Local cuisine and culture is being highlighted during a food tour in downtown Erie.

The Erie Food Tour draws crowds from near and far to learn about Erie history and to try local cuisine.

Participants of Erie Food Tours are coming from near and far to see what the City of Erie has to offer when it comes to food and culture.

“The food tour stops along local establishments and restaurants in Erie. We stop at each place to eat, have their local cuisine. Then we also stop along the way for history stops, giving local Erie history as well,” said Elise Heinlein, food tour guide, Erie Food Tours.

The menu for the tour remains unknown to participants, but includes a variety of dishes from restaurants of different backgrounds and dessert at the final location.

The tour guide says the tour remained popular during the pandemic as a way for people to still come together.

“During the pandemic especially everyone wanted things to do. So now that things are back to normal this is a really good thing for local people to do and tourists,” said Heinlein.

An Erie native returning home for the tour weighed in on the food and progression of the city.

“It’s been amazing. The places are new and they’re very, very well established,” said Elaine Rutkowski, participator. “None of this was here when I left. We left about 40 years ago, and Gannon was a teeny tiny little place. So this is amazing what they’ve done to Erie to refurbish this area.”

The tour guide tells us how the public is responding to the cultural and culinary experience.

“We’ve been a top 10 of things to do in Erie. With the pandemic we kind of go up and down, but for the most part we’re in the top 10. We always get a good turnout. People can rate us on Trip Advisor after the tour, and I believe we have five stars so it seems that everyone loves it,” said Heinlein.

Rutkowski says the food from one of the restaurants will stick with her as she returns home to California.