Tonawanda News — This month marks the launch of the second season of culinary-based walking tours provided by Buffalo Bites Food Tours.
The company, founded last year by Buffalo native Laura Reed, offers a three-hour walking tour of the Elmwood Village, featuring stops at six locally owned eateries.
Food lovers get a chance to sample restaurants like Blue Monk, Cole’s and Globe Market, in addition to Firefly Cupcakes, D’Avolio’s Olive Oils and Vinegars, and Watson’s Chocolates. Together the food samples are enough for a “satisfying lunch,” the company’s website said.
Reed said she wanted to pick restaurants that give tourists and locals alike a feel for the community and a look at the city’s architecture, all while filling your bellies.
“Food is a great common denominator, everybody loves food,” she said, adding that tour-goers get to “taste the local flavors of the area.”
“It’s a really fun way to see a city, and who doesn’t love food?” Reed said.
She said when she designed the tour she tried hard not to fall into just the stereotypes of Buffalo eating — beef on weck, pizza and Chiavetta’s chicken, etc. — though she admits there are chicken wing and sponge candy tastings.
Going to Watson’s is “a great stop because there’s that history and it’s cool to talk about and people love it,” Reed said. “I have a lot of people who have never had sponge candy before.”
The tour, which runs daily Tuesday through Saturday through November, weaves in and out along Elmwood Avenue and includes stops to discuss important historical and architectural landmarks along the way.
“Elmwood Village was my first choice because of its rich history, inspiring architecture, unique shops and incredible eateries,” Reed said. “It really gives the true flavor of what Buffalo is all about.”
Tour guides discuss the importance of places of interest like Soldiers’ Circle, Buffalo Seminary, the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Bidwell Parkway and the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market.
Reed said the three-hour tour includes enough downtime for the tastings and mingling amongst the group, though the website indicates tour-goers will be on their feet for the majority of the time.
Tours can accomodate up to 16 tour-goers, and those who can guarantee at least 10 customers can contact Reed about private tours.
Ticket purchases must be made in advance, at which point information about parking and an exact meeting location will be given, the Buffalo Bites website said.IF YOU GO • WHAT: Buffalo Bites Food Tours • WHEN: 11 a.m Tuesday through Saturday, from May through November • WHERE: Tour meets near Elmwood and Cleveland avenues • COST: $30 for children 12 and under, and $42 for adults. Tickets must be purchased in advance. • MORE INFO: Visit www.buffalobitesfoodtours.com, or call 800-979-3370 to purchase tickets. Contact features editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116 or follow her on Twitter at @DanielleHaynes1.