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Massachusetts has so much to offer visitors year-round. Many tourists come to visit the region to learn more about its history, watch its top-notch sports teams, and explore its highly-ranked colleges and universities, among other reasons.
Often, visitors venture past downtown Boston on the red line MBTA train to walk through Harvard Yard in Cambridge. Just a couple more train stops from Cambridge is a cool city called Somerville, voted Boston’s “hippest neighborhood” by the Lonely Planet.
Off The Beaten Path Food Tours & Experiences debuted in Somerville recently, providing tourists a fun and exciting way to go off-the-beaten-path and explore the diverse neighborhoods beyond downtown Boston, with walking tours and tastings at some of the hippest spots around.
“Our mission to support local store owners and to have a lot of fun,” explains Lizzie Bell, Co-Founder of Off The Beaten Path Food Tours & Experiences. “We live right in the heart of Davis Square and would love to show folks around our neighborhood. There really is incredible food here, an interesting history, and some colorful local store owners with a passion for their business and incorporating unique, locally sourced items into their food.”
Guests enjoy 5-6 food and beverage samples on their 1.5 mile walk around the dense city and often are able to speak with entrepreneurial business owners themselves.
While the itinerary may change with each tour, on a recent weekend guests met at the historical Somerville Theater in Davis Square which houses the infamous Museum of Bad Art and walked to nearby Oat Shop, a unique oatmeal cafe that offers both sweet and savory bowls of oatmeal.
From there, guests headed through the busy streets of Davis Square to Sacco’s Bowl Haven where they tried their hand at candlepin bowling and sampled delicious Flatbread Pizza (shown in the feature image) with locally sourced ingredients, while discovering whether or not the location is haunted.
A few shorts blocks from bowling, guests explored worldly spices at nearby Curio Spice and sampled mini root beer floats using Somerville’s own Tipping Cow ice cream at Spindler Confections. And who can forget trying a spoonful of Somerville’s infamous marshmallow fluff? After all, the area is known for hosting a unique Fluff Festival every year.
Afternoon tours visited Opa Greek Yeeros where owner and Somerville native George serves the best gyro in the city, full of organic meat and high quality greek yogurt as well as french fries and the perfect seasoning.
Guests also dined in the Rosebud’s historic dining car whose exterior looks exactly like it did over 70 years ago and feasted on specially-made hand pies from their award-winning pastry chef. Next, they headed down the Somerville bike path which stretches all the way to Bedford to Q’s Nuts where they learned of its origins as a street cart for festivals and sampled specialty nuts roasted right on premise with incredible and unique flavors such as chocolate lavender.
Throughout the tour, guests learned about Somerville’s storied meat-packing past, famous residents, industry such as candy, chocolate, and pickling, and its importance in the American Revolution. The tour guide also gave a variety of insider tips which are also available on the company’s newsletter and blog, including information about a hidden speakeasy, upcoming festivals and events, and little-known tips about the area.
All images courtesy of Off The Beaten Path Food Tours, of real Somerville sights and eats!