There’s no shortage of things to see in New York City – historic landmarks, great restaurants, rockin’ night-life and interesting neighborhoods. There’s also no shortage of informative tours that feature local experts who can share interesting anecdotes and historical facts. A good chunk of these tours use Brown Paper Tickets for their ticketing and today I wanted to highlight some of the great tours going on in New York this weekend. If you’re visiting the city, these tours can be a great way to learn the history of a given neighborhood or taste some of the amazing food that New York has to offer or event hunt ghosts in Grand Central Terminal.
If you’re a New Yorker, these tours can be a great way to learn something about your city that you may not have known before. Sometimes it’s fun to be a tourist in your own city and when you live in a city as vibrant and interesting as New York, there can be a lot to learn, even for a long-time resident.
Here’s our recommendations for tours going on in New York this weekend.
Greenwich Village Food Tour – See and taste real New York with local foods and sightseeing all-in-1 walking food tours. Attendees will have a full-lunch from 5 of the best shops and restaurants in this very popular neighborhood. Lunch starts with cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery made famous from Sex and the City, next is a freshly-made bagel with cream cheese, followed by an Indian vegetable roll. Then, have the best thin-crust pizza with fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce from Joe’s Pizzeria and Rocco’s cannoli for dessert.
SoHo/Little Italy/Chinatown Food Tour – Have a full-lunch from 5 unique stores and restaurants in 3 neighborhoods. The tours starts in SoHo with Grandaisy‘s gourmet thin-crust pizza, followed by the Best Chocolate Cake in the World. Crossing into Little Italy it’s Alleva’s for fresh cheese, plus soppresata, an Italian salami, and Ferara’s cannoli. In Chinatown, guests will taste pan-seared pork dumplings, visit historic cast-iron buildings, the home to art galleries in SoHo, and then the beautiful Police Building Condo in Little Italy. In Chinatown guests will visit Columbus Park, once part of Little Italy and now home to New York’s Asian community. SoHo is known for its high-end designer shops, Little Italy’s for its abundance of restaurants and Chinatown for discount shopping and jewelry, see them all in this great tour.
Ghost Doctor’s Ghost Hunting Tours in Grand Central Terminal – Countless millions have travelled the halls and tracks of this treasured New York landmark, but are the ghosts of these very same passengers still present? Join NYC’s own Ghost Doctors (paranormal investigators and licensed tours guides) as they hunt for real spirits in one of the world’s most famous train terminals. This is not your typical “story telling” ghost tour. This is the real deal! Learn lore and legend as well as the use of authentic ghost hunting equipment as you travel this amazing terminal and don’t be surprised what shows up!
Multi-Ethnic Dinner Tour – Enjoy a 4 course full-dinner of the best Chinese, Italian, Jewish and Vietnamese foods in 3 diverse neighborhoods; Chinatown, Little Italy and the Lower East Side. The first course starts in Chinatown for the best contest-winning pan-seared pork dumplings with chives at a secret location. Next is a Vietnamese sandwich banh mi, pork and pickled vegetables on a baguette. For dessert, have a cannoli in Little Italy, then a Jewish style baked potato knish from a 100-year knishery on the Lower East Side. In addition to the great foods, you’ll learn about the stores’ history and the culture of each neighborhood. We’ll also visit the Bowery Mansion, New Museum and the Essex Street Market.
Brooklyn Bridge Sunset Food Tour – Capture the beauty of the setting sun over the East River. Meet in Lower Manhattan, and take the 25-minute walk over the bridge. In Brooklyn it’s the legendary pizza from Grimaldi’s, a thin crust beauty from a coal-fired brick oven. Highest pizza rating from Zagat. For dessert, visit the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for the freshest home-made ice cream in the city, and view the boats from the Fulton Ferry Landing. Fully rested and satiated, guests will head back, savoring the picturesque Manhattan skyline views. Learn about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, and visit one of the oldest cast iron buildings in Brooklyn.
Chinatown Discovered Food Tour – With an area covering two square miles and an estimated population of 150,000, NYCs Chinatown is the largest in the United States. There are over 10 distinct Asian cuisines available in this neighborhood; and over 500 restaurants, bakeries, and tea shops line the streets for your exploration. Chinatown is a food shopper’s paradise offering fresh, unique food at a reasonable price. This tour brings guests into the stores, giving them the opportunity to view the many delicacies, take in the tantalizing aromas and taste their specialities.
