Chinatown and Little Italy Foodie Adventure
This article is Chinatown and Little Italy Foodie Adventure. It is an overview of my walking foodie tour by in New York.
The foodie tour is a part of my New York Weekend Adventure.
The Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour is led by Ahoy New York Food Tours.
The Chinatown and Little Italy Foodie Tour can be booked online on TripAdvisor for $65.00.
Ahoy New York Food Tours specializes in Little Italy and Chinatown and is an expert in the area.
Note: For this experience, I was a guest of Ahoy New York Food Tours. The review is my own opinion.
The Chinatown and Little Italy Foodie Tour visits the following locations for food tasting:
- Ferrara Bakery & Cafe
- Alleva Dairy
- Piemonte Ravioli Company
- Di Palo’s Fine Foods
- Nom Wah Tea Parlor
- Tasty Dumpling
Each location offers a sample of their cuisine offered at the respective locations.
The tour started at Ferrara Bakery & Cafe.
The group met the leader, Mike, who was an actor that recently starred in the Blacklist television show.
The group leader welcomed the guests and we spent time getting to know each other while Mike provided an overview of the day.
There were about 13 other people attending the tour.
The tour would last about three hours and it covers Little Italy and Chinatown.
Ferrara Bakery & Cafe
The first stop on the tour is Ferrara Bakery & Cafe. Ferrara’s is an awesome coffee and pastry shop in the heart of Little Italy.
The location offers canolli’s, Gelato, great espresso and more.
The staff allowed the group to sit at one of their tables on the upper level and enjoy one of their classic Cannoli’s.
Cannolis are a traditional Sicilian dessert; a crispy tube filled with ricotta and chocolate chips. It is a sweet treat.
Ferrara’s is world famous for their cannolis and Italian pastries.
The Cannoli was fresh and it had a great crust and creamy filling.
Mike described how it was made and he provided a background on the restaurant.
Mike encouraged the guests to purchase a coffee or espresso during the stop.
The second stop on the Little Italy and Chinatown Foodie Adventure is Alleva Dairy.
Alleva Dairy is the oldest Italian cheese store in America. The location has been serving Little Italy for over 100 years.
The staff warmly welcomed us and provided a bit of history about their store.
The group was offered a sample of prosciutto and homemade mozzarella.
The prosciutto was light and flavorful. The prosciutto was salted and it had a good flavor.
The mozzarella was freshly prepared and it was unseasoned, so you could taste the bold cheese flavor.
The two together were a great pairing as the cheese was not salted, so by taking a bite of each you got a good balance.
Piemonte Ravioli Company
The third stop on the Little Italy and Chinatown Foodie Adventure is Piemonte Ravioli Company.
Piemonte has been serving Little Italy and NYC fresh pasta since 1920.
The location makes both fresh and dry pastas.
The fresh pastas are best and they will last for a few days.
The store frequently sells Italian Flag colored pasta as a nice example of Little Italy’s heritage.
The owner greeted us and provided information on the pastas. The tour guide, Mike, gave a background on the history of the location and made suggestions for items to purchase.
The tour was offered gnocchi in a fresh tomato sauce.
The gnocchi was mild in flavor and it was filled with fresh cheese.
The Italian dumplings were topped with a fresh tomato sauce made from San Marzano Tomatoes which offer a sweet flavor.
The gnocchi and sauce combination were excellent.
Di Palo’s Fine Foods
The fourth stop on the foodie tour was Di Palo’s Fine Foods.
Di Palo’s has been serving Little Italy since 1910. The store offers fresh deli meats, cheeses and Italian delicacies.
The store frequently has lines out the door, and guests grab a number as soon as they arrive.
The staff is known to provide samples to the waiting guests.
Di Palo’s provided a tasting of two cheeses paired with an olive.
The first cheese was a cow’s milk cheese known as Piave.
The second cheese was a sheep’s milk cheese known as Moliterno (pecorino).
Both cheeses were excellent.
One was sharp and fragrant and the other was more mild.
The olive was fresh and it was lightly seasoned.
The olive was excellent and it went well with the two cheeses.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor
At this point in the tour, the destination changed from Little Italy to Chinatown. The two communities are blended together as they are blended and share many of the same streets these days.
The fifth stop on the tour was Nom Wah Tea Parlor.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor is a classic Dim Sum restaurant that changed things in New York. Traditional Dim Sum restaurants serve the Dim Sum from carts that are taken around the restaurant for guests to select from.
Nom Wah changed things up by wanting to ensure the guests Dim Sum was fresh and prepared just for the customer, so they removed the carts, and allow guests to order, so their food comes out fresh.
The restaurant is very popular and most of the time there is a line out the door.
Mike, the tour guide joked that we as a group got to be VIP’s because we got to skip the line and be seated immediately with the food ready for us.
We stayed at the restaurant for about 15 minutes and were able to sample several varieties of Dim Sum.
Dim Sum is also known as Yum Cha. The dish dates back to the days of the silk roads in China. It is essentially small bites that you share with friends.
We were given a large egg roll which was cut into smaller pieces. The egg roll was very large and it was stuffed with fresh ingredients.
The second item was a Chinese bun filled with pork. The dish was fresh and had a good taste. The pork was seasoned well.
The third Dim Sum was a noodle one with shrimp. I felt that the noodle was the best out of the three and it was lightly steamed and the shrimp was fresh and had an excellent flavor.
The final stop on the tour was Tasty Dumpling.
Tasty Dumpling is a small shop that sells dumplings and soups. You can get five dumplings for $1.25! What a awesome deal!
The Chinese Dumpling is one of the most important foods to eat during the Chinese New Year.
The dumplings are pan fried and they are filled with pork.
The dumplings were fresh and tangy and it was coated in a flavorful sauce.
The dumpling was an amazing bite to conclude the tour.
At the end of the Chinatown and Little Italy Foodie Tour, Mike the tour guide, thanked the guests and provided a Chinese Cookie from Nom Wah Tea Parlor to take with us.
The cookie was fresh but it was not memorable which was surprising since Chinatown is known for great food and sweets. The tour concluded in front of one of the older tenement houses. Mike talked about what life was like in the homes and it was amazing how many people lived in the same room without running water or restrooms.
Today these old tenement homes are fixed up and made into luxury accommodations.
My tour experience with Ahoy New York for the Chinatown and Little Italy Foodie Tour was excellent. The tour guide was an animated actor who was both funny and informative. The tour gave a great view on the history of the two communities as well as we were able to sample some incredible food from the first cannoli to the dumpling in Chinatown.