Even when we’re not traveling, Kim and I like to explore at home. Luckily New York has a ton of things to do.
Whether it be visiting a new park with Lucas, trying out new restaurants, maybe a neighborhood we’re unfamiliar with- we’re always out and about exploring and showing Lucas the variety that New York offers, even a local…
When I received an invite for a food tour of a neighborhood in Brooklyn that I am quite familiar with, I was curious. Would a tour like this be good to recommend to readers? Would I learn something new? Would I know most of the places that the tour stops at? etc…
Kim and I recently took the Williamsburg Bites: A Brooklyn Tour from a tour company started by locals called Like A Local Tours.
Here are some details about where we stopped and what we did.
I was warned not to eat a big lunch and to come hungry since the tour included quite a few tastings and I’m sure glad that we listened.
The tour made stops at five places as we walked 1.5 miles around Williamsburg over the course of our tour. It turned out that I’d previously been to 4/5 of these shops many times in the past and knew their food well. What I didn’t know was some of the background which we learned about these places. This was definitely interesting to hear.
At a couple of the stops, we even heard from an employee about their product, which was definitely interesting to learn about.
Here are the places we visited:
Of the five stops, the only one I hadn’t visited or even heard of was Devocion. Being that I don’t drink coffee, it didn’t surprise me.
We started off by walking a couple of blocks to Best Pizza which makes incredible pizza and heros.
Each of us got to sample a half slice from two varieties of pies- cheese and white. While both are delicious, I do prefer the regular cheese slice. It was interesting to find out from one of the pizzaiolos that the cheese is made fresh in-house each day. You can also purchase their cheese and dough to take home and make your own pizza with.
There are five Milk Bars located in Brooklyn and Manhattan. The shops are part of David Chang’s Momofuku Empire (which includes Fuku).
Milk Bar offers (mostly) creative desserts of which we sampled two. We each got our own Compost Cookie which has pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch and chocolate chips inside. I’ve had the cookie before and it is very good but also quite sweet. We also each had a small sample of their soft serve Cereal Milk best described as a frozen version of the milk at the bottom of a bowl of cornflakes with lots of sugar. Definitely tasty too.
Our guide told us a bit about the founder, pastry chef Christina Tosi and how she got started. The story was very interesting and could be read in the shop’s book.
We then walked for a few minutes and made a couple of stops to look at some of the street art in the area. I have to admit that I didn’t pay much attention or take any photos as I was chatting with a couple of other people on the tour during part of this time.
We then headed over to one of my favorite restaurants in NYC, Pies-N-Thighs. It was busy so we waited outside while our guide picked up a big bucket of chicken for each of us to sample a piece from.
As usual the chicken was excellent and I had only one piece since I’ve been there many times before.
The guide described how the shop started out at the back of a bar. The founders opened their own place when they noticed people coming into the bar, going straight to the back for the chicken!
BTW- We also love the doughnuts that they make.
We then headed to a place I’ve never heard of before, Devocion, a fancy coffee roastery located in an amazing building. The place was pretty busy but I didn’t love my cold drink. Kim said the coffee was very good but this place, while impressive inside, wasn’t my thing.
After the drink stop, we walked a few minutes over to Grand Ferry Park to enjoy some great views on the water. I can’t say that I ever noticed this small park before but the views were excellent and it was a good, quick break from eating!
Our last stop was for dessert at Odd Fellows Ice Cream. Kim, Lucas and I have been going there since they opened a couple of years back.
Odd Fellows is one of the best ice cream shops in NYC. We love them for their strange flavors (ex. Extra Virgin Olive Oil- I can only handle a sample) and friendly staff which are willing to let you try lots of samples!
The flavors change on a daily basis which is nice. The shop’s manager told us a little about Odd Fellows before getting us some samples and then a scoop to enjoy. I went with the Caramel, Chocolate, Toffee which was really tasty.
I feel that Like A Local Tours did a very good job of showing us a snapshot of Williamsburg. We stopped by some of the area’s top shops, sampling lots of tasty food. It was also great to get some background about the area as well as each of the places we visited.
One thing I didn’t like- The tour starts at 2:00pm which in my opinion is an odd time to start a food tour when your warned not to eat lunch! 2:00 is pretty late to first eat lunch and being that the tour ended a little after 4:30, it also messed with our dinner plans. I would’ve liked to have seen the tour start at a more reasonable hour to make it a true lunch time tour.
Overall, I’d recommend Like A Local Tours if you’re interested in visiting a neighborhood in NYC to get a taste of some of the local eats.
Find out more and book a tour with Like A Local here.
Like A Local Tours start at $50 per person. Tours are offered in NYC’s Flatiron and in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.