Mulberry Street in Manhattan is one of the most iconic places in New York. It is closely associated with the Italian-American culture and history of the big city. The street covers Nolita, China Town, and runs through the center or Little Italy. The street is home to rich and diverse culture as it converges people from both the western world and Asia.
As a part of my visit to New York, I joined a food tour, this time by Ahoy Food Tour. Ahoy Food Tours aims to introduce visitors to Mulberry street’s secrets and stories at the same time give them a culinary experience from around the world in just one street.
We had a total of 6 tastings featuring dishes of various cuisines. It literally felt like Around the World in One Street.
1st tasting: La Churreria, 284 Mulberry St, NYC
The Meeting point.
Our first tasting was at this place in the center of Nolita called La Churreria. This place is well-known for their delicious and authentic churros recien hechos or churros made fresh. We had their churros with dark chocolate cream dip. The churros are crunchy and delicious but what I liked most was the dip. The dip was so delicious I swear I would slurp and just drink it if only it was not too thick but also this is what makes it really good. We also learned a lot about the history of the famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral
2nd tasting: French Cheese Board, 41 Spring St. (Mulberry St.), NYC
The next stop was at a famous cheese shop called French Cheese Board. The place is like the lovechild of a posh café and a modern museum. The place received a French stamp of approval and their rent for the location is actually subsidized by the French government. Maybe this thing has to do on why their cheese are so cheap, because they don’t have to worry about rent, they don’t have to cut corners when it comes to their products.
Basically, the purpose of this project is to educate the people, locals and visitors included, about French cheese. We tried 3 of their cheese variants and they were super good. They are also very affordable which is rare for a foreign cheese in one of the most expensive cities in the world. We also learned about the difference between cow milk, sheep milk, and goat milk, and how they affect the taste of the final cheese product.Serioulsy, they sell the cheese so cheap that if I had more time in NYC. ,I would have bought a lot.
3rd tasting: Pomodoro, 51 Spring St, NYC
This tasting was my favorite among all the places we have been. I mean, who could go wrong with a pizza and knowing that there are so many pizza places in New York, this one is a cut above the rest.
We tried their Vodka Sauce Pizza, this one has as the name suggests a vodka-infused marinara sauce, topped with tomatoes, pepper, and fresh mozzarella cheese. It was so good I could eat as much of it until I get “tipsy” because of the vodka in the sauce. It was never like the “normal greasy pizza” that we are used to having in NYC but it is very tasty on its own.
4th tasting: Lunella, 173 Mulberry St, NYC
Our next stop was at a place called Lunella Ristorante at the heart of Little Italy. At first glance it would seem like it’s just one of those many Italian restaurants in the area. However many people would say that this place is a hidden gem. The staff are so warm and welcoming and the food was also great. I also heard that they have free live singer performances at times for diners.
We tried their Sicilian Pasta which was cooked al dente. The sauce was delicious and tasted fresh. I would highly recommend this place if you are looking for a great Italian place in the city.
At this point, most of the people In the group were starting to feel full already so its good that after this stop, Liz, our tour guide, takes us for a walk and explains a lot of history about the black hand, the tenements, the five points and more. That was a good break from all the eating.
5th tasting: Vietnamese Street Food
Sidewalks in Mulberry Street are also considered goldmine for foodies looking for great food. For our 5th stop in the Ahoy Food Tour, we had Vietnamese street food and ate in street style. We tried the spring rolls which is also one of my favorite Vietnamese dish on my recent trip to Vietnam. It was so good. It was fried and yet it was wrapped in leaves and mint that gives the freshness or the feeling of eating something healthy. Typical Vietnamese cuisine, the balance ( yin and yang).
I also saw the menu of this restaurant and really, I would have loved to try other things inside but of course they were way heavier and I was already full.
6th tasting: Eggloo, 60 Mulberry St, NYC
The last stop for our food tour was at an ice cream shop called Eggloo. What a better way to end a long walk and different savory dishes than with a cone of ice cream and other delicious treats. They offer a variety of ice cream flavors, all equally delightful looking.
We had their Hong Kong style egg waffle called Gai Dan Jai which translates to little eggs. We also tried the vanilla ice cream, chocolate drippings, and mochi.
We started our tour with a great dessert and ended with an even better one. Of course, most of us were really happy. Plus , apart from the rich history of Mulberry street, we went around the world through food all in the same street. We did Spain, France, USA, Italy, Vietnam and finally Hong Kong—- how can I complain about that? It feels like a good balance of everything.
I must warn you though, as compared to other tours I’ve tried, this one involved a lot of walking and standing so make sure to use comfortable shoes. It’s not a hard walk, in fact, you will see a lot of interesting things along the way but you will be on your feet most of the time. There are 2 restos where you can have a proper seat like for the pizza and the pasta. All else, you will be on your feet, listening and eating at the same time. It would be good if you also prepare yourself for rain, shine, cold or heat . We were lucky we had a cloudy day with a bit of sunshine every now and then so we didn’t worry about getting wet but it was cold though.
Our tour guide, Liz was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. She is very upbeat and it’s obvious that she had a lot of knowledge about New York. After the tour, She even suggested that we should visit Governor’s island after which I think was a brilliant suggestion. I spent a month in New York the last time I was here, she suggested something that Susie and I haven’t been to and it was a good place to explore.
Ahoy food tours also offers food tours in other parts of the city that I would love to try next time.
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