Carmel by the Sea offers many outstanding restaurants and dining options for every type of dining experience. But where does one begin if you are unfamiliar with the area or are new in town? The local tourist information office is fine but now there is a solution to this quandary with the new edition of a culinary/walking tour with Carmel Dining Tours. Being introduced to this concept a few years ago in San Luis Obispo Ca, we were thrilled to find out that a local resident has taken this idea to heart and has made this an must do for any tourist or resident alike.
Carmel Food Tours now offers small group dining tours that gets you moving, munching and mingling all the while learning about the history and little unknown facts about the Carmel culture. This three hour dining and historical over view of Carmel gives travelers exclusive insights to some of the best dining and food purveyors in the area. What a better way to get our visit underway than learning about the community through food with an interactive walk-about town Dining tour. We were pleasantly pleased to meet Staci and the other like-minded diners. Staci’s made sure we kept to our schedule because she did not want us to miss a thing.
We started off with our dining journey with some of the best cheeses on the planet at the world famous Carmel Cheese Shop. We then walked a few blocks to have home made fresh Salami and gelato at Luca, and moved across the street for an outstanding olive oil-balsamic vinegar tasting at Trio. Carmel offers great wine tasting rooms throughout the town so we meandered over to for some local wines with Vintner extraordinaire, Greg Figge.
After some amazing Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs we went on for lunch at one of local’s favorites, La Bicyclette. Our sumptuous artisanal pizzas made with seasonal local ingredients did not last long amongst the Dining tour participants. After an engaging chat with the young and ultra talented chef, we were now ready for our next stop.
Around the corner we traversed to see the most interesting table in town; the one Vincent Van Gogh dined at in his small flat but now is located at the acclaimed Casanova restaurant. Even if you don’t dine with Vincent, you can still have some of the best homemade gnocchi (which we did) in town along with an array of lovely fare that keeps bringing locals and visitors back again and again. We even had dessert after this three hour culinary-walking course. Staci, our guide, saved the best for last, with a visit to local’s famous candy maker, Lula’s. The hand-made sea-salt caramels where better than icing on the cake and the chocolates were irresistible.
Within three hours we learned quirky details of Carmel such as it is illegal to walk in Carmel in heels over 2 inches without a local permit ( visitors don’t worry you are exempt but we do recommend you wear walking shoes visiting this town on the hill. The Carmel Dining Tour is a must to meet like-minded foodies, people from various cities that came together to learn and engage in an epicurean over-view of one of the most lovely and delicious towns in America.
For first time visitors, locals. History buffs, and food lovers (and anyone over 21), this is not an option, take our advice, run, don’t walk to the next Carmel Dining Tour. For more i