Whenever we travel to a new place, we’re always keen to try out a few local food treats if we can, so on a recent trip to New York we decided to hook up with a local company running Food on Foot tours to get a little off the beaten track.
Food on Foot run a whole range of different food tours and ours took in the East Village with a three hour walk that gave us a flavour of neighbourhood food away from the tourist hotspots. Meeting under the entrance for Grand Central Terminal (it’s not a station – we’d done that tour the day before!) our group of about 30 from nations around the world slowly came together and we set off on for the subway in pursuit of tour leader Corey. He reckons he’s the only foodie tour leader brave enough to take a large group on the subway – thankfully we didn’t let him down and the whole group made it to the right stop without mishap.
Corey’s strap-line is that he’s a ‘real New Yorker taking you out for real New York food.’ His tours aren’t about gourmet tastings, but about getting to the heart of real New York street food.
Clearly, we’re not going to reveal his route and stops as that would spoil the tour- part of the fun is in not knowing where you’ll go and what you’ll try. We did six stops though, sampling both savoury and sweet treats at small local establishments that we’d never have otherwise found, let alone tried. At each stop, Corey told us about the food they specialised in and why he’d included it, then gave a recommendation for what to try. In between, he sprinkled in a few interesting facts and snippets about New York’s history and culture; giving us little insights that weren’t in the guide books. It was turning into a great little tour.
New York is famous for its New York style pizza, which apparently originated back in the early 1900’s, but Corey reckons that really good New York style pizza is now getting hard to find, so he wanted to make sure we tasted some on this trip. We’re not big pizza lovers – we eat it occasionally, but can definitely live without it – so we admit to being a little bit tepid about this stop. We have to say though that the slice we went for was fabulous – most definitely the best pizza we have ever tasted.
At the final sweet stop, we plumped for a ‘New York Italian’ ice cream which was the perfect end to the tour and a thoroughly enjoyable three hours. It was a good six hours before we could eat anything else!