Greenwich Village is a very walkable neighborhood with a variety of iconic New York foods, which makes it a great place for a food tour. The company that I used, Secret Food Tours, has wonderful food tours all around the world, and I had the pleasure of participating in their Edinburgh tour last year. The New York tour is about 3-3.5 hours long and covers all the greats: bagels, Reuben sandwiches, cupcakes, thin-crust pizza, doughnuts and a secret tasting of something unique.
We started out on Bleecker Street at the original location of Bantam Bagels, famous for their little cream cheese stuffed bite-sized bagels. They are super portable and so delicious. In fact, this company was featured on Shark Tank and you can now find their products in Starbucks, as well as grocery store freezer sections and Target. But for our purposes, this is the original location where it all started. We sampled the Everything Bagel with plain cream cheese, and the Sesame bagel with veggie cream cheese. Both excellent! They’re served warm and prepared right out of the oven for each order.
Next up, after viewing Bob Dylan’s old apartment in the Village, we headed over to the Barrow Street Ale House to try the smoked Pastrami Reuben sandwich, invented in New York. We had a sit down break here and so I also tried a local beer, a Brooklyn Winter Lager by Brooklyn Brewery for a sweet $5 happy hour price.
Along the tour, not in this exact order, but we visited other notable sites in the area such as Washington Square Park, Cherry Lane Theater, the Friend’s apartment, Grove Court, Taylor Swift’s old $12 million house on Carmine Street, and Cafe Wha? I pretty much either never heard of any of them, or didn’t know much about them, so it was all interesting.
The next tasting stop was Molly’s Cupcakes at the southernmost point of the tour. I actually came here back in August with another food tour, Sugartooth Tours, so it was already familiar to me. I like this place because it’s big enough that we could all fit inside comfortably. Some of the other stops were just so tiny with no room to move, or even to go inside at all. Here we sampled their Red Velvet cupcakes which are colored with actual beet root instead of just red food coloring.
There were two dessert stops on the tour, so after the cupcakes we visited a very trendy donut shop called The Doughnut Project featuring creative flavors, many of them with unexpected savory combinations. Since we had to pair up to share a donut with another person I didn’t get exactly the kind that I wanted to try, and ended up with probably my 4th choice which was the special of the day: Butterscotch Parfait. I also had a slice of the Everything Donut which is covered in a cream cheese glaze and topped with everything bagel seasoning. Not gonna lie, not a fan of that one.
Next it was time for the “Secret Food”! On each one of Secret Food Tour’s tours, they offer a mystery stop that’s not normally advertised which means it’s a bit of a surprise. Luckily for them very few people read this blog, so their secret is safe with me.
I love tacos, and I love Indian food, so this next tasting was an amazing fusion of both: the Chicken Tikka Masala Roti taco from Taco Mahal! The colors and tastes were incredible! I just love those colors. The place was too small for us to go in as a group, but thankfully it was only about 36 degrees so outside was fine.
And finally our tour sadly came to an end at the last stop of the day: Bleecker Street Pizza. This place has been around forever, and was voted #2 Best Pizza in the Country on Trip Advisor!! And also Best Pizza in New York for years by various lists. Those are some serious accolades. It’s also very tiny inside so our group was lucky to get seats at all. We had a Nonna Maria which is a classic flavor. There are blobs of sauce from San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil, all on a crispy cracker thin crust. The bottom is baked on bread crumbs to keep it crispy. It was quite good, and snaps when you fold it.
And that concludes the New York Secret Food Tour! We hit up six different tastings featuring things either invented in New York, made famous in New York, or having a one of a kind NY location. Good times all around and I definitely recommend this tour if you’re in the city. Tickets are $72, but luckily I was able to book using credit card points which is how I roll. This company also offers a pizza tour in the East Village as well as a Bensonhurst tour in Brooklyn. Never stop eating!
Other US Food Tours here: