The 10 Best Food Tours in NYC

Warning: This article will make you hungry

January 16, 2024 6:44 am
Classic Jewish pastrami is always a good idea.
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Let’s get one thing out of the way first — food tours are not just for out-of-towners. A great way to experience what your city has to offer gastronomically, tours led by experienced operators can help get you learn more about the history and culture of your city or dig into a specific cuisine or neighborhood you’ve been meaning to explore. In a city like New York, the gastronomic offerings are obviously off the charts. We’re talking nearly 25,000 restaurants, which is an overwhelming number for anyone to even begin to tackle. 

Besides helping you find your new favorite restaurants, these NYC food tours can also open your eyes to dishes that might not be on your radar — from shrimp-filled rice rolls in Chinatown to Tibetan momo in Jackson Heights. The best will provide these insights and more, so we’ve detailed 10 can’t miss options. All that’s left for you to do is book your spot and get ready to feast, sip and have fun. 

Devour: Greenwich Village

Explore the charming streets of Greenwich Village with Devour, which leads an in-depth tour of the iconic neighborhood. They lead you around town to learn about family-run businesses and to experience a whopping nine different tastings including a fourth generation pasta shop, Brazilian bakery and a historic cafe frequented over the years by artists. The tour concludes at the bar that introduced the neighborhood to the craft beer movement 20 years ago, so you and your fellow explorers can chill out and enjoy a tipple. 

Mott Street Girls (MSG): Flavors of Old Chinatown

A different kind of Chinatown food tour, the Mott Street Girls was founded “to make Chinese American history and culture more accessible to the public.” Led by second generation Chinese Americans, their Old Chinatown tour seeks to highlight the traditional flavors created by immigrants who opened decades-old mom-and-pop shops in the neighborhood. Learn about the history and culture of the community while eating your way around, from a century-old dim sum parlor to tucked-away dumpling shops

Viator: Brooklyn Food, History and Culture 

Brooklyn is New York’s most populous borough (and one of its most vast and diverse as well), so it can be overwhelming for anyone looking to squeeze the most out of its food scene. This tour by Viator brings you through the charming and historic neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens — so not your typical trendy Williamsburg offerings. The tour wanders through popular streets lined with eateries, as well as some picturesque streets known for their brownstones. You’ll stop at bakeries, a cheese shop, an old school soda fountain and more along the way. 

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Joe DiStefano: Savor Southeast Asian Elmhurst

Author and tour guide Joe DiStefano is a Queens culinary aficionado who’s made it his life goal to share his love for the borough and all it has to offer. He offers several NYC food tours there, one of which leads hungry explorers through the underrated neighborhood of Elmhurst — home to a thriving Southeast Asian community where Thai and Indonesian cuisine abound. During the tour, DiStefano leads you through unique markets and hole in the wall restaurants, where you can sample dishes such as bubur ayam (a hearty chicken rice porridge), guo bao (pork belly buns), yen su ji (salted crispy fried chicken) and more. 

Scott’s: Walking Pizza Tours

A beloved staple of the city’s food scene, New York pizza is also a contentious topic amongst residents. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes the perfect slice, and the dollar slice is no longer a thing (more like five dollar slice). Scott’s is a tour operator devoted only to pizza walks, making them a bonafide authority on bringing you to the best spots so you can decide for yourself what the ideal NYC slice tastes like. They offer several different pizza walking tours, each of which bring you to three different slice shops in a given neighborhood, all the while providing you with interesting pizza history lessons. 

Like a Local: Chelsea Market + High Line + Hudson Yards Food & History

A tour that spans multiple Manhattan neighborhoods (get ready to walk), this offering by Like a Local brings you through the iconic Chelsea Market, providing history and telling “secrets” along the way as you explore its diverse food offerings. Indulge your palate with tastings from an array of gourmet vendors, including artisanal cheeses, freshly baked pastries and global culinary delights. You’ll take in the Hudson while strolling and tasting your way through Market 57 at Pier 57 and experience the architecture and views of the High Line and the Vessel. 

Ultimate Food Tours: Famous Jewish Food of New York City 

The influence of Jewish food culture can be seen everywhere around the city, from bagel shops to delicatessens to pastrami shops and sandwich counters. This unique tour led by Ultimate Food Tours investigates the history of Jewish immigration to the city in the early 20th century and some of the dishes that have become intrinsic to NYC’s food scene. The best smoked salmon, hand rolled bagels and pastrami sandwiches will all be tasted on this tour, which leads curious foodies around the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

TimeOut: Speakeasy Drinks & Prohibition 

Once the sun goes down, it’s time for a tour of a different kind: one that explores the fascinating history of Prohibition and how it changed drinking culture forever. Speakeasies and “hidden” bars have been a New York City mainstay ever since, now prized for their cheeky hush-hush nature and unique concepts. This tipsy tour by TimeOut includes three hours of exploring some of the city’s best speakeasies, allows you to skip the line and will give you insights into the history of the Gilded Age and Prohibition-era in America with a cocktail in-hand. 

Foods of NY Tours: Nolita’s Delicious Past & Present 

Nolita, or North of Little Italy, is an uber charming neighborhood known for independent boutiques, delicious restaurants and attractions like Elizabeth Street Garden. This tour by Foods of NY obviously takes you to taste pizza galore (and sip wine while you watch it cook in a wood-fired brick oven) but also brings you to other neighborhood spots to taste Brooklyn blackout cake and authentic Mexican street food.

Viator: Asia in Queens: Exploring NYC’s Largest Chinatown 

Embark on an enriching journey through the vibrant streets of Flushing, Queens, a neighborhood renowned for its historic Chinatown. This tour combines tasting with sightseeing, unveiling the history of Flushing with information on its transformation into the largest Chinatown in New York City. Gastronomic offerings range from traditional dim sum to a Korean interpretation of French pastries. Also on the tour, visit landmarks such as the Free Synagogue of Flushing and the Flushing Quaker Meeting House. With a small group size of seven participants, this guided food and culture tour ensures a personalized and engaging experience.


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