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. I wish Vegas Valley Food Tours had been there when I visited Las Vegas 10 years ago. Taste of Troy Food Tours recommends 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. I was fortunate to get to meet the dynamic and creative Vickie Wilson, owner of Vegas Valley Food Tours, at the Global Food Tourism Conference in Seattle recently. Below is the interview, allowing me to highlight her in person so to speak.
Tell us about yourself and your food tour?
My name is Vickie Wilson and I was born and raised in Las Vegas. I am an educator, previous social worker and lifelong lover of all things Vegas. Being a food tour owner allows me to combine three of many passions in my life: learning, eating, and meeting people from all over the world.
Vegas Valley Food Tours is a company connecting Vegas history, culture, and community with whomever is looking for a positively unique experience through historic downtown Las Vegas. By sharing my love of the downtown community, I hope to foster curiosity in lessor known downtown neighborhoods and serve up edible joy in downtown Las Vegas.
Tell us about Las Vegas and what made you start a food tour there?
Vegas (as we know it today) started as a rail town in 1905 named The Clark Las Vegas Townsite. Current day downtown Las Vegas was then just a stop in the middle of the desert serving as a connection between a stretch of rail line between California and Utah. With a bit of luck, proximity and natural resources, The Clark Las Vegas Townsite grew from being a rail stop to being the start of what would become the foundation for the Vegas we see today.
From inception, there has always been some form of gaming in Las Vegas – legal and illegal. After Nevada approved legalized casino gaming in March 1931, the City of Las Vegas and Clark County set up licensing procedures for casino games. Most of the gaming applicants came from establishments that had offered legal poker games on Fremont Street downtown. Soon after legalization of casino gaming, interest in casino licensure grew to areas outside of downtown largely focusing on the area now known as the strip, approximate 4 mile stretch between Sahara Avenue and Russell Road.
As time went on, more interest and growth in the gaming industry took shape on the strip to outgrow the growth in the older Fremont Street Historic District.
The strip is fabulous and there is nothing like it in the world! I would encourage anyone visiting Vegas for the first time to visit iconic Vegas locations on the strip. Then once you have seen the Fountains of Bellagio, attended Cirque du Soleil, and taken a picture in from of the iconic Welcome to Las Vegas sign, come and visit downtown and its whimsical charm as the historic center of Las Vegas.
I started a food tour because I love food tours and wanted to share my passion for history, community and culinary offerings with visitors and locals. The tour operates exclusively in downtown and we focus on areas rich in culture and independently owned eateries. If you take a tour with us, we’ll get you munching, crunching, sipping and slurping just like the locals.
What makes your food tour different and unique?
We are food lovers with the ability to tell a great story about the community, culture and vibrant downtown culinary scene. We offer an experience for the everyday foodie that is fun and personable. Much like that old rail town, we offer a detour in the middle of the desert that quenches a thirst and feeds a soul. We connect the city’s history to a culinary journey that our guest won’t soon forget.
What type of food do we get to try?
We focus on locations loved by locals but rarely experienced by tourist. Our selections are carefully chosen with the everyday foodie in mind. From family owned businesses to “Best in Vegas” Restaurants, our tour has it all. A list of our current tasting locations can be found on our website and we look forward to changing the way people experience historic downtown Las Vegas, one bite at a time.
Thank you Vickie!
For more information on Vickie’s tours, check out www.vegasvalleyfoodtours.com Next time you are visiting Vegas, be sure to book a tour with Vegas Valley Food Tours. Tell them their fellow food tour, Taste of Troy Food Tours sent ya!