Though I didn't have time to go on a food tour during my most recent trip, I have been on several in the past: West Greenwich Village, Chelsea Market, Top Chef, and Brooklyn. The exciting part of the tours, believe it or not, is not really the food. Instead, you get to learn about the history of the area you’re touring, which can be surprising.
Greenwich Village is a beautiful, calm area of the city that is mostly free of tourists. We mainly toured Bleecker Street, which has a ton of interesting and unique food vendors. That’s actually where we discovered Faicco’s and Amy’s Bread that I talked about in this week’s Top 10. We also went into Murray’s Cheese Shop, which is not just cheese. It’s like an Italian deli of sorts with meats, cheeses, and freshly made dishes in take-out containers. In fact, the store just opened a second location a couple doors down called Murray’s Cheese Bar, where you can taste some of the meats and cheeses. Throughout the tour, though, we also saw the beautiful row houses of the Village and learned about some famous people who called the part of the city home.
Chelsea Market may be my favorite tour that I went on possibly because our tour guide was absolutely hilarious. At first, he made me slightly uncomfortable, but by the end, I was laughing at his jokes. Chelsea Market is actually where Food Network headquarters is, but underneath all the official business is a beautifully laid out shopping area. There’s a milk bar that serves all types of local milks and more excitingly, ice creams. The Lobster Place has the freshest seafood I’ve ever seen and has some lobster sushi options that were to die for. The Manhattan Fruit Exchange makes you feel like you’re in an open air market even though you’re not, and it has all types of unique fruits for low prices. Again, there’s an Amy’s Breads in the market as well, which is always a good touch.
The Top Chef tour was also very fun because there were little competitions built into the tour like the Bravo TV series, Top Chef. I actually don’t really remember all the foods we tried, but I know we went to WitchCraft, which is this crazy awesome sandwich shop, though. One of the judges on Top Chef owns the NYC chain so that's why we paid it a visit. My favorite sandwich there is one inspired by French onion soup. It’s delicious. There are some spread out through the city, so if you’re ever in the mood, you should be able to find one. The point of the tour was more seeing some sights that the show had visited than tasting food, so that was really interesting and fun. I even won one of the mini competitions for identifying a dried chickpea.
Brooklyn is also a super interesting place to go. We went to a bunch of pizza places because the tour was actually called “A Slice of Brooklyn.” We also saw both sides of the Brooklyn Bridge and snapped some quick photos. We were supposed to go to Coney Island, but we had to stop the tour short that day. Our tour guide was also fun to listen to, and she kept the tour exciting.
I would suggest looking some NYC food tours if you’re going to be in the city. There are some great deals on Groupon for reduced rates, so the tours end up being really affordable. If you do book one, tell me how it goes! And by the way, follow my new Twitter account (@KarlysKomments) for site updates! Happy kommenting :)