Looking for a place to eat? Local tour guide and foodie fanatic Tori Hypes knows a spot. Since launching Foodie Tours this February, Tori and her clients have had a blast traversing the cuisine scene of Moore County, visiting local restaurants, cafes, wineries, and breweries, and covering an assortment of food from all corners of the world.
“As a travel foodie myself, I have always loved visiting new places and trying the local cuisine,” said Tori, recounting her trips across Europe and Asia. “I have traveled all over the world tasting so many different incredible foods and truly feel that we have some of the best food here in Moore County!”
Foodies getting a taste of spring rolls at The Block in Southern Pines.
After moving to Moore County mid-2022, Tori was immediately impressed by the massive selection and variety of eateries available in the greater Moore County area. She realized that the food tours common in Europe would be a great fit for the thriving “foodie” population of Moore County.
“When I first visited Downtown Southern Pines, I was shocked by how many amazing food choices there were in such a small area,” Tori recalled. “This inspired me to encourage others to enjoy so many delicious different foods in one seating on a food tour!”
The tours themselves consist of five to six stops varying from different restaurants, breweries, and coffee shops, depending on the type of tour. The menu is predetermined, with changes based on current specials at the featured restaurants. At two or three stops, clients can choose variations from the selected items, such as toppings on a slice of pizza or a flavor of ice cream. The other stops have priorly selected menu items that best suit the type of tour and are recommended highly by the restaurants as their “must try” items.
SoPies Pizza in Southern Pines is a delicious stop on Foodie Tours.
The initial cost of the tour includes all preselected food and drinks and, according to Tori, “is more than enough to fill up a normal eater.” Clients wishing to purchase additional drinks along the way are always welcome.
Throughout the tour, Tori shares information, fun facts, and bits of history about the towns, restaurants, and even the food and drinks sampled on the tour. She covers everything from the founding of towns to the origins of the foods served, keeping her guests entertained and informed throughout the event.
At present, Tori offers several variations of tours in the downtown districts of Southern Pines and Aberdeen, with options ranging from lunch to dinner, from coffee shops to breweries. She takes the groups to local favorites and lesser-known spots, enjoying the opportunity to shine a light on some of Moore County’s finest eateries.
Foodies enjoying items at the Wine Cellar in Southern Pines.
The tours are given on foot and typically cover about a mile. Tori welcomes and makes accommodations for mobility devices, including walkers and wheelchairs brought by those who may need them.
Foodie Tours has received rave reviews in the few short weeks since opening. “I love that your tours shine a light on what’s already here, and that it’s all locally owned,” complimented one guest on a recent Worldly Cuisines Tour in Southern Pines. “It’s a great balance of places locals already love, and other places they may have never thought to try—and the same for the food, too!”
Tori, a North Carolina native, is excited to call Moore County her new home and is looking forward to not just her future but the future of Foodie Tours, as well. Though she’s been worldwide, North Carolina holds a special place in her heart; she received her undergraduate degree at Appalachian State University and earned her Masters at East Carolina University. Now she’s continuing to share her passions with the citizens of the Sandhills.
“One of my main tour goals is to bring additional business to local restaurants on nights or times when they aren’t as busy to best collaborate,” Tori said. “I’m hoping we make so many memories in the future!”
For more information or to book a tour, visit www.foodietoursnc.com or find them on social media under the handle Foodie Tours NC.
Feature photo: Tori Hypes, owner of Foodie Tours, enjoys the outdoor patio at the Wine Cellar in Southern Pines.
~Article and photos by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Abegail Murphy.