Brooklyn tours with dessert, coffee & more
The borough offers lots of places to eat and drink. We can fit them into a broader tour.
Food tours have gotten quite popular in NYC, especially in Manhattan. I often include a food stop or two within my tours. I can customize the tours to add additional stops for food, including coffeehouses, bakeries, ice cream factories, chocolate shops, and more.
But there's so much to see in Brooklyn, I think it's unwise to limit a tour to pre-programmed sampling stops, as with companies that specialize in food tours. In other words, my motto is "See interesting things, include some food," not "Let's just sample food."
So I can include or emphasize food in larger neighborhood tours. Unlike many food tours, I simply add the cost of the food to my fee, plus (maybe) a small surcharge for preparation. And I won't pretend everything that you've heard of or read about is great, or worth the cost in time or money!
Tours with ice cream, dessert, and/or chocolate
Several neighborhoods stand out for ice cream, and chocolate: Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, DUMBO, and Williamsburg. In fact, Williamsburg offers a cornucopia of dessert opportunities, including cookies, cupcakes, and pie, while DUMBO adds cookies, and pastries.
Greenpoint offers ice cream and--believe it or not--two dueling donut purveyors. (Bedford-Stuyvesant and Prospect Heights/Park Slope have donuts too.) But Greenpoint would make a great general dessert tour, given the number of bakeries (new/old, French/Polish, pies, etc.).
In a tour of Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and nearby Gowanus, we can visit two to five (!) purveyors of ice cream, at least in summer. There's great neighborhood scenery, as well. Williamsburg has many new ice cream opportunities, as well. Red Hook also has great desserts.
I'm happy to combine a neighborhood tour with stops at several bars/pubs. I can focus--like some listed pub tours--on Williamsburg, but prefer a more central/historic area, including Park Slope, Gowanus, and Cobble Hill. These tours are not just about drinking--they're about seeing the neighborhoods too!
Wider-ranging Brooklyn tours with food
A gastronomic introduction to Brooklyn can be complicated, though... the best one-stop shopping experience is Smorgasburg, and you don't need a guide (though we certainly could fit a 20- to 40-minute stop into a tour). Alternatively, the year-round indoor DeKalb Market Hall in Downtown Brooklyn offers lots of options, as does the Time Out NY Market, easily accessible at the end of my Brooklyn 101 or Brooklyn 202 tours.
My introductory Brooklyn 101 addresses history, landscape, and architecture, though we can always add food, such as lunch at Junior's or at one of the Fulton Ferry pizza joints.
To focus on food, I can customize several other neighborhood tours. One interesting option is Sunset Park, with retail corridors catering to both Latino and Chinese communities.
For a full introduction, it would be worth visiting additional neighborhoods--beyond my typical tour routes--to see the influence of other ethnic groups: from Pakistan, from the Middle East, from Russia/former Soviet Union, from the Caribbean islands (Jamaica, Haiti, etc.), from Russia, as well as kosher food, from different Jewish communities. Additional neighborhoods include Brighton Beach, Midwood/Flatbush, and Bay Ridge.
It all depends on your time and budget. Keep in mind that some of the best options for food are in (less expensive, immigrant) neighborhoods that have fewer historic highlights. Would you believe that, in an undistinguished neighborhood in the middle of Brooklyn, a Bosnian burek place is just a minute's walk from a Burmese restaurant?
Full disclosure: Queens is even better for eating.
Some things to consider
In all cases, I'd advise incorporating the food into a wider-ranging neighborhood tour, so we walk off some of the calories. In some cases, the tour will be adapted from my listed tours. In other cases, I'll devise a custom tour.
Keep in mind that Brooklyn is big!
Tours with pizza
Brooklyn has great pizza, including a couple of classic places with coal-fired brick ovens, as well as solid slice joints. (I was a contributing editor to the Slow Food Guide to New York for pizza.)
We can fit pizza into our tour (Coney Island, Fulton Ferry are the best bets), if we're a small group, though we'd have to time it---or be open to take out.
Please note: for an in-depth introduction to pizza, I recommend (with no quid pro quo) Scott's Pizza Tours. I don't presume to compete, since I offer neighborhood tours that can fit pizza in (at a lower cost).
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