I was looking for a way to kill a day in NYC without being too much of a tourist. Not that I would have minded a trip to the Empire State Building, but nah. Fortunately, after browsing Yelp, I found something called "Foods of NY Tours." The reviews all said it was amazing and not too touristy, so I checked it out a little more. There's 6 different tours to pick from, so I went with the Original Greenwich Village tour. The cool thing about these tours is that if you're like me, you can't decide on just one thing to eat. The tour lets you eat a little of everything.
So, how does it work? Each tour takes you to different food landmarks in the city. You also get a guided walking tour of NYC architecture and other famous spots. There are 16 people per tour, with one guide leading you to these spots. We met up at Murray's Cheese Shop and started on our way.
Our first stop was Joe's Pizza, easily one of the most popular pizza places in the city. Our tour guide, Cindy, told us that Joe's does pizza the way every place should - there are only 4-5 pies on the counter at a time, and slices are sold and eaten before they can sit around and get gross. Joe's puts out 40-50 pies per hour.
Next up was O & CO Olive Oil Shop. My mom loves fancy olive oils, so I was excited to see what they had. We actually got a full lesson on what to look for when buying olive oil (oil should be in a tinted can or glass, and anything marked as "pure" is bad) before we got basil oil served on fresh bread.
I'd be lying if I said the sole purpose of picking the Original Greenwich tour over the other options wasn't to have a rice ball. I've literally never seen one of these in Florida, and up until a few weeks ago I had forgotten they existed. Faicco's has basically the greatest ones ever, and I really regret not buying a full tray to take home to Florida (to eat on my couch...)
Palma was next, where we had this fancy quinoa salad. I...really don't like quinoa, so this was just okay for me.
Eggplant rollatini is something I never would have touched when I was little, because eggplant freaked me out. Fortunately, I can't get enough of it now. Rafele Ristorante has amazing Rollatini, plus we all got to order wine or beer with our meal. It was freezing out, so I stuck with just water and enjoyed the warmth.
I have to show my bias here. I bake. A lot. So when we went to Milk & Cookies, I was expecting something amazing. The chocolate chip cookie was pretty good, but nothing that would make me come running back for. They do use oatmeal in their chocolate chip cookies, which was a really unique touch that I may have to try in my own recipe.
At this point, we had eaten A LOT of food. Cindy took us around to see some of the beautiful historical homes in Greenwich Village. Anyone have a few million dollars I can borrow? You almost forget that you're in New York when you see some of these places.
Back to Murray's we went for one of the last courses. Our cheese tray had a few varieties that I don't really remember. Seeing that Murray's sells hundreds of types of cheese, I think it would have taken us a full day to try them all. If I lived in the city I would absolutely head here to get cheese. Unfortunately, they probably wouldn't have made it through the flight in good shape.
Finally, we made it to the cannoli round. I've been to Rocco's a few times (my mom LOVES their cookies, so I picked her up a pound), so I was excited for a mini cannoli. If you've never had one of these, head there and get one! They fill the shell when you place your order, so you never have to deal with a mushy shell.
So, was it worth it? I paid about $50 for the tour, and I think it was worth every penny. I would have spent about $25 for a full meal anywhere I went anyway, but with the tour I got to try a little of everything. Cindy made everything even more fun, and I want to try out one of the other tours the next time I head to NYC!