I think one of my favorite activities when I travel is indulging in a food tour of whatever city I am visiting. I truly believe that the best way to explore a foreign city is to enjoy the local foods and restaurants. However, I recently learned about a new food tour right in my hometown of Orlando, Florida. Well, technically, the food tour is in Sanford, a small town just north of Orlando. And I have to say, Sanford Food Tours is definitely one of my favorite activities in the greater Orlando area.
Though a small town, Sanford is pretty self contained along the St. John’s River. Downtown Sanford is quaint, cozy and undergoing a complete revitalization. There are so many new eateries, art galleries, breweries, bakeries and a great farmer’s market that line the main streets of the town, and is easily walkable. And as part of the charm, Sanford is home to Limo Cycle Tours, a fun way to explore the city. Limo Cycle Tours recently launched a food tour and I had an opportunity to enjoy it along with some other local bloggers.
We gathered in front of the farmer’s market, made some introductions and we were off. The tour explores many of the businesses around the downtown area, we not only ate but we also had some great history lessons about Sanford’s iconic past. While it was informative and interesting, I don’t to spill all the secrets here or why would you need to take the tour? I will tell you we visited more places than just the food spots. I will, however, tell you all about the food, mostly in pictures. And you will have to book a tour to eat it all, deal?
We started at Tennessee Truffle where we ate Biscuits and Gravy. Biscuits with pork and fennel gravy. And it was delicious.
Mr. Beet, who was opting out of the meat on the tour, was served Cured Atlantic Salmon with a Horseradish Sour Cream Biscuit.
Next we visited the Park Avenue Popcorn Shoppe where we watched a batch of fresh popcorn popping out of the giant old fashioned kettle. And we learned about the shop’s history and the owners’ encounter with President Obama!
My favorite spot was next, Dreamy Cakes. A small bakery located on a side street, we got to try the chicken salad croissant and served refreshing mojito iced tea.
And we indulged in French Macaroons, my absolute favorite cookie (behind chocolate chip of course).
We took the time for a cup of French pressed coffee and learned about the array of cupcakes on display.
Seriously, look at this one. This cupcake is called Breakfast in Bed. It’s a pancake cupcake with maple frosting and bacon. Oy.
Next it was off to an apple strudel making demonstration at Magnolia Square Market, part of the famous Hollerbach Willow Tree Café. Our host made it all look so easy, I know if I attempted this at home I would have to call it my apple mess and I would never be able to roll that thing the way she did.
One very popular trend on the rise in Sanford is the opening of microbrew pubs. We stopped by Hop’s Wops Brewing Company, enjoyed a beer and Wopsicle.
A wopsicle is a giant meatball on a stick, and it was delicious. Incredibly flavorful. I love that microbreweries are heavily invested in great quality food to match their various housemade brews.
The end of our tour was at Wondermade, a homemade marshmallow and sweets shop. While they do offer ice cream, including flavors such as avocado and cornbread, their crème de crop is the marshmallow.
We were brought into the back of the shop where we had a table waiting for us filled with jimmies (or sprinkles), confectioner’s sugar and different shaped cookie cutters. We were each given an uncut large piece of marshmallow and we were let loose with the decorations. We decorated and cut our marshmallows into a fun take home souvenir from the tour.
I was so impressed with the food tour overall. I had no idea that Sanford had so much to offer. And we only saw a small portion of the downtown area, there are many more restaurants to visit. I highly recommend this tour for locals as well as out of town visitors, such a perfect way to spend the afternoon. Even as we said our goodbyes, a few of us went back to Tennessee Truffle and had root beer floats and biscuits with strawberries. And the root beer float was served with brown butter ice cream. Enough said. Do the tour and then indulge in a root beer float.
For more information on Sanford Food Tours, please visit their website here –> Sanford Food Tours.
*Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary admission to the Sanford Food Tours, however all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you to Sanford Food Tours for hosting us and providing a couple of the photos for this post.*