Duolingo for Taste Buds: Eat With a Local With Eatwith

A group of happy people eating together, social dining; photo by Drazen Zigic, Freepik.

Once I surrendered to global adventures, I quickly learned that the opportunity to dine local was an irreplaceable introduction to a culture. But I don’t have a friend in every corner of the world (does anyone?). The traditional restaurant dining experience can only get you so far, especially if you end up eating alone, looking like a secret Michelin inspector. So how can you truly eat with locals and dive headfirst into the destination’s gastronomy? And I’m not talking about those dishes altered for foreign palates, but the food that is truly – local. The solution is Eatwith, an online platform that enables a unique social dining experience.

Through its curated network of passionate hosts, the Eatwith meal-sharing app allows you to eat with a local

I like to think of it as just another language learning app, such as Duolingo for taste buds. Eating is the original universal language, the mother tongue of everyone. This Esperanto-kind experience of sharing and exchanging can overleap barriers and improve our understanding of each other, culinary polyglots.

On the other hand, Eatwith is not much different than Airbnb or Uber. But instead of sharing homes or rides, Eatwith lets us share something arguably more intimate – meals.

Through its curated network of passionate hosts, local chefs opening up their homes for these immersive dining experiences, the Eatwith meal-sharing app allows you to really eat with a local. By joining these homemade soirées, you don’t only get to indulge in mouthwatering authentic dishes, but you also get the chance to forge meaningful connections with like-minded food fanatics.

Let’s get to know the Eatwith app, learn about the history and the present of this meal-sharing community, master Eatwith etiquette, and discover the most popular home dining experiences that transform strangers into friends!

Gourmet experiences can be a perfect romantic gift. Check out these food-centered ideas to surprise your loved one!

What is Eatwith?

Eatwith is a global community for unique, immersive, intimate, and authentic culinary experiences. The platform connects hosts and guests over communal dining, cooking classes, and food tours.

Food and drinks set on table with people around it, a concept of eaating with locals; photo by Rachel Claire, Pexels.
Eatwith brings people together – around the table

This social dining app has handpicked over 5,000 local hosts, ranging from a no-name Italian nonna to MasterChefs approved by TV and Michelin guides. Encouraging strangers to eat together, these food lovers offer a diverse array of culinary events.

It could be a rooftop brunch with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop, a Balkan barbecue in Sarajevo, a hands-on cooking class in Tokyo, an elegant dinner party in a Parisian home, or even an online Zoom workshop, wherever you happen to be.

Even if this “Airbnb of food” operates worldwide, with a presence in over 130 countries and more than 900 destinations, Eatwith’s home-cooked meals attract the most gourmet travelers in Europe and the United States.

According to SimilarWeb, Eatwith receives the most web traffic from the US, Spain, UK, France, and Germany.

History of Eatwith – from Crete to California

Eatwith was established in Tel Aviv, in February 2012. The original Eatwith owners were two Israeli entrepreneurs, Guy Michlin and Shemer Schwarz. After family holidays in Crete, marked by forgettable tourist-trap restaurants and one incredible home-cooked dinner, the lightbulb flickered. Michlin launched the marketplace that would enable dining experiences in people’s homes. A similar French startup, called VizEat, started in Paris in 2014. Camille Rumani and Jean Michel Petit envisioned the first global community for shared food experiences. In 2015, they acquired Cookening, an early French pioneer among meal-sharing platforms, and in 2017, they bought Eatwith as well, overtaking the Israeli brand that, in the meantime, moved to North America. Eatwith’s parent company wasn’t done satisfying its acquisition appetite. In 2018, VizEat took over London‘s social dining platform Grub Club, and in 2023, they added Marseille-based Mamaz Social Food to their culinary conquest. Today, with more consolidated market share, Eatwith’s headquarters are in San Francisco, California. The company has 32 employees, and its annual revenue is estimated at $8.5 million.

What is meal sharing?

Your first association with meal sharing might be splitting a plate in a restaurant, or ordering two plates with the timeless side question “Can I try yours?”.

But meal sharing is the concept that transcends the simple act of eating, and becomes a social ritual that fosters connections and cultural exchange.

As a fundamental human experience, sharing a meal can come in a variety of forms, from casual home-cooked family meals, via potluck dinners where everyone contributes their A-game dish, to larger community events and food festivals.

When it comes to sites like Eatwith, they facilitate meal sharing by matchmaking hosts passionate about cooking with guests seeking unique dining experiences. This social ritual of peer-to-peer dining allows them to share more than just a meal: cultural insights and personal stories.

Besides hosted dinners, a version of private supper clubs, Eatwith includes other culinary experiences, such as cooking classes and food tours.

Benefits of eating with Eatwith

First off, Eatwith is a great way to try new food from all over the world. Whether it’s crafting homemade pasta in Italy or street-food-safariing in Thailand, Eatwith ensures an authentic culinary adventure, with flavors, aromas, and traditions that define a particular locale.

Women having fun during a pizza-making cooking class; photo by Katerina Holmes, Pexels.
Culinary connections make strangers become foodie friends

Eatwih will also enable meeting new people from all walks of life, like some gastro speed date. While chatting away with fellow guests, swapping experiences, insights, and even recipe secrets, you’ll create lasting memories and forge personal connections.

Your participation in meal sharing will support local chefs who garnish their food with stories and culture. Instead of boosting faceless corporations, eating with Eatwith ensures that your money goes straight into the hands that prepared the meal.

Eatwith experiences take place in unique venues, from cozy home kitchens to rooftop gardens. Through these carefully curated ambiances, you will get an extraordinary glimpse of local culture that remains invisible when sitting in a restaurant.

20 most popular Eatwith experiences in the world

1. Eatwith New York City, USA

Eatwith New York City with Samantha, afternoon tea time; photo by Eatwith.
Watch your fingers when biting into Samantha’s finger food!

When in New York City, reward yourself with an Eatwith experience at a 1920s-style speakeasy in the Lower East Side. Every weekend, behind the hidden doors, Samantha waits with afternoon tea time, traditional finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, and other miniature pastry treats, all served in vintage china. Unlimited bubbly comes with every reservation!

Another Eatwith NYC experience worth mentioning is the daily Turkish coffee reading in Dr. Honeybrew’s quirky apartment in East Village. Prepared in true Ottoman style on a pot of hot burning sand, coffee becomes the medium for personalized fortunetelling. Expect some light-hearted readings and handcrafted Turkish delights.

2. Eatwith Los Angeles, USA

Eatwith Los Angeles brings you a Middle Eastern lunch feast at Jacqueline‘s home in the Valley. This private chef raised in Jordan delivers four decades of experience by cooking flavorful traditional dishes. Her 9-course homemade lunch comes with arak, wine, and melodic Arabic tunes. Don’t forget to ask for baklava!

In the evening, opt for California-style cooking by award-winning gourmet chef Jonathan Burrows. If you fancy an American dinner with Asian influences, his high-end lobster meal with included wine and beer will make your mouth water. Discover Californian-Asian fusion in Bel Air!

3. Eatwith London, UK

Eatwith London, chef Nazareth leading an Ethiopian cooking class; photo by Eatwith.
Learn how to make injera from Chef Nazareth!

When in the United Kingdom, get introduced to the tastes of Ethiopia while learning how to cook at Delina Kitchen in Shepherds Bush Market, one of the oldest food markets in West London. Every Sunday, the Ethiopian cooking class led by chef Nazareth will teach you how to make the traditional injera flatbread with three authentic dishes of Ethiopia, as well as coffee from the land of its origin.

If you visit London between Wednesday and Saturday, an Eatwith dinner in the King’s Head private members club in Shoreditch brings an intriguing fusion to your plate. During the 10-course dinner with authentic classic and modern innovative Asian dishes, chef Jon Villar delivers flavors, colors, and textures of Japan, Spain, and Italy.

4. Eatwith Edinburgh, UK

Join Karly, a local historian/tour guide, on a journey through Edinburgh‘s hidden food and drink gems at A Wee Taste. From traditional Scotch egg tasting to charcuterie and cheese grazing board paired with whisky tasting, you’ll be able to enjoy an afternoon off-grid Scottish foodie experience.

