Posted by: Josey | November 11, 2008

Big Onion Walking Tours: An NYC Idea for Visitors and Locals Alike

As part of Jeff’s birthday gift this year, we spent Sunday on a New York City Big Onion culinary walking tour ($20 per person). The Original Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour met on Essex and Delancey and took us through the Lower East Side to Chinatown and into Little Italy. The food was not the highlight of the tour; the New York City history was—thanks to our friendly, knowledgeable guide. It was, all in all, an energizing way to spend an afternoon. But here are a few quick tips we wish we’d known beforehand:

  • Use the restroom before meeting the group. There were no bathroom breaks.
  • Go hungry, but not too hungry. There wasn’t as much food as we’d expected. I actually pulled over at one point to buy an eighty-cent roasted pork bun from a Chinatown bakery!
  • Sport comfortable shoes and, if it’s cold (like it was on Sunday), bring more cold-weather wear than you think you’ll need. I wore two long-sleeve t-shirts, a trenchcoat, a scarf and 180s, and I was freezing. You’re outdoors for a really long time.

I encourage you to be an open-minded taster and try everything: from buttery, sautéed plantains, vinegary pickles and sweet-and-sour tofu to sugary, dried rose petals and guava, parmesan and mozzarella cheese, halvah and creamy cannola. I was hesitant to sample some of the more unusual items, but those turned out to be the best.

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