Winter in delicious Salem, MA

Local Food News

January offerings &
winter hiatuses

Our Food Tour Partners are cooking up some delicious winter fare.  Support local businesses this winter, eat local and shop local!  To view all of our wonderful Tour Partners, please click here. Salem is a great destination city in the winter, with a walkable downtown and waterfront area; hotels such as The Hawthorne Hotel, Salem Waterfront Hotel, the new Merchant Hotel and B&Bs like Northey House offering special packages. Dine, shop, stay, play and visit one of our wonderful museums (see sidebar right.)

Tour Partner news: early January Olde Main Street Publaunched their Sunday brunch menu.  Click here to read the offerings (scroll to bottom.) We can’t wait to try the Stuffed French Toast. Shown here on a recent Tour: a tasting of their delectable Smoked Gouda and Goat Cheese Fritters with lemon aioli, available on all menus.

On Wednesday January 27th Food Tour Partner Bambolinais hosting a special pop-up 9 course family style dinner with acclaimed guest Chef Mary Reilly formerly of Enzo Restaurant in Newburyport and current publisher and editor-in-chief of Edible Pioneer Valley. For more information, please visit their Facebook event page.Winter Food Tours: We absolutely LOVE winter tours! There is nothing like ducking in and out of welcoming shops and restaurants for warm food or a glass of wine.  Our Tours run rain, snow or shine. So put on your coat, grab friends, and join us on a delicious excursion!
Photo: at A MANO in Salem, ending a Food Tour by candlelight with a great glass of wine.

Looking to do a Salem Food Tour this winter?
Please visit our reservations page for information and Tour booking. Tours also make terrific team outings. Email us to craft your special excursion for your small group.

Winter breaks: Kindly note that Tour Partner Scratch Kitchen is taking their annual winter break and is returning February 2nd… Jodi Bee Bakes is closed for their winter rest January 4th-20th… Melita Fiore is on a quick break January 3rd-8th…. Jean Louise Pasta Shop reopens January 15th…  and the The Lobster Shanty will close for the winter January 14th and reopen April 1st.  Stop on by, drink the last of something for the season, and get your name on the “Wall of Fame.” 🙂

1st annual Salem Comedy and Spirits Festival

Lift your spirits and LAUGH the cold away with this four-day celebration of the craft of comedy in historic Salem, MA!  This new Festival features great comedians from all over New England and beyond as well as local spirits and cider from Tour Partners Far From the Tree Cider and Deacon Giles Distillery and great dinner shows. Thursday, opening night, includes a dinner at Koto (click for menu), and Saturday is a Triple Headliner VIP “Dinner with the Comics” at Opus Underground (click link for menu.)
Says Festival Producer veteran comedian Mark Scalia: “This is a unique opportunity to raise everyone’s spirits in winter and create fantastic memories for both the audience and the talented comedians we are honored to have performing.” Visit the  Salem Comedy and Spirits Festival for more information and for tickets (advanced tix purchase highly recommended!)
Thursday, January 14th – January 17th, 2016.  

Celebrating Cheese in January

National Cheese Lovers Day is
Wednesday January 20th

For all of our fellow cheese lovers, we wanted to share some of our favorite cheese infused bites. Photo left: Stop on down to Tour PartnerThe Cheese Shop of Salem, where the team can guide you through cheese Heaven.  Or, grab a table atThe Naumkeag Ordinary and enjoy a Cheese Plate with Chef’s favorite current seasonal picks from The Cheese Shop.   More cheesy goodness we love (random order)… 

  • The Cheese Danishes at A&J King Bakery – a perfect, yummy take on this sweet classic.
  • Eggplant Agrodolce at A MANO – with fresh buffalo mozzarella, eggplant, currents, capers and pinenuts.
  • Cheese Quesadillas at Comida Mexican Taqueria – so good with their fresh homemade pico de gallo.
  • The Blistered Shoshito Peppers at Bambolina – with Marcona almonds, goat cheese and sea salt
  • Flying Saucer Pizza Company – we have fallen in love with “The Engineer”, the white sauce, spinach, artichokes and roasted tomatoes perfectly pair with the Saucer cheese blend and goat cheese.
  • Jean Louis Pasta Company – Fresh homemade Cheese Tortellini. So good.
  • Life Alive – Order the savory warm Green Goddess with cheddar cheese, you’ll thank us.
  • Milk and Honey Green Grocer – Their stellar Tomato, Basil, Pesto sandwich is still a favorite of ours, but we are also digging the herb and garlic nut based cheese you can find in their fridge case. Delicious alternative.
  • Olde Main Street Pub – has an appetizer that Chef Tim can’t take off the menu or there would be a mutiny: Smoked Gouda and Goat Cheese Fritters with
    lemon aioli.
  • New garlic flavored cheese sticks at Longboards are baked on their famous Flatbread dough.

Nachos – there is something magical about the nachos at Brodies Seaport, shown here a tasting on a recent Food Tour. It might be their smoky homemade salsa Mike makes, or their super fresh toppings.

Find Salem Food Tours on Facebook, Twitter and Trip Advisor.

Museums inspire

Winter time is a terrific time to visit our local museums! ThePhillips House Museum (open weekends off season through May), is offering the Irish Experience Tours in March, mark your calendars. The Witch Houseis open Thursdays through Sundays noon to 4pm. ThePeabody Essex Museum, whose Native Fashion Exhibit runs through March 6th.  The Pickering House starts their Second Sunday Chowder and Lecture Series January 10th,  Click here for more information.  More info on local winter events visit Destination Salem’s website and Creative Salem.

Wines of Winter

Salem Wine Imports continues their free wine tastings every Tuesday at 6:30pm.  It’s a perfect way to learn about wines, ask questions you’ve always wanted to ask about keeping wine, proper temps, etc., and taste some great and restock after the holidays with some great but reasonably prices bottles.  Calendar note: their Grand Wine Tasting at the Hawthorne Hotel is set for Friday November 18th, 2016. 

From the pens of our guests…

A doubtful traveler gained insight and respect into the heritage and the community of Salem
Awesome tour!
Fabulous Tour- A Must-Do in Salem  – via Trip Advisor

Photo: on a recent Food Tour, Partner Caffe Graziani and a tasting of their refreshingly delicious Bruschetta and Risotto of the Day. Join them on their next wine dinner, February 11th. Book a spot by emailing Paula or calling them at 978.741.4282.

Veggie Delight

Starting the New Year with healthy eating resolutions?  Try any of the warm bowls at Salem’sLife Alive…. grab fresh local produce at Milk and Honey Green Grocer or enjoy one of their fresh prepped meals to go…

Cooking healthy at home? Stop by and see David at Salem Spiceon Pickering Wharf. By changing the spice profiles, you can amp up flavors without adding fat.


Winter lift: Far From the Tree Cider, along with a fantastic selection of mead, craft beer, wine and more atPamplemousse.  Saturdays continue their free wine tastings 2-4pm.

Moussaka mmm…

On a recent Food Tour at Gulu Gulu Cafe, guests tried their fantastic Moussaka,a baked classic dish includes eggplant, carrots, Portobello mushrooms, crushed tomatoes with a Béchamel sauce. Served with a side Greek salad. Discover all of Gulu Gulu’s delicious offerings, click here to view their current menu.

One last bite…

Make your Valentine’s reservations early, and consider celebrating a few days before or prior to enjoy less crowds. Also in February Mark your calendars for “Salem’s So Sweet” February 5th-7th, 2016, with chocolate tastings, ice sculptures around downtown, and more! Shown here: At Tour Partner Firenze Trattoria, divine house made Tiramisu.