Travelers are spending more time and money on unique food and beverage experiences, and trends indicate that visitors to Alachua County increasingly seek out unique local cuisine as part of their travel adventure. With $170.9 million in sales, food and beverage spending by visitors is the third largest area of tourism economic impact in Alachua County, preceded only by transportation and lodging.
Gainesville has elevated the college football tailgate scene catching the attention of CNN Headline News with local restaurants Satchel’s Pizza, Crane Ramen, Dragonfly Sushi and local food aficionado Ken Eats Gainesville receiving national exposure. VegNews Magazine featured Gainesville “at the top of the list of the most veg-friendly cities in the country.” Food and Wine magazine highlighted Madrina’s Cuban-inspired craft cocktails as part of a national trend, and Bon Appétit magazine featured local restaurants The Top and Afternoon for their delectable cuisine.
Breweries are also putting Alachua County on visitors’ must-do itineraries. First Magnitude Brewery Company’s Vega brew received the Silver Medal in the Blonde Ale category at the 2018 World Beer Cup and is an example of the excellence in the county’s expanding craft brewery offerings, which includes the Swamp Head, Blackadder, Cypress & Grove, Big Top and High Springs brewing companies.