In the evening, let Italian chef Luisa, former manager of Michelin Star restaurants, introduce you to a Scotland meets Sardinia supper club at her home. Expect an array of Italian canapés, followed by an 8-course tasting menu inspired by the host’s family recipes.

5. Eatwith Paris, France

From Eatwith experiences available in Paris, I chose to introduce you to the sweet spots. Chef Françoise hosts a dessert cooking class with luxury afternoon tea in her chic apartment. Explore joie de vivre while learning to craft iconic French desserts such as lemon madeleines, financiers, raspberry tartlets, and chocolate charlottes.

Eatwith Paris, chef Jean-Yves leading a macarons workshop; photo by Eatwith.
Learn macaron-making secrets from chef Jean-Yves!

For a macaron masterclass, head to Masterchef France winner Jean-Yves‘s private atelier. His hands-on workshop will help you perfect baking the sweet treats while sipping on a cocktail or a glass of French champagne.

If you want to see how the Eiffel Tower would look like if it were made of éclairs, check out our AI-generated world of chocolate!

6. Eatwith Barcelona, Spain

Eatwith Barcelona will surprise you with a 9-course Spanish-Venezuelan fusion feast. Hosted by Austrian-born chef Rudi, the dinner that is equally inspired by Latin America and the Mediterranean is based on molecular kitchen techniques. Courses are accompanied by organic Catalan wines or Costa Brava craft beers.

For a creative twist, visit the sculptor Pablo in his unique creative studio! This evening allows you to cut and weld steel, but besides the art workshop, you’ll also get to eat in the atelier, from pinchos and gazpacho to mousaka and dessert.

Communal meals are just a part of the culture on the Iberian peninsula. Learn what else goes into Spain as the country of passion!

7. Eatwith Madrid, Spain

If you want to eat with locals in Madrid, visit the secret venue within a market, and join the Spanish tapas cooking class. Chef Lola will help you tap into the capital’s food traditions and history, and she promises to feed even the hungriest visitors.

Eatwith Madrid, chef Silvia presenting her Spanish dinner; photo by Eatwith.
If you love seafood, Silvia will feed you well!

In the evening, make your way to Las Letras in central Madrid, where Silvia prepares a 5-course feast centered around seafood. Her magical menu is accompanied by white wine.

8. Eatwith Berlin, Germany

When in the vibrant German capital, explore the local food scene via an off-the-beaten-track food walk through East and West Berlin. Your host Dov will take you on a tour through the award-winning fusion fries, Kreuzberg‘s famous Arabic shawarma or falafel plate, craft beers of street bars, a unique Syrian dessert, and Berlin’s hip barista culture.

With Luis, a Berliner from Brazil who founded the GAiETY, a crew of friends that combine food and fun, you’ll be up for one flavorful fiesta. Bring your dancing shoes, as Berlin is after all a club capital of Europe.

Why not continue your night in Berlin – inside Berghain?

9. Eatwith Florence, Italy

Eatwith Florence, opera singer and harp player performing at Lucrezia's dinner; photo by Eatwith.
Live opera is not what you usually experience at dinners, is it?

Florence is a great place to learn how to make pasta. Lucrezia invites you to her Tuscany kitchen where she fuses food with opera. This countryside cooking class will teach you how to make a full Italian menu from scratch (from pasta to dessert), let you enjoy the dinner, but also live opera performance.

If you prefer learning Italian meal secrets from a belly dancer, visit Patrizia who’ll teach you how to cook in the style of a hearty mamma’s kitchen. From rolling out pasta dough and stretching pizza to creating a dolce vita dessert, the dynamic cooking class ends with a 4-course dinner.

10. Eatwith Rome, Italy

Eatwith in Rome wouldn’t be the same without Fiamma and Debora, a popular mother-and-daughter duo that provides a variety of experiences, from touring catacombs to blindfolded dinners. But here, I’d like to highlight their more-than-a-cooking class. Spend the evening at the top of Gianicolo Hill while making pasta and tiramisu.

For a glamorous dinner party, head to another famous Eatwith Rome duo – Barbara & Federica. In Rome’s historical center, their family home will treat you to a delicious traditional dinner with excellent Italian wines. With over 1000 5-star reviews, these two won the TripAdvisor Excellence Award.

