The Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc. has launched a series of food tours that will give participants a chance to sample menu items—and interact with chefs and owners—at more than a dozen restaurants and culinary businesses on or near the 8-mile downtown trail.
Indy Cultural Trail Food Tours launched Friday. Tours will be offered Wednesdays through Saturdays, or by request.
The tours were developed as a way to capitalize on Indianapolis’ growing culinary culture. They will include stops at a selection of the following establishments (typically five to eight), among others: Amelia’s, Bluebeard, Chilly Water Brewing Co., Circle City Soups, Circle City Sweets, Litterally Divine Chocolates, Milktooth, Café Patachou, Rook, Rooster’s Kitchen, Saffron Café, Three Carrots, Thunderbird, Tortas Guicho Dominguez, Union 50 and Wildwood Market.
Participants can choose from one of three tours:
—Exploring Virginia Avenue, a four-hour walking tour that includes stops at eight establishments;
—Fletcher Place Foodie, a two-and-a-half hour walking tour that includes stops at five establishments;
—A bicycle tour using bicycles provided by the Cultural Trail’s Pacers Bikeshare program. This tour lasts three-and-a-half hours and includes seven stops.
A fourth tour, a walking tour along Massachusetts Avenue, will launch later this spring.
The cost ranges from $55 to $70, depending on the tour, and the price includes food and gratuities.
Walking tours will be offered year-round, and the bicycle tours will be offered seasonally between April and October.
The not-for-profit Indianapolis Cultural Trail developed the program in partnership with Jolene Ketzenberger of the EatDrinkIndy culinary blog and a related weekly radio show. Ketzenberger also is one of the local food experts who will be leading the tours.
At each stop, participants will sample an item from that restaurant and get a chance to talk with an owner or chef. Some establishments will also take participants into their kitchens or other behind-the-scenes areas.
“It’s a little bit different at each place,” said Karen Haley, executive director of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.
The eight-mile trail runs through Fountain Square, Fletcher Place, downtown Indianapolis and Mass Ave, all of which are restaurant hot spots.
Cultural Trail officials started planning the program late last year. They worked out the details in January and February and did pilot testing in March.
Planners looked to food tours in other cities for inspiration, including Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Louisville and the European city of Amsterdam.
To register for a tour, or for more information, visit indyculturaltrail.org/foodtours.