunch.
Request the PM if you are most interested in grazing on small snacks, drinking cocktails + natural wine, socializing, a light dinner, and perhaps cocktails after, etc.
Speed-eating through a list of addresses is missing the point, it just doesn’t put you in the know about the local culture for the best understanding about what is eaten daily by locals and why.
We’ll jumpstart your own relationship with the city & locals by booking this on the front end so you get the feel of the place.
It’s more than walking through neighborhoods – it’s seeing it through the eyes of a local who lives and eats there every single day.
If we meet in the morning you are interested in bakeries, coffee culture, open-air food markets, and a leisurely lunch.
If we meet in the early evening, you are most interested in grazing on small snacks, drinking cocktails + natural wine, socializing, a light dinner, and perhaps cocktails after, etc.
No two days are the same but you will:
-Find great food + wine and I’ll teach you how to find it just by looking at it.
-Learn essential food + wine vocab for the rest of your trip.
-Only visit local family-owned and operated businesses, to honor their work and dedication to preserving the Venetian way of life.
-Meet my local artisans, chefs, restaurateurs, winegrowers’ friends + family who loves teaching you about local food + wine as much as I do. It’s just in our blood.
-Learn the uniqueness of Venice, its fragility, and get valuable recommendations along the way for restaurants + bars that suit your taste so you can continue eating like a local.
-Learn the ins and outs and small gestures to jumpstart your own relationship with the city & locals for the rest of your stay.
-Learn the story that is behind every person, business, and product local food artisans who are proud of where their local food and wine come from.
Known as the “Insider’s Insider” – Wendy is a straight-talking Southern food writer who earned her hard-won access to the international food & wine community from working as a PR & Restaurant Consultant to the some of the biggest chefs in the world and launching the first-ever USA Michelin Guide in NYC.
When this professional eater is not on epic eating trips with chefs in search of THE places to eat & drink or chronicling her eating & drinking adventures on Instagram, Food & Wine Magazine, Travel + Leisure, and The Travel Channel, she takes clients on popular private food tours in her favorite food city, Venice.
“When we got back to the states and saw the article in the WSJ, watched Anthony Bourdain’s 100th show, and read Hemisphere magazine we affirmed our belief that our ‘Wendy time’ took us to the center of the food universe! Our time with her was amazing!” – Peter G.
Yes, she is the most expensive private food tour out there but, wow, is she worth it. Within thirty seconds we realized we’d hit the jackpot with a star. She is a natural teacher, she opens your eyes in ways you didn’t think possible, she’ll put you in the know of the real Paris food world that you never knew existed so that you see Paris through different eyes for the rest of the trip. Cliché macarons? Forget it. Try drinking wine with chefs for lunch at a wine bar and cheese tastings that will blow your mind. She took two strangers (us), embraced them as if she’d known them the whole of her life, and educated them on le vie a Parisienne (et tout de France!) We still talk about the trip and for me, there is NO WAY we are going back to Paris without another Wendy Lyn date.– Anne and Luke
Please read through the following checklist of FAQ before you register.
Once we agree to a date and time, you will be prompted to agree that you have read & agreed to these “Terms & Conditions” upon payment check out.
Request the morning if you are interested in bakeries, coffee culture, open-air food markets, and a leisurely lunch with wine.
Request the early evening if you are most interested in grazing on small snacks, drinking cocktails + natural wine, socializing, a light dinner, and perhaps cocktails after, etc.
If you are 18+ years, are 1-4 people traveling together, are kind, fun, open-minded, adventurous, curious, and cannot wait to jump into local food culture while eating & drinking with Wendy – then yes!
This might not be for you if you:
Are on a day trip.
Need a formal formatted structured ” tour.”
Have more than one food restriction or are vegan.
Don’t drink wine, wine is absolutely part of our time together.
Are only interested in big brand name fancy wines. We only drink small producers who make wine “naturally.”
Cannot stand on your feet for the duration of the day without sitting.
