If you like watching the show Top Chef you will love going on the New York @CityFoodTours. This walking food tour, being offered by City Food Tours, stops at some of the places that Top Chef participants visited while in New York City. We met up at The French Culinary Institute, in the SoHo area of Manhattan. From there we walked through Little Italy, Chinatown, and other neighborhoods of New York City.
If you would like to book one of the City Food Tours visit them at www.cityfoodtours.com/newyork. You will find their prices are very reasonable and it makes a great day trip in New York City.
There were right around 10 of us and I think it is important to keep the groups small so everyone gets in on whatever we are doing and no one feels left out.
Our first stop was Dipalos Italian Fine Foods, Cheese Shop and Market where we enjoyed some fabulous Italian cheese. Our tour guide, Amanda, taught us a little bit about what regions the cheese comes from in Italy. The store was bustling with locals and it was hard to just eat cheese and not want to taste everything in this store. It’s a site to see with the large hams and cheese hanging from the ceiling and in the window.
Next stop was Chinatown where we had a “pineapple roll.” This came from a Chinese bakery seen in the video below. It was light and not too sweet. A perfect first treat on our tour.
We also saw Chinese fruit markets and an herb, nuts, and dried vegetable shop. It would have been nice to actually go inside of the markets and shop but then again, unless you can read Chinese you wouldn’t know what you were buying or how much it cost.
Along the way our guide, Amanda, shared some of the history of the area pointing out different buildings how their use has changed over the years. As we progressed through the area, we stopped and enjoyed the savory taste of a Vietnamese sandwich called Banh Mi at the Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich shop in Little Italy. The Banh Mi is made up of three different types of pork and pickled vegetables.
Papa Bubble, a small candy shop / store, was on our next quick stop and we watched them roll out and cut hard candy. They had beakers on the wall to show you all of the flavors and science that goes into making candy. They only sell hard candy so don’t go looking for chocolate here.
We arrived at Eileen’s Special Cheesecake and actually got to meet Eileen herself. She is a bubbly and friendly person who makes you feel right at home. We sat for a bit and sampled her light cheesecake.
As we enjoyed her cheesecake, Eileen told us her history and difference in the types of cheesecake offered throughout the city. She said that some people don’t like her cheesecake because it isn’t sweet enough but for those who like a lighter fare Eileen’s cheesecake is delicious.
What would cooking be without the proper utensils and supplies needed to make those tasty concoctions? Our next stop was the Panhandler’s Kitchen Supply store on Broadway where we were schooled in the proper use and purpose of knives. We made it there just in time for a cooking demonstration too. Panhandlers has free demonstrations every Saturday.
Our final stop was at Wichcraft Sandwich where we tasted the grilled Gruyere with caramelized onions and got to play a food trivia game for prizes. We were also entertained with a little jazz from a duo guitarist and saxophonist in the background.
We enjoyed the tour and interesting stops along the way and the weather was just perfect. Our guide was very informative and knowledgeable in the local history so we learned more than just about the food we were tasting. We are looking forward to going of some of the other tours City Food Tours that they offer.
If you would like to book one of the City Food Tours visit them at www.cityfoodtours.com/newyork