Veteran Savor Saint Louis Tour Guide Shawna recently visited Phoenix, AZ and took in a food tour with her mom. Below are her thoughts.
I couldn’t resist trying out a food tour in nearby Scottsdale during a quick winter get away to Phoenix with my mom. Our Scottsdale Trolley Food Tour with Taste It Tours started in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Valley Ho. Built in 1956 and catering to movie stars and celebrities, this hotel still maintains its 1950s look and feel. Veteran Tour Guide Trey led with introductions for our group of ten, plus let us know that this culinary walking tour had a few features I hadn’t experienced on other food tours: 1) Alcoholic drinks at three stops, 2) A trolley ride in the middle, 3) Discounts at every stop including future visits. With this in mind, we started making our way around Scottsdale for what turned into a lovely three-hour tour.
Historic Scottsdale First Half Stops:
- Craft 64 uses only local organic ingredients for its craft pizzas and all 36 beers on tap are brewed in Arizona. Our fig-and-ricotta topped pizza was excellent, plus I enjoyed a small Crafty Blonde brewed by Craft 64.
- Cornish Pasty Co. specializes in the pasty, a favorite English dish featuring meat and veggies in a pastry shell. We had the “Thanksgiving Pasty,” which included roasted turkey and squash along with a cranberry dipping sauce. A half pour of red wine went well with that hearty dish.
- The Great Australian Bakery features both sweet and savory pastries as a quick, casual stop with a long in-house bar, too. Their ginger beer was my favorite drink of the tour, and we caught Aussie, Kiwi and British accents in the air as we ate. Neat!
We then took a trolley ride across Old Historic Scottsdale. It was free, fast and easy on a comfortable motor carriage –- only about five minutes to see an entirely different part of the district, plus it took us back by the hotel at the end of the day.
Historic Scottsdale Second Half Stops:
- Barrio Queen showcases Mexican street tacos and more than 400(!) tequilas, and has been featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Our group enjoyed two styles of tacos, house made chips and margaritas. I liked that the restaurant had a vibrant Day of the Dead interior and servers with quirky Barrio Queen apparel –- I even bought a t-shirt to take home.
- Classic Cakes & Confections is a highly acclaimed top bakery in the country and specializes in custom cakes. Our tour group enjoyed a brief visit with the owner and just-for-us chocolate truffles (yum).
- TeaTime Scottsdale is the oldest independently run tea shop in Old Town Scottsdale, offering 100-plus flavors and offering tea classes. We tried an intense hot South African rooibos tea, plus I bought their red velvet cake tea sampler to go.
This tour was well-organized and packed a lot in within a relatively short time. Tour Guide Trey didn’t miss a beat, sharing tons of trivia as we navigated the area –- including two busy community festivals that day. My mom and I left quite full and fully entertained, which was great. I definitely recommend Taste It Tours for snowbirds and foodies.
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