Food tour offers a taste of the Spa City

"The espresso vinegar is just delicious," he said, joking that the store's owners love when the tour arrives because "everyone buys so much stuff."

Down the street is the Saratoga Salsa and Spice Co., which sells its own salsa and spices as well as sauces, barbecues and rubs from all over. There's a tasting bar where everyone can sample products.

The tour wraps up at Bettie's Cupcakes, where participants will have "the best cupcakes you've ever tasted," Haedrich said.

A Chestertown resident, Haedrich has been visiting Saratoga since he was 2. He loves the city and figured in addition to its food history, all of the tourists made it a good place to try a food tour. He said the tours are gaining popularity all over the world " he's taken them in Florence and London, and just about every major U.S. city has one. Some cities even have specialized food tours, like one in New York City that features just pizza, he said.

Haedrich figures he'll run the tours through early September. A retired Air Force officer, he used to give tours of the Pentagon and said he just enjoys showing people around. He kind of fell into the walking tour gig in Saratoga " he went to the visitors center to ask about tours, and someone suggested he give one given his deep appreciation for the city's history.

"There's so many wonderful stories," he said.

Mixing those stories with food makes for an enjoyable " and filling " day.

"There is more than enough for lunch," he said. "People keep saying, 'I'm sure glad we're walking.'"

The tour lasts for about two and a half hours and covers roughly a mile. For more information, including how to purchase tickets, visit saratogafoodtours.com.""

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