A Must-Do Foodie Tour in New York


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.

We had 8 delicious stops ahead of us in total, beginning at the famous Joe's Pizza for their classic New York slice.


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.

It tasted like true authentic Italian pizza (my fave) and I rate it very highly. After a mouth-watering slice, the tour was off to a fantastic start. 


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.


Our next foodie stop was at Faicco's Italian Specialties - the oldest establishment in the neighbourhood that's been there for over 100 years.

We got to try the most popular item on their menu - Sicilian Rice Balls as well as a tasting of their Italian salami. 


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.

We were presented with a plate of Eggplant Rollatini and freshly baked focaccia bread. The Rollatini was creamy and cooked to perfection and the bread was springy and full of flavour.


Feeling a tad full now, I was glad we were off for a little walk again. We stopped by a few notable buildings before heading to a spot I was so happy about - the famous Friends building!

Being a big fan of the show and being in Greenwich, I was planning on finding this spot after the tour. Those of us who wanted one got their photos before heading to the next stop.


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.


The cheese shop is foodie heaven offering an abundance of fine cheeses plus bread, cured meats, olives & other deli items. I would be in there all the time if I lived nearby!


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.


I was incredibly impressed by the amount of high-quality food we tried and there was a good amount of walking to balance it out. It was such a fantastic tour and each and every stop was well-thought out and delicious.


Details

Tour: Original Greenwich Village Food and Culture Walking 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)


Final Thoughts

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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Happy Travels,

New York Tour 1: See NYC Like a Local


As my recent trip to New York was my first time there, I wanted to do this iconic city justice in the short amount of time I had. There are so many attractions and sights to see and I didn't want to miss a single one.

I researched some of the top rated tours and came across New York Tour 1, which sounded perfect for my style of travel.

In a small group, you are taken by an expert guide around some of the best attractions of New York all by local transport. You see it the way true New Yorkers do, by walking, taking the subway and ferry.

This appealed to me very much as I love exploring a new city this way and you get to avoid losing time by being stuck in traffic.


One Day New York City Tour

I booked the tour for my first full day there and the meeting point was in an easy to spot location, by the statue of George M. Cohan in the middle of Times Square.

Our tour guide for the day, Tom, began by telling us some super interesting history of Times Square and how the once humble horse-trading district became the Entertainment Capital of the World.


We passed by the Diamond District before heading underground towards the Rockefeller Centre. This was a super handy walkway that we learned about that I used a few times after the tour.

We had a quick restroom break (I grabbed a coffee) before passing by the famous ice skating rink where we learned more fascinating history.

Across the road was St. Patrick's Cathedral - a stunning Neo-Gothic-style Roman Catholic church and the largest in New York. We got to go inside and marvel at the decor.


We continued walking on this lovely sunny day, up Fifth Avenue. Along the way, Tom would point things out and give us super handy tips like the entire 8th floor of Saks Fifth Avenue is dedicated to shoes (totally went there another day).

We saw the Empire State Building in the distance and stopped to look at the impressive New York Public Library before turning towards the Grand Central Terminal.


We also learnt a bit about the Chrysler Building we could see nearby before heading inside one of the most famous transportation hubs in the world.

I've seen Grand Central Terminal so many times onscreen and it was truly marvellous to be there and feel the energy. Tom told us some really interesting stories and took a group photo (find it at the end of this post).


We had another quick break before meeting back up to catch the subway to our next destination. Tom showed us newbies how easy it was and we caught the line downtown to Bowling Green near Battery Park.

We stopped at Stone Street where there was an abundance of great food choices to have for lunch. We were given a whole hour break, which I personally thought was a bit long but that's probably because I was by myself. I'm a twenty-minute max kind of lunch-eater so after some sushi, I killed the rest of the time by drinking a very nice German beer in a pub. Win-win.

Next, it was time to catch the return ferry to Staten Island. I was most excited to see the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty.


Tom knew the best spot for us on the ferry and we had the best views all the way there and back. It was a 25-minute ride each way but with more stories and the stunning sights, the time went super quick.


Next up, we passed by the famous Charging Bull (which was so crowded it wasn't worth taking a photo of). We walked up Broadway and stopped at Wall Street and learned about the area famous for the New York Stock Exchange.


Our final stop of the day was at the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center. We visited the two memorial pools where the buildings once were and heard some very moving stories including about the Survivor Tree.


