Culinary Walking Tours in Healdsburg
At last count, the Sonoma Wine Country hamlet of Healdsburg was home to nearly 100 restaurants, ranging from haute (Barndiva) to hamburgers (Healdsburger).
Add to that dozens of tasting rooms, assorted cocktail lounges, and a rich collection of artisan bakeries, cheese shops, confectioners and such, and it’s clear this is foodie heaven.
How to take it all in, without busting a wallet, or burning up belly room? Leave it to the new Savor Healdsburg Food Tours experience, which offers a culinary walking tour featuring bites and sips, along with good old-fashioned sightseeing to help burn off some of those calories.
The creation of entrepreneur Tammy Gass, guests can choose from tours running Wednesday through Sunday, at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. During the three-hour jaunt through downtown, participants will enjoy a casual stroll featuring six tasting stops, each offering a selection of bites paired with drinks.
“A friend described it as ‘adult trick-or-treating.’ I like that!” said Gass.
What makes it more valuable than a self-guided trip is that Gass is an expert on the area, and her staff shares what inspires the culinary creations of the chefs, winemakers, and artisans on the tour, plus a fun way to get to know Healdsburg.
While stops include big names like chef Mark Stark’s Bravas Bar de Tapas (recently recognized by Travel and Leisure magazine as one of the top 100 tapas restaurants in the U.S.), they also take a peek at more off-the-radar local favorites like The Wurst, for burgers, brauts, shakes, malts, and more from former MC5 rock band bass player Charles Bell.
“We live in one of the most beautiful counties in the world, where local farms, ranches, and wine appellations produce the best ingredients to inspire the creation of world-class cuisine” said Gass. “I want to give visitors and locals the opportunity to enjoy the essence of Healdsburg through a tasting experience that highlights the bounty of this region’s food, wine, and culture from a local’s perspective.”
Already, Savor Healdsburg has been spreading the word to visitors from all over, including a recent group of 12 from the United Kingdom.
No wonder: Over the last 10 years, food tourism has grown into a $150 billion industry across the globe, according to the World Food Travel Association, since it offers people an up-close experience to a destination’s local heritage and people.
While tour destinations vary based on guest preferences, some top choices include:
- Campo Fina — Featured in the February 2014 issue of Wine Enthusiast’s “10 Best Wine Travel Destinations” in Sonoma County.
- SHED — A modern-day grange that showcases some of the best of Sonoma County’s artisans, farmers, winemakers, and culinary experts.
- Cartograph — A boutique small-lot winery, featuring premium Pinot Noirs, and the only tasting room in Healdsburg that serves wine on tap.
- Spoonbar — Contemporary fare, creatively crafted by Top Chef finalist Louis Maldonado.
- Costeaux’s — An award-winning French bakery and café, with a 91-year-history in Healdsburg.
- Stark Wines — A boutique small lot winery, featuring Mediterranean- and Rhone-style wines.
- Bear Republic — A pub and microbrewery that features national award-winning beers like Racer 5 and Red Rocket Ale.
- Mateo’s Cocina Latina — Putting a new twist on the flavors of local Sonoma County purveyors through an infusion of Yucatan- and French-inspired cooking by chef Mateo Granados.
- Portalupi — A family owned winery, with a rich Italian history that is known for award-winning reds and its “milk jug” wine, inspired by family matriarch, Maria Portalupi
Details: Savor Healdsburg Food Tours. Advance reservations are required.