Eat Drink And Explore With Avital

Men's Dating

Eat, Drink, & Explore With Avital’s Interactive Dining Experiences

Chloë Hylkema

Written by: Chloë Hylkema

Chloë Hylkema

Chloë Hylkema uses her writing skills to create useful and up-to-date content for Chloë is an Emory University grad who is familiar with what it means to date in the modern age, and she works to write material that is engaging, truthful, and as helpful as possible. Being on the front lines of the dating scene, Chloë is committed to staying engaged with the ever-changing world of dating to provide the most useful content to readers.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

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The Short Version: Looking for a different kind of dinner date? Avital Experiences offers innovative culinary tours and experiences that couples can enjoy in their city or from the comfort of their own home. Avital Ungar, founder and CEO, talked to us about Avital Experiences’s offerings and what couples can expect from an in-person or virtual experience. Avital Experiences offers local cuisine tours in several San Francisco and New York City neighborhoods. The tours include up to five courses at three restaurants, broken up by stops at iconic landmarks and stories from an experienced Avital Experiences guide. The virtual experiences, like a water tasting, are the perfect choice for couples looking for a date night at home.

The best memories I have with the people I love include food. I can remember squeezing into a seat on the long side of my grandmother’s dining table, folding into the gaggle of cousins smiling for a picture behind a massive, buttercream-covered Barbie doll cake. In high school, my friends and I would escape our tiny town for the nearby slightly larger town, where we would eat an amount of sushi only a group of 16-year-olds could.

After graduating college, I had a roommate who loved to cook and taught me so much about the basics of cooking and creating amazing flavors. We would spend hours every night chatting, sipping on sake, and cooking too much food for us to eat by ourselves. When I think of all my most treasured memories, there’s almost always some type of delicious food involved.

What we eat and how we eat is influenced by our unique identities and backgrounds, and dining with others is an avenue for connection and learning. When we share food, we often end up sharing so much more. 

Avital Experiences creates curated culinary experiences that bring couples, colleagues, and neighborhoods together. Avital Experiences designs interactive food and drink tours and guides that couples can enjoy from home or in their own neighborhood, whatever their culinary inclinations may be.

Founder and CEO Avital Ungar told us about the power of food, why she started the company, and how couples can experience cuisine – and each other – in a reimagined way with Avital Experiences.

“Obviously, we didn’t invent the concept of the food tour,” Ungar said. “But food tours are usually built for tourists, and I wanted to build something for locals. I wanted them to be able to find local restaurants they love and go back and support them while discovering new places and learning about their city.”

Harnessing The Power of Food

Avital’s story begins in the Mission District of San Francisco, which Ungar calls home. “I started the company about 12 years ago in San Francisco,” Ungar said. “I was hanging out in the Mission with my friends, and at the time, that was the spot where chefs were being really innovative and creative. But it really wasn’t a hotspot tourist destination, and the neighborhood had a lot of artists and muralists— and the best food.”

After living internationally, Ungar returned to her home city and realized that locals needed resources to help them explore the culinary experiences in their neighborhoods. Ungar led the first few tours herself, which were corporate groups from the Bay Area. 

avital logo
Avital Experiences’s founder created to company to build community and personal ties through food.

“It ended up being a really great experience,” she said. “And then this company contacted me, they were a tech startup that planned dates for couples, and they said they would love to send me couples for food tour dates.” Ungar led the first tour for a couple, and she said that after seeing how much the couple enjoyed themselves, she decided to offer tours for couples.

Ungar created Avital Experiences to showcase delicious local bites while driving customers to become regular patrons at spots close to them. “My name, and the company’s name, is Avital,” she said, “I know it’s an unusual name. But it’s spelled like ‘a vital,’ like ‘a vital organ,’ or ‘a vital source of information,’ and I thought it was fitting.”

Vital is an adjective often used to describe something necessary to life or something full of vibrancy and energy. Food is obviously vital, and Ungar was inspired by her own name to showcase the sort of energy Avital Experiences is adding to culinary experiences. 

“I think the most basic human connection we have is eating and drinking with each other,” Ungar said. “That’s the whole mission of Avital: to deepen human connection through food and drink.”

Discover New Cuisine In Your Neighborhood & Beyond

Avital Experiences offers several different culinary experiences depending on the customer’s needs. The company offers a variety of experiences, including tours in New York and San Francisco and at-home adventures. Customers can browse food and drink experiences by occasion, from birthdays to date nights to seasonal occasions. 

Couples who live in New York and San Francisco can use Avital Experiences to make date night out simple. “I think a lot of the friction for couples when they’re dating is scheduling,” Ungar said. “It’s hard to make the time, whether you’re meeting for the first time or ‘dating your spouse.’ I think couples can slip into routines really easily, and then there’s this sense of monotony.”

Ungar said that the key to finding more time with your partner is making more time for your partner. Avital Experiences’s food tours make this easy, as couples don’t have to attend to planning the itinerary and details of a night out. They can simply find a night that works for them, book a tour, and show up. Avital Experiences takes care of the rest.

avital food offerings
Avital Experiences offers a variety of food tours, interactive experiences, and virtual kits.

Couples in San Francisco can choose between the Mission District tour or the North Beach tour. In New York, couples can enjoy an East Village tour, a Flatiron tour, or a Michelin tour. Customers can choose between private and public tours. Private tours are the most popular option for larger groups and include a private Avital Guide for the group. 

Ungar said public tours are the most popular option for couples. Public tours are regularly scheduled every week and can accommodate up to 12 guests. Most tours are around three hours long and include three restaurants and three neighborhood spots, where tour guides will show groups iconic landmarks and tell a location-based culinary story. 

“Falling into the same patterns when you’re dating is easy, and Avital Experiences brings that novelty and excitement that I think relationships need,” Ungar said. “We’re part of creating that memory. Even if you didn’t like that oyster you tried– even if you hated it– you still did it together, and you tried something new, and it creates this lasting memory.”

Avital Brings Couples and Communities Together

You don’t have to live in San Francisco or NYC to enjoy Avital Experiences. Couples everywhere can order one of Avital Experiences’s at-home virtual culinary experiences, which run the gamut from an experience with edible architecture to a water tasting. Ungar was excited to tell us about the virtual water tasting, which she said could be perfect for date night.

“I’m a certified water sommelier, and it’s basically tasting water like it’s wine,” Ungar explained. “It’s actually really, really fun. We ship these kits, and each has five different premium waters from around the world, both sparkling and still. You can do a tasting in your own home and use our videos to guide you through comparing the waters and talking about them.”

founder avital ungar mission
Avital’s mission is to connect people through experiences with local food.

Ungar gave us a brief overview of water tasting. “With water, what you’re looking for is what’s called total dissolved solids. The flavor of water comes from all the minerals that are infused in the water,” she said. “I’ve designed the tasting so that any palate can taste the difference in the water. We do a wide range of total dissolved solids, along with some food pairings. It’s also really fun to compare your tap water to our waters.”

Avital Experiences gives couples the opportunity to engage with food and drink in innovative ways. Instead of absent-mindedly picking up fast food or ordering takeout, couples can take the time to engage with food and each other with intention. While food is the focus of Avital Experiences, the company is really bringing customers experiences that offer connection.

“We use food and drinks as our means to connect people and create memories,” Ungar said. “You get this amazing opportunity to decide to really be present with your partner and do this activity that facilitates a real connection. We curate experiences that create connection and nurture an open and present mindset.”