Tasting your way through New York City’s best neighborhoods is a great way to spend an afternoon. And the folks at Foods of New York Tours, the first company in the nation to create and offer a walking food tour, have truly figured out how to mix delicious food with an insider’s view of NYC.
Since first offering their tours in 1999, they’ve researched and fine-tuned; the results are immersive NYC food tours that also explore the culture of Manhattan’s most popular and diverse neighborhoods.
Even the most veteran of New Yorkers will learn or taste something new. Foods of New York Tours combine the great local, ethnic eats New York is famous for, from street food to sitdown restaurants, with the history, culture, architecture, and entertainment offerings of the neighborhood.
The Central Greenwich Village/Soho tour, which is compact in physical distance (your legs won’t grow weary during the three hours), is anything but short on taste and fun NYC facts.
From Washington Square Park to Spring Street, between munching on falafels, freshly baked rosemary focaccia, spicy beef empanadas, stuffed paratha and other ethnic delicacies, you’ll also learn about the neighborhood’s history and how it got its flavor.
Past to present, the evolving influences of the residents are revealed, from immigrant life in the tenements, the once Little Aftica that is now quiet Minetta Lane, to the literary crowd that frequented Le Figaro Cafe, as are the architectural roots such as “piazza-esque” Washington Square with its Arc de Triomphe archway and secret door.
Over the three hours, you’re treated to six sidewalk and NYC restaurant tastings; more if you join a weekend tour. Foods of NY has excellent relationships with the restaurants so you can meet the chefs, tour the kitchen, ask questions and take pictures (be sure to bring your camera). If you’re lucky, you might also have a star sighting.
Along the way, the guides point out popular shops, restaurants and clubs to come back and visit, and you get a cheat sheet so you don’t have to remember it all or write it down. They’re infinitely more informative than a tourist book since they live in the neighborhood and know the best spots; a great way to escape the midtown trap during the rest of your NYC visit.
They also have food tours through Chelsea Market, Meatpacking District, Chinatown and Nolita; well worth the $49 for three hours of delicious food and a rare, insider’s scoop on the city.
Check out these related articles to make the most of your visit:
The Best Street Food In New York
Five of the Best NYC Wine Bars
Make the Most of Sunday Brunch
Comfort Food at its Finest in NYC
A Cultural Cuisine Tour of NYC
I was a guest of the fine folks of Foods of New York Tours, however the opinions expressed here are solely my own and not influenced in any way by their hospitality.