7 DAY SPOTLIGHT: Chew Philly Food Tours

Jul 16, 2014 0 comments
7 DAY SPOTLIGHT: Chew Philly Food Tours

Blog by Manayunk Development Corporation Summer Intern, Katie Kavanaugh

What better way to satisfy your hunger and learn about your favorite Philadelphia neighborhood, Manayunk, than with a food tour? Elyse Castillo has made the perfect combination of food and fun with her Chew Philly Food Tour.  In 2011, Elyse and her husband had the idea to start a food touring company featuring all of the Philadelphia favorites: a cheese steak, a soft pretzel, etc. They decided the best place to host it would be in Manayunk since they are live in Manayunk and wanted to promote all of the great local businesses. “It was right under our noses the whole time, such a perfect place to start the tours. There were all of these great hidden spots in Manayunk. It just seemed like the intuitive choice to choose,” says Elyse. They did their homework, researched the history of Manayunk, and designed a unique tour of everyone’s favorite Philadelphia cuisine right here in Manayunk.

A Chew Philly Food Tour consists of eight tastings at six locations along with a 1.7 mile walking tour around the neighborhood and is jam packed with historical facts about Manayunk. You can be sure that you’re getting the full Manayunk food experience with stops along the way that include: a cheese steak from Sorrentino’s, tomato pie from Marchiano’s, soft pretzels from Tastey Twisters, a cappuccino from Café Volo, a burger from Lucky’s Last Chance, and a cupcake from Sweet Elizabeth’s bakery. Not only will you get the tastes but you’ll get all the facts and secrets about Manayunk you never knew before. Each tour guide completes a month-long training program to learn all of the information to provide on the tours so that each group leaves knowing a little bit more than they did before.

“We wanted to make sure that the tour had these tastings and that it’s not all about food - that it’s about the neighborhood. The fact that it is a 300 year old neighborhood is something that even a lot of locals don’t think about,” says Elyse. Elyse also likes to connect locals to the history of Manayunk. She wants tour-goers to leave, “thinking that they felt like they experienced a good representation of all different kinds of Philadelphia foods, especially for travelers.”

By creating Chew Philly, Elyse has made a special connection with the Manayunk community and the traditions that exist here. But the most rewarding part of her job is getting to share that connection with people who might not otherwise grow to love Manayunk as much as she does. “I think that my favorite thing is just living here in Manayunk. We raise our kids here and we really love it, but it’s nice seeing other people love it too. Sometimes we will get people who have lived in Philly their whole lives, especially people from South Philly, and they say, ‘We never knew of Manayunk and now we need to come out here more often now that we do. We love it.’ Seeing other people love this neighborhood that we love is the best part.”

To sign up for a Chew Philly Food Tour, visit www.phillyfoodtours.com.

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