There’s so many areas to explore in NYC. The Flatiron District, with its unreal grub, storied past and beautiful, old-school architecture, is definitely one worthy of attention. This group tour is a nice little intro to the Flatiron and Union Square nabe’s for those keen on discovering the best of the culture and the food that these two areas offer up.
On this three-hour tour, you’ll visit some of the area’s most iconic food joints as well as a few of the new venues making their mark in Manhattan, and try some of the delicious bites that food writers from The Times and Travel and Leisure have been harping on about. You’ll also explore the neighbourhoods in depth, with your guide telling the stories behind the proud iron-cast buildings that dominate streets here and the metamorphosis of the area, from 19th-century department store mecca, to the 20th-century toy district, all the way to its modern iteration as a buzzy startup scene with all the good food. It’s a good all-rounder for those who want a little taste of everything.
About your guide
Like A Local does just what it says on the tin. The company connects travellers with keen local guides, who, in turn, show said travellers around the city, their way. Expect to discover something new and unseen by the masses on these tours.
Here’s the plan…
Meet your guide outside Eataly. You’re in for a treat (a few treats, actually) over the next few hours, and it starts just inside Eataly’s glossy archway.
This tour’s main aim is to tell the story of the Flatiron District and Union Square, and it does so by focusing on two key… ingredients, shall we say, that really remain at the heart of these areas: architecture and food. It seems fitting, then, that the first stop on the tour lays claim to both. With your guide leading the charge, you’ll explore the epic artisanal Italian food emporium that has been beloved by New Yorkers since it opened its doors back in 2010. Eataly is set in the old Toy Building, which dates back to 1909 and was once the hub of toy manufacturing in the US. Of course, you’ll hear much about the food and history of the place in this tour - and you’ll try a freshly baked focaccia while you’re at it too.
Then, it’s on to the next stop: an old local sandwich joint that has been humbly dishing up the pastrami sandwich of dreams for just shy of 70 years. Celebrities and New Yorkers have long been flocking to this kitsch restaurant for decades to get their pastrami hit - and today you’ll be joining them.
Then, you’ll trot on over to one of New York’s most talked about spots. Here, in the heart of the city, a group of foodies produce beautiful handmade cheese, and you’ll get to watch them do it. You and the group will grab a delicious cheese melt and tuck in.
The final stop is at a local bakery, which crafts some of the best pastries and loaves in the city. These artisanal delights are about as good as it gets in terms of baked goods, and you’ll try one of their most popular bites and explore the store a little before you say adieu.
Of course in between all this eating, your guide unpacks these two major NYC districts, discussing their history and design and the stories of the people who once lived there - as well as the mixed bag of folk who flock to these parts today. You’ll see architectural gems like the curious, wedge shaped Flatiron building, Madison Square Park, the former Ladies' Mile, the Met Life Tower among many others, and learn of the days of their construction and their contemporary significance in a city filled with high-rises.
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and SundaysDuration
Approximately 3 hours.
Make your way to Eataly, the Italian food mecca right near the Flatiron building (200 5th Avenue). Park up out front 15 minutes before the tour starts and your guide and group will see you there.
The confirmation voucher includes Like A Local’s contact details. They’re a nice bunch, and will happily answer any logistical questions you may have. Please give the Like A Local team a call at least 24 hours before the tour’s due to start to reconfirm the final details.
This tour has excellent substitutions for vegetarians, so if you’re diet is meat-free, don’t stress.
Aim to arrive at the meeting point 15 minutes before the tour’s due to start, if you can.
This tour is ideal for all ages, and little ones aged three and under can come along for free.
The tour will run rain or shine, so be sure to dress appropriately for the weather, and opt for comfortable shoes.
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