Press & Reviews

Touring Downtown Eateries

When local epicures Sarah Barden and Seth Wraight took a food tour in Bar Harbour, Maine, it sparked one of those “bright idea!” light bulbs. Why couldn’t they give such a tour in their Ithaca home base, with its record number of restaurants per capita, oddball food history and unparalleled walkability? They tossed around the idea, drafted restaurateurs, put up a web site, and hit the streets – their business, Ithaca Is Foodies Culinary Tours, was born.

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Ithaca is Foodies Food Tour — Foodies, Rejoice

Ithaca is welcoming its first food tour this May, organized by Ithaca is Foodies, which is founded by Ithaca natives Sarah Barden and Seth Wraight. The tour promises to “connect you with Ithaca in a new way,” no matter if you are a native Ithacan or just a tourist visiting for a few days.

When I first heard about the tour, I was excited to spend a Saturday not eating instant ramen alone in my room. However, I was also skeptical. First off, the $55 price tag is pretty steep, and a three-hour tour sounds exhausting. Second, though I’ve never been on any food tours in the United States, I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences — imagine long queues, hackneyed scripts, greasy food, useless detours to shopping centers, and you’ll get the picture. Additionally, and most importantly, what is there to see on a 1.7-mile trail in a three-block area that I thought I was familiar with already?

Fortunately, the tour I participated in this Saturday was nothing like that. At our meet-up place, a group of six cordially introduced themselves and couldn’t wait to start.

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