In the heart of downtown Winter Garden, an experience like no other is waiting for you! John and Jamie Baylor first visited Winter Garden in 2009 for a date night that would change both their lives forever. They not only fell in love with each other but with the small town of Winter Garden as well. Fast forward eight years in 2017 they decided to create an experience that combined their love for the city and the joy of food! Winter Garden Food Tours was born! Recently I got to dive into this experience and go on a tour myself. Our tour started out at Way Chocolate and ended at Pilars Martini. 

Way chocolate is a chocolate lovers paradise where you can find any and everything dipped into their luscious chocolate. Their best selling items are the potato chips, smoked bacon, pretzels and dried fruits such as apricots and candied orange peels. They also offer different types of chocolate bark, a fan favorite is their salted nut bark! If you're not a chocolate lover Way Chocolate still has treats for you! Another one of their best selling items is the creme brulee, served while still flaming, and made with no chocolate at all! They're a dietary friendly chocolate shop that includes sugar-free items, gluten-free items, and even vegan options as well!  While our tour was at Way Chocolate I had to the opportunity to experience many different ways their chocolate is used. I made my own macarons, experienced dipping and decorating different items into their tempering machines with dark and milk chocolate and even tried my very first affogato. Way chocolate makes their affogato with their house-made gelato and drowns it with a shot of their freshly made espresso. The gelato flavor options are endless and the affogato is decadent and delicious.

Following the Way Chocolate experience, we enjoyed a short walking tour of downtown Winter Garden as John and Jamie led us to our next stop at Pilars Martini bar. Pilars opened in the beginning of 2013, at this time there was no nightlife in downtown Winter Garden. The owner Becky was starting a new chapter in her life and wanted to bring the nightlife to downtown Winter Garden. As a fun spirited dedication to her high school Spanish class alter ego the name Pilar (pe-lar')  was born!  This piano-centric spot has set the bar high for all the nightlife in Central Florida. Serving signature cocktails, hosting open mic nights every Thursday, and live jazz jams on Sunday Pilars has quickly become the spot where everyone wants to be. During our tour, we got to taste all of Pilars signature cocktails the Pilars Posse being my favorite! Pilars collaborated with Maestro Dobel Tequila to create their own "Special Edition" Tequila, this tequila is served in the Pilars Posse drink along with St. Germain, rhubarb and orange liqueurs. This small tour was just a taste and sip of what John and Jamie have in store for their Summer Date Night Cooking tour! 

The Summer Date Night Cooking Tour will take place on Wednesday nights at 6pm. June 19th, 26th and July 17th, and 24th. This hands-on experience will be a date night you never forget! As you cook and eat your way through Downtown Winter Garden you'll experience a two hour guided tour with four hands-on cooking and tasting stops! First stop is for appetizers at The Sacred Olive, followed by the main course at The Deli Downtown, then onto desserts at Way Chocolate and lastly Drinks at Pilars Martini! This tour will not only fill you up but will be a lasting experience like no other! To book your tour visit or call 407-484-7460.

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Featured Food Images Provided by @Orlandofoodchick