We love to travel and we love to eat, so when our friends asked us to spend a day in Newburyport, Massachusetts doing a foodie tour - we were excited! If you've never been on a food tour before, the premise is you travel around a city and try a bunch of different samplings of food from different restaurants and shops in the area.They can be themed (i.e. dessert, seafood, etc) or a mixture of different foods.
Cape Ann Foodie Tours, who offer tours in Rockport, Gloucester and Newburyport. You pay a flat fee at the beginning and then you are basically covered for the rest of the tour. Everything is prearranged with the tour company so you walk in and are handed food.While you eat, you hear a little bit about the restaurant or shop you are visiting. It's low key and because everything is set up with the tour company, you eat your food and by the time you are done it's on to the next place! The pace is slow enough that you don't feel rushed but speedy enough that you aren't bored or waiting around.
Without further ado- here's some notes from our tour:
Our first stop was at Chococoa- a small bakery and coffee shop specializing in mini whoopie pies. This was one of our favorite stops on the tour! The owner was a sweet woman who gave us a very brief background on her company and what it was like starting her business. We tried a couple of different whoopie pies - but our favorite was the salted carmel. It was one of the best things I've ever eaten!
Next up, we went out into the Newburyport farmer's market. We tried samples of goat cheese and fudge made from goat's milk from Hickory Nut Farm. The cheese and fudge were very tasty - and definitely something we had never tried before! That's the part of a food tour that's fun - you are trying samples of things you might not normally eat. Usually if you go into a town you might have a meal at one restaurant. By trying a food tour, you really get the flavor of a city.
Next, we took a short walk to the water. On the way, our tour guide, PJ, pointed out historical sites and gave us a little background on Newburyport. It was fun and gave us a little bit of time to digest on our way to our next stop!
After that, we went to Eat Cake! I love sweets, so this was another favorite! We tried lemon and oreo cupcakes here. They were awesome, and the lemon even had a custard layered into the frosting. So good! The owner, Hilary, has even been on the tv show Cupcake Wars! Super cool! Her shop was very cute and definitely a place I'd love to return!
Then we ate anti-pasto at a Wine & Cheese store called Comina. This store had a lot of unique foods including some spicy marinated peppers that were very different. We also were able to try a bunch of different cheeses of varying ages. I had never been to a store like this before so it was an interesting stop!
Next up we went to a hidden gem, The Lillyput Tea house. We sampled tea (hot or iced) and munched on pound cake and pecan pie.They had every kind of tea you can imagine, and a lot of nice gifts including perfume and handmade soaps. The Lillyput itself has lots of cozy areas to curl up in and enjoy your tea. We drank "Berries on Ice" tea which was described as luscious. And it was ! It was fruity and sweet without even adding anything to it.
After tea we walked to 10CenterTen for lunch. At this point, I wasn't even sure I could eat anymore! But somehow we managed! We dined on Lobster Mac & Cheese or Blue Cheese Sliders. Both were great - my mac and cheese had big, beautiful pieces of lobster in it and the pasta was deliciously cheesy with a nice breadcrumb topping. Perfection! My husband had the sliders and he really enjoyed them as well.
We finished off the tour at Buttermilk Baking Company where we feasted on slices of Key Lime Pie. It was sweet and tart in all the right ways and was nice and refreshing on a warm day. All in all, it was a wonderful day enjoyed with great friends! We were stuffed and had so much fun walking around and learning about the city and its local vendors.
We had a truly great time on the Cape Ann Foodie Tour and would love to take their other tours some day! PJ was a great guide. He was friendly, informative and has great taste in food! If you are looking for a nice day trip or want to plan a weekend away, definitely consider one of these great tours!