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Create your own walking tour

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I have out of town guests visiting. They want to go on a food tour of Manhattan, but don’t want to get a tour guide. They are looking for places open during the day that are take-out or will allow them to order just small plates and share (as they will be eating all day long). Where should they go to sample unique foods or the best of the best in Manhattan?

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  1. I was going to post some of RGR's suggested tours but there are so many that I suggest you just do a search of "RGR" on the Manhattan board and look at a bunch of them. He/she put one together for my daughter and I a few months back. We were in the city and wanted to go to the Tenement Museum and then hit as many Vietnamese/Asian spots on the LES as possible. His tour was brilliant. We didn't stick to it completely because we were side tracked by all of the great clothing shops along Broadway but in general, it was excellent! Or just ask for his/her help directly! He/she responded to my request within days.

    5 Replies
    1. re: southernitalian

      Hey southern italian! What am I? Chopped Liver? :)

      RGR has created one tour that I know of - her famous Lower East Side one! Here it is with a review to boot:
      RGR’s LES Food Tour:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4933...

      A glowing review:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6316...

      Here's the tour I created for you!
      scoopG’s tour Tenement Museum/Chinatown tour for southern italian:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7116...

      With no follow up review by you, eh em. ;)

      1. re: scoopG

        Oh scoopG! My bad! I was thinking it was RGR who put together that incredible tour. As it turns out, a very well-intentioned relative kind of hijacked our days in the city and decided she knew better. I procrastinated getting tickets to the museum so we didn't do that either (I don't think my daughter was into it anyway). Long story, and very annoying, but we actually wound up doing a lot more shopping than eating, unfortunately. It was also extremely hot on all three days that we were there so neither of us was up for too much eating. We did go to Pho Bang on Mott Street (this relative's favorite) and it was excellent. I got pho with brisket and rare beef and it was the first time I had this and could honestly say that the beef was rare. Usually it's cooked thru by the time it hits the table but this had so much thinly sliced, incredibly tender beef that it was actually still cold and rare when I got to it. It was fabulous soup too! We also got summer rolls with shrimp AND pork, which is something we had never had. They were excellent. I read some reviews when we got home and a lot of them complained about the service but we found it to be charming, maybe because we were with a regular. It was also really inexpensive. I think it was $5 for a huge bowl.

        We got gelato at Ferrara for old time's sake. Shouldn't have bothered but my daughter has heard my family and me talk about this place for years and she wanted to go. Got some great pictures and some okay gelato.

        -----
        Pho Bang
        157 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

        1. re: southernitalian

          Just to be clear, I am the creator of the famous self-guided LES noshing tour. But I don't love Chinese food, so there's no way I could ever put together a tour of Chinatown. Scoop did an incredible job!

          http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

          1. re: RGR

            Well, we'll just have to get you and Chef Humm together for a food tasting tour then, after the Sunday crossword perhaps!

          2. re: southernitalian

            The hijacker relative! Know a lot of them - thanks for the update!

      2. For the West Village up to Union Square:

        1. In the morning, start out at Joe, The Art of Coffee on Waverly Pl. for some of the best iced coffee in the city. Take a cup with you to #2.

        2. Head west to Patisserie Claude for croissants. If you like sweet croissants, the chocolate ones there are very good. Split one croissant two or three ways, since you don't want to fill up right away.

        3. Walk northeast to Murray's Bagels on 6th Ave. between 12th and 13th. Snag a bagel fresh out of the oven and eat it while walking to Union Square Park.

        4. On Wednesdays through Sundays in the summer, the Union Square Greenmarket is open for business. Walk around and sample French breakfast radishes pulled from the ground that a.m., jams, cheeses, juice or an apple from Red Jacket Orchards, baked goods and breads, peaches, apricots, berries.

        If the farmer's market is not open, finish your bagel while sitting in the park. Enjoy the people watching.

        5. Walk back south along 6th Ave. until you get to the stretch where Grom and Popbar are at the intersection of 6th and Carmine. Choose one or both.

        6. Make a right onto Bleecker St. and have a Neapolitan pizza at Keste.

        7. Afterwards, drop by Murray's Cheese Shop to nibble on some specials and buy a snack for later. The pepperoni and cured meats are good too.

