Gathering around the table has always been a cherished tradition in my family. I fondly recall our weekend dinners, where the whole family, along with friends, would join in for a feast of indulgent homemade dishes, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Food has always been a central part of our lives, whether enjoyed at home, with friends, while traveling, or simply in your own local cafe. Occasionally we would venture out to our favorite restaurants to explore different culinary delights.

Sharing these experiences with loved ones, or even strangers who soon become friends, is at the heart of this article.

So, have you ever wondered what it's like to attend an Eatwith dining experience?

What is a dining experience? 

Food experiences offer a wonderful opportunity to express love through cooking for friends or family. They also serve as a window to explore diverse cultures, meet new people, and discover new places. At Eatwith, a culinary experience refers to meeting a local in their own home or private venue. It’s about listening to stories, traditions, and culture. The hosts are there to showcase their passion, whether it is for amazing food and high-end cooking, hospitality and open mindset to meeting new people, or telling their life stories.

It took me some time to realize the significance of these moments and the unique role that social dining plays in my life. I think the meaning came clearer to me when I was leaving my parents' home and started living independently. I eagerly anticipated our weekly family dinners and cherished the gatherings with friends for potluck meals.

As I began to travel, food naturally became an integral part of my adventures. I participated in cooking classes across Asia, immersing myself in the knowledge of special spices and ingredients. In Barcelona and Athens, I went on food tours, savoring unique culinary experiences. From Tel Aviv to Spain and Japan, I indulged in distinctive dining experiences, forging friendships that extended beyond the dinner table. These connections blossomed into shared bus rides and exchanged life philosophies, all stemming from those initial memorable dining tables.

A food experience could be a time you will never forget

So, I took my parents to eat dinner with strangers

It was a Friday night and I was going to spend it with my parents, which is something that doesn’t happen often. My parents, like myself, are people of travels, interactions, curiosity, and hold a strong passion for exploring the special things the world has to offer. As I mentioned before, food has always been an integral part of our life, and experiences were always what we searched for. So, with all this in mind, I had a perfect idea to mark the rare occasion of being together as a family: let’s make it a special evening, and attend an Eatwith food experience with a local!

A truly special shared experience

The experience I chose was an Indian Festive Pop Up with the host Chanchal and his wife, Sigal in Tel Aviv. I had already been to several of these kinds of events, so I prepared my parents for it.  “We’ll be having dinner with strangers, at a host’s home, who will cook their authentic family recipes” I told them.

They were a little hesitant at first, but after a brief explanation of what Eatwith was and how it worked, they were excited. As we arrived at the location, a cozy patio of a small house, we were greeted by Sigal and Chanchal and their warm smiles. We were the first ones to arrive and were immediately enveloped by delicious smells coming from the kitchen. The table was beautifully set with vibrant colors and traditional Indian decorations. My parents couldn’t help but admire everything around them and my mom immediately took photos and shared them on WhatsApp with all of her friends.

The cozy patio of Chanchal’s home

Not long after we arrived, so did the other guests. There were four couples in total, and one other family, all with different backgrounds and stories to share. As we introduced ourselves and got to know each other, the hosts talked about the concept of Eatwith. Sigal and Chanchal explained how they started hosting meals through this platform, inviting strangers into their home for a unique dining experience. They talked about how it allowed them to meet people from all over the world and share their love for cooking and culture. 

The evening went on and we got to enjoy Chanchal’s amazing cooking. Sigal explained every dish and recipe, its origins and uniqueness. The hosts’ kindness was endless, and they made sure the delicious food (and the beers) just kept coming. It was amazing to witness how an initially hesitant interaction turned into a night of laughter, food, drinks, friendships, stories, and everlasting memories. And of course, not to forget great food. Trying these authentic Indian flavors was something I thought I would only experience again in India, but Chanchal’s passion for sticking to his family’s recipes definitely made the difference.

The morning after, my parents were still excited. Even two weeks later. They told everyone they met about it over the next few weeks and put Eatwith at the top of their bucket list experiences when traveling. I was happy to see how much they loved it.

How to attend your first experience

Entering a host's home, whether for a private event or not, and being greeted by a beautifully set dinner table is an exciting moment. It's certainly not your usual night out, and it promises something even better.

If you're unsure about embarking on your first culinary adventure, let me guide you through it:

  • Make sure you’ve read the experience details carefully. You'll receive more info via email after booking.

  • Have a chat with your host via eatwith messenger to confirm all the arrangements and inform them of any dietary restrictions.

  • Get ready to feed your hunger for engaging conversations and delicious food.

  • Approach the evening with an open mind, remembering that your host wants to make sure you have a memorable time.

The best dinner experience awaits!

And I truly believe that. Of course, wherever you go you will get recommendations for the best restaurants, street food, and bars, but I honestly believe, whether traveling or in your local city, at a private event with your closest friends or other travelers you meet for the first time, this unique experience of being welcomed by a host who wants to share their passion for food and people is something that you will never forget.

You can call it a dinner or you can call it a dining experience. I would call it Eatwith. Eat with others, be yourself, enjoy great food, meet new people, and explore the world of social dining.

Join the Eatwith community and open the door to thousands of unforgettable experiences, creating lifelong memories and connections.