Key Culinary Tours: The New Way to Explore St. Armands Circle
There is a new company on St. Armands Circle that is providing culinary walking tours. If you have never been on a culinary walking tour, you have been missing out! Combining history and delicious dishes, this is a tour for locals and tourists alike who want to sample masterfully created fare from the chefs of St. Armands Circle while taking in Sarasota’s fascinating back story.
Owner Susan Robinson came up with the idea for the business venture after going on a culinary walking tour in Miami while on vacation with her husband. She was amazed at how much she learned in such a short period of time. While she was sampling the local cuisine, she was also learning about the cultural significance of the food. As a longtime resident and business owner on Lido Key, it was a no‐brainer for Susan to bring a culinary walking tour to beautiful St. Armands Circle. With its renowned restaurants, circular layout and historical merit, it is the perfect place to experience this type of tour. Susan explains, “We thought that the chance to visit Sarasota neighborhoods on such an intimate level would give guests a chance to experience and learn of our rich history.”
Key Culinary Tours currently offers two tours per day, Wednesday through Saturday. There is the flagship Lunch Tour from 11am to 2pm and the Happy Place Tour from 4pm to 6:30pm. Each tour has four restaurant stops. During visits to the restaurants, guests are greeted at their table by a manager or owner who will share tidbits of inside information about the dishes being sampled and the eatery itself. Almost all of the menus focus on locally sourced food, and on the Happy Place Tour, the drinks are either perfectly frozen, full of native fruit or locally brewed. The roster of restaurants is extremely impressive having partnerships with top St. Armands establishments such as Shore Diner, Blu Kouzina, Columbia, Surf Shack Coastal Kitchen, Tommy Bahama, 15 South and Daiquiri Deck.
While you will definitely be walking away with a full stomach, you will also be leaving the tour infused with a new knowledge of food and facts. With stops around the Circle at statues, storefronts and of course, the Circus Ring of Fame, Key Culinary Tours provides a surprisingly thorough history of Sarasota, one of its original developers, John Ringling, and the Circus he made famous. The tours focus on local history, but they also provide a unique perspective on Florida history. Fun facts include information on the indigenous tribes, native vegetation and the Gulf Coast’s aversion to Prohibition.
With a talented team of experienced tour guides, wide-ranging history lessons and of course, some of the most delectable food that St. Armands has to offer, these tours are not to be missed! Book your tickets today by calling 941.893.4664 or visit the website at www.KeyCulinaryTours.com, and be sure to stay tuned for additional tours to begin in other Sarasota neighborhoods in the near future!
Maggie Wood Photos