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Just north of Boston, you’ll find an area that has long been well known for its maritime and colonial history, but did you know that the area has also well-established itself as quite the destination for culinary adventures?
Foodie specialists like Salem Food Tours and Cape Ann Foodie Tours help residents and visitors make the most of the local culinary scene by introducing them to a variety of restaurants with a little bit of history.
Whether you’re an experienced foodie with an appetite for only the best, or just looking to take in some local fare, there’s no doubt that you’ll find something to savor.
Here’s a look at five excellent North of Boston eateries, along with a little more info on all that both Salem and Cape Ann food tours have to offer.
Cape Ann Olive Oil in Gloucester, MA
For those interested in taking a taste of the North Shore home, the folks at Cape Ann Olive Oil offer a collection of specialty oils that range in taste from chipotle to almond and everywhere in between. Along with the oils, Cape Ann Olive Oil has an array of vinegars and a variety of Stonewall Kitchen products, including jams, marmalades and mustards. You can take a virtual tour of the premises here, while hours and directions are listed here and here.
Flying Saucer Pizza Company in Salem, MA
How about a slice of something interesting? At the Flying Saucer Pizza Company, you can choose from the panoply of enticing pies that feature seafood, barbecue, Cajun and many more influences; vegetarian and vegan choices are also in the offing. For libations, the Flying Saucer has craft beers on draught and wine, too. You can find hours and directions to Flying Saucer, which is decorated with some very cool art hand-drawn by its employees, here.
“Poison Ivy” Pizza (pesto base, mozzarella, asiago, spinach and goat cheese topped with a swirl of balsamic fig glaze) at Flying Saucer Pizza
Virgilio’s Italian Bakery in Gloucester, MA
Virgilio’s Italian Bakery, a Gloucester Staple, opened its doors in 1961 and has remained a family-run enterprise ever since. The Saint Joseph Sandwich, which is made with Italian deli meats, a drizzle of olive and a dash of oregano on a four-point Italian roll, draws rave reviews from locals and tourists alike. Virgilio’s breads also show up frequently at nearby supermarkets and restaurants, a testament to their popularity. You can also find sauces, cheeses and desserts at this deli, which is located on Main Street in Gloucester.
The Rocky Bomb at Virgilio’s Italian Bakery via Facebook
Ally’s Eatery in Rockport, MA
A relatively new entry to Rockport’s culinary scene, what Ally’s Eatery lacks in history it more than makes up for in quality and taste. Everything on the menu is made fresh to order and the sandwiches are the stars of the show, with wraps, paninis and signature subs providing plenty of choices. The Eggstravaganza, a breakfast wrap with fluffy eggs, crispy bacon, pepper jack cheese and guacamole, makes for a creative start to the day. For hours and directions, click here.
Chococoa Baking Company in Newburyport, MA
A Newburyport Food Tour favorite, Chococoa Baking Company is famous for their delectable specialty: the whoopie. Their whoopie pies have several different filling options, including salted caramel, raspberry and traditional flavors like chocolate and vanilla. It isn’t just dessert that you’ll find at Chococoa, though. Fresh fruit, muffins and a number of other breakfast pastries await at the Chococoa Café. For café hours and directions, just click here. To see where else you can find Chococoa’s whoopies, which are distributed throughout Massachusetts, click here.
Chococoa Baking Company via Facebook
Salem Food Tours in Salem, MA
If one great dining spot isn’t enough for your stomach and curiosity, a Salem Food Tour is just the thing. You’ll walk through Salem, with stops at several Salem restaurants and shops, while learning a little history about the area and chatting with fellow foodies along the way. For a look at the various tours, click here. In the winter months, the tour schedules are quite variable, so check the Salem Food Tours Facebook page and Twitter feed to see what’s in the works. You can also inquire about scheduling an outing, if you’ve got a group, here.
Cranberry WindsorDale Cheese via Facebook
Cape Ann Food Tours around Cape Ann, MA
Cape Ann Food Tours spans the eponymous peninsula, treating residents and visitors to a taste of the region and its various eateries. Sights & Sweets takes explorers on a dessert tour of Rockport, while Taste Newburyport uncovers local goodies in Newburyport. There are two Gloucester tours to choose from: Taste Gloucester and Ales & Tales, which feature food and watering holes, respectively. Cape Ann Foodie Tours won’t return until the weather gets a bit warmer, but in the mean time, you can get a preview at what’s to come through their Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Where’s your favorite spot for a bite to eat north of Boston? Tell us in the comments below!