Category Archives: Seafood

Top reasons to go on a Food Tour with the Big Foody Food Tours

Posted by on November 08, 2018

Top reasons to go on a Food Tour with the Big Foody Food Tours

1. The Big Foody Food Tours, named in the World’s Best Destination for Travel Experiences according to TripAdvisor travellers and the only food tour provider in New Zealand to be recognised by this. Now that’s a good reason to join us!


2. We are a dedicated FOOD TOUR COMPANY, not a tour company that does food tours. It is what we do! We love it and wouldn't want to do anything else.


3. The BEST guides. Whether you get Elle or Colleen, they are local foodie experts from forever ago and experts in guiding, you will be entertained for hours. Bubbly and friendly, they know Auckland and it’s food scene, they will be able to make personalised recommendation for any foodie and their quirks. They are more than just food guides, you’ll finish the tour having made a new friend.


4. DELICIOUS stops! Taste Auckland like a local. We visit the popular, must do experiences of Auckland, but also the hidden delights only the locals know of. We take you where we take our friends and family, only selected favourites make the cut for their tastes and the best people and their stories. It’s not just about the food, it's’ about our people, our land and our producers. We serve up the stories behind our favourite spots and their incredible food.


5. Meet the LOCALS. Our suppliers and who we visit on our stops are considered part of our family. On our tours, we treat you like family too. Our relationships with our suppliers therefore make you part of their family. You will get insights into their passion and their livelihood so that after your tour, you will be filled with knowledge about New Zealand’s artisans and producers to take with you on your travels and back home.


6. Best RECOMMENDATIONS on dining in Auckland and New Zealand. Don’t end up at soulless tourist eateries, join a Big Foody Food tour for our insider knowledge of where to dine. Venture off the beaten path to experience the best of Auckland cuisine just like a local. As we have said before, we are foodie experts and we love food and dining out and we KNOW the restaurant scene. You can be guaranteed to come back from the tour with a loooong list of recommendations for dining out in Auckland and throughout New Zealand.


7. RELAX -  We lead the way around Auckland on our organised and customer focused tours and we are are pretty laid back and love to have a laugh! Rely on us to take care of everything and enjoy the tastes of Auckland. And even better, on our most popular tour, The Tastebud Tour we drive you around Auckland exploring the best spots in town. What better way than to explore and taste Auckland whilst sitting back and relaxing.


8. PERSONALISED service. Our tours are small and personalised, we try to customise (to a degree) to what you are passionate and interested about. It is about you, the customer after all. You will be able to hear every word that comes out of our guides mouth and there are always enough samples, no mass tour groups here.

9. HISTORIC SIGHTS - The Big Foody Food Tours is more than just a food tour - we take you to and point out the iconic buildings and architecture of Auckland. We talk about New Zealand’s and Auckland’s culture and what we have to offer on the entertainment scene.


10. TRUSTED AND EXPERIENCED Food Tour company. We have been touring around Auckland and tasting with our guests since 2009. We know what we are doing and work in the industry. We run food tours throughout New Zealand and in Portland, Oregon in the United States. We work with many large travel agencies and get referred to many private and media tours, as well as picking up many of the pre-arranged day excursions from the Cruise liners. Trust us to take you on a a food tour that is small and personalized, friendly and laid back but professional and in-the-know. We know how to create an unforgettable experience for you.


11. REVIEWS We love our guests and we treat them like family and the bestest friend. We thank every single one of them for the FANTASTIC reviews that they leave us. We are so thankful to them all for our Overall Traveller rating on Tripadvisor of 5.0. THANK YOU. Read some of the reviews here.


Come away with a new friend, a smile, a full tummy (puku in maori) and history and stories about places you’ve been and people that you have met, The Big Foody Food Tours is the Ultimate way to taste Auckland (and the rest of New Zealand and Portland, Oregon).


NZ featured in the World Ultimate Eats by Lonely Planet

Posted by on August 16, 2018

NZ featured in the World Ultimate Eats by Lonely Planet

In exciting news I was delighted to read the  World Ultimate Eats list released from Lonely Planet this year. Slowly but surely the world is discovering New Zealand as a food tourism destination and we're delighted to be leading this charge.
I am on the executive of EAT New Zealand which is a collective of chef, food writers, tour operators and event planners who as an organisation are dedicated to the promotion of New Zealand cuisine, so this result is awesome to see.

Nin's Bin in Kaikoura where you can buy fresh crayfish.

Sampling the City of Sails Smorgasbord

Posted by on August 14, 2018

Sampling the "City of Sails Smorgasbord"

We love showing off our city and it's hidden treasures.

A couple of weeks ago, we were honoured to host a group from the Otago Daily Times.

