If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am from Queens, New York. I love exploring and learning more about my borough. It is the largest and more diverse in New York City. Queens has so much to offer, but many people don’t realize it. A great way to get an introduction to Queens is to go on a food tour. Queens Food Tours has started giving food tours in Long Island City and I got the chance to check out a neighborhood in my borough in a different light.
The day of the tour was one of those days you think about staying in bed looking like a burrito. It was pouring rain and cold, but I was excited to go on the tour. We met at our first stop on the food tour and waited for everyone to arrive. It was a nice small group of 8 people.
I really liked the decor of the first location. We started off at this really cool place that had delicious burgers. We were given the BG Burger. The bun had a nice crisp to it and the meat was flavorful. I have to say it was one of my favorites on the tour. I was sad I only got to eat half of the burger, but knew there was more to eat so I couldn’t get full. I will however definitely go back there to order the burger and try some other items.
Before leaving to head out on the rest of the tour we stood outside, umbrellas up, listening to some of the history that had taken place right outside our meet up location. Finding out the mob used to stand there talking and making deals and even seeing a bullet hole that was still there was pretty interesting! From there we headed over to City Hall to learn about some history there. I love history and learning about things so it was really interesting.
We continued to walk making periodic stops to learn some more history on our way to the next food location. We were all happy to get out of the rain and into a warm environment on our next stop. We happily went inside and were soon handed plates with a nice sized cookie. It was a sea salted chocolate chip cookie. It was good and gooey. Some tour goers raved how it was one of the best chocolate chip cookies they have tasted.
By the time we left from eating our cookies the rain had stopped which was awesome! We continued walking around. I saw different buildings in Long Island City I wasn’t even aware existed. I even learned about an Italian restaurant that most would never know was there when walking by. Apparently many celebrities have frequented it. I will have to randomly show up there one day!
Continuing to walk we of course learned some more about the area and neighborhood. Long Island City has been building luxurious apartments for a while now. We were informed more buildings would be knocked down so that more high rises could replace them. The area is really a nice neighborhood right next to Manhattan. Our next stop was on a street I had driven up and down plenty of times, but never walked or stopped into anywhere.
We all took a seat and moments later we were given plates with Scotch Eggs on them. This is exactly what this tour is for! Not just learning about the neighborhood and eating the local eats, but going into establishments you never may have and trying things you would never think to order. We were told Scotch Eggs were more popular than burgers. I have personally never heard of them much less tried them. They were interesting. I am still trying to figure out how I feel about them, they were tasty though.
After we left there we walked to the next stop which was to get margarita pizza. The owner of the establishment is known for her ingredients being home-grown and made. She also works with different dietary needs. I was very excited to try it and I wasn’t disappointed. The pizza was absolutely delicious and I tried it with some of her own olive oil. I will be returning there and I would like to try the other food on the menu.
The last food stop was at a French Bakery with the noted Patisserie on the glass making it a notable place to get some goodies. In fact we were told many times the place has sold out of some of their notable items, but luckily we were getting ready to try one, their almond croissant. The bakery is very laid back and we sat around a huge wooden table. It was still chilly outside so I paired my croissant with some tea.
The almond croissant was much bigger than I anticipated. It tasted very rich and it was the best croissant of any kind that I have ever had! Some of the guys were eating other people’s croissants since they were full, while another was eating the rest of the flakes that fell off on to the plate. It was just that good! I think I want to bring a box of them home to indulge.
The tour ended at Gantry State Park. I had no clue of some of the history, such as the time capsule on the smallest island or Colin Powell working at the Pepsi Cola factory. I hadn’t even realized that Gantry State Park was built to vie for the Summer Olympic Games. The Queens Food Tour gave much more than just food, but a lot of interesting background and history of Long Island City.
I am a local and I thought the tour was excellent. You don’t have to be a tourist to enjoy this tour. I am looking forward to them expanding through the rest of Queens as it is a diverse borough with so much history, culture, and of course food to offer! If you are a New Yorker or coming to visit I highly suggest booking a tour with them. If you want to try the great food I had and learn more you have to give it a go! You won’t be disappointed!
Have you been on the Queens Food Tours?
Disclaimer: Thank You to Queens Food Tours for having us. Whilst receiving an invitation all opinions and views are my own and have not been influenced.
If you would like to get more of a glimpse of Long Island City check out my Queens of the Boroughs series!