Sugartooth Tours reveal the delicious desserts of New York
New Yorkers are discovering the city’s sweet side through these entertaining and educational walking tours, which combine cultural history and the Big Apple’s most decadent
Sugartooth Tours is the brainchild of Allyson Tolbert and Sarah Rolleston, musical theater majors who met while doing a national Broadway tour for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. As they toured around the country, the girls would always seek out the best dessert offerings in each city they stopped in as well as take food tours to explore the area.
When they moved to New York City after the tour, the two friends decided to share their love of finding unique dessert places with others, launching Sugartooth Tours in 2012. The tours take dessert devotees to off-the-beaten path locales where they can try confectionery treasures like half-pound cookies, artisanal handcrafted chocolates and hot chocolate topped with homemade marshmallows. They currently offer seasonal tours around Manhattan, including in Hell’s Kitchen, Union Square and Chelsea/West Village. One of their most popular offerings right now is their Sweeter Than Sugar Valentines Tour, where guests can learn fun facts about Valentine’s Day while indulging in delicacies throughout Chelsea and the West Village.
“Each stop we choose carefully to help really keep with that Valentine’s Day theme while also showcasing the neighborhood’s very best and most talented dessert stops in the city,” said Tolbert. “Whether you’re attending with friends, your significant other or your family, everyone has a great time.”
Through word of mouth and fieldwork, Tolbert and Rolleston have built up a robust catalogue of vendors in the city. As they lead groups wearing their signature orange jackets, the New York State certified tour guides include interesting tidbits about the route, such as the history of local buildings and notable sights. They’re also extremely knowledge about each dessert stop’s menu options and its backstory.
The store owners suggest their favorite items for the tour guests to partake in, but Tolbert added that the two do a good amount of taste-testing and research to see what foods will be featured on the tours.
“We want to give you want the vendors want. There’s a reason that people are buying the best sellers in droves,” Tolbert noted. “But sometimes we choose items off-hand.”
Guests walk two miles over the course of two and a half hours, making at least six stops along the way. Some tastings will be individual, while others are samples that are shared and split among the group, which includes anywhere from three to 16 guests.
Whether you’ve a lifetime New Yorker or are new to the city, Tolbert said that the tours are great for everyone and expose a new side to the city.
“We get people from New York City and beyond,” Tolbert said. “Even if you’ve lived in New York forever, there’s always a few places you haven’t been to.”
For more on Sugartooth Tours, see A Taste Of The Sweet Life: