Best of the Best

Best NYC Food Tours

Best NYC Food Tours

New York City is famed for its historic skyscrapers, acerbic and witty city-dwellers with their loving addiction to coffee, and its immense and diverse culinary world among other things. And yet, most tourists end up eating at the nearest Sbarro or getting a frappucino from Starbucks and walking around Times Square dazzled by all the lights and attractions. While for a first trip to New York that might be mildly acceptable, here at Vimbly, we prize and encourage unique experiences that further enhance your love for the city. NYC offers something for everyone, which means that every person that comes to/lives in this city can’t only want over-caffeinated/cloyingly sweet coffee and soggy slices of pizza. So, we went out and searched for the food tours that will please any palate, but will also give people insight into the food they’re nomming on, the store’s history as well as the neighborhood’s story and role in New York’s identity. Here are our top three picks:

  • 1
    Chinatown and Little Italy Food Fest
    Chinatown and Little Italy Food Fest

    Ahoy NY Tours and Tasting

    This walking tour of NYC was another experience that we really cannot stop talking about. What are two places in the city that every New Yorker wishes he/she knew like the back of his/her hand? Easy. Chinatown and Little Italy. This tour does a little bit of walking, and a little bit of neat history and tales of gangs and shootings, and a lot of taste-testing--you will not need to eat anything else that day, make sure to come hungry, too! Alana, our sweet, energetic and knowledgeable tour guide, kept our minds engaged and our tummies full. We started in Little Italy at THE oldest cheese store in NYC, Alleva Dairy, where we tried their homemade prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella. Whose knees wouldn’t buckle at the taste of freshly made mozzarella? At the next cheesy stop, Di Palo’s, we simply couldn’t get enough the Piave cheese. We would be lying if we said we haven’t gone back there to get more of that drool-inducing cheese. For the rest of the Little Italy portion, we had one very delicious slice of pizza as well as Ferrara Bakery’s famed cannoli. So, instead of sitting down at restaurants, which according to Alana is an absolute tourist trap, we got to experience the wonderful grocery-shopping experience Little Italy truly is. Apparently this place was not always smiles and cheese-induced happiness, though. Alana captivated our imagination with historical anecdotes of gangs and killings in this neighborhood. Moving into Chinatown, we learned interesting facts about the area’s mysterious nature after heavy Chinese immigration in the late 1800s. As we listened to all the neat trivia, we also digested some delectable bites such as pork and vegetable dumplings from Tasty Dumpling and the original egg roll from Nom Wah Tea Parlor. Both of these were our favorites in Chinatown without a doubt. If you are ever visiting New York, skip Times Square and just come right down to this surprising and mouthwatering tour, you will learn so much about these two diverse neighborhoods and will have places to come back to to get your fill of local flavor.

    more info
  • 2
    Mystery of the Caves
    Mystery of the Caves

    Murray's Cheese

    Okay, you might be wondering what a NYC cheese class is doing here. Honestly, I couldn’t leave this tour out even if I wanted to. Are you looking for a local food tour, a food experience that will tickle your taste buds, a historic New York shop, fun activities in NYC, a date idea? Or, do you simply really like cheese? Murray’s Mystery of the Caves tour encompasses all your needs in this city. We mean it. This specific tour isn’t all Murray’s has either, this store hosts beer and cheese tastings, wine and cheese tastings, cheese making classes (such as Mozzarella) and so much more. Anyway, the tour. Underneath Murray’s Bleecker Street store are five “caves” dedicated to the specific aging processes required by different cheeses. Over the past few years, Murray’s Cheese Shop has become more involved and dedicated to the process of aging cheese, known as affinage, so before entering these humidity-and-temperature-controlled refrigerators, we had to leave behind our belongings and don a hairnet, lab coat and shoe covers--anything for cheese, right? We certainly weren’t complaining. The first cave contained cheeses that don’t stay very long, such as fresh goat cheese and mozzarella. The second one, we warn to prepare yourself, because if you are not accustomed to the stinkier cheeses, this cave is, well, quite stinky. We loved the third cave, though, which housed Brie. You know that white layer that seems impossible to cut and typically ends up squishing the Brie entirely when you’re trying to cut a slice? That’s what grows in this cave! The fourth cave houses the natural rinds, where the unexpected smell of ammonia permeates the air--yum. But don’t worry, that’s only because that’s what the cheeses are getting rid of so it isn’t in a single bite. The last cave was a real treat, though, home to the ever-beloved large wheels of Parmesan-Reggiano. In this cave, the cheeses are protected by their rinds from drying out and harmful molds and require washing with what looked like feet-scrubbers. Exiting the cavernous region of this delightful cheese shop, we entered the final stages of the tour with a mini cheese-wine tasting session. The cheeses were delicious and we loved the stone slates the fromage was served on. To top off this unique and special tour, we got to shop the store with a discount--who would let such an opportunity slip away? This is without a doubt one of our favorite local food tours in NYC.

    more info