Leigh Eckle,

founder of the

Triangle Food Tour

talks about how

the Downtown

Walking Food Tours got started.

Quite simply, there was a confluence of events revolving around food and an unbridled enthusiasm for the Triangle area that one day all came together:

  • We have been living in the Triangle area since 1994 and have come to love the unique characteristics and diversity of the various cities and towns that make up this vibrant area we call the Triangle.  Regardless of where you live, the culinary, artistic, recreational, educational and cultural resources are readily accessible.


  • In 2002 we started a unique entrepreneurial service (Associate Arrangements, LLC), that was the area’s first custom-tailored relocation services business.  Our clients are many of the Triangle’s prominent, established firms as well as entrepreneurial ones.  The common link is they value their employees and want to do something unique and special for the candidates and their families when it came to learning about the area resources and easing the transition of their relocation.
  • In the course of providing these services over the years we learned a tremendous amount about the Triangle area.  We have continued to learn and have captured much of this in our web site, trianglegateway.com.  Food is just one of the many topics we have the pleasure of staying on top of.


  • We love to cook and eat.  We also enjoy eating out even though it is often related directly to our work.  It’s important for us to personally experience the culinary landscape in all corners of the Triangle, whether at an established restaurant or one of the many new, up and coming venues. 
  • We were familiar with walking food tours (found in most major cities) and had personally gone on a couple in Chicago.  However, one day in late 2007 during a meeting with some of the folks from the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, we brought the subject up, talked about the value for downtown visitors and observed that Raleigh did not have one of these.  Their answer back to us was- why don’t you do it?  We said, “why not?.” 
  • We talked to several of the restaurant owners/chefs we knew about the idea of a walking food tour and many responded very favorably.  One of my favorite responses was “this would be a restaurateur’s dream”.  In March 2008, we launched Triangle Food Tour and started with two different Downtown Raleigh Walking Food Tours. 
  • We knew that many residents of the various Triangle communities were sometimes reluctant to “go downtown”.  There’s only so much you can learn driving by in a car.  Many residents, if they did go downtown to a concert, play or museum, did not include lunch or dinner, primarily because they weren’t comfortable knowing where to go.  The Triangle Food Tour has changed all that- see what people say about their experience


  • With the walking food tour, everybody gains.   The tour guests come away with newly formed insights of the downtown areas and a first-hand, behind the scenes experience at a cross-section of the locally-owned downtown area eating establishments.  The restaurants get the opportunity to personally connect in an informal way with potential new customers who often say they’ll be returning. On top of all that it's fun!
  • Now we conduct downtown walking food tours in all corners of the Triangle (Raleigh, Chapel Hill & Carrboro, Durham and Cary).    


Book online now!

Media Recognition

A Tasty Way to Discover Durham's Past and Culinary Future

Examiner.com- A taste of 4 countries in one day

Restaurteurs- Thoughts about deep discount coupon marketers

Cary Citizen

A Tarheel Tastes

Local Tech Wire Article

Local Tech Wire Link

Chapel Hill Magazine

Cary News

News and Observer

Pull Over and Let Me Out Blog

Western Wake Magazine- Culinary Corner

WRAL TV visits the food tour

NBC-17 visits the Comfort Food Edition of the food tour

My Carolina Today Visits Triangle Food Tour

Questions or Contact

If you have any questions please contact us at 919.319.5674 or email