If you follow along with any of my social media channels, you already know that my husband, Christian, and I just got back from a trip to New York City. He originally booked the trip back in April and he had been planning on surprising me with it for my birthday (which fell during the trip), but I cracked him and ended up finding out about the trip shortly after he booked it, I think he was relieved, though, because out of the two of us I am the planner and he just comes along for the ride – so it works out well.
The two of us are not strangers to Manhattan by any means. We go down several times a year, so we already got the big touristy things out of the way years ago. When we head down for a weekend now a days, I tend to look for more off the beaten path things for us to do. This time around, in addition to a couple of Broadway and Off Broadway shows, we ended up going on the Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour from Ahoy New York Tours & Tasting.
If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I have a love affair with food. I seriously love to eat and love expanding my palate whenever possible which is why I was so excited to take this particular food tour. I’ve been on food tours in my home city of Boston and really enjoyed them, but the Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour from Ahoy was different from any of the other food tours I have ever been on. Their tour visits six different tasting locations in two unique ethnic NY neighborhoods and fuses the elements of history, culture, and food all in one.
While Christian and I were on the Chinatown and Little Italy Food Fest tour, we had the opportunity to visit several family-owned shops and off-the-beaten-path NYC locations.
The tour lasts for three hours and it flew by. Our guide, Alana, was very knowledgeable and really brought the history, culture and cuisine of Chinatown and Little Italy to life. Along the way we learned a lot about each culture, including the history of how each one ended up in NYC and she sprinkled some fun facts and interesting stories throughout the tour.
Here are the tastings you will experience on this tour:
- Fresh homemade mozzarella paired with prosciutto
- Delicious imported Italian cheeses and olives
- An authentic Sicilian pastry, cannoli
- A tasty Italian surprise
- Sit-down dim sum experience
- An authentic Chinese dumpling
- A traditional Chinese pastry
Tour costs $51 per adult ticket and all food tastings are included. Each 3-hour tour starts at 10:30 am, but check-in time is at 10:15 am & it meets at Grand Street/Mulberry Street, in Little Italy (the exact meeting location information provided with ticket purchase).
Right now you are probably wondering if you will be served enough food for lunch. Yes. I left the tour full, but not stuffed. It was just the right amount of food.
The tour is held rain or shine and if you are planning on taking this tour – and I think you should if you have some time in NYC – you should definitely wear comfortable shoes and clothing. You will have a few chances to sit along the tour, but most of the time you will be on your feet.
Another thing I loved about this tour is that the groups are kept small. I’ve been on big tours before and it’s hard to hear when you are that far away from the guide, so I really appreciated that there were only 10 of us on the tour we went on. The website says that each tour can accommodate 12-13 people, which I think is a good amount for something like this.
Before the tour started, we were all given a handout that includes a map, neighborhood recommendations and discounts so that you can continue the journey after the tour is over.
I had a really great time on this tour and would definitely recommend it to someone who is planning to visit NYC. It is a great way to try a variety of foods from two different cultures and learn some interesting historical information along the tour.
I especially liked Alana’s tip about where to get an entire meal in Chinatown for $6! If you take the tour, you’ll find out, too.
**Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets for the tour, but all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.