I sometimes describe myself as a "professional amateur." An amateur is someone who truly LOVES what she does. And that's the story of my life as a food tour guide in NYC. Since 1983 I've been leading unusual, cutting-edge food tours. I go to many neighborhoods that no other food tours go to. Since 2013 I've been developing more tours in the Bronx (8 in all now!) and in 2014 I added two neighborhood in New Jersey: Newark's Ironbound and Jersey City's Journal Square. Both are really easy to reach on mass transit.
My first food tour endeavor was as co-owner, with two partners, of Hungry Pedalers Gourmet Bicycle Tours, a one-of-a-kind operation that took cyclists on eating excursions into the boroughs long before the boroughs became serious food destinations (and long before there was Chowhound and the Internet!). (Yes, we were the FIRST!) We were in all five boroughs, finding food many people (besides, of course, the people IN the neighborhoods) didn't know about. In 1987, the book Food Lover's Guide to the Real New York, written by me and my co-author Mark L. Clifford, was published by St. Martin Press. Our lives took us in different directions and we disbanded in mid-1990.
Key to our originality is focusing on NON-tourist food destinations, including somewhat obscure neighborhoods that many people don't think of as having great food and markets - and then are surprised and delighted when they come with me and find out otherwise!
In 1999, after a period of living overseas and after becoming a mom, I created a newsletter, Noshnews, which covered specific neighborhoods around NYC. In 2000 I launched Noshwalks to accompany the newsletter text. Soon, the tours overcame the newsletter. In 2012 I published the last of 24 issues of Noshnews while continuing to expand my tours