I love to eat, especially Italian food. I have been wanting to venture down to Little Italy in Manhattan, but I just hadn’t made it. When I learned of Ahoy NY Tours & Tasting and saw that they not only took you through Little Italy, but also Chinatown I couldn’t wait to go. History, fun, and food sounded right up my alley. So with some comfortable shoes and a couple of bottles of water I was ready for the tour!
I was very excited to go on this tour and I wasn’t disappointed. We met in Little Italy. It was easy to find the meeting location, Ferrara Bakery & Cafe. Ferrara’s was established in 1892 and is America’s first pasteria and espresso bar. The marquee outside was huge and hard to miss! It was around 10am, but that didn’t stop the very long line that was inside.
Ahoy NY Tours & Tasting had set up a couple of tables with water and booklets giving out some great info about where we were going, recommendations, and coupons! As people began to arrive we all were having fun conversations. It was a lot of fun talking to people from Sweden, Belgium, and other places. Everyone seemed equally excited and ready to eat.
We had 2 tour guides for the day, Mike and Alana. Both were extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and kept us all laughing and smiling. After giving us some history and showing us some historical pictures they passed out one cannoli to each person. I wasn’t too excited because I have never met a cannoli I liked, which is shocking because I love Italian food and pastries. To my surprise it was delicious. I will happily return to Ferrara’s with my coupon in tow.
Once we were done there we learned some more about the area before heading across the street to the oldest Italian cheese store in America. While there we took prosciutto and wrapped it around mozzarella. It was really good. We then headed next door to a place that has been serving fresh pasta since 1920. It was so delicious and I wish I had a little more of it. More reasons to go back!
We continued down the street where we had some imported cheeses, Piave and Moliterno with Castelvetrano olives from Sicily. I had a few extra pieces of the Piave cheese. The Moliterno had a spice to it. Both were good. I am not a fan of olives, but I enjoyed trying them. It was pretty awesome to learn the history of the different regions in Italy, New York City Little Italy history mixed with food. Perfect combination.
After hearing a bit of a mob story we crossed over the Little Italy border to Chinatown. We began to learn a lot about the history of the area, the crimes, and of course the food. We went to Nom Wah Tea Parlor which is apparently on what used to be known as one of the most dangerous streets in the United States at one time.
The food was amazing. No real words to describe it. The food was already there waiting for us. All we had to do was sit down and enjoy. There was Dim Sum, an original egg roll, pork bun, and shrimp and snow pea leaf dumpling. The food was great sized positions which even when spitting there was still leftover to indulge in. The food was also served with jasmine tea. The tea was so good I went out the next day buying jasmine tea. I would 100% return there. By the way the original egg roll is nothing like you would get from your local Chinese food place, it was way better!!
We continued to walk around some more learning about the history and lives of those in Chinatown. We then stopped in front of a park where they were playing music and so much more going on to eat a pan-seared pork and chive dumpling. It was so good and I ate it so fast I didn’t even take a picture. Afterwards we were given a Chinese Sesame Seed Ball pastry. It smelled like a beignet to me, but had a different taste. It was good. Alana let me know they were inexpensive as well. So I will have to go back and grab some of these too!
This tour was a lot of fun. I was born and raised in New York and have never been to any of these places. Alana and Mike gave me a new-found love for my city through food and history. This tour is for locals, transplants, and tourist alike as you will learn a lot and be fed well! You really have to take the tour for yourself to really experience it and see all of where we went and hear all the very cool stories! Not to mention the delicious food!! I would highly suggest taking a food tour with Ahoy NY Tours and Tasting.
Have you ever been on the Ahoy NY Tours and Tasting? Have you eaten any of the above?
Disclaimer: Thank You to Ahoy NY Tours and Tasting for having us. Whilst receiving an invitation all opinions and views are my own and have not been influenced.