        8. Walk back east along Bleecker to Carmine and turn right. Stop at Sweet Revenge for a cupcake and wine pairing.

        9. Walk west for a while until you make your way to the West Side Highway and Hudson River Park, which runs alongside it. Walk up and down for a while until you feel like you can eat something, again. Exit the park at 11th St. and cross West St. to go to the Rusty Knot. Have a pretzel dog and wash it down with a Dark & Stormy, a Rusty Knot or a beer.

        10. Walk east along 11th St. until you hit Waverly Pl. Make a right and walk a few blocks until you see West 10th St. Make a left on 10th and go to the Highlands Scottish Gastropub. Sit at the bar and finish the tour with a Scotch egg along with a flight of whiskys or a cocktail.

        -----
        Murray's Cheese
        254 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        Patisserie Claude
        187 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

        Union Square Greenmarket
        Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

        Murray's Bagels
        500 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

        The Rusty Knot
        425 West St, New York, NY 10014

        Grom
        233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        Sweet Revenge
        62 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

        10 Replies
        1. re: duckie

          > 2. Head west to Patisserie Claude for croissants. If you like sweet croissants, the chocolate ones there are very good. Split one croissant two or three ways, since you don't want to fill up right away.

          Go as close to 8am as you can so you can get there right when Claude opens, and they will be warm right out of the oven. Smile and say hello even if Claude gives you the stink eye.

          > 4. On Wednesdays through Sundays in the summer, the Union Square Greenmarket is open for business.

          Huh? The Union Square Greenmarket is open year-round. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. 8am to 6pm (or whenever the farmers sell out of their wares -- some leave early). It's not open on Thursday or Sunday.

          > 5. Walk back south along 6th Ave. until you get to the stretch where Grom and Popbar are at the intersection of 6th and Carmine. Choose one or both.

          Grom is actually on Bleecker and Carmine, not on 6th Avenue proper. And I'd say that's a bit of a boring walk from Union Square to just go south on 6th Ave -- I'd go through Washington Square Park instead, stop into Otto for some gelato at the bar.

          What do you like at Popbar? I've not really been hearing great things.

          > 7. Afterwards, drop by Murray's Cheese Shop to nibble on some specials and buy a snack for later. The pepperoni and cured meats are good too.

          There's also a host of other temptations on Bleecker St: cake from Amy's bread, beer from Blind Tiger, freshly filled cannoli from Rocco's, spicy chocolate gelato from L'Arte de Gelato just off Bleecker near 7th...

          > 10. Walk east along 11th St. until you hit Waverly Pl. Make a right and walk a few blocks until you see West 10th St. Make a left on 10th and go to the Highlands Scottish Gastropub. Sit at the bar and finish the tour with a Scotch egg along with a flight of whiskys or a cocktail.

          If you want a cocktail, I'd say go to Little Branch instead, though.

          -----
          Murray's Cheese
          254 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

          Patisserie Claude
          187 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

          Union Square Greenmarket
          Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

          Blind Tiger
          281 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

          Little Branch
          22 Seventh Ave South, New York, NY 10014

          Grom
          233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

          1. re: kathryn

            For Claude, you just want to go when a fresh batch is out of the oven. I think they make fresh batches throughout the morning. I have had them at 8:15 a.m. and around 10:30 a.m. I think fresh batches are not made in the afternoon, however.

            Popbar has pure tasting sorbet pops like grapefruit, though I think a lot of people don't like how expensive it is for a popsicle. It is fun to get a gelato pop and coat it in your choice of toppings.

            I think Little Branch is not as enjoyable for me these days, because I have gotten too old for the crowds and the sometimes pretentious door. THey also don't open until 7:00 (and sometimes don't actually open the door until about 8 or so) and don't have food. The Highlands opens at 6 and has good food as well as drink. The Scotch egg is I think impossible not to like. The service is really nice, too. Of course different folks, different strokes as they say.

            -----
            Little Branch
            22 Seventh Ave South, New York, NY 10014

            1. re: duckie

              Good to know they make more fresh batches later on in the morning. I've been going at 8:30am!

              Popbar looks fun but I'm a big fan of gelato's texture which gets lost when it's in stick form.