It is a very sombre and sad place but a beautiful tribute and important to remember and pay respects. We went inside the Oculus, a uniquely designed transportation centre and shopping mall in one.

It was here that we finished up our tour with Tom, I couldn't believe six hours had passed by so quickly. We had the option to upgrade our tickets to include entrance to the One World Observatory, which I did.


Construction of the new building first began in 2006 and the Observatory was opened in 2015. It is now the tallest building in the Western world. The elevator to the top rises 1,250 feet in 60 seconds and the end reveal is a very impressive experience.


The panoramic observation deck on the 100th floor has incredible 360 views stretching all across Manhattan.

Seeing New York from above was one of my top highlights from my time there so I really recommend getting that extra upgrade. It was a fantastic way to finish off the tour and an already superb day.



I loved the tour and had such a great time seeing so many iconic sights and learning so much along the way.


The Details


Time: Tours run daily starting at 9:30 am and go for 6 hours

Price: $74 US per adult, $64 per child aged 4-12, free for under 4 years old

Reviews: 5/5 stars on Trip Advisor out of 12,767 reviews - the most highly rated tour

Our group at Grand Central Terminal

Final Thoughts

This tour is the perfect way for first-timers to be introduced to New York. From start to finish, the tour is extremely well thought-out and executed to maximise your time and enjoyment.

It's a fantastic way to learn your way around and you get to see and feel the real energy of the city. 
Our guide Tom was very friendly and easygoing and had a wealth of knowledge to share. 
As well as history and local stories, he gave us plenty of recommendations for the best things to do and even top places to eat.

This tour is perfect for all types of visitors, from families with children to groups of friends or solo like me. Everyone that's comfortable being on their feet for a few hours would thoroughly enjoy it. You see so many top attractions, learn a lot of history and get insiders tips.

They also offer a range of other tours including custom and private, Statue of Liberty tours, 9/11 Memorial and Wall Street tours and specific neighbourhood tours.

My first day in New York was one of my favourite days thanks to New York Tour 1 - I couldn't recommend them highly enough!

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Happy Travels,

40 Photos of New York City


Visiting New York City has always been the biggest dream of mine.

Ever since I was small I have admired this city through a screen - from watching Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, growing up with Friends, Gossip Girl and countless other movies and TV shows.

Standing in the middle of Times Square in real life watching the people flow by, strolling the skyscraper-lined avenues looking up, mouth agaze, cycling through Central Park, walking the Brooklyn Bridge, seeing the Statue of Liberty from a ferry, peering down from the tallest building in the Western World...

I fell head over heels with New York like I knew I would. Coming from such a small place, I can't get enough of wandering the streets of big cities and feeling the electric energy.

New York has such a vibe to it like no other. I marvelled over the skyscrapers and different styles of architecture.
I got stuck into the street food and took advantage of the multinational cuisines at my fingertips.
I mastered the subway and walked until my feet ached.
I got to visit some of the most iconic spots in the world and see an epic show on Broadway.

More than anything I really enjoyed photographing New York City. I tried to choose just twenty of my favourite photos and memories to share, but that was far too hard!

Here is New York through my eyes.

Times Square


The Lyric Theatre
Ice skating at Rockefeller Center

St Patrick's Cathedral

Central Park


Times Square by night - very crowded!
The Empire State Building
Staten Island Ferry
NYC skyline
Statue of Liberty, New Jersey & New York
Memorial Pool
9/11 Memorial Museum
One World Trade Center
View from the tallest building in the world
Looking out over Brooklyn
America's Response Monument
Inside the Lyric Theatre
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Play
Cool buildings in Lower Manhattan
Spot of shopping at Bloomingdales. Friends fans will know why!
Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan Bridge
Back in Central Park

The Plaza Hotel
The Friends apartment building!
A whole pie of Joe's pizza
Gossip Girl fans will recognise The Palace Hotel
The back of St Patrick's Cathedral
The Met Steps (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Inside Grand Central Terminal
I stayed at The Wellington Hotel - great location and highly recommended!

I hope you enjoyed seeing a peek into my trip and saw some of the magic I did. Stay tuned for plenty more New York City posts coming soon, including travel tips and top things to do.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram to see more photos and keep up with my travel adventures!


Let me know if you want to see more photography based posts like this one from different places around the world.

Happy Travels,
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