Though the word “flight” might conjure up images of planes, some flights are actually all about eating and drinking your way to bliss (not vacation). This kind of flight is for curious eaters with big appetites, the type of person who can’t just choose one item on the menu but wants to try one bite of everything. Most tasting flights are beer- or wine-focused, but there are more enticing options out there for people with more adventurous tastes.
Tasting flights typically group together three or more samples of a designated dish or beverage. You’ve likely sampled a variety of beer flights, but creative restaurants have dreamed up flights that let guests sample spam, mead, and even gourmet chips. Sometimes these flights are carefully selected to allow the diner to discern similarities and differences between the samples, but most of the time, tasting flights are simply a fun way of trying a few varieties of the snack in question to find out which one you like best.
Here’s a sampling of out-of-the-ordinary tasting flights for you to gnaw on. Whether you’re a fan of grilled cheese or a coffee connoisseur, everyone will find something here to love.
1. Grilled cheese
Fridays at La Femme du Fromage feature Grilled Cheese Happy Hour. That means three different grilled cheese sandwiches paired with three different beers. The selection changes weekly, but the three-cheese and prosciutto Le Grande Fromage is the most popular. Look for unusual offerings, too, like the Dirty Elvis: Norwegian Gjetost cheese spread like peanut butter on cinnamon brioche with bacon and banana.
Where: 3201 Corrine Drive, Suite 106, Orlando, Florida
Orlandough’s premium doughnuts are only available by special order and at pop-up events. One of those is the monthly Doughnut & Beer Pairing by Orlando Brewing where you get four of Orlandough’s doughy rings of goodness paired with four handcrafted, organic beers. A popular flight is Game of Thrones-themed: Mother of Dragons, Lord Commander, and Fire and Ice doughnuts paired with beers like Magic Pils and Right On Red.
Where: 1301 Atlanta Avenue, Orlando, Florida
Though in the self-professed “middle of nowhere” (actually on a highway minutes outside of Lexington, Virginia, and the now infamous The Red Hen restaurant), Lexington Coffee Roasters brews exquisite coffees. It uses coffee flights to introduce its curated beans and specialty roasts to people who are perhaps more used to typical gas station coffee. The goal of each flight is to help each individual find their personal coffee preferences.
Where: 2345 Lee Highway, Lexington, Virginia
Shameless Buns, a Filipino food truck in Vancouver, British Columbia, offers a surprising tasting flight — Spam. You get four types of your choice: original, garlic, jalapeno, Sichuan, bacon, or teriyaki, plus seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice. The chef fries the Spam into the shape of French fries and serves each portion with two dipping sauces of your choice, including housemade banana ketchup and Filipino spicy vinegar.
Where: At festivals and on the streets of Vancouver, British Columbia
Mead — fermented honey, yeast, and water — is the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage. Nine hundred years ago, it was a popular drink in China. Like wine, it can be sweet or dry, still or sparkling. Bos Meadery, in Madison near the beautiful state capitol building, offers flights of its award-winning craft meads, made with local aromatics and always unpasteurized honey. How about a flight featuring a spicy mead called Magic Carpet Ride?
Where: 849 East Washington Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin
6. Chips and Popcorn
In the Dirty Dancing-esque resort town of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, there’s a cute little wine shop that encourages you to eat too. Sure, you can enjoy a flight of wine that Jaclyn Stuart, Vintage Elkhart Lake’s owner and sommelier, has hand-selected. But you can also order flights of gourmet potato chips and Wisconsin’s super flavorful and cheesy Palo Popcorn, plus buy some to take home.
Where: 100 East Rhine Street, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
At The Edison in Disney Springs, AKA Downtown Disney, you can order a flight of bacon. It’s called Clothesline Candied Bacon, and each piece comes clipped to an actual miniature clothesline. You get four pieces of bacon with each flight: maple, sweet and spicy pickle, black pepper, and fruit mostarda (and on Valentine’s Day the bacon is dipped in chocolate).
Where: Disney Springs, 1570 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Florida