It may still be the slow summer tourism season in Miami, yet Miami Food Tours hasn’t slowed down its pace with the addition of its latest culinary tour, “Swooped with Forks.”
Miami Food Tours was founded in 2009 as Miami’s first food tours company. Known as culinary and cultural storytellers, the company is passionate about sharing the story of Miami’s rich and sometimes dramatic history and culture and allowing guests to “taste” the local culture. Guests skip the tourist traps, veer off the beaten path and discover the local way of life and some of the most beautiful and peaceful spots in the city.
Launched on July 17, 2013, “Swooped With Forks” is unique in that guests are “swooped” around on Swoop, Miami Beach’s premier golf cart taxi service which seats up to 6 passengers including the driver. This is one of the only local food tours that travels through Greater Miami and also begins and ends in Miami Beach.
“We’re thrilled to be launching our first ‘Swooped tour’ that ventures out of South Beach and reaches mainland Miami. Driving our guests around in a Swoop rather than a coach or van provides a far more intimate and adventurous setting for passengers than other means,” stated Miami Food Tours’ founder Kelly Woodward.
A landscape architect by trade, Woodward started Miami Food Tours while working in the architecture field in Miami. After the housing bubble burst and the economy came crashing down, Woodward yearned for her vision of sitting in Miami’s cafes all day and showing tourists the locals’ favorite restaurants and hangouts. Woodward “curated” the first tour, SoBe Tour des Forks Food Tour, four years ago and has been growing the business ever since.
Her newest trip reaches some of the hippest neighborhoods of Miami that have not yet hit mainstream tour destinations, yet are also culturally and architecturally appealing including Wynwood, Design District and Buena Vista. Stopping points include restaurants that reflect a variety of cuisines, ethnicities and styles.
The tour commences in South Beach, where guests start the morning with Cuban-style coffee (“café con leche”) and pastries made of guava and cheese. Passengers then hop on Swoop and travel down historic Venetian Causeway built by John Collins and John Fisher, which just celebrated its 100-year anniversary last month in June.
Guests then visit 5 other unique locations, where they can taste the diverse cultures and flavors that Miami has to offer. Samples of stopping points and bites include:
- Venezuelan arepas and cheese taquenos at La Latina in Wynwood;
- Fresh gourmet soup of the day and Chinese chicken salad at Chef Michelle Bernstein’s Crumb on Parchment in Design District;
- Gourmet-style empanadas and sweet plantains at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, along with a glimpse of the adjacent Wynwood Walls artwork in Wynwood;
- And lastly for dessert, a taste of vegan cupcakes from award-winning Bunnie Cakes
- Mandolin Aegean Bistro and Bunnie Cakes were each awarded Miami New Times “Best of 2013” in their respective categories. [Note: Restaurants and selection of bites may change without notice in the future based on demand and seasonality.]
“What makes Miami Food Tours different is that we reveal the greater story of Miami’s history and what it has to offer. We refer to ourselves as ‘culinary and cultural storytellers.’ We share not only a delicious and unique culinary experience, but also the culture, architecture, local customs and even the dramatic history of this marvelous city that our guests have come to love,” Woodward continued.
For example, tour guides may reveal the strife that John Collins faced with his own family members before building the Venetian Causeway over a century ago. Or they may invite restaurant owners or executive chefs who are in-house to share their own personal accounts of their culture, customs and menu choices.
Swooped with Forks will run Wednesdays and Fridays weekly during the summer months, running from 10:30 a.m. through approximately 2:00 p.m. Prices per person are $110.00 for adults and $72.00 for adolescents (ages 8 to 15).
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