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Thursday, April 10,2014

Eat and run

Sampling Boulder’s variety of food tours

By Grace Boyle
Megan Bucholz
Take part in one of Boulder's Local Table Tours

As the last snow begins to melt, flowers begin to bud and the temperatures rise, Boulder gears up to face the beautiful spring and summer months. One of the best ways to get the most out of spring is to take advantage of the nice weather and return of life with a good tour. A foodie schlep is a great way to see the city while getting a better understanding of its culture.

And there are plenty of food tours to choose from.

Local Table Tours 

The most robust food tour in Boulder is Local Table Tours, run and owned by Megan Bucholz. The company runs an eclectic mix of tours that typically last between one-and-a-half to two hours.

Local Table Tours offers beer tours that take you to downtown breweries and tap rooms, downtown dining tours that involve the best of local food and drinks in Boulder, cocktail tasting tours (the only tour of its kind in Colorado), coffee and chocolate tours for the morning and those with a sweet tooth, market-to-table tours (which include a farm-to-table lunch), and a tour of the infamous Boulder Farmers’ Market or just a farmers’ market tour on its own. You can book as a group on the above-mentioned regularly programmed schedule, or set up private tours for a special occasion or for a company outing. If you have an allergy or specific Connect need, they’re with us quite flexible in setting up something to accommodate your needs.

Thanks to the relationship Bucholz has created over the years with these venues, at each stop you can find an engaged discussion with either the chef, manager or owner, and get an inside view into the restaurant you wouldn’t get as a regular diner. Prices range between $20 and $70 per person, but will vary based on the tour. However, privately arranged and customized tours start at $150 per person.

All Local Table Tours feature an informed guide, but you’ll be on foot, so be prepared to walk and enjoy the sites of Boulder.

Get more info at www.localtabletours.com.

Dishcrawl

A national company, Dishcrawl has made its way to Boulder in offering food tours and events. An online community for hosting culinary events that spans across U.S. cities, Canada and soon the U.K., Dishcrawl has a Boulder chapter where you can expect to find dinners, chef experiences and fun food tours that vary based on the community. There are local ambassadors in each location that plan and lead groups through neighborhoods or experiences all surrounded by food. It’s all walking tours, but whether it’s a planned event, set up with a private group or for companies, there are many options for attendees and they’re customized by the ambassador.

These food “crawls” might accommodate up to hundreds of people, depending on the type of event they’re hosting which encompasses a different feel than some of the other intimate tours.

Get more info at www.dishcrawl.com/boulder.

Awestruck Outdoors Biketo-Farm Tour

Local company Awestruck Outdoors has put together two of Boulder’s favorite activities: biking and eating all things organic.

They offer a weekly dinner tour on Thursday nights that starts from downtown Boulder. Participants then bike along the creek path to a nearby farm where a three-course dinner, wine and live music await them.

There is also a lunchtime tour offered on several dates through the summer and fall that leaves from downtown and offers both easier and more challenging routes to Lone Hawk Farm where riders will enjoy lunch and a locally brewed beer.

Both tours cost around $40 and require registering in advance. Bikes are available for rent if you don’t have your own, and on some tours are included in the price.

Get more info at www.awestruckoutdoors.com/bike-to-farm-tours.html.

Celestial Seasonings tea tour

For a little something different, head slightly northeast of Boulder to Celestial Seasonings. Founded in Boulder in 1969, their teas were made from fresh herbs harvested in the Rocky Mountains by hand, then dried, blended and packaged in hand-sewn muslin bags that were sold at local health food stores. Today, Celestial Seasonings is a household name and they’re one of the largest specialty tea manufacturers in North America. They serve 1.6 billion cups of tea every year and they source more than 100 ingredients from over 35 countries.

Celestial Seasonings offers free tea tours through their facility to learn about the history of the company and watch production live. They also offer tea samples throughout the tour. These 45-minute tours leave on the hour every day (except major holidays). A crowd favorite is the peppermint room that houses hundreds of ceiling-level shelves for their fragrant peppermint and can clear your sinuses. Visitors pop out into the gift shop at the end of the tour, where Celestial Seasonings gifts and teas are available for purchase.

Culinary Connectors

As an honorable mention, there’s also Culinary Connectors. They used to host Boulder tours, but they no longer do, and now focus on Denver. However, they do private food tours in Boulder on request and ask only that you have a minimum group of eight.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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