What is a food tour? Simple enough question, I suppose. It’s not always as simple as going to a series of restaurants and trying some food. In the case of Taste Winchester History, between the Historical Food Tours and the History & Hops Beer Tours, there are a wide array of nuances to the tour than simply meandering from establishment to establishment and horking-down a meal.
Our tours are professionally-guided tours of the ever-expanding local Old Town Winchester food and beverage scene. We’ve found that even locals don’t realize just how much has changed, and in most excellent ways, in and around Downtown Winchester, Virginia. And the focal point of our tours is the eclectic Historic District, which has a wide array of outstanding eateries, craft breweries and cider offerings, and so much more. Our tours are an excellent way to get a taste for local chefs, cooks, owners, and servers, and artisan products that are provided by these fine establishments. Our Tour Guides offer you the opportunity to learn about the history, the culture, the architecture of the region, with a focus on the significance of the strategic location of Winchester, Virginia dating back to and through Revolutionary times and the birth of our great nation.
The nature and duration of the tours may vary due to weather, great conversation, tour group size, but our tours generally run between 2.5 and 3.5 hours. They are typically conducted in groups, and private or small group tours are frequently available. Like many such tours in cities across the globe, ours is a walking tour that takes us a very reasonable distance in and around the Old Town Walking Mall and generally stays within about a four-square-block area… for now!
Our standard food tours are $55 per person and our standard beer tours are $65. Plans are in the works for specialty tours with pricing options yet to be decided, but know that both our historical, architectural, or just plain “neat-o” points of emphasis are always expanding and can keep things fresh and new, even if you have already done a tour with us. And with a growing list of eateries and breweries coming into the fold, even your establishments will vary from time to time, too! Even if they don’t, there is always something new to try no matter how many times you choose to join us!
It stands to reason that on the food tour, all of your food is included in the price of your ticket. Most places provide a beverage as well. And you always have the option of purchasing something direct from the establishment if you wish to partake of an adult beverage. In that same vein, all of your beer tasting samples are included in the price of the beer tour, as is any food stop we make along the route. (Note: Please prepare to come with an appetite on our food tour, these owners do not skimp! No dinky little finger-food samples here… we are absolutely certain you’ll be impressed!)
Of course, it’s always important for the food tourists to let the tour guides know in advance of any food-related allergies or other significant food-related issues or special dietary needs you may have so that we can let our establishments know in advance of and/or during the tour.
As for what you should wear on the food tour, do know that we conduct your tours rain, sleet, snow, or sunshine. We tour in the hot, hot heat and we will tour in the frosty cold! So definitely dress for the weather. Due the level of advanced menu planning and logistical arrangements involved in doing these tours, we do not refund due to inclement weather. If something substantial in terms of bad weather is forecast on a given tour date, we will pull that date off the calendar in advance to avoid any issues. Note: We really do not spend a lot of time outside. The time spent outside may amount to a total of perhaps 30-45 minutes as we move from historical stop to restaurant, onto the next historical stop and then further on. We go inside, we sit down, chat, eat, and have a grand ole time!
Our food and beer tours are conducted on foot, so wear comfortable walking shoes! Feel free to bring a backpack or tote for carrying personal items and purchases made along the way; because during the warmer months there is almost always something happening on the walking mall. Also consider strongly the use of sunscreen, sunglasses, and/or a hat. Remember, our tours operate year-round and in all weather conditions, so umbrellas, boots, whatever you might normally want to put on in less than perfect weather should be on your checklist.
Families are welcome, and age restrictions are only placed on the beer/cider tours and any future tours involving alcoholic beverages, so please feel free to include your well-behaved children on the food tour (tickets required). The beer tour requires patrons to be of legal drinking age and be prepared to show legal identification with age details upon request.
Should you tip your tour guide? Tips are absolutely not required, and should you choose to do so, the guides are grateful for the generosity. We are generally just thrilled to be able to have such a fun time with our patrons.
So please, gather your friends together or your family… bring your co-workers… offer our gift cards to your employees as a benefit or recognition of a job well done… bring your bachelor and bachelorette parties (and behave yourselves!)… bring us your out-of-town guests… get to know a little bit about Winchester, Virginia, past and present, perhaps even a little bit of future, and come find out what you all may be missing in terms of fantastic restaurants and specialty brewers and more!
Book a tour today!