A growing culinary scene in Buffalo has brought along with it a number of ancillary business enterprises. The steady uptick in the number of markets and restaurants in the area means that more people are on the hunt for the latest and greatest places to eat and drink. Seeing that Buffalo was experiencing somewhat of a food frenzy (five years ago), Buffalo Bites Food Tours’ (BBFT) founder and owner, Laura Reed, decided that there was an opportunity at hand.
Today, the tour company is brimming with tours, and continues to roll out various packages and options. Along with its ever-popular Elmwood Village tour and its newer East Aurora tour (among others), Reed plans on adding a couple of additional tours to the roster in 2016. She is also going to be expanding by incorporating night tours into the mix. What might have initially appeared as a ‘one off’ culinary tour concept is now blossoming into a full fledge tour operation.
“Our food tours are currently offered five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday,” said Buffalo Bites Food Tours owner and food tourism expert Laura Reed. “Our private group tours are becoming increasingly popular and are great for corporate events, birthday parties, a girls’ night out, wedding parties and definitely for our out of town guests. Dates, times and tours can all be customized to meet the needs of the group.”
When Reed is not busy operating tours, she can be found researching the latest industry trends. The national food tour industry is burgeoning at the moment, and there appears to be no slowing down.
According to the 2016 Food Travel Monitor, 95 percent of American travelers are interested in some kind of unique food experience when they travel.
“According to the 2016 Food Travel Monitor, 95 percent of American travelers are interested in some kind of unique food experience when they travel,” Reed said. “That’s up from 47 percent as recently as 2013. So not only are we experiencing a trend, but a hugely significant one that shows no signs of slowing.” Another travel publication summed it up beautifully when it said, “Food has an unmatched ability to communicate a unique sense of place. Local cuisine provides a direct connection to the history of a region, the soul of its people and the rhythm of daily life.”
What makes the three hour BBFT tours so popular is the chance to learn about the respective neighborhoods where the tours are held. Along with great food and drinks, epicurean tourists learn about the history of Buffalo, the importance of the parks and the architecture, as well as how it all works together.
“Visitors to our region are hungry for a local, authentic experience, and that’s what we strive to provide to our tour participants, whether they’re familiar with the culinary offerings of Western New York or traveling here for the very first time from across the state, country or world,” added Reed. “Yes, they will certainly have many chances to get a taste of the Buffalo region while on any of our tours, but we also provide an exploration element to create a more fulfilling experience. Our tour guides are experts at pointing out historical, architectural and cultural points of interest that help participants get acquainted with the neighborhood they are touring and our unique way of life.”
Not only do the locals take Reed up on her tour offerings, many out-of-towners have also caught on to the growing trend of guided culinary walkabouts.
“When traveling, everyone wants to take a bite into something authentic to give them that ‘been there, done that’ nugget of knowledge that they can share with friends and family,” Reed added. “Whether it’s a New York bagel, authentic New England clam chowder, Wisconsin grilled cheese, a Philadelphia cheesesteak, Maryland crabcakes, deep dish pizza in Chicago or tasty chicken wings in good old Buffalo, the food definitely adds to the overall travel experience.”
To learn more about Buffalo Bites Food Tours, please visit www.buffalobitesfoodtours.com or call 1-800-656-0713. You can also follow Buffalo Bites Food Tours on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for frequent updates.