Once, I had a really bizarre experience of eating with locals in Rome. I share it in my collection of Couchsurfing stories. 

11. Eatwith Naples, Italy

Eatwith Naples, chef Gaetano displaying fresh pasta he made at his cooking class; photo by Eatwith.
After Chef Gaetano’s workshop, you’ll never buy pasta in a supermarket!

You can learn to make pasta from scratch in Naples too. Local chef Gaetano invites you to a fresh pasta cooking class. You’ll learn to prepare scialatielli napoletani, fettuccine, ravioli, and cappellacci, and then eat them all.

Another staple food of Naples is pizza. Giuseppe (Pino for friends) can transform you into a pizzaiolo in one evening, through his Neapolitan pizza-making class. Spectacular views of the Gulf of Napoli and unlimited wine included.

12. Eatwith Budapest, Hungary

Start your day in Budapest with the Eatwith strudel-making class! Marta will teach you how to deal with the typical dessert pastry of the Habsburg Empire, from stretching the elastic dough by hand to savoring the final product with some Hungarian wine.

For a deeper comprehension of Hungarian cuisine, head to Borganika, where Zita and her grandmother spill their family secrets with a heartwarming traditional grandma’s dinner. Start with a soup, continue with a paprikash, and finish with a poppy seed cake in vanilla sauce.

Sweettooth visitors of the Hungarian capital should explore the entire variety of desserts in Budapest.

13. Eatwith Lisbon, Portugal

and Priscilla‘s home and garden in central Lisbon are a place where you can learn the secrets of authentic Portuguese dishes. Their cooking class is based on seasonal ingredients and is followed by a sit-down meal.

Eatwith Lisbon, Marta and Isabel's dinner that combines Portuguese food with playing fado; photo by Eatwith.
Fado goes well with food, claim Marta and Isabel

If you’d like to add some music to your dinner, opt for Marta and Isabel‘s Eatwith experience that combines food with fado. The dinner will let you taste Portuguese classics such as Bacalhau à Brás and the Arroz de Pato.

14. Eatwith Porto, Portugal

In Porto, explore some great food walks. Benjamin will take you on an evening tour through eight local drinks paired with light petiscos (snacks). With craft beer and rare Portuguese wine in your glass, you’ll become a sommelier for the night.

Brazilian-born João will garnish his food walk with contemporary art. You’ll meet the vibrant art community, from artists to street galleries, and then taste Portuguese appetizers with fine wine inside a small church.

15. Eatwith Amsterdam, Netherlands

Eatwith Amsterdam, participants of Fusina's baking class flip their Dutch pancakes; photo by Eatwith.
Dutch pancakes fly even with bacon and apples inside

I must admit Dutch pancakes baked with apples and bacon slipped out of my mind (I tried them in Rotterdam, and then, oh, how sinfully, forgot about them for no good reason), until I saw Fusina was transmitting her baking knowledge in her canal house on Amsterdam‘s Amstel river. This pancake class teaches how to make, bake, and flip the authentic Dutch vegan version of crepes.

For a broader Dutch dining experience, eat with Amsterdam locals such as Martine and Olav. After selling their successful French restaurant, they started hosting home dinners. You can now try their 4-course family meal, and indulge in comforting meat dishes, fresh salads, and homemade pies.

16. Eatwith Athens, Greece

Eatwith Michail of Athens is a well-known name on the platform, for sharing his authentic, well-cooked traditional food. The hands-on Greek cooking class will teach you how to stuff eggplants or cook beef meatballs while letting you enjoy the product of your effort on a stunning rooftop terrace overlooking the Akropolis.

If you fancy the idea of an Eatwith dinner with a view, but without getting your hands dirty, you can head to Monatiraki and enjoy a 7-course rooftop dinner with passionate cooks Dimitris and Savvas.

17. Eatwith Dublin, Ireland

Eatwith Dublin, Irish coffee masterclass; photo by Eatwith.
Derek’s Irish coffee masterclass is a great excuse for tasting Irish whiskeys

Eatwith in Dublin (or maybe Drinkwith?) can educate you on the nuances of some popular whiskey-based beverages. Local whiskey specialist Derek invites you to an Irish coffee masterclass where you’ll learn the secrets of crafting the iconic hot cocktail.