Check out the fantastic article that they wrote up about visiting Auckland and sampling the "City of Sails Smorgasbord"

Great Seafood in Each of Portland's 5 Quadrants

Posted by Laura Morgan on February 03, 2018

Generally, when I get asked about where to get seafood on tour, people are looking for one thing: oysters. Specifically, raw oysters on the half shell washed down with something fermented. As I browsed through my phone’s picture gallery for inspiration for this post, I realized that when I’m craving something from the sea, oysters are also my go-to. Even though we’re only a couple hours from the coast, PDX isn’t traditionally a seafood town, but there really is so much great seafood here these days. This being Portland, you probably already know chefs all over the city are innovating when it comes to style and sourcing.

Disclaimer: to make this blog post manageable, I’ve narrowed down the long list to just a few places that are specifically seafood-centric, not-to-be-missed and excellent all around, one from each of our five quadrants.. Yes, we have five quadrants. Nowhere in this list is the whole snapper from Departure, or the chilled seafood offerings at Woodsman Tavern, or so many others, but go to those places too, you won’t be disappointed. Needless to say, this is not an exhaustive list; it’s just a good start.


Year of the Fish, Carts on Foster, corner of SE Foster & 52nd , Open Tues – Sat 12-8pm

The food carts on SE Foster and 52nd make up one of the only pods in SE Portland that have escaped development in the past couple years. In fact, this cart used to be on SE 50th before that lot was converted into an apartment building right off the hip, foodie-centric corridor that is SE Division. Back to the food, though. The cod fish and chips, tuna melt, clam strips.. you just can’t go wrong. All good. And the gluten free options really are gluten free as the owner has a dedicated fryer just for them. There’s also a beer garden right here and what better to wash it all down?

IG: @yearofthefish


Olympia Oyster Bar, 4214 N Mississippi Ave, Closed Mondays – Hours vary

Named for the Olympia oyster, the only oyster native to the Pacific Northwest, this little bar is reinventing the American oyster experience. They are equally committed to serving excellent cocktails and organic wines and, because of its location and the communal tables within, it is an excellent place for visitors to people watch after a day of boutique shopping on Mississippi. Also, February 2 – 9 OOB’s chef Maylin Chavez, and a group of her passionate seafood conservationist friends are putting on a series of dinners and events in PDX called Shuck Portland to raise money and awareness for disappearing wild oyster reefs. If you’re in town, you should try to make it to one of the events! (link under Events below)

IG: @olympiaoysterbar


Fishwife, 5328 N Lombard St, Closed Open Tues – Sat – Hours vary

This place is low-key, family friendly and to be honest, won’t catch your eye from the street outside. Once you’re inside though, it has that old school diner/clam shack on the beach sort of feel. Their menu items (think clam chowder, assorted fish and chips, shrimp cocktails and Louies, etc.) are good and the service is great. This place can get busy with local neighborhood families so call ahead to make a reservation and avoid the wait.


Headwaters, The Heathman Hotel, 1001 SW Broadway, Open Every day – Hours vary

Inside the beautiful Heathman hotel is swanky Headwaters, a celebratory seafood restaurant from Vitaly Paley, Portland restaurant veteran and James Beard Award winner. This is a great date night option or a great place to have dinner and drinks before you head next door to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, one of Portland’s last historic performing arts venues. Keep in mind though, if there’s a show going on next door, this place is going to get packed. Make sure to check out Vitaly Paley’s Russian Tea Service in the building as well. It’s a fun thing to do with a small group and the food and tea are exquisite.

IG: @headwaterspdx

Roe, The Morgan Building, 515 SW Broadway, Open Wed – Sat, 5:30 – 10pm

Are you looking for a dining experience that is multi-coursed, thoughtfully sourced, painstakingly prepared and outrageously good? Perhaps also a little hidden, exclusive, anticipated? Then plan well ahead and make reservations at Roe. Roe is run by Trent Pierce, multi nominated James Beard chef and fifth generation PNW restaurateur. At Roe, the seafood-focused, French and Japanese influenced menu rotates weekly and is served in several courses with optional wine pairings. This is a special occasion restaurant or just a must-try-before-you-die whether you’re visiting Portland or live here.   

IG: @roepdx


Bamboo Sushi, 836 NW 23rd Ave (several locations), Open 5-10 every day

Bamboo is a great place to find high-quality, artfully prepared sushi, especially their NW location because of the great district it’s in – plenty of shopping, bars, restaurants and entertainment. The best thing about eating here, though, is their commitment to sustainability and in fact, they were deemed the first sustainable sushi restaurant in the world back in 2010. Their philosophy of responsibility spans from transparently sourcing from sustainable fisheries, including their refusal to serve that sushi house staple, Bluefin tuna, all the way to building design and waste.

