By Michael Evans
Posted On: Mar 22, 2013
Canton Food Tours Founder Barb Abbott at the McKinley Monument
I have been to the City of Canton many times in my day, but never had I experienced it the way I did just a couple months ago when I went on a fun-filled and flavorful journey through town with the Canton Food Tours.
Founded in May 2012 by entrepreneur Barb Abbott, Canton Food Tours is a unique way to tour the city, learning not only about local eats, but also about the rich history, architecture, and art of the area. There is a wide variety of tours available to choose from. Some are themed around a geographical region (such as the Warehouse District Tour), a specific cuisine (such as the Heat Seekers Tour or Just Desserts Tour), or you can create your own personal, gathering to meet your own interests!
The tours last a couple of hours and typically cost a very reasonable $40-$50 a person. Depending on the itinerary, tours are traveled on foot, or by a conversion van that provides transportation to further destinations. No matter what tour you go on, you are bound to discover something new and impressive about Canton, in a fun and exciting setting!
Along with about a dozen other friends and tour guide (Barb Abbott herself), we hit the streets for a tasty trip specially tailored for our friend’s birthday. After learning a bit about the industrial history of the city (such as the original vacuum manufacturing plant of the Hoover Company), we put our appetites to the test at our very first spot in town: Lucca, an Italian restaurant located on 4th Street and Cleveland Avenue. Here, we were treated to local pecorino cheese, fresh greens, and red wine while seated around the swanky, slick bar.
Our walking tour took us next to Tozzi’s Downtown, another classy Italian restaurant complete with a live jazz band! We helped ourselves to platters of hot peppers, cured meats, and garlic bread while ordering drinks galore (not included). At the next stop, however, alcoholic drinks were included! Picciano’s Martini Lounge located in downtown Canton on Market Avenue was a favorite on our tour! We snacked on sushi and washed it down with a chocolate martini!
Lynda Tuttle’s Art Center was a special stop on the tour. While it did not include food, this awesome art gallery set up a do-it-yourself crafting session led by the one and only Lynda Tuttle. We got step-by-step instructions on how to make our very own music note ornaments (since it was Christmas time and the birthday boy is a musician). This was a much needed and very enjoyable portion of our night!
To round things out, our group took our ornaments and made it to our last restaurant, Basil Asian Bistro. Here, we had delicious bonbon chicken, pad thai, and of course birthday cake! With a final toast from all of our friends to Canton Food Tours and Barb Abbott, we already began thinking of when our next tour will be!