Taste Carolina offers culinary walking tours of several cities throughout North Carolina. For my birthday this year, James booked a tour through Hillsborough. It’s a small Revolutionary War-era town just north of Durham. In recent years it’s become a culinary destination with locally-sourced restaurants, coffee shops; plus bookstores, artist studios and general stores. We spent three-hours tasting Hillsborough’s best. Here’s the rundown!
Starting at the top left, moving left to right:
- Colleen from Saratoga Grill chatted with us and served her Aunt Nancy’s chicken salad, her sister’s scone and great coffee.
- The Wooden Nickel served up pork, potato wedges and Blackberry Honey Kolsch beer. I even drank it – and that’s saying something.
- A visit to the Farmer’s Market! We met Two Chicks Farms who makes amazing pepper jelly and Boxcarr Farms who served refreshing lavender iced tea.
- Next we visited Matthew’s Chocolates. It’s worth the drive back just for the Hot Cocoa Truffle.
- Then a stop at Cup-a-Joe. Delicious salted chocolate chip cookies and coffee. This is a rare photo of James, a.) drinking coffee and, b.) enjoying it! I drank beer and he drank coffee – what’s happening?!
- Our favorite stop on the tour: Panciuto. This restaurant is 90% locally sourced. The menu lists where every ingredient comes from in the area. This is a potato gnocchi with homemade goat sausage, tomatoes and spinach. Out of this world. The owner and chef, Aaron Vandemark was recently nominated as semifinalist for a James Beard Award. He also spoke candidly with us about the challenges of owning a restaurant.
- We ended the day at the Hillsborough Wine Company. What better way to end the day than with a 3:00 happy hour?
They also offer tours for those who are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, kosher or have any other dietary restrictions.