Ghost Doctor’s Ghost Hunting Tours in SoHo – Join NYC’s own “Ghost Doctors” (paranormal investigators and licensed tours guides) on a “real” ghost hunting adventure through SoHo NYC. This is not your typical “story telling” ghost tour. This is the real deal! Learn the use of real ghost hunting equipment and protocol. Explore this amazing iconic area known as the largest cast iron district in the world. Hunt for ghostly spirits that have been around for over 150 years and don’t be surprised who or what shows up! At the end of this investigation, walk away with the knowledge of what it is to be a real ghost hunter.
NYC Mob Downtown Evening Walking Tour – Learn the full story of the rise and fall of the American Mafia over the last 100 years as the sun sets over Gotham. The tour goes through the East Village, the Lower East Side and ends in Little Italy, with options and deals to eat in some of the best restaurants on Mulberry St.
NYC Mob Greenwich Village Walking Tour – Not unlike Sicily with it’s winding, narrow streets and provincial air, Greenwich Village was the beat of many major Mafiosi like Vito Genovese, Vincenzo “The Chin” Gigante and Joe Gallo. See the social clubs and bohemian cafes where some of the best American mobsters got made and got fed.
Get Acquainted Tour – Touring New York City with NYSee Tours is terrific fun. It’s more than a guided tour – its great theater, a rolling drama, and unique entertainment that uses New York City and the ever-changing cityscape to engage, excite, & educate. Mostly, it’s a wonderful way to transmit their love for New York City to you, their special guests. Explore Manhattan neighborhoods like The Upper West Side, Central Park, The Mansions of Fifth Avenue, The World Trade Center Site, Greenwich Village, & others. Stop for lunch at the wondrous Chelsea Market or have a slice of authentic NYC pizza. The tour is primarily on board a bus or van but after the exploration of The WTC Site, guests will hop on the NYC subway for an escorted trip back to the starting point. You’ll learn how to get around by subway just like a New Yorker!
East Village Mob Walking Tour – A walk through the East Village neighborhood. Now a mecca for hip bars, restaurants and the NYC rock and roll scene, the East Village was once a breeding ground for some of the most powerful American Mafiosi in history and the battleground for the legendary Castellamarese war. Through the Mob’s influece, the neighborhood’s decline in the late 20th century turned it into a drug-fueled wasteland, the remnants of which can still be seen today.
East Village Variety Tour – To experience a culture one must experience their cuisine and since New York is the melting pot of the world, its vast array of cuisines is its shared culture. Food on Foot Tours takes visitors beyond the tourist attractions to the largest buffet in the world, New York. You’ll see the neighborhoods where New Yorkers live and eat. You’ll share our passion for all things New York and you’ll travel the way New Yorkers do, by subway and foot. This is a neighborhood tour away from the tourist areas with multiple cuisine stops including at least one sweet stop. Food On Foot Tours are rated #3 overall in New York on Tripadvisor’s Things To Do In NYC.
History of Wall Street – On this tour, you will get a behind-the-scenes look at the largest, most watched financial exchange in the world, learn how a group of businessmen working under a Buttonwood tree grew to become the most-watched and important component of the US and global economy, discover the origins of Wall Street when shipping and rail companies ruled the day, see where robber barons and financial icons like J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller made history and find out about the development of the Dow Jones Index and the Wall Street Journal. You will see The New York Stock Exchange, Trinity Church, the grave of Alexander Hamilton, the Wall Street Bull, The Federal Reserve, Ground Zero and many other important sites.
Mafia Walking Tour – This popular and exciting weekly tour through NYC’s Little Italy explores the former social clubs, homes and haunts of some of the most powerful 20th century mobsters, and uncovers the truth behind many Mafia legends. Your tour guide will discuss the Sicilian/Italian immigrant experience, the history of Little Italy and its recent changes, the roots of the Mafia in Sicily and Naples, how the Five Families of the American Mafia originated, historically influential Mafia “unknowns,” the truth behind Boardwalk Empire and The Godfather and famous mobsters like Charlie Luciano, Vito Genovese, Giuseppe Morello, Giuseppe Masseria, Salvatore D’Aquila, Joe Biondo, Carlo Gambino, Joey Rao, Carmine Galante, Joey Gallo, Joe Colombo, Vincent Gigante, Peter DeFeo, Aniello Dellacroce, Beck Brothers, and many more. Guests will visit former social clubs, former homes and hangouts, and sites of gangland hits. The tour ends at Mob Scene Gallery, where you will get to see authentic mob memorabilia. The tour is conducted by Eric Ferrara, founder of the Lower East Side History Project and author of the “MANHATTAN MAFIA GUIDE” (History Press, 2011). Eric is a fourth-generation, native New Yorker whose family has been in Little Italy since the end of the 19th century.