              If I want both food and cocktails on the early side, I'll typically just walk from the West Village to Pegu Club in Soho, which does both very well (not a big scotch drinker and nothing on Highlands' cocktail list looks really appealing to me).

              -----
              Pegu Club
              77 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

          2. re: duckie

            keste opens at 12, so the op will have a few hours to kill if they want to get up early for 1-3

            1. re: daffyduck

              Thanks, co-duck. That's true.

            2. re: duckie

              > 5. Walk back south along 6th Ave. until you get to the stretch where Grom and Popbar are at the intersection of 6th and Carmine. Choose one or both.

              Eh, I'd skip Grom and go to Cones on Bleecker for my sweet treat. Better ice cream, their sorbets are unbelievable, more interesting flavors - and bonus, not a chain store.

              -----
              Cones
              272 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

              1. re: sgordon

                I don't like Cones as well as Grom because to me, it is too sweet and the last few times I went, too soft. Grom has wonderful texture and is less sweet than Cones.

                Maybe vosoda's guests could decide for themselves, though and go to Grom, Cones and then L'Arte Del Gelato on 7th Ave, right around the corner.

                -----
                L'Arte del Gelato
                75 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014

                Grom
                233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                1. re: duckie

                  I'm also a fan of Grom over Cones. I think a big issue that people have Grom is the price -- it is on the expensive side. But a gelato tasting of all three places sounds like fun!

                  -----
                  Grom
                  233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    lol i actually like bruno bakery best then l'arte del gelato then otto, then grom, then cones. but there are flavors here are there that i like more at some of these places over the others. like the bacio flavor at grom i like more than anything at l'arte del gelato but all the other flavors ive tried at grom i liked less than l'arte.
                    otto and cones have a creamier texture than the others so prefer this that's the way to go. if the op can stomach it they can try all 5.

                    1. re: daffyduck

                      I haven't tried Bruno Bakery -- must add that to my list!

                      -----
                      Bruno Bakery
                      506 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY 10012

            3. if u dont want to walk far, my favorite food area\neighborhood in manhattan is the east village to the les. i know the op said manhattan but id also like to put in that jackson heights is a great food neighborhood to do a walking tour too.
              but if i were to keep it in manhattan id do something like pork buns at momofuku milk bar, square slice at artichoke, takoyaki at otafuku, katz, and russ\daughters. for sweets you could stop by spot that place has unique asian desserts. there's also babka at russ\daughters and led zeppole which is 2 doors down from artichoke. momofuku milk bar has lots of unique desserts but i havent liked any that ive tried. this is quite a few places so depending on the # of ppl id limit myself to one item per place.
              note: last time i was at momofuku milk bar they stopped making pork buns at 6pm i believe

              1. Midtown West/Hell's Kitchen has some places that would qualify for a walking tour. Please note that some places, it would be more ideal that they do take-out and nosh on the street.

                Azuri Cafe -- falafel
                La Bergamote -- croissants, pastries
                Kyotofu -- cupcakes, tofu-based desserts
                Sullivan Street Bakery -- Italian baked goods, pizzas, breads
                Gazala Place -- burek (will need to share as it's large)
                Amy's Bread -- breads, desserts, chocolate cake
                Grom -- gelato
                Bouchon Bakery -- cookies, baked goods, pastries
                Lazzaras -- 9th ave location only -- grandma slice
                Shake Shack -- burgers, concretes
                Tulchingo del Valle -- tacos
                Empanada Mama -- empanadas
                Hallo Berlin -- sausages
                Ruby and Violette -- cookies

                ETA: I removed a couple of places that won't open until evening. Nice thing about Midtown West is that almost every tourist I know visits Time Square.

                -----
                Sullivan Street Bakery
                533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

                Bouchon Bakery
                10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                Gazala Place
                709 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                Hallo Berlin
                626 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                Lazzara's
                221 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018

                Azuri Cafe
                465 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

                Amy's Bread
                250 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                Empanada Mama
                763 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                Grom
                233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                La Bergamote
                515 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

                Kyotofu
                144 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

                Ardesia
                510 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

                1 Reply
                1. re: Miss Needle

                  I forgot to add Poseidon Bakery for their flaky meat and spinach pies and baklava.

                  -----
                  Poseidon Bakery
                  629 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036