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Eat, Walk, Love!

New York is not only one of the first-rate walking cities in the world, but one of the primo food destinations as well. Can I get an Amen to that?

Liz Young, a self-proclaimed “food person turned tour guide” recognized that fact and saw an opportunity when she started Culinary and City Tours over ten years ago. Since then she and her staff have guided thousands of tourists (and homegrown New Yorkers to boot) around various neighborhoods in the city munching, slurping, nibbling and chugging all the way.

Liz and company have come up with a few dozen treks guaranteed not only to fill your tummy up with treats, but school you in a little neighborhood history as well.

Court Street in Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn has deep Southern Italian roots, and the folks at CCT have sniffed out a yummy Sicilian lunch at a century-old neighborhood restaurant. Dessert–and you’d better save room for it–will be at one of the fantastic local Italian bakeries. (I need to do this one, if only for the desserts. When you walk by these joints, your mouth immediately begins watering.)

The Hidden and Cheap Eating in Manhattan tour will bring you to some of New Yorkers’ favorite budget spots. You won’t find any foie gras or lobster tails here. Think falafels, hot dogs and burgers; all equally delicious without emptying your wallet.

Brighton Beach in Brooklyn is home to thousands of Russian and Eastern European immigrants. CCT takes trekkers to their famous markets to buy up some delectable jams, smoked fish, meats and blintzes. Afterward, the group feasts on a typical Russian spread at a restaurant on the boardwalk facing the Atlantic.

Liz has a long history with food, either working the front and the back of the house in restaurants, catering or teaching  culinary arts. She tries to conduct as many tours personally as possible, as she loves to meet new people and wants to bring her excitement about New York and its multi-cultural chow to all of her guests. Even after living here for twenty years, Liz still gets goosebumps when she stumbles onto a great eatery and can’t wait to share her discovery with others. All of her guides share her enthusiasm and love to show off their city and its tasty goods.

Costs run about $125 per person ($200 for single tour goers) and includes yummy meals, tastings and loads of fun. Liz tries to keep the number down to 25 people per tour, but will host a larger group at a discounted rate. If you’re in town and decide at the last minute that you’d like to take a tour, CCT will most likely be able to accommodate you. And if you’ve got a desire to see a particular neighborhood or cuisine not covered by their classic tours, Liz will be more than happy to customize a jaunt just for you. She’s flexible like that!

Click here to find out more about Liz and her Culinary and City Tours.

Image via Sunil/Flickr