When I was trying to figure out what to do in Atlanta, my first thought for day one was a walking tour. I love them – they help you get oriented to a city AND you don’t have to ride around in a bus or a land to sea boat where they make you quack like a duck. While checking Trip Advisor, which I have to admit, I do have a little obsession with, I came across Peachtree Food Tours. If you were an avid reader of my little site, you’d know that I just wrote about the owner/operator John Hannula. For $100 (US), you got to get a little history of mid-town Atlanta and go to some fine eating establishments. SOLD!
Here was the great part, and why if you are going to be in Atlanta, I highly recommend Peachtree Food Tours – I received a comprehensive email from John with an overview of what to expect plus some recommendations of where to stay, play and eat while in his little peach of a city. A few days before the trip, he called and followed up with me! Talk about surprise and delight. He was very accommodating about the fact that I don’t eat beef, pork or lamb and he pre-warned me that one of the stops included a hamburger. Great customer service.
We met on Sunday morning at 11:45 at the beautiful Fox Theatre. Here’s a quick snap shot (and some pics) of the five places that we visited:
- Cypress Pint and Plate was the 2nd place winner for best hamburger at the 2013World Food Competition in Las Vegas. That’s why I chose to have a chicken sandwich instead : 0 ) It’s served on a donut. Not a Tim Hortons/Dunkin’ Donuts type of donut, more of a light Asian donut with a hint of sweetness. This was amazing! No, I didn’t eat the whole thing – I had 5 fries and half the sandwich – you have to pace yourself.
2. Princi Italia was a lovely little Italian Restaurant. The three of us shared the fig and gorgonzola bruschetta that you see in this pic. Gorgonzola is not my favourite cheese, but it totally worked with the figs! We all shared the pasta – it was Fontina cheese and cream sauce – so yummy. It was all very rich, so a taste was enough. This was by far my favourite place, but sadly, we didn’t have time for a return visit.
3. Don’t get this confused by Einstein’s Bagels – another Atlanta establishment – this was a proper restaurant with shrimp and cheddar cheese grits with green beans, a fried green tomato and buffalo mozzarella cheese. Again, so good. I had grits once before, and I wasn’t a fan. These changed my mind. My least favourite place, more because of the ambience than the food.
4. Cafe Intermezzo was a beautiful taste of Paris in the heart of mid-town Atlanta. They had two cases of cakes and pies and a dessert expert took you on a “tour” of their 40 different selections. A cool experience. I had the Heath Bar Milkshake Cheesecake – yum – but incredibly rich. They give you to go containers so no pressure to finish your dessert. If you visit, I recommend sharing. I had less than half of this at the cafe and was going into a food coma.
5. Our last stop was Sweet Hut Bakery and Cafe for “to go” treats for later. My selection was a savoury green onion bun and a Nutella donut. Honestly, I was relieved that these were to go – I couldn’t look at food at this point. These were pretty good! The savoury bun was a little meh, but you can never go wrong with Nutella.
The tour ended at 3:45 and we walked, a lot. We got a great overview of Atlanta, a little history, a little humour, a lot of good food and a thank you note from John! Totally unexpected and he sent us pictures that he took throughout the day. Never been on a food tour? Here are some of my tips after being on a grand total of one:
- Wear comfortable shoes – you do a lot of walking
- Dress for the weather – these aren’t indoor tours
- Pace yourself. I know, I know, it all tastes so good, but you have lots of places to visit. I was semi-full after the first restaurant, and ready to burst after the last and that’s with “tasting” the food. If you try to eat everything, you are going to suffer
- Be open-minded – try everything. They’ll try to accommodate your requests, but if it’s just because you think you won’t like it, your wasting your time on the tour
- Ask questions – either about the city that you are in or for local recommendations. You have an expert on your destination available to you for 4 hours – use that time wisely
- Make sure you do this on your first or second day in the city that you are visiting if you can. As mentioned, it helps you get a lay of the land and if you really love a place, you have time to go back and have a full meal there
- It sounds costly, but for $100, you really don’t need to eat dinner or breakfast and your lunch is covered!
Enjoy! Next time, I’ll tell you my favourite non-food related things to do in Atlanta.