Eating My Way Through New York City

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Okay, so not ALL of New York City. The title for this post should really be “Eating My Way Through Little Italy and Chinatown in New York City with Ahoy! New York Food Tours.” But that was a bit long to fit in the title slot…

On my most recent trip to NYC, I wanted to do more than just see the “usual” sights with my mom and sister. Yes, it was my sister's first time in the Big Apple, but I wanted to be sure that she saw more than Times Square and the Empire State Building.

So when Ahoy! invited us to take an NYC food tour through Little Italy and Chinatown, I knew we couldn't pass it up.

Chinatown, NYC

This comprehensive 3.5-hour tour is possibly one of the better walking tours I've ever taken. Not only did Ahoy! founder Alana keep us interested with relevant history and fun facts throughout the tour, but she also treated us to some of the best food that each neighborhood has to offer. This part of New York City is Alana's passion, and that shines through when you're with her.

So what did we do? What did we see? And, most importantly, what did we eat?? Read on to find out.

Little Italy, NYC

 

We began our tour in Little Italy, where Alana first filled us in on Italian immigration to New York City, and then pointed out a few restaurants to try — and a few to avoid. Today, very few true Italians call this neighborhood home, but there's still plenty of authentic food to be found if you know where to look.

Little Italy, NYC

Alleva Dairy

188 Grand St.

Our first stop in Little Italy was at Alleva Dairy, the oldest Italian cheese store in America. As soon as you pass through its doors (which have served this neighborhood for more than 100 years), you are assaulted by the delicious smells of fresh cheese and cured meats. Here we sampled some homemade mozzarella cheese and some prosciutto from Italy's Parma region. The salty meat combined with a big dollop of unsalted cheese was like heaven on my tongue.

Little Italy, NYC

Little Italy, NYC

Di Palo's Fine Foods

200 Grand St.

Next up was another cheese shop. Like Alleva, Di Palo's has been run by the same family for about 5 generations, and has been a fixture in Little Italy for more than 100 years. Here we sampled two separate cheeses — a piave (a cow's milk cheese) and a pecorino (a sheep's milk cheese). The piave was sharp, while the pecorino was creamier. I preferred the sheep's cheese — and I'm blaming it on having traveled through Eastern Europe this summer, where fresh sheep/goat cheese is a dietary staple.

Little Italy, NYC

Cheese

Grand Appetito

197 Grand St.

You can't talk about Italy without talking about pizza. In a departure from the usual tour route, Alana next took us to a brand new establishment in Little Italy — Grand Appetito — to prove that the neighborhood is still evolving. The owner of this place owns a restaurant in Palermo, Italy, and wanted to bring his style of pizza to Little Italy. The mozzarella is made fresh daily, and the simple pie we shared was crispy and delicious.

Pizza

Ferrara Bakery & Cafe

195 Grand St.

Our last stop in Little Italy was at Ferrara's for one of its famous cannolis — a Sicilian dessert consisting of a crispy tube filled with ricotta cheese and chocolate chips. Ferrara's is world famous for its flaky cannoli and other Italian pastries, and I could have easily ordered one of everything in the massive display case.

Little Italy, NYC

Little Italy, NYC

 

From Little Italy, it was a short walk to nearby Chinatown. Most people visit this neighborhood for the cheap shopping, but it's also one of the best places in New York City to go for an affordable meal. After describing tenement housing and Chinese migration to NYC to us, Alana had us shift gears and treat our tastebuds to slightly different fare.

Chinatown, NYC

Pongrsi Thai Restaurant

106 Bayard St.

Admittedly not Chinese, our first stop in Chinatown was nonetheless worth the stop. Pongrsi is the oldest family-run Thai restaurant in NYC (this location has been here for over 40 years), and it was here that we enjoyed our largest tasting of the day. Served up family-style, we tried pad see yu and chicken prah ramm — both colorful and delicious.

Thai

Thai

Tasty Dumpling

54 Mulberry St.

From Pongrsi, we headed over to Columbus Park, which used to be part of the city's infamous “Five Points.” Today, the park is usually full of kids playing soccer, people practicing tai chi, and even some Chinese opera performers. We all sat in the park while Alana popped across the street to get us some pork dumplings from Tasty Dumpling to sample. Doused in a bit of vinegar sauce, the dumplings were a perfect snack.

Chinatown, NYC

Dumpling

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

13 Doyers St.

Our last stop of the tour was at the Nom Wah Tea Parlor, the oldest dim sum restaurant in Chinatown. Here we tried a traditional egg roll — made with real egg! — as Alana told us why Doyer Street used to be known as “the Bloody Angle” (it has to do with Tong gang violence back in the early 1900s that made one particular street corner one of the most violent in U.S. history).

Chinatown, NYC

Egg Roll

 

All in all, the tour was great — it was a good balance of walking, talking, and eating, and I would recommend it to anyone who would like to experience these neighborhoods more in-depth. You get good value for your money, too; with so many tastings, I didn't really need to eat for the rest of the afternoon!

Chinatown, NYC

If You Go…

Here's what you should know about taking an NYC food tour with @AhoyNewYork:

  • Tours run daily at 10:30 a.m. (you meet in Chinatown on Canal St.)
  • Tours last 3-3.5 hours
  • Tours cost $49 USD per person (price includes all tastings)
  • Tours are limited to 12 people
  • Tours run in any weather

——

Would you consider a tour like this in NYC?

 

*Note: I did receive 2 complimentary tickets from Ahoy!, but, as always, all opinions are my own.

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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37 Comments on “Eating My Way Through New York City

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  1. Okay, now I’m starving. Thanks!! These are some of my favorite places. Love getting dumplings at Tasty Dumpling and chowing while listening to the Chinese Opera performers in Columbus Park.

    Oh yum! The food at Ferrara Bakery & Cafe looks amazing, practically salivating all over my desk at work right now.

    I was in NYC this summer and stayed in Chinatown and on our search for pizza my sister and I saw a long line for Ferrara Bakery & Cafe so we went in and it was so incredible. All locals in line and totally worth it.

      Yum, I hope you had lots of pastries! Their cannolis were to die for!

    Made me nostalgic for the Little Italy and Chinatown of my youth. Wonder what’s left of the places I went to- Ferrara’s is one. Thanks for bringing back memories!

      Perhaps you should make a trip back to NYC and see for yourself! ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s amazing how one city can host so much international food. It reminds me of London, sort of ๐Ÿ™‚ It certain all looks delicious!

      NYC is definitely not lacking when it comes to international food!

    Mmm, I sure ate my way through NYC too! Pasta and sangria? I’m there! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Mmm, pasta. That’s one thing I actually didn’t have on this trip to NYC!

    Your post should come with a warning not to read when hungry! Everything looks delicious and I think I will have to take this tour next time I am in NYC!

      Haha, yes, I probably should have added a disclaimer at the beginning…

      Definitely give this a shot next time you’re in New York, though!

    Food is definitely one of the best ways to visit a city. Looks like a nice tour!

      I agree! You only get so much out of sightseeing – eating is where it’s really at!

      (And I absolutely need to do a food tour in Rome sometime!)

    That pizza looks insanely good – there are few things in this world better than fresh mozzarella. I went to NY with Contiki tours a few years ago, and we mostly ate at very generic restaurants with pub food. Visiting a few of these restaurants is yet another reason why I need to go back to NY!

      That pizza was SO GOOD. Seriously some of the best I’ve eaten recently. And I agree about fresh mozzarella – nothing better! (Except maybe fresh sheep’s cheese… that is also delicious!)

    Definitely on our MUST DO list next time we’re in NYC!! The pizza and cheese look soooo good ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, add it to that list of yours!!! If you love food, you will love this tour.

    Great photos! Looks like a fun tour. I was in NY recently & went on a food tour led by various friends. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s such a fun way to experience NY – tons of great, culturally authentic food & well priced!

      It’s a great way to experience neighborhoods more in-depth than if you were just sightseeing, isn’t it? Plus, who doesn’t love to eat??

    I didn’t know such tours existed, I’ll have to go again to this city I love to check it out ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you for sharing!

      You are very welcome! There are always lots of cool tours like this in big cities like NYC! You just have to look for them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Although I looooooove food (and especially eating it), I wouldn’t spend $49 on a tour. I’d rather just go explore by myself. Besides, now that i’ve read this post, i can do the tour on my own! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Fair enough! With the tour though you get much more than just the food – you also get a lot of great history and tips for other things to see/do/eat in each of the neighborhoods!

    Love Pongrsi! But for dumplings I would say Fried Dumplings on Mosco street is the place to go, they used to sell them 5 for $1 not so long ago. You should check them out next time ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for sharing and bringing me back to our years in NYC.

      Mmm, dumplings. I’ll definitely have to make a note of that for next time!

    […] Chicago, I headed to the Big Apple with my mom and sister for another 4-day weekend. We went on a delicious food tour, walked around Central Park, saw some movie sites in the city, hung out in Times Square, saw the […]

    […] Cityโ€™s ethnic enclaves for a bit of culture — there are plenty to pick from. I recommend Chinatown and Little Italy to start with, as they are close to one another. Manhattanโ€™s Chinatown is one of the largest […]

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