Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Recommended Posts

I seem to remember reading something about a food/history tour of the Lower East Side which included stops along the way to sample food from the famous (and not-so-famous but good) establishments.

Does anyone know about this?

And is there a group that will do this tour of Brooklyn as well, to include some of that borough's highlights (i.e., Nathan's, Junior's, etc.)

Thanks!

George (gettin' hungry before lunch)

Link to post
Share on other sites

We've done a couple of food walking tours in New York - the most recent one only a couple of weeks ago. That tour was in Greenwich Village - 3 hours and about 15 stops - all of whom provided very generous samples. The tour guide was enthusiastic and knowledgable. Printed material with names, addresses and phone numbers was provided and, most thoughtfully, each participant was provided with bottled water. The tour was 36.50 a person and we felt that we had received very good value. It's a great way to familiarize yourself with a neighbourhood. Being computer illiterate I can't post a link but the tour can be found on the web at imar.com.

A couple of years ago we did a food/history walking tour of the Lower East Side with Big Onion walking tours. It's billed as a multi-ethnic food tour and , as I recall, we visited Little Italy, Chinatown and the Jewish delis and bakeries. There was less food and more history than the above tour - but, again, it was a very good way to spend an afternoon.

Kathy

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's my pleasure.

I'm sure we'd all love to hear what you think of the tour if you go!

I'll let you know!

I'll do that or do Coney Island; Ride the Cyclon, then Totonno's for pizza and Nathan's for a Hot Dog. Then up to Junior's for some cheesecake.

:smile:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say, the Taste of the Lowesada (Lower East Side) Tour looks very odd to me. Yes, it's a nice way to get acquainted with a number of the trendy boites that have cropped up in the neighborhood over the past 5-7 years. But the tour doesn't appear to include stops at ANY of the food shops/restaurants for which the neighborhood has traditionally been known. Where's Katz's? Where's Yonah Schimmel's? Where's Russ & Daughters? Where's Gus' Pickles? Where's Economy Candy?

The food traditions of the Lower East Side do not have anything to do with seared tuna, microgreens, or balsamic reductions.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 years later...

From The New York Times Travel Section:

As an adult, you presumably don't need much help, though occasionally a sommelier comes in handy. So the idea of a food tour may seem odd: why pay someone to tell you what to eat?

In short, because it's a way to participate in, and not just observe, life in New York City. And with the right guide, it can be almost exhilarating.

Still, it's not for everyone. If you check Chowhound.com before your e-mail, can distinguish single-origin chocolate made in São Tomé from that made in Tanzania, or have 28 bottles of hot sauce sizzling in your cupboard, you're probably savvy enough to set out on your own and make the city your cafeteria. But for others — visitors, especially — the tours are well worth it.

Has anyone been on any of the tours mentioned in the article or on any others in NYC?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to try out the Taxi driver Fat Daves tours, he seems like a trip

http://www.famousfatdave.com/blog/

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a new yorker so I've never been on a tour; I'm usually the one giving them -

I'm always having international friends in town, I found google maps pretty convenient to put together an itinerary for them...

Here's a sightseeing/eating 1 day tour I put together, which you can do Grimaldi's and Katz's in 1 day, and really anything else in between, along with seeing lady liberty, Ground Zero, City Hall Park, and of course, walking the Brooklyn Bridge -

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=...5,0.188141&z=13

Here's another one for an Indian foodfest of Jackson Heights

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=...611ff&z=14&om=1

Edited by raji (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm a new yorker so I've never been on a tour; I'm usually the one giving them -

I'm always having international friends in town, I found google maps pretty convenient to put together an itinerary for them...

Here's a sightseeing/eating 1 day tour I put together, which you can do Grimaldi's and Katz's in 1 day, and really anything else in between, along with seeing lady liberty, Ground Zero, City Hall Park, and of course, walking the Brooklyn Bridge -

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=...5,0.188141&z=13

Here's another one for an Indian foodfest of Jackson Heights

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=...611ff&z=14&om=1

I would venture that most NYC based eGullet Society members are more likely to be leading or giving tours and have done so on more than one occasion. :laugh: I must say, Raji, that yours look pretty good. While I have never felt the need to go on a formal NYC food tour, I certainly enjoy gastrotourism and the knowledge and connections of experts elsewhere. The CIA/Viking World of Flavors Tours are particularly good for that. Indeed they will be offering a culinary visit to NYC in June of 2008.

Note: For some reason the link to WOF doesn't lead directly to the page describing their NYC trip. One need only click through to the Travel and New York links.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know a fair amount about food in New York City, and I've lived here all my life, but I'm not above going on a well-constructed tour. I've been on a few professional group tours, and also had knowledgeable friends take me on private tours to help me bone up on a given neighborhood or cuisine. You can learn a lot from books and the internet, but sometimes it's best to have a knowledgeable person walk you around. Hey, I even got a tour from Raji not long ago.

One tour I particularly enjoyed was a walking tour of the Brighton Beach/Little Odessa area with Adventures on a Shoestring. I believe AOS is a nonprofit organization, and the tours are dirt cheap. They pack a lot of information into their no-frills tours, and the people who take the tours tend to be either New Yorkers or the kinds of tourists who research things in depth. I don't think AOS even has a website -- at least the last time I checked you still had to call to find out the available tours.

I've noticed a trend towards tours getting more expensive and being led by food-world celebrities. I'd only consider shelling out for some sort of unique knowledge, as opposed to for the sake of celebrity.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the places listed in the NY Times article is run by Tony, a friend of mine. It's called a Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour http://www.bknypizza.com and is well worth the $65 cost. Besides taking you to 2 great pizza joints (Grimaldi's and L&B Spumoni Gardens), Tony takes you on a bus tour of Brooklyn which includes his hysterical commentary and movie clips of spots you cross along the tour. Tony is born and raised in Brooklyn and knows it like the back of his hand. The tour ends in Coney Island where you can have an original Nathan's hot dog and ride the Cyclone. I HIGHLY recommend this tour to both locals and tourists. If you go, tell him Al says hello. I am looking forward to my 2nd trip of this tour sometime in the near future. If you go, make sure to try some Spumoni at L&B.

-Al

Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the last several years L & I have done a number of the tours mentioned above. As far as we're concerned they're one of the best values available to a tourist in the city. In fact, in our week this year we did two - the Central Village with Food Tours of NY and the "Slice of Brooklyn" Pizza Tour.

The Central Village tour took us to places like Joe's Dairy (fresh hickory smoked mozarella and Grandaisy Bakery (white pizza) and numerous other spots, all with prearranged nibbles. By the end of the three hours we had a good working knowledge of a neighbourhood that we weren't familiar with and, as well, we'd had eclectic selection of interesting and good foods. Most people would have been stuffed with the tour food - we, however, had enough room to grab a "Pinnochio" at Alidoro. The sign at the counter listing the items "We Don't Have" (ie DON'T ASK) still makes me laugh when I think of it.

The Brooklyn Pizza tour was an absolute hoot. Tony and his business partner, Jimmy, have done a wonderful organizational job. Grimaldi's, at noon, with no wait; and later, L&B. We asked about DiFara's and they said they'd love to do it but that that service was too slow to consider including it. :wink: (I knew that). Possible dead times in transit are filled in with pertinent film clips. I loved driving under the El just as the famous chase scene from The French Connection was being screened.

I think New Yorkers, if they could stand the embarassment of being identified as tourists, would find a lot to enjoy about them too.

Cheers,

Kathy

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done a Chinatown tour and a Mitsuwa market tour in NJ with New School. As many times as I've been to those places, having someone who really knows the territory, the products and the language was invaluable. I've also done an Arthur Avenue tour through ICE, which was excellent-given by a native of Sicily who moved to the Bronx as a child and who grew up in that neighborhood. I probably could have used all the info gleaned from eGullet for a self-guide to the area, since I was unfamiliar with the area, but it still wouldn't have been the same as going with her. ICE has a number of other tours I'd like to take as well.

Mark A. Bauman

Link to post
Share on other sites

What did you do on the Mitsuwa tour??

Like Steve, I'm not above a good tour, but I guess the right one hasn't come up. One's I'd REALLY like would be....

- Most current, "what you should order where" tour of Chinatown; same, shopping tour

- Same, Jackson Heights

- Tour of latin enclaves such as the Bronx and Spanish Harlem

- soul food tour of harlem

- NE asian tour of flushing (korean, chinese)

- astoria tour

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody here done Calvin Trillin's tour? The New Yorker Festival is coming around again and I'm crossing my fingers that I might possibly have a chance at getting tickets this time around. Although I'll probably lose out and end up cursing at Ticketmaster.com for the rest of the day.

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep mentioning this book I got the other night (posted in Food Literature section) cause it is sooooo good - The Gourmet Shops of New York! It would be easy to put one together a fun one from there, if someone wants to do that as the gorgeous fall weather approaches then I am totally game, I'd love to meet some of you!

Otherwise, I haven't done any tours aside from wandering around in Soho and Little Italy from time to time. I take my boyfriend to Harlem for soul food (Spoonbread on 137th and Lenox is my fave), and he takes me to Jackson Heights and Journal Square. But he's a chef anyway so I eat Indian food all the time.

I want to see more of the city in general cause I've been such a homebody lately, and the outer boroughs, especially Brooklyn and The Bronx. In the Time Out New York Kitchen Report 2007 issue, the chefs surveyed mentioned Jackson Heights being the best enclave of ethnic food, followed by Arthur Ave in The Bronx.

I can't wait for The New Yorker Festival either!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though I had been through Mitsuwa market a number of times and was familiar with a number of products, it was still very instructional to have someone familiar with Japanese language, produce and products describe names, uses, cooking tips for any number of unfamiliar items, including some of the "fast food" offerings. We ended the tour with an excellent lunch at the restaurant just in back of Mitsuwa, whose name escapes me. We were on the second floor in a private room with a picture window overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Discussed Japanese foods, customs, courtesy, etc.

Mark A. Bauman

Link to post
Share on other sites

Defo - I go every 2 months if anyone's dying to go, i can offer such a tour :unsure:

Even if you've never cooked Japanese food before, there is plenty to buy there. Even your most red-blooded American could stock up on the super-fluffy-dense white bread and baked goods, mayo, salad dressings, bulk edamame, sake and shochu, and that's even before the snacks section. Also great place to pick up a proper fuzzy-logic rice cooker. And every home chef should know a mirin, soy, ginger, sugar reduction!

And in the past 5 years, the distributors have gotten tons better, so almost all the products, if you flip it over you will find a sticker with an English translation on the back. It just LOOKS daunting because all you see is the fronts.

Did you mean the Matsushima, the Japanese steakhouse on the waterfront? Or the food court? If you missed the food court, don't do that again. There is a Katsuhama knockoff, avoid, but that is where the Santouka ramen is, the best bowl of ramen in the New York Metro area (yes, post-Setagaya)

store_pic_en.jpg

word

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...