My family does not believe in quiet vacations. You know those people who go on beach vacations and just relax for a week in the sun? Not our thing. We are going to see places and do things. So obviously as a foodie fan, I was super excited when Beardy Mum suggested that we try the food tour of Chelsea Market and the Meatpacking District. I love a good food tour!
Our tour guide, Curt, was great. Not just because he was clearly a shameless foodie, but also because he was sure to give us context about the area and its evolution. New York has never been a city of fascination for me the way it seems to be for a lot of people (particularly Brits.) As a result, it hasn’t been a place I’ve gotten to know particularly well, certainly not to the point that I’d recognise the food in particular neighbourhoods.
Chelsea Market is clearly in an area which has evolved over time – it’s gone from an edgy, not too expensive artsy place to having a massive Google headquarters across the street. Even our tour guide gently mocked the hipsters who have refound the artisinal cheeses (on that note, this cheddar from Lucy’s Whey is incredibly sharp and creamy, so I can’t really blame the hipsters at all.)
It was really interesting to hear about the changing population of this part of Manhattan, and how fewer rent control apartments are making Chelsea less of a mixed and affordable area. But unfortunately, gentrification is something happening all over the world.
Chelsea Market has an incredible variety of food places, so definitely something for everyone – from Buon Italia, the gourmet Italian food shop (the cashier told Beardy Mum that Susan Sarandon was a regular) to the Lobster Place, a seafood shop and restaurant that I was really disappointed that I didn’t get to (I’m obsessed with chowder and this is supposed to be amazing.) But of course, for me, I was most excited about the dessert places. I loved the Fat Witch Bakery Cookbook and so had to make a brownie pitstop. And I have ready great things about Liddabits, so I really enjoyed trying their candies.
The best food tours give you sense of the area while making you feel like you have a better knowledge of the good food places from a local. This tour from Foods of NY definitely did that and I’d eventually love to try some of their other NY tours.