Salem has become a destination food city. Many credit Karen Scalia, founder and owner of Salem Food Tours. Her motto is “Eat Local, Shop Local, Support Small Businesses.” She’s become the culinary concierge for Witches City, introducing guests from near and far to Salem’s famous restaurants, food, and wine shops.
As she celebrates the 10th anniversary of her Salem Food Tour, we asked Scalia to share some of her favorite tidbits (she has a lot!) and hidden gems. Here is:
from the sea
“We are lucky, we have a wide variety of seafood to choose from,” says Scalia.
You’ll find perfect fish and chips at Olde Main Street Pub, and great cuts of tuna and swordfish with flavorful seasonal sauces at Finz. Winner of her BONS of Readers’ Choice for General Excellence, Ledger and Settler is a farm-to-table restaurant serving an ever-changing menu that always offers the freshest seafood options. If you like crab cakes, stop by Brody’s Seaport. You can’t go wrong with lobster bisque from Turners Seafood, lobster casserole from The Lobster Shanty, or oysters from Sea Level, Settler, or Ledger. And sushi lovers have found their place in the city with Finns, Koto, and Opus creating flavorful fresh rolls in their own style.
Scalia agrees north shore As for the pizza, the magazine editor’s BONS selection. “At Bambolina, Chef Tim and his team use his Acunto oven to create the perfect Neapolitan-style pizza, and his great grilled Caesar goes great with his salad,” he says Scalia. say.
And the Flying Saucer Pizza Company raves about their pesto sauce base (nut-free and delicious) on top of a great beer crust with fresh local toppings. Another great option is a longboard for flatbreads. Make pizza at home? Pick up fresh mozzarella cheese and a mouth-watering moriterno al tartuffo at The Cheese Shop of Salem.
At BONS winner A&J King Bakery, Scalia is looking forward to seasonal dishes featuring fruit from local farms. Fall Concord Her Grape Her Pie is a must for her. Her Roseadela’s, Salem’s new bakery, also features seasonal fruit, especially the house-made syrups and confits that are popular with tour guests. A sip of history? Gobble up her Nathaniel’s Bread Pudding at the Hawthorne Hotel, served with warm chocolate and caramelized pears, bourbon her caramel, and raw whipped her cream.
“The almond croissant from Caramel French Patisserie also wins my heart. The vegan and gluten-free options at Jody Bee Bakes are packed with great flavors,” says Scalia. “I highly recommend stopping by her Jolly Tea Company and having her Hi-Her Tea and homemade French Her Madeleines.”
Bake at home? Salem Spice’s Ceylon Cinnamon and Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend is perfect for your pantry.
I’m thirsty? Scalia says both the Ledger and Opus mixologists are great, suggesting a Bloody Mary, or the famous Scary Mary at sea level, which includes a homemade Bloody Mary mix, steak his chips, half a lobster, and blue cheese-stuffed olives. To do. As for beer, she again agrees with her BONS selection at Gulu-Gulu Cafe and is equally enthusiastic about Olde Main Street Pub’s Choice her beer selection. She advocates for all serum makers that have started in the last decade. Far She’s From The Tree, Deacon Giles Distillery, Notch, East Regiment Beer Her Company. It’s great with Asian food,” adds Scalia. Another of her destinations on her list is the new Marina Beer Garden at the Salem Waterfront Hotel.
go out drinking? At Pamplemousse, you can combine beer and cider to create a custom six-pack. “They’re also known for their wide selection of mead, a fermented honey wine that’s very popular in the fall,” Scalia adds. You’ll find a great selection at Salem Wine Imports, which hosts tastings.The Salem Cheese Shop hosts a monthly wine club.”
we love chocolate
According to Scalia, “a lifetime isn’t enough to eat up all of Salem’s amazing chocolates.”
Kakawa Chocolate House offers amazing chocolates steeped in flavors from rose to chili. At Ye Olde Pepper Candy Company, we appreciate turtles and fudge. Harbor Suites serves the famous Sweet Sloop and other delicious treats. Roseadela’s is perfect for homemade chocolate treats. New to the scene and receiving rave reviews from guests at Scalia is the Chocolate Pantry, which sources delicious artisanal chocolates from Europe and the Middle East.
Scalia hopes Salem’s food scene will continue to expand and grow. “With our dedicated and talented chefs, and delicious pop-ups and specialty eateries supporting our food scene, Salem truly has something for everyone.”
For more information on Salem Food Tours’ year-round public and private group tours, please visit: salemfoodtours.com