He has also been a consultant on a number of movie and television projects, including HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Warner Brother’s upcoming remake of The Great Gatsby.
Makin’ It Green In Williamsburg Tour – Discover how Brooklyn is going green on the Makin’ It Green in WILLIAMSBURG Tour brought to you by GreenHomeNYC and Made in Brooklyn Tours. See the creative entrepreneurs and artisans in Williamsburg who are literally re-making Brooklyn with a social and ecological conscience. The tour begins at Mast Brothers Chocolate on North 3 St. and ends at The NEW New York Green Block Party on North 11 St. between Berry and Wythe. Visit Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn Oenology, Metal Dimensions and VOOS Furniture on your way to the party! Enjoy food, music and a host workshops on a wide range of sustainable actions like green roofing and composting. “See who’s makin’ it green in Brooklyn!”
Melting Pot Food Tours – For generations, the Lower East Side has been home to the many immigrants coming to the US for a better life; and on The Melting Pot tour, you will get a glimpse into this diverse neighborhood. This tour takes guests through the Lower East Side, Chinatown, and Little Italy. Food brings people together, instilling a sense of security and happiness. Guests will learn the importance of food in each community. This is a great introduction to a lively, fascinating area.
NYC Mob Bus Tour – Experience a taste of all things Mob-related throughout Midtown and Downtown Manhattan. The tour visits Midtown East to hear the tale of the dramatic murder of Big Paul Castellano, the former Garment District and the Highline Park for a view of what was once the largest, most corrupt waterfront in America, the Italian West Village to learn a little about the Genovese/Costello war and the Mob’s influence on bohemian Village culture in the 1960’s, Little Italy to experience the Sicilian and Neopolitan culture where La Cosa Nostra in New York began, the Lower East Side to ride through the once gritty streets where to Gotham’s greatest Jewish gangsters cut their teeth and the East Village to hear about the Castellamarese War, the rise of “Lucky” Luciano, and how organized crime got organized. Ending, of course, safely and soundly back in Times Square.
Ghost Hunting In Flushing Meadows Park – Join the Ghost Doctors as they hunt for spirits at the old World’s Fair Grounds of Flushing Meadows Park. Learn how to use authentic ghost hunting equipment in one of New York’s most famous parks and don’t be surprised what shows up!
Makin’ Art in RED HOOK Tour – Made in Brooklyn Tours are guided walking tours that celebrate the creativity, ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of Brooklynites past and present. They tell the story of Brooklyn’s industrial revolution and its current resurgence. On Made in Brooklyn Tours the stars of the show are the people who make things. This special Makin’ Art in Red Hook Tour stars the Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition (BWAC). Experience the diverse art on display at the BWAC fall show, Tales of Breukelen Art, through the eyes of one of its exhibiting artists, Janet Rothholz. In addition to being a Brooklyn based ceramic sculptor, Janet is also an admitted BWAC booster and loves looking at and talking about art. Learn about some of the BWAC artists, their work, medium, process and influences as Janet guides you through two art-filled floors of an old Civil War era warehouse.
Chelsea Food Tour – Chelsea is a very exciting neighborhood just north of Greenwich Village and offers truly international foods to enjoy. Stop at the famous Chelsea Market, an indoor gourmet food lovers paradise. Food selections are: Thai seafood dumplings, a Cuban beef or chicken empanada, pizza from Artichoke Basille, and for dessert a choice of apple tart or chocolate eclair from a French bakery. Great sights included are the Chelsea Hotel, High Line Park, and Chelsea Piers.
NY Nosh Food Tour – From the 1890s to the 1940s, the Jewish Lower East Side was teeming with nearly a half million Eastern European Jews. Streets were packed with pushcarts and people. Although living and working conditions were difficult, the Jewish immigrants were able to practice their religion openly. There was a strong sense of family and community, which can still be seen today. Many of the shops on this tour have been in the neighborhood for over 70 years and are owned by the original families. You will learn the meaning of Kosher, and what food items are not Kosher and why.