Are on a same-day international arrival
We’ll hit your wish/bucket list for sure but every place I support is:
- A place I enjoy, that is comfortable, fun and friendly
- Run by owners/staff living in the area/region/state/country
- Respectful of its employees and customers
- Proud to source high-quality regional product(s) including important details like bread, butter, coffee
- Cooking with a high-quality product
- Championing local culture and traditions
- Frequented by like-minded locals
- Run sustainably for the current generation without compromising future generations to meet their own needs
Not included: Food and wine are not included because Wendy wants YOU to choose what you want to eat & drink. Food cost is no more than if you went on your own. She’ll have a glass + a bite here and there but that’s it.
Average prices: Small sharing plates & glasses of wine are from 5-12€. At bottle shops, you choose the bottle at wholesale price (14-40€) and pay only a 7€ corkage fee to open it.
All reservations are nonrefundable and cannot be rescheduled or exchanged because your space is being guaranteed for your private tour, no exceptions.
Late arrivals beyond 15 minutes will be treated as no shows and canceled. You should be on the way 30 minutes before a scheduled tour.
Cancelation policies also apply to any agreed-upon rescheduled tour.
You will be prompted to “Terms & Conditions” upon check out to acknowledge this policy and it will be enforced and documented in accordance with guidelines set forth by all credit card issuers & processors.
All reservations are nonrefundable, exceptions will not be made. The purchase of comprehensive insurance is strongly recommended so that if you need to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances. Wendy Lyn cannot be liable directly or indirectly, for any cancellation, injury, death or damage for any reason whatsoever, including but not limited to Acts of God, food and/or wine products, detention, war, quarantine, weather, terrorism, civil disturbance, strike, and changes in government regulations, airline or other travel operations. Any and all payments received from the participant or authorized representative signifies acceptance of an agreement to be bound by all the terms and conditions stated in this clause.
Although we can’t change the number of visitors, we CAN help them to become aware of the problems threatening the city and how they can be responsible & conscious visitors.
My awesome days out have more than one purpose… to help you find great places to eat, AND to choose small family-run businesses to help the local economy including the precious lagoons who support farmers, day-boat fishermen.
I give a portion of each tour to a different local initiative each month and also volunteer.
As Venice struggles with the strain of mass tourism, travelers may wonder how they can visit without adding to the problem.
Knowledge is Power:
When are you coming to Venice? Plan to visit Venice when it is less crowded.
Why are you coming to Venice? Learn something in advance about the Venice you want to explore instead of following tourist crowds to nowhere once you’ve arrived. A little homework will go a long way.
Spend your time and money where you can make a positive impact on the local economy. Look for local artisans – here is a map by Venezia Autentica.
Stay more than one night. Day trips do NOT help the local economy, nor will you really get to know the city in the mornings before the crowds arrive and after dinner when they leave. Walking home is magical when you have the city to yourself.
Instead of using unchecked apartment rental platforms that are forcing Venetians to leave in droves because it is driving up real estate prices and closing local businesses – use Fairbnb.coop. They are invested in the people of Venice, not profit. They will also be sure to put you in the know about the trash recycling stations required. Stay here and feel good about your visit.
Leave your wheeled suitcase at home – and only bring what you can carry. The amount of noise this makes when 33 million visitors a year roll wheeled luggage over ancient walkways underneath the locals’ windows can be enough to wake the dead, non-stop, every day.
Walk or use local water vaporettos that pay into the local economy, not unregulated boats.
Walk on the right, single file when necessary to allow others to come from the opposite direction to pass. Do not stand on bridges.
The city, the islands, and the lagoons are one and the same, so why only see the main island? Be willing to venture into the lagoons to other islands where Venetians live & work also. Urban food farming can be seen on Mazzorbo, St Erasmo and you can even go to the beach with the locals on the Lido.
Eat Only in Season and Local.
Why? The quality of food & wine will go through the roof and the price is fair. There is so much good food. You don’t think I live here because there’s nothing to eat & drink, do you?
Not sure where to start? There are dozens of restaurants & wine bars proudly displaying “local” or all of the listings on my Venice City Guide.
Why keep buying and throwing away single-use plastic bottles? Venice has numerous free water public fountains – water so clear and good it comes from the same source as the San Benedetto bottled water.
Picnics in Public Spaces:
Steps of churches, bridges, the courtyard wells, monuments, and canals, etc. are not picnic areas. Use the gorgeous public gardens instead.