Spotlight on Food Tours Around the World: Indulge Boise Food Tours

Posted on February 15, 2017 | By Amy Koren-Roth

Food Tours are the best way to truly immerse in any city. You get food, history, and fascinating stories all combined to make one unforgettable experience. We recommend taking a food tour anywhere you go. You’ll learn a lot about the city, while filling your stomach with some of the best eats only locals would know about. Taste of Troy Food Tours is very fortunate to have a lot of friends in the food tour business. This week we interviewed Angela Taylor of Indulge Boise Food Tours , which started in 2016, just like we did.Walking tours like Indulge Boise Food Tours allow food lovers to explore what the local restaurant scene has to offer while getting the back story on the city itself. Taste a specially-selected variety of foods local restaurants and boutique shops, and become acquainted with the unique history and culture of this city. I have added a new destination to my list of places to explore.

 

Tell us about yourself and Indulge Boise Food Tours.

My name is Angela Taylor and I am the Owner & “Chief Indulge Officer” for Indulge Boise Food Tours in Boise, Idaho. I was born & raised in Mountain Home, a little military town about 45 minutes from Boise. My father was in the Air Force, but I didn’t live the typical “military brat” experience. Outside of living in Madrid, Spain for three years, I spent most of my childhood in Mountain Home.

After graduating from high school, I set out on a global journey that would rival the transient lifestyle of the typical military family. I went to college at Stanford in the Bay Area, lived in Tucson for a year, moved to College Station, TX for a year, moved back to the Bay Area for two years, went to business school in New York City and ended up living in NYC for 10 years, then moved to Minneapolis for two years, on to Arlington, VA for two years, back to the Bay Area for three years, on to Atlanta for two years…and now, I finally decided to move back to Idaho a year ago!

As I “zig-zagged” my way through the United States as an executive in the sports & entertainment industry, my love for my home state of Idaho continued to grow. The beauty of the mountain ranges seen off in the distance, the serenity of the rivers flowing through the desert terrain, the wonder found while you enjoy the changing of the seasons, the friendliness of strangers you meet at a local coffee shop, the generosity of the business community, the excitement for the growth of this city, and the evolution of the culinary scene that is exploding as a result of the farm to table movement, the 50+ amazing wineries found around the state, an award-winning craft brew scene, and the explosion of the hard cider movement.

I decided to start Indulge Boise Food Tours after moving back “home” in September of 2015 for two primary reasons. First, after being away for over 25 years, I wanted to share my love and appreciation for The City of Trees with others. And secondly, I recalled the cities around the world (i.e. Florence, Glyfada, and Rio) that stand out to me because I had a unique culinary and/or historical experience while visiting. Boise is truly a hidden gem, so I wanted to help locals & visitors to this great city “Discover Boise’s Culinary & Cultural Treasures” by offering them an extraordinary experience via a food tour.

When did you start your business?

While I would love to say that I started Indulge Boise after having had a first-hand food tour experience during my international travels (and there are several food tour experiences that I look forward to trying in the future), full disclosure…I had never been on a food tour and hadn’t actually heard about food tours until a little over a year ago. That all changed in November of 2015 during a business trip for my consulting company when I was at lunch with my business partners & a client at The Freehouse, a swanky restaurant in an emerging neighborhood in Minneapolis.

As often happens, people are in utter shock when they find out that I am from Idaho and they are even more mystified when they learn that I have returned to my home state after living in some of the biggest cities in the world over the last two decades. The Minneapolis encounter was no different than in the past as, once again, I immediately took the opportunity to dispel several widespread myths about Idaho while concurrently promoting why Boise is one of the fastest growing cities in the Northwest.

As the conversation changed course several times, I eventually had an Oprah-like epiphany (or Aha! moment) when a colleague mentioned recently taking the Mission District Food Tour with Avital Tours in San Francisco. She talked glowingly about an astounding experience that fostered a stronger affinity for an area of San Francisco she had visited on previous occasions but had limited insight into the neighborhood’s amazing cuisine and fascinating history. As she continued to share her food tour experience, the light bulbs went off in my head. A food tour would be a magnificent way for me to both 1) reconnect with Boise after all of these years of being away and 2) reveal the remarkable things that Boise has to offer to locals & visitors alike.

I returned to my hotel room later that night, Googled “how to start a food tour”, and started planning! During my research, I came across a company, Food Tour Pros, which has been invaluable in helping me launch Indulge Boise while also building a peer network around the world with other food tour operators. Food Tour Pros, started by Shane Kost the owner of Chicago Food Planet – one of the most successful tours in the world, offers classes on how to start, build, and grow a food tour business. I couldn’t wait to sign up for one of his classes!

My immersion into Food Tour 101 continued. After indulging in three food tours in two days during a visit to the Bay Area, I took the Food Tour Pros course in March and met some wonderful people (and now dear friends) who went on to start Kingston Food Tours, Detroit Eats, Reno Food Walks, and Beach City Food Tours.

I officially launched Indulge Boise Food Tours two months later in June of 2016 and have truly enjoyed taking locals & visitors on a culinary extravaganza through Downtown Boise. Since launching with our signature tour, the Historic Downtown Boise Food & Cultural Tour, we have added the Capital City Sunday Brunch Tour and our latest tour experience the Boise Booze + Bites Happy Hour Tour.

Tell us about Boise and what made you start Indulge Boise Food Tours there.

Known as the City of Trees, Boise is a beautiful city that is located in Southern Idaho. While it operates more like a town, this hip, bike-friendly capital city has everything you could ever want from arts & culture to outdoor adventure to an amazing food, wine & craft beer scene to technology & social entrepreneurship. For this reason, many publications have recently mentioned Boise as a great place to live, work, and play.

Downtown Boise consists of several growing neighborhoods/districts including BODO, Central Downtown, Linen District, Central Addition, Capitol District, Cultural District, North End, and Old Boise Historic District. Many of Boise’s unique neighborhoods and parks are connected via the Boise Greenbelt, which winds through the center of the city creating an amazing 25-mile bicycle and walking path on the banks of the Boise River.

When you mention Boise most people either think about the potatoes (and, yes we do have the best potatoes in the world) or the famous blue turf where Boise State University’s awesome football team plays. But, there is so much more than potatoes & blue turf.

Boise is a regional hub for jazz, theater, and indie music. Popular activities include the Treefort Music Festival and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. We also have an amazing mural gallery in the heart of downtown called “Freak Alley.” For winter sports adventurists, Bogus Basin Ski Resort is just a 30-minute drive from the State Capitol. For water enthusiasts, world-class whitewater rafting & fishing is readily available. Hikers, runners & mountain bikers also have a plethora of trails in the foothills to navigate from Table Rock to Camel’s Back Park.

The city’s cultural diversity is highlighted by the largest concentration of Basque outside of the Pyrenees Region in Europe. Locals & visitors celebrate Basque culture and traditions during a variety of festivals and events held on the Basque Block located in the heart of Old Boise.

Now you can see why I love Boise!

What makes Indulge Boise Food Tours different and unique?

We are proud to be Boise, Idaho’s first food tour! Therefore, we take great joy in having the opportunity to treat our local and out-of-town guests to an extraordinary VIP tour experience that highlights all of the wonderful cuisine, fascinating culture, brilliant history and breathtaking architecture the City of Trees has to offer. We have a fun, eclectic team of guides who are passionate about Boise and, at our core, we are storytellers who are honored to highlight the rich (and somewhat unknown) history of each neighborhood while giving our guests great insight into the culinary perspective of the chefs & restaurateurs during interactive conversations with the chefs & owners.

Our meticulously curated tours appeal to kid foodies, picky eaters, history buffs, experienced home cooks, native Idahoans, out-of-town visitors, and those simply looking for a delicious, hearty meal. We spend a lot of time getting to know the chefs, owners, and staff at our tasting locations so that we can identify those nuggets that will help our tour guests gain a greater appreciation for the culinary perspective & journey of each chef that led them to create the amazing dishes on their menu. These stories are oftentimes the most fascinating aspects of the tours. And then, there’s the scrumptious food…

What type of food do we get to try on your tours?

It is a really exciting time in Boise’s emerging culinary scene, so every one of our tours includes stops at the newest restaurants to hit the market, iconic Boise culinary institutions, award-winning dining establishments, food trucks turned to bricks-n-mortar, the Boise Farmers Market vendors, and more. Our tours highlight locally-owned tasting locations who use locally-sourced ingredients. We tell their story and serve up their signature dishes.

From authentic Basque tapas (croquetas, pintxos, chorizo) & sangria to a bacon sampler in a shot glass & a Bacon Bloody Mary, Indulge Boise tour guests will be treated to a sweet & savory journey through the best cuisine in Boise. Seasonal root vegetables…check! Gourmet house-made sandwiches…check! Purple potatoes…check! There are too many amazing dishes to mention, so you’ll just have to join us for a tour to see for yourself.

We hope that you will visit Boise and Come Indulge with Us

Visit us at www.indulgeboise.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! Tell Angela that her friend in Upstate New York, Taste of Troy Food Tours LLC sent you.

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