Monday, 4 December 2017

Food Tour Review Of Nolita New York with Foods Of NY

One of my favourite ways to see a city is on a food tour. Combing local history with delicious food, I think there is no better way to get at the heart of what the city is about and taste its local cuisine. On a recent trip to New York to celebrate Mr W's birthday we were given tickets for the Nolita and Little Italy's Secrets food and culture walking tour by Foods of NY.

Foods Of NY have a variety of food tours including Chinatown, Chelsea and the Highline and the best of Brooklyn but the Nolita and Little Italy's Secrets food tour sounded perfect for us, due to the combination of food offered and the history we wanted to hear about.

New York's Nolita area is also known as North Of Little Italy. It's a neighbourhood in the borough of Manhattan, with an upscale vibe. Looking forward to some great food and history of the area, it was with some excitement that we met at the meeting point - the Little Cupcake Bakeshop. Our guide Jordan was early and with big smiles all around, he introduced himself to the group. Our group was made up of between 10-15 people from all as far away as New Zealand, and South Korea to even some local New Yorkers.




We were given a bottle of water for our tour, which was very welcome as it was a warm day, and before long we were onto our first tasting - a Brooklyn blackout cupcake from the Little Cupcake Bakeshop.

This moist little cupcake with a chocolate sponge was filled with a delicious chocolate ganache and topped with a smooth and dreamy chocolate buttercream. This chocolately delight was every sweet tooth cake lovers dream and I can see why it was hailed one of the best chocolate cakes in the US by Food and Wine magazine. 


They also looked pretty too and were devoured in seconds!


After a brief interlude, we were onto our next stop Emporio Ristorante. This Italian restaurant was the sort that seemed unassuming from the outside, but what a gem it was. We were led into the back and told stories of how stars such as Leonardo di Caprio have been spotted here. This restaurant is known for its Roman-style pizzas and we were delighted to be shown how a good pizza from Rome is made.   




A simple medium thick base, topped with cheese (no red sauce) and the freshest ingredients, it was popped into the hottest pizza oven for less than a couple of minutes and voila! Topped with rocket, Parma ham, more cheese and cherry tomatoes it was a great pizza.






If you are ever in the area, I recommend you stop by to Emporio Ristorante as well as good food you could spot a film star!

Before our next stop, Jordan our guide talked about the area. When he moved here 15 years ago he was almost scared to go out, now the area is gentrified and is a lovely place to live, consequently, the cost of houses has gone up immensely. I guess that's the challenge of living in a big city and having safe areas to live but also affordable housing, which should be available to everyone.  



Our next stop was Tartinery. This super cool spot was amazing inside and so was the food. Their signature offering, tartine - which is an artisan bread topped with scrumptious ingredients is the base for every meal. Rocket or arugula as they call it in the US, amazing deli style slivers of beef with parmesan shavings and all topped with a smothering of truffle oil made the simplest ingredients a mouthwatering sensation. 



A glass of red wine accompanied our tasting and was the perfect foil to the dish.




While we were here, Jordan pointed out the artwork on the wall worth thousands of dollars, by street artist Invader. covered over to protect it.




A shabby chic cocktail bar was next, we stopped at Oficina Latina for cocktails (at our own expense) and braised short rib arepa.



Arepa is a type of food made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisines of Colombia and Venezuela. The short rib was delicious and it was in a bun made of the maize similar to polenta. Now I am personally not a massive fan of polenta and did find this bun a little heavy but ate all the short rib none the less. Mr W enjoyed his classic margarita cocktail for sure.

Then we walked to our next spot, Tacombi, passing by where Martin Scorsese, the film director used to live. Jordan told us the story of the local butcher now well into his 90's that still works opposite Martin Scorsese's old house. Martin was sent to the butchers by his mum every week and the butcher became almost part of the family. Although now moved out of this area, on a recent birthday Martin Scorsese closed the street and held a party in honour of this butcher and family friend. How lovely, and what a great community spirit! 





Tacombi with 4 locations in New York shares authentic Mexican taco culture from taquerias in Mexico. Our tasting here was Mexican roasted corn topped with a spicy mayonnaise. This was incredibly tasty but a little too hot for me, although Mr W lapped it up. If you needed more spice, hot sauce was available on the table, and watermelon juice if you needed your mouth to cool down. This was gorgeous and a great little taster to accompany the corn.



I really loved this place though! Such a cool vibe, with a street food van in the centre of the restaurant it was super casual but great fun! I would definitely return here.


Our last stop was a tiny little shop called Stick With Me. This boutique chocolate shop has been getting a fabulous reputation for the most exquisite chocolates and we were lucky enough to finish our tour with a taste.





These amazing bonbons were some of the best chocolate I have ever had, so soft and truffle-like in the middle with a crispy shell, they were just divine.

And so with a heavy heart but a full stomach, we finished our food tour of the Nolita area with Foods of NY. This three tour was full of delicious treats, history, laughs and even some wine. For $54 it was a steal (gratuity not included) and I felt we got to see an area of NY, a first time or even returning visitor would not have seen in such detail.  Vegetarian diets and food allergies catered for too and as it's the No 1 Food Tour on Tripadvisor to New York, you see it comes highly recommended. If you have a chance to do a food tour of New York I can definitely recommend the Nolita and Little Italy's Secrets Food tour. 

Check out the video below from the Fly Drive Explore blog and YouTube channel I create with Mr W.



Nolita and Little Italy's Secret Food Tour
Foods Of NY
PHONE: +1 (855) 223-8684
HOURS: 6am – 11pm EST, 7 Days
https://www.foodsofny.com/foods-ny-tours/nolita-noho/
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21 comments

  1. I love the idea of doing a good tour. It is a great way to see the sights too as well as trying some amazing food

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  2. Oh my....that pizza! And those cupcakes! I feel like wherever we go it's always a big of a food tour because I'm a foodie at heart. Absolutely loved this post!

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  3. I've always wanted to go to New York and this post just makes me want to even more! The food looks amazing!!

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  4. What a lovely post and some great food that I now want to go and taste. At the moment we don't get out to eat and I really miss it

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  5. Would you believe that I am a foodie and I have never been on a food tour before? I know the street artist invader I have seen his designs in London and I love the look of Emporio Ristorante, those pizzas look delicious! x

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    1. It's certainly worth it if you are a foodie. I didn't know Invader's art was in London.

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  6. Oh my goodness those bonbons look amazing! I was in New York last Christmas and Nolita is the one area we didn't really cover. Looks like we missed out!

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    1. Those bonbons were utterly divine I must say.

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  7. Oh wow that all looks AMAZING!! Those pizzas look delicious!

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  8. Oh wow this food tour looks sooo AMAZING!! This would be right up John and I street and going token this in mind next time we are in New York

    Laura x

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    1. You have to go Laura and they cater for vegetarians too.

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  9. Wow, I want to go on this food tour. Your guide sounds brilliant and the food looks insane. I definitely want to try this on our next trip to New York. We're planning on visiting next November and I cannot wait.

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    1. We had so much food, it's certainly worth it, to get some history of this amazing city as well as delicious food.

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  10. Oh my goodness, what a fabulous experience. Mr. C would absolutely love doing this, he would be in his element.

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  11. What an excellent idea! I have been to New York a few times, but never thought of a Food Tour! I certainly have to add it to my to-do list next time, I am over! Thank you for sharing! Now I am hungry! :-D

    X Louise

    www.louiseloveslondon.com

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    1. Hope you get the chance to go on a food tour one day Louise.

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  12. Food tours are so fun, they are a great activity. It has been way too long since my last trip to NY, so long I never heard of Nolita lol. But definitely want to go next time there, so many wonderful foods you tried.

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  13. I agree with you that a food tour is a great way to explore a city. I recently did a great one in Singapore's Chinatown. I've only spend a couple of night is NYC (stranded due to a hurricaine!) but hope to revisit and would definately do a tour.

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    1. Wow, now I would love to go on a food tour in Singapore.

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