Next time you are planning your vacations think about a European type seaside resort with beautiful panoramas of reefs, white sand and blue skies. If this sounds appealing to you, then you need to travel to Carlsbad in northern San Diego County, California. I have to say that in terms of food the best way to taste the most delicious dishes is with Carlsbad Food Tours. They are experts and will make you have an incredible experience at “The Village by the Sea”. We talked to Cherimarie Poulos, founder of Carlsbad’s first food tour company.
Cherimarie, tell us about you.
Well I was born & raised in California. I’ve lived in San Diego over 20 years. I have a strong connection to Carlsbad; in fact one of my daughters was Miss Carlsbad 2005. So I voted myself to be Mrs. Carlsbad. I love Carlsbad and am happy to share my knowledge about the local history and great eateries in the Carlsbad Village.
I had a wonderful career as a Registered Nurse for 34 years. When getting ready to retire I realized that I was still relatively young and could do other things at this point of my life. So I took the love of food and history and put them together to create Carlsbad Food Tours.
How did you start the company?
In 2013, during an anniversary weekend, my husband, Brad, and me went on a similar tour in Carmel and had a fabulous time. The thought came to me that “We have a village with some wonderful restaurants”, why can’t we have a food tour in Carlsbad? So after checking that there was not a tour like this, I decided to jump on this idea before someone else did.
I spent an enormous amount of time studying the history and culture of Carlsbad, as well as getting the “back story” on the restaurants in town. Choosing the restaurants and food tastings was fun but also difficult due to having so many great restaurants in Carlsbad. So she initially focused on my two main items: Great Food & History! I also wanted to spotlight unique family owned places that we not easily repeated in other cities. She wanted her tour guests to get a taste of what Carlsbad had to offer.
What made you choose Carlsbad?
Carlsbad, California is an upscale coastal resort city with old-world charm in northern San Diego County. Carlsbad is a beach town, so these kinds of towns are often seen as tourist destinations that attract visitors and locals together to enjoy the beautiful scenery and waterfront activities.
This quaint European type village has history and great food, which makes it an excellent location to start a food tour.
Carlsbad became famous in 1880’s when alkaline spring water was discovered. The town was named after the famous spa in Karlovy Vary or better known as Karlsbad, due to the qualities of its water.
- Carlsbad has a heavy Italian Population, which started with the Tuna Industry and now we have a lot of great Italian restaurants.
- The city has mild Mediterranean weather throughout the year and calls itself the golf capital of the world with four award-winning courses.
- 40% of Carlsbad’s land has been reserved for open space to protect its natural setting, beautiful panoramas a wait from the beaches’ bluffs, reefs and sand.
What food is served during the tour?
We start with one of Carlsbad’s finest Italian food: baked artichokes, sweet marinara and famous garlic bread. Then we offer a tasting of balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy and delicious olive oils. Next we try Italian meats & cheeses, salami, prosciutto, panini sandwiches or pasta at the Salumeria (Gourmet Market). We continue with wine tasting of Award winning California wines. Carlsbad is considered the Little Italy in North County San Diego so we a tasting flight of traditional gelato, yum! We change paths to try traditional Mexican food at one of the oldest business in Carlsbad, after this we head to savor the most delicious homemade Cinnamon Rolls. We finish at a chocolate bar with a tasting of Sea Salt Carmel Chocolates.
Most of our tastings are also vegan-friendly. Come and eat like the Locals, find all the hidden gems in Carlsbad.
What a great mix of food and fun! Thanks, Cherimarie!