IG: @bamboosushi


The crab’s finally in and oysters are in season - seafood is in the spotlight this week in PDX! Check out the following events going on this week in the city:

Shuck, Feb 2 – 9, 2018

Atlas Obscura Oyster Tasting and Maritime History, Feb 7, 2018

PDX Seafood and Wine Festival, Feb 2 & 3, 2018

A Winter Day on the Oregon Coast with Nan Devlin, Director of Tillamook Coast Tourism

Posted by Laura Morgan on February 01, 2018

From the tiny town of Seaside, the end point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, to the cranberry bogs of the southern coast, with plenty of lighthouses and sand dunes in between, there truly is something for every visitor to the Oregon coast. To help our readers make it a perfect day on the coast, we spoke with Nan Devlin, Director of Visit Tillamook, to get a few tips on preparing for your trip. Nan is lucky enough to have accumulated a lifetime of experiences here, but her current specialty is Tillamook County, the 70 or so miles from Manzanita in the north to Neskowin in the south. In Tillamook County you can find several coastal towns, each with their own unique personality, as well as access to gorgeous public parks. Here is also where you’ll find iconic Haystack Rock, the Tillamook Creamery, and thousands of gray whales passing through on their way to warmer climes each winter.

Here’s what we asked Nan:

1. What book could you recommend that would fill visitors with the spirit of the northern Oregon Coast for their trip?

This is a tough one because not much has been written about this area, other than Astoria by Peter Stark. However, there is a terrific non-fiction book called The Next Tsunami by Bonnie Henderson that reads like a mystery novel. It's about how scientists discovered the Cascadia Subduction Zone in the Pacific Ocean and much of the scientific discoveries were made from Seaside to Netarts Bay. Also, we published 25 Hikes on the Tillamook Coast, and it's written like a love letter to the trails here.

2. What is a unique souvenir and why is it special?


3. In your opinion, what is the perfect winter day?

A walk in the forest or a nature reserve in the morning, a walk on the beach in the afternoon and a great bowl of chowder in the evening.

4. What would be your anniversary restaurant on the northern Oregon Coast?

Meridian at the new Headlands Hotel in Pacific City - or drinks and a light meal at MacGregor's Manzanita.


Now go enjoy your time on Oregon's beautiful coastline!


**Edited for additional detail.


It's beautiful, it's brooding, it's the Oregon Coast in Winter

Posted by Laura Morgan on January 18, 2018

The Oregon Coast, or the People’s Coast as it is proudly claimed by locals, is broody, devastatingly beautiful, and at this time of year, more than 50 shades of gray.  Every single one of the 363 miles of Oregon’s coastline are open and free to be enjoyed by the public, officially since 1967, which along with the impressive network of state parks that beeline the coast, is what makes a visit to Oregon’s coastline truly must-see-before-you-die. But right now, it’s winter, what do we eat when we get there?

Dungeness Crab

Luckily for us on the west coast, this is exactly the time the Dungeness crabs are plump and ready to pull out of the ocean. James Beard, the father of modern American cuisine, and native Oregonian once said, “Dungeness Crab is sheer, unadulterated crab heaven.” (See below for James Beard’s beloved deviled crab recipe.) Or, as Bethany Jean Clement, food writer for The Seattle Times, put it in her story this time last year, “At its freshest, Dungeness crab tastes only as oceanic as the wind off the water, more delicate and closer to sweet than anything from the bottom of the sea should imaginably be.”

Commercially speaking, Dungeness crabs weren’t filling out their shells yet on December 1st, Oregon’s official crab harvest opening date, and are now in pricing negotiations with buyers, so commercial harvest for Dungeness still hasn’t started as I’m writing this. Recreational harvest, however, is up and running and people are able to crab pot up and down the Oregon coast from the mouth of the Columbia River to Cape Blanco in the south.

I could tell you how to go crabbing, but the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has you covered.

For more resources, including required licenses and rules of harvest, visit Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife here:

For updates on closures and openings when you’re planning your trip:



Dungeness crab isn’t the only thing you can find coming out of the ocean right now. Lingcod, Rockfish, Sole, Flounder and Black Cod can also be found fresh at fishmongers all over Oregon. In my opinion, though, black cod is what you’re looking for.

Also known as sablefish in Jewish delis on the USA’s east coast and in many parts of the rest of the world, it is delicate, fatty and perfectly flaky when done. Probably the best fish, aside from a gorgeous Pacific Northwest salmon, that I’ve ever eaten, for one very simple reason: smoking. There is nothing better in the world than a rainy day spent next to the smoker with the promise of flaky, savory smoked black cod in your near future. I’ll post my recipe with pictures of this (and our other adventures in Portland and beyond) on our Instagram page. And if you’re in Portland, go pick up some black cod, already smoked to perfection for you from Portland Fish Market (4404 SE Woodstock Blvd.) or Flying Fish Company (2340 NE Sandy). Both shops have other seafood treats as well, like oysters on the half shell and fish & chips, or other take away items for your perfect winter picnic or dinner in.



Beards’ recipe for Deviled Crab, so simple, but so, so good.


In the meantime, stay tuned to The Big Foody PDX for new Northern Coast food and drink tours coming online end of summer 2018! We’re so excited to share the beauty and deliciousness of the Oregon Coast with you!



Oregon Seafood Watch

Oregon’s Seafood Consumer Guide 2017 from OSU’s Sea Grant Program (what to look for at the fishmonger)

Dungeness Crab Buying Guide from FishChoice​