Category Archives: Food Tours

A Taste of New York’s Chinatown and Little Italy

Looking for a unique and delicious way to explore New York City’s history? Sample dishes from both Chinatown and Little Italy with Ahoy New York Food Tours on a guided walking tour of these two historic and culturally rich neighborhoods.

A food tour of Chinatown and Little Italy offers a glimpse into the history, culture, and traditions of these immigrant communities that have shaped New York for generations. Along the way, you’ll stop at different locations to sample a variety of dishes: dumplings, noodles, cheese, cannoli plus a sit-down lunch with beer, wine, or non-alcoholic choices.

You’ll visit landmarks such as the oldest church in Manhattan, the former Five Points, and the site of the first pizzeria in the USA and learn about the famous and infamous characters that lived and worked in these areas, including politicians and gangsters.

On a sunny Monday morning, we met our Ahoy New York guide, Hanna, and the other six travelers at the Silk Road Cafe in Chinatown for a pot of tea. Hanna explained that tea is an essential part of Chinese culture and that China produces six main types of tea, each with its own characteristics and health benefits. The delicate jasmine green milk tea we enjoyed aided digestion.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Chinatown, New York
Nom Wah Tea Parlor photo credit: Sherel Purcell

From there, we walked to Nom Wah Tea Parlor, the oldest dim sum restaurant in New York. We snacked on their original egg roll, which looked quite different from the usual egg rolls. It was crispy on the outside and filled with chicken and vegetables.

Sponge Cake on Doyers Street, Chinatown, New York

We next sampled a Hong Kong-style sponge cake, which was light and fluffy with a subtle pandan flavor. The fluorescent green color of the sponge cake is not from food dye but is naturally colored and flavored with the pandan plant.

We enjoyed a picnic snack of Beijing dumplings in Columbus Park. Beijing-style dumplings are richer flavored, heartier dumplings with thicker skin and a fried bottom. A natural raconteur, Hannah told us the park, previously Dutch farmland, was named by local Italians and was the site of The Five Points, one of the roughest neighborhoods in NYC’s history.

Piemonte Ravioli, Little Italy, New York
Piemonte Ravioli photo credit: John Cameron

We then walked along Mulberry Street to our first stop in Little Italy, Piemonte Ravioli. Piemonte has been serving fresh pasta since 1920. We munched on tender ricotta gnocchis with a rich homemade marinara sauce.

Our next destination on Grand Street was Di Palo’s Fine Foods, which has been selling Italian specialties since 1910, way before Eataly. We tried two kinds of cheese, a Piave, my favorite, and a Pecorino with some Castelvetrano olives, the perfect martini olive.

Di Palo's, Little Italy, New York
Di Palo’s photo credit: John Cameron

We then visited Benito One, where we traded travel stories with our new friends over a lunch of Eggplant Rollatini with a marinara sauce, accompanied by a glass of red wine.

The final stop of our food tour of Chinatown and Little Italy was Ferrara Bakery and Café, where we enjoyed a traditional Sicilian dessert, cannolis – a crispy shell filled with sweet ricotta cream.

Ferrara Bakery and Café, Little Italy, New York
Ferrara Bakery and Café photo credit: Sherel Purcell

The Ahoy New York Food Tour lasts about three hours and covers two miles on foot, so comfortable shoes are advised. Bring your appetite too. We were so full we skipped dinner. If you love food and culture, take this opportunity to explore two of the tastiest neighborhoods in New York on this fun and informative walking tour.

Discover Montreal’s Best Shopping for Foodies

Discover Montreal’s best shopping for foodies. Spade & Palacio Tours will show you the best places to buy and try all things edible in the north end of Montreal.

Good friends Danny Pavlopoulos and Anne-Marie Pellerin met in a Montreal tour guide course. And upon graduation, they decided to form their own company, Spade & Palacio.

Ever since then, they’ve educated visitors and native Montrealers alike on the very best food products available in their ‘hood: the Mile End and Mile X section of the city.

Pavlopoulos and Pellerin want their clients to walk away with a true local experience. So how do they select the stops for their tour?

“The selected locations are actually our favorite hangouts. We have spent hours in each of them enjoying their products. We call them our living rooms. The products are the best in their league, hands down,” says Pavlopoulos.

The lively three-hour tour starts with the best pupusas in the Latin Quarter at Salvadorian restaurant Los Planes and finishes with a picnic meal of Southern barbecue from Triple Crown at Parc de la Petite-Italie at the junction of St Laurent and St. Zotique in the north end of Montreal.

Les Bonnes Tomates du Quebec
Les Bonnes Tomates photo credit: John Cameron

In between, there’s serious food shopping at the Jean-Talon Market and surrounding areas.

“We show our guests around the way we would with a friend from out of town. We are proud to be part of only a handful of tour companies that share this ideology in the city,” adds Pavlopoulos. “We aim to teach and to share our neighborhood experiences with our guests.”

Since 1934, the Jean-Talon Market has supplied Montreal with fresh Quebec products and specialty items from around the world. Jean-Talon Market is open every day, year-round.

Visitors will find a variety of produce (including organic and pesticide-free items); flowers and fine herbs; fish and meat; and ice cream and sorbet made with local fresh fruits like sweet Quebec strawberries.

Delicious barbecued lamb, pork and chicken sandwiches as well as bison on a stick, makes the market a great lunch destination.

The Jean-Talon Market is also a great spot to sample Quebec wines and ciders around a cozy outdoor bar that allows for great people watching.

Danny Palacio of Spade & Palacio
Danny Palacio (on left) photo credit: Sherel Purcell

At the Jean-Talon Market, participants will meet unique vendors such as the “Sausage Pimp,” who produces tasty items like shrimp and scallop sausages.

Spade & Palacio can also show how to get the best deals on produce by shopping the back lanes of the stalls for bulk sales on produce that can be whipped into hearty soups and sauces to be frozen for later use.

Brasserie Harricana
Brasserie Harricana

At nearby Brasserie Harricana, guests discover a variety of tasty microbrews served with a spicy take on the famous French fry and cheese curd dish: poutine.

A short walk away into the light industrial area of Mile X, visitors can buy vacuum-packed bags of fair trade Ethiopian, Peruvian and Columbian beans from Dispatch Coffee , used in their excellent cold filtered brew.

Down the street, check out Manitoba restaurant, where the dinner menu changes frequently, based on the fresh and wild food items available – as it should be in a restaurant that prioritizes natural ingredients sourced locally.

These are all served in a cool redesigned space with an inviting patio attached that focuses on the great outdoors.

Rest assured that Spade & Palacio will show you the very best food products available in their ‘hood.