A food tour in New York is a must on your trip: Chinatown and Little Italy!
Somehow it’s kind of difficult to find great eateries in Chinatown and Little Italy and that’s why I don’t know as much of these hoods as for example Williamsburg or the West-Village. I visited the MOCA Museum a while ago so I knew that Chinatown is a neighborhood with a turbulent history. There are probably lots of stories to tell. One of the best ways to discover this city is to go on a food and walking tour. Today we’re going on one of the amazing New York food tours.
Liz, our host, is waiting for us on Canal street in Chinatown. Her smile and enthusiasm already has a great impact on everybody. And we can use some of this on a rainy day like today.
While walking to the first tasting location (and already spotting the first awesome street art!) she tells us a lot about the history of Little Italy. About how the first boats with immigrants who arrived many years ago and what it would have been like living in New York back then. The mob, called “The Black Hand“, had its impact on the residents. Have you ever seen any of the parts of “The Godfather“? Many scenes were recorded here in Little Italy. Also Adam Sandler shot one of his movies here; Big Daddy, starring the real Jorge from the restaurant Puglia. Can you imagine a Mexican guy thinking he looks Italian and singing “O Sole Mio” for you… Well, that’s what happens here. Far from romantic, incredibly hilarious. Liz can tell you all about it.
Liz shows us 2 of her favorite delicacy stores in Little Italy. At the 1st location we get to try the fresh made mozzarella paired with prosciutto. This never ever gets boring!
At the 2nd stop at Italian shop Di Palo’s, buying your cheese can be quite an experience. While having a cheese tasting she explains exactly how, where and when the cheese is being made. Apparently the fire department comes here to get lunch every Sunday and we’re the witness of them blocking the road just because… Well, they also have the right to eat! ;-)
After tasting “Grandma’s Pie” and trying the best cannoli of Little Italy we’re heading for the heart of Chinatown (which is the oldest and one of the largest Chinatowns of the world outside of China btw).
At Long Moon Bakeri Liz shows us the different pastries Chinese people love to eat (must try: the egg custard tart of 80 cts!).
After relaxing and eating (of course) at one of the oldest Thai restaurants of New York there’s MORE FOOD for us to taste! Oh yes, do come hungry.
In this area a lot of gangs were ruling the streets. The movie “Gangs of New York” gives you a good idea as to what it was like in those times. Will have to watch this classic.
Then… my favorites; dumplings! Cantonese style versus Beijing style (aka steamed versus pan fried). Many eat these as a late breakfast. I’ll have those for breakfast anytime. And lunch. And dinner.
At the oldest Dim Sum restaurant in Chinatown at the famous Doyers street (or also known as “hair cut alley” nowadays) we’re having our last tasting. Once the scariest and most violent street in all of the U.S. (no wonder it was called “The Bloody Angle”) it is now full of small salons, dim sum places and the well-known speakeasy bar Apothéke (super cool cocktail bar).
Liz, thanks for transferring your enormous passion and love for these neighborhoods and the different foods to us!
If you want to learn about the history and authentic foods of Chinatown and Little Italy have a look on Ahoy New York’s Food Tour website. These 2 hoods are their expertise and it shows!
Food Tour Chinatown & Little Italy
Perfect for: discovering New York’s interesting hoods in a fun and unique way, particularly if you’re into food!
Price level: Average – a 3 hour tour costs $49
PS: more hotspots are in the New York Little Black Book. A city guide to New York with the best restaurants, shops and things to do. Every week I will post new adventures on Your Little Black Book so stay tuned for the latest gems I spotted!
This is B.!
Ever wondered what it’s like to be a 30 something in New York? Follow the weekly diary of Bianca! A girl from Amsterdam living as an expat in New York. In her personal diary B. tells you all about her latest hotspot discoveries, shopping adventures and events not to miss.
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