Food tours are a growing phenomenon, especially in the Long Island and New York City area. With so many different cultures bringing their cuisines to our backyard, food tours are a great way to sample some of the foods you may not normally order from a restaurant menu. It’s also a fun way to be a tourist in your own town and share a unique experience with friends and family.
Here are a few food tours on Long Island, in Brooklyn, Queens and NYC:
Food Done It?
Locations in Patchogue and Huntington • www.fooddoneit.com
Food Done It? is an edible mystery tour, with 3-5 hours self-paced tours guided entirely by a smartphone application. The app takes participants (groups of at least three and no more than eight) through a crime scene and the only way to solve the mystery is to eat plates from local to restaurants to receive clues. You start at one restaurant where participants get a chef-featured small plate to enjoy, and find out about the recent “crime” and the characters involved. After “interrogating” the suspects you solve puzzles or answer trivia while eating or drinking to unlock directions to the next restaurant a short walk away. For $60 plus tip, participants get a five course meal and solve a crime.
Long Island City Food Tour
Queens • www.queensfoodtours.com
Beginning at 11 a.m. during the week and 12:30 p.m. on weekends, the Long Island City Food Tour takes guests off the common New York City path to “discover culinary ‘mom and pop’ gems not found in guidebooks.” Participants explore Long Island City’s industrial past, learn about its artistic present, and witness its vibrant future while savoring its unique culinary treats. Food items include a 100-year-old burger recipe, an authentic French patisserie, a rustic Italian eatery from the heart of Naples and more. The tour is 1.6 miles and features four stops, enough for a substantial lunch. The price is $65 for adults and $48 for children under 12.
Foods of NY Tours
New York City • www.foodsofny.com
The following two tours are options through Foods of NY Tours. They
offer six different tours, ranging from three to 4.5 hours and from $54 to $125.
Chelsea Market and The Highline
This food tour is centered around the famous Chelsea Market. A guide brings guests around the countless stalls in the market, which is notoriously overwhelming and for those who have never been, a guide is extremely helpful. Besides the delicious food, Chelsea Market offers original artwork and obscure granite sculptures. After the market, the tour goes outside to explore The Highline, New York City’s elevated outdoor park, featuring great views of the Hudson River. A popular gathering place especially in the summer months, The Highline is a slice of tranquility within the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Best of Brooklyn
Being the longest (4.5 hours) and most expensive ($125) this tour dives deep into Brooklyn, what would be the fourth-largest city in the country, were it not part of New York City. Participants cover plenty of ground aboard a bus, as opposed to walking. Highlights include Crossing the Williamsburg Bridge, enjoying views of the historic Brooklyn Bridge, learning about the Hasidic Jewish population, eating Polish kielbasa and pierogies in Greenpoint, checking out the fresh hipster vibe and street food in North Williamsburg. The bus tour begins and ends in Greenwich Village, but guests have the option to forgo the bus trip back to Greenwich Village and instead walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Free Tours By Foot Food Tour
Options throughout NYC • www.freetoursbyfoot.com
A different style food tour, Free Tours By Foot does not require an upfront fee. Instead, a guide takes guests to local spots and recommends and facilitates ordering, but the decision is ultimately up to the individual participant. Guests choose what they want to order and pay (usually about $7-$15) directly to the purveyor. Between stops, you’ll have time to digest your food as well as the history of the neighborhood, told to you by local New York tour guides.