When visiting New York City, why not do something special and explore the unique food scene of the Big Apple?
When I came to NY for the first time and my friend collected me from the airport, she couldn’t stop laughing when I declared: “the first thing I absolutely need to do is have an authentic, gigantic NY Hot Dog”. I devoured mine, trimmings and all, on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of all places, but after that, I was ready for anything. I felt as if I had really arrived.
Help is at hand for that special NY food experience in the form of Ahoy NY Tours &Tasting.
The company offers three hour food tours combining culture, history, food and fun. Founded in 2008 by food enthusiast Alana Hoye Barnaba, her passion which is reflected in the tours are Chinatown and Little Italy. The company is also a founding participant of Chinatown Restaurant Week.
Not only will you enjoy meal sized portions of such specialties as fresh dumplings and home made mozzarella, you will also get to see interesting, tiny shops (some 100 years old) and vendors in the neighborhood and take home with you insights and knowledge of a different culture which will stay with you for a long time and make your NYC visit truly special. Mind you, it’s not only tourists who join the tour, many a local loves to benefit from Ahoy’s insider knowledge.
Here are some interesting fun facts about Chinatown and Little Italy… learn more on their walking tour!
- Little Italy has 4 businesses all on one street that are all over 100 years old.
- While fortune cookies can be found in Chinatown, they are not native to China.
- One street corner in Chinatown formerly held the statistic to have the most murders to occur in one spot in all of the US.
- The cannoli, an Italian pastry with Sicilian origin was once made using a broomstick.
- Little Italy was once known as the “Italian Wall Street”.
- Both Little Italy and Chinatown were originally a Dutch farm.
- Some of the best Vietnamese food in NYC can be found in Chinatown, specifically on Baxter Street.
- One can eat a delicious, hearty meal in Chinatown for $6.00.
- The movies Mean Streets, The Godfather & Big Daddy all had scenes filmed in Manhattan’s Little Italy.
- The oldest tenement building in NYC is located in present day Chinatown, which once was considered Little Italy.
What to expect in Chinatown
From small beginnings, New York’s Chinatown is today the biggest in the US. The tour will lead you through the thronging streets to sample:
A sit down dim sum experience
Authentic fresh dumplings
Traditional Chinese pastry
The oldest dim sum parlor in town, Nom Wah Tea Parlor in 13 Doyers Street, is on the agenda.
What to expect in Little Italy
Not many Italians are living today in Little Italy, but the gastronomic traditions live on as fresh as ever.
You will taste:
Home made mozzarella with prosciutto
Cheeses and olives
The sinful Sicilian desert: cannolli
The Ferrara Bakery & Café in 195 Grand Street is on the itinerary.
For schedules and prices, please consult Ahoy’s website
What’s stopping you from taking your very special bite out of the Big Apple?
Disclaimer: I have been offered a complimentary tour but have not yet been able to take up the offer.