To explore more hidden whiskey bars, join Gráinne on the Dublin whiskey trail. This food walk will take you to traditional Irish restaurants and drinking establishments where you’ll taste six handpicked Irish whiskeys paired with tapas.

18. Eatwith Vienna, Austria

Hosted by Your Cousin Pia, the relative you didn’t know existed, one Eatwith experience in Vienna can teach you how to burn your own gin. Learn the process of making kitchen gin with spices of your choice and enjoy some finger food. You’re not expected to drink all the gin on the spot; you can take it home!

Coming from a Jewish Turkish family, Alp is an architect/hobby chef who won second place in the German cooking show “Das Perfekte Dinner”. You can now get that almost perfect dinner in front of your palate, the same menu as in the show, but with better dessert, the host claims.

19. Eatwith Tokyo, Japan

Traveling to Tokyo? Eatwith host Yuma invites you to a luxurious dinner in Shinjuku! Over an 8+ course meal, you’ll try the best-quality cuts of wagyu beef available in the market. Besides tasting Japan‘s most exquisite delicacy in a variety of ways, your dinner will be complemented with Japanese craft sake.

Eatwith Tokyo, Mochi and Wagashi desserts from Miyuki's cooking class displayed; photo by Eatwith.
Miyuki’s Japanese sweets are too pretty to eat, and yet – that’s exactly what will happen to them

To sweeten up your Eatwith Japan experience, join the cooking class led by Miyuki, a certified instructor for Japanese traditional sweets. You will learn how to make mochi desserts, as well as get introduced to the art of making Wagashi, sweets served during a tea ceremony. At the end of the course, you’ll taste your sweets with a bowl of matcha tea.

20. Eatwith Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mirta is a painter who loves spending time in the kitchen. In Buenos Aires historical center, in a 1910 building, she hosts art dinners paired with the finest Argentinian wines and exchange of experiences.

To master South American dinner yourself, join Saul‘s cooking class. You’ll learn how to make typical meat empanadas, enjoy slow-cooked brisket marinated in chimichurri, and indulge in a shot of dulce de leche and rum.

Eatwith – Become a guest

How Eatwith works?

Eatwith’s interface is user-friendly, so embarking on a culinary adventure is metaphorically, and maybe even literally, a piece of cake. Or is it – easy as pie? You get the picture.

Woman having fun while eating with locals; photo by Drazen Zigic, Freepik.
Mastering the art of Eatwith etiquette: sip, savor, smile!

Here’s a step-by-step guide for enjoying Eatwith:

  1. Select your experience: Choosing from the tempting Eatwith menu may be the hardest part of the process. From intimate dinners to wine tastings, Eatwith experiences come in a variety of formats to suit every taste bud. Scroll through listings, filter by location, food type, and dates, and read Eatwith reviews to find the perfect match.
  2. Book your spot: Once you’ve set your sights on the feast of your dreams, lock it in by hitting that “Book now” button. You’ll be charged only after the host accepts your request.
  3. Connect with your host: Communicate directly with your Eatwith host to discuss dietary preferences, ask questions, or simply geek out about the upcoming adventure.

Tips for eating with Eatwith

These are the four unwritten rules of Eatwith etiquette:

  1. Be on time. Your running late could create inconvenience for everyone else.
  2. Be open-minded. New foods and different cultures require your curiosity.
  3. Be respectful. In this social experiment, politeness to fellow diners and the chef is a must.
  4. Be generous. Just like in a restaurant, tips for a great meal are a sign of appreciation.

Eatwith – become a host

Do you make money with Eatwith and meal sharing?

Becoming a personal chef for a night does bring revenue. But how much dough are we talking about? Eatwith claims that each host can earn up to $700 per event. However, that’s entirely on the host.

Guests eat with their host in relaxed social dining atmosphere; photo by Drazen Zigic, Freepik.
Eatwith is a great option for chefpreneurs

Eatwith’s pricing model leaves the burden of their costs (booking processing fee, advertising, insurance, support) on a guest. Eatwith will charge their service fee of 30% on top of your fee from people attending the culinary experience.

Additionally, Eatwith pricing policies include raising hosts’ fees by 30% in case their experience is listed by partners (online such as TripAdvisor or Viator, and offline such as travel groups). Hosts can opt to be removed from these sites.

In any case, Eatwith hosts get to pocket the full price they set.

How to become a host with Eatwith?

Eatwith became famous for claiming that only 4% of would-be-hosts get accepted in the network. They are evaluated based on their food, but also on their communication skills and the ambiance of their home. Each Eatwith menu will be reviewed before being offered on the market, and hosts will be vetted through demo dinners with platform users before becoming full-fledged members.

These are the four basic steps/ tips for becoming an Eatwith host:

  1. Create a profile: Sign up on the Eatwith platform, create an account, and propose a draft of your experience.
  2. Set up your listing: After you receive Eatwith approval, add details to your experience description, your menu, and photos. Set your availability, price, and payment preferences.
  3. Promote your experience: Use social media, food blogs, and different forums to get your event in the limelight. If you want to count on Eatwith’s marketing, try to host more than four dates a month.
  4. Host with confidence: Welcome your guests like long-lost friends, create a home dining experience to remember, and encourage them to leave a review. Until Eatwith reviews start pouring in, try to keep your price at the lower end. Your payment should arrive in two days.

Eat with a local via the Eatwith platform – Conclusion

We live in a world where unique and personalized experiences are the new currency. Eatwith dinner with strangers-turned-friends managed to emerge as a groundbreaking social dining network that seamlessly blends travel, culture, and gastronomy.

Eating with locals is an extraordinary adventure that can lead from a party for your taste buds to learning secret family recipes

The food is best when shared. But Eatwith is more than just a home-dine platform that gets you fed. This Airbnb for dinner parties is a movement that enables you to truly meet local chefs while celebrating the joy of shared food and conversations on flavors, cultures, and connections.

If you’re looking for a way to simultaneously try new foods and meet new people, host-led dining provided by Eatwith is your door to authentic cuisine and experiences.

Home cooking and private dining experience will always reign above eating in a restaurant. Eating with locals is an extraordinary adventure that can lead from a party for your taste buds to learning secret family recipes.

Whether you’re a traveler seeking an immersive dining experience or a passionate cook eager to showcase your skills, Eatwith can be a free space of culinary exploration. Grab that fork, as the Eatwith logo suggests, and dive into the feast!

Would you like to eat with a local? 
Pin this Eatwith guide for later!

Eatwith is a social dining app that connects strangers through food experiences. Whether it's a communal dinner, a cooking class, or a food tour, the desire to eat with a local is based in our need to connect. Learn everything you need to know about this meal-sharing community, and find out the best Eatwith experiences in the world!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on them and make a purchase, Pipeaway may make a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting our work!

The photographs in the "most popular experiences" section have been sourced directly from Eatwith. 
The photographs in the rest of the article have been sourced through Freepik and Pexels. 

In the order of appearance, their authors are as follows: 
Friends at dinner (cover image) and the other photographs from the same series - Drazen Zigic
Food on table - Rachel Claire
Ladies preparing pizza - Katerina Holmes
Ladies by the table with a phone (pin image) - Sam Lion
Ivan Kralj


Award-winning journalist and editor from Croatia

  1. Eating amazing, culturally appropriate local food and benefitting from the chef’s knowledge and perspective could be a lot of work, but Eatwith is making it so easy to do, both for the hosts and the travelers. What a great service!

  2. Super cool post and I had no idea this existed. Plus side is one of the (or the) best way to explore new destinations is through local food. You also (as you stated) get to meet new people in all areas of the world and potentially make new friends/networks. Down side is they do charge quite a bit for their fees for the guest and for the host if they want to get in front of eyes. I would definitely be willing to try it. SO intriguing!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Heather! I’m glad you found the post intriguing!
      Exploring new destinations through local food is indeed one of the best ways to immerse oneself in a culture.
      While the fees might be a consideration, the unique experiences and connections one can gain with Eatwith are often worth their weight in culinary gold.

  3. I would absolutely do this, especially in countries I’ve never visited before. I’ve never heard of this app, but it sounds like a fabulous opportunity to meet locals and have authentic food experiences.

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