These days there are food tours all over the world however every time I come back to New York I take another and am reminded that New York city food walking tours, may just be the very best in the world. It’s my first time back in the city in over a year and before my arrival I planned to take another tour with Foods of New York.
Previously I have taken the Nolita and the Greenwich Village food tour by them and I was thrilled to be taking their Chelsea Market and Meat Packing District tour, especially because I hadn’t even been to the Chelsea Market before.
However sadly I made a rookie mistake.
While in New York this time around I am staying at the Library Hotel Collection and on this day I was at the Giraffe Hotel. Each morning the LHC hotels offer a tasty continental breakfast that I couldn’t refuse. Instead of having a quick yogurt or some fruit I went straight for a bagel. Rookie move. No matter how free or how tempting DO NOT eat anything prior to taking a Foods of New York tour especially if you are going on the Chelsea Market tour and your guides name is Curt.
We started the tour right with a tiny red velvet cupcake at a cookie and cupcake shop called Eleni’s. Very tasty however warning some things in there can be pricey, like the box of cookies we saw for $68!! They must of been made of gold.
To wash down the cupcakes we had some of the best chocolate milk ever at the Ronnybrook Milk Bar. Instead of just tasting like milk with a chocolate powder or something added to it it literally tasted like I was drinking pure chocolate. Hard to understand and it was hard to believe that this might be the best chocolate milk ever. But it was pretty damn good.
Next up we headed for some cheese at Lucy’s whey. A small little shop they had tons of space for various varieties of cheeses and things made of or with cheese. You could smell the blue cheese in the air (in a good way that is).
First we delighted our taste buds with a small cheese sample.
Then the group happily dug in to some gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches made with cheddar and a fig jam.
At this point myself and the rest of the group were getting very full yet we knew there was still so much more to try. Next up with Buon Italia where we got to sit down for a second and think about digesting before we were all served a large size piece of Italian Mushroom Crostata. It was good and am not even that much of a fan of mushrooms. Buon Italia was definitely a shop that I could of spent more time in browsing around all of the italian pastas and cooking supplies. An added bonus of these tours is that most places you visit give you at least a 10% discount that you can use then or come back for later.
Inside the Chelsea Market. It was a lot different than I had imagined. I had previously envisioned a big open air market place but from what I saw it was a small corridor with shops lining each side and this cool clock in the middle.
Australian pork and sage sausage rolls at the tuck shop were two bite sized delights, so tasty that you didn’t mind the fact that eating them might make you burst.
Next we took a stop at a local grocer for an eating breather and Curt excitedly told us about something he had recently learned. Brussels sprouts are grown on stalks! He was pretty excited about it.
I’m a bit of a salt fiend so I was excited that our next stop at the Chelsea Market Baskets included not only a couple different type salt tastings but also salted caramels. Noms. However some sneaky tourists not on the trip snuck in and stole some from us. You always need to be on the look out of other people stealing your food on these tours.
Buttermilk biscuits and tasty raspberry and apricot jams were next on the list. Made by the famous mensch of baking Sara Beth at Sarabeth’s bakery.
Barely being able to move at this point, after swinging by some $6,000 toilets we made our way up (in an elevator thankfully) to New Yorks famous high line trail, an old railway line above the city that has been converted into a garden area and scenic walkway through the meat packing district.
Last but not least we came to our finally tasting of the tour. Garganelli Pasta & Oxtail Ragu at the Macelleria restaurant in the meat packing district. Oxtail…. doesn’t sound that tasty but I was amazed at just how good it was.
Throughout the whole tour Curt was “on” and never stopped. He went out of is way to learn each persons name and where they were from and the corny jokes just never stopped coming, along with one of his favourite phrases “okie dokie, artechokey”. He definitely kept us all entertained and made sure everyone felt included and got a sample of each thing we tried. I’m not sure if he just has tons of energy or it just seemed like it compared to our group of stuffed tourists but it seemed like he thoroughly enjoyed his job and what he was doing.
Aside from eating things that were on the planned tour schedule Curt also had us running in and out of other shops in the market, took us to use $6,000 heated seat toilets in a fancy restaurant and also arranged us a few extra tastings like chocolate fig candies, mini doughnuts, truffle salt and more. (Note this is not to be expected on every tour).
Of the three Foods of New York tours that I have been on so far, I would say that this one although tasty, delicious and really good might not of been my favourite food of the three tours. I still dream of the pizza on the Nolita tour and the arancini on the original Greenwich tour…. perhaps I need to take them all over again to make up my mind.
Are you a fan of food walking tours? Have you ever taken any in New York?
Special thanks to Foods of New York for having my mother and I on the tour. As always all views, and opinions expressed are my own as is my full belly of deliciousness.