Doing food tours is one of my absolute favourite things to do when travelling, and you bet I did one in New York! I had heard such great things about Foods of New York tours and I couldn’t wait to try some of the very best food on offer from their original Greenwich Village tour.
This is a food and culture walking tour in the historic west village of Greenwich, an old Italian neighbourhood. As you can imagine, there are some amazing food establishments here and we were taken around the charming neighbourhood to their favourite Mom and Pop restaurants and speciality food shops.
Read on to find out what mouth-watering Italian-themed cuisine we tried and why you should totally do one of their tours too if you’re coming to New York.
Original Greenwich Tour
Our group met inside Murray’s Cheese shop, an easy to find location in the heart of Greenwich. We were warmly greeted by our guide Marie who handed us each a bottle of water and information about the tour.
Once all of our party had arrived (a small group of around 12), Marie introduced herself and told us some interesting history of the 18-year-old Foods of New York company and what to expect from our upcoming tour.
Established in 1975 by Joe who is originally from Naples, Joe’s Pizza is now a “Greenwich Village institution” and is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike.
Next up, we went to nearby Oliviers & Co, a boutique store specialising in gourmet Mediterranean products.
We began with a tasting of their basil-infused extra virgin olive oil on Tuscan bread which had an incredibly delightful flavour.
We were then presented with a cup of Truffle popcorn each – which was outstanding! It was so moreish, I could have kept eating that forever.
Thirdly, the lovely shop owner gave us a lesson on how to tell the difference between true aged balsamic vinegar. We tried two kinds of theirs, one of which was aged 8 years.
Rice balls, or Arancini, originating in Sicily, are balls of rice that are coated with breadcrumbs and fried. Inside was a mixture of rice and cheese and it was so creamy and delicious – the best I’ve ever tried in my life! The salami, too, was top-notch.
We then had a little break from eating and Marie showed us some points of interest around the neighbourhood.
We were taken inside a beautiful restaurant Palma that has a secret back dining room. We were told some very famous politicians and celebrities often dine here, including the Rolling Stones.
Next up, we had our first seated tasting at Trattoria Pesce Pasta. We were each presented with a lovely plate with an eye-poppingly large Italian meatball with sauce.
The meatball was tender and the sauce tangy and delicious. The grated parmesan cheese was the perfect addition and it was a delightful tasting in the classic looking restaurant specialising in Northern Italian cuisine.
Our next foodie stop was another seated tasting at Rafele Ristorante, and we had twenty minutes to enjoy the food and order a beverage if we pleased.
I ordered a cappuccino which was very good and enjoyed it with a great view of the chef working in front of the wood burner.
Milk & Cookies Bakery was our next visit and we each got one of their large Chocolate Chip Cookies, still hot from the oven. I couldn’t even save it for later, once I had a bite I had to keep eating it all – it was so good!
We went back to where we first met at Murray’s Cheese shop where we tried a selection of different cheeses including cow, sheep and goat. They were accompanied with apricots and cheese puff bites which complimented the cheese tastings very well.
Our final stop of the day was at Rocco’s Pasticceria where we had a fresh-filled Cannoli. I’m glad it was small because I was quite full by then but it was lovely and sweet and the perfect way to finish off the tour.
Time: The 3-hour tour runs daily every half hour from 11 am – 1:30 pm
Cost: $54 US per person
Reviews: 5/5 stars out of 5,574 reviews on Trip Advisor (the highest rated tour)
I couldn’t recommend this tour enough, I had such a great time in Greenwich Village, eating my way around the best foodie spots in the neighbourhood.
We learned so much about the history and culture of Greenwich and what makes it so unique from the rest of New York.
I loved the variety of tastings we tried and it was amazing value for how much you get. You certainly don’t need to eat breakfast or even dinner after such a substantial tour.
Our guide Marie was very friendly and a fantastic guide. She gave us great recommendations for other places to eat in the area as well.
Foods of New York also offer many other neighbourhood food tours, including in Chelsea, Chinatown, Little Italy, Brooklyn and more. I would definitely love to do all of them when I get a chance.
Their tours are perfect for any type of visitor and locals alike, from families, couples and friends to solo travellers like me. Vegetarian and gluten-free are easily accommodated on their tours, just let them know when booking.
I thoroughly enjoyed the food tour, it was one of my top highlights from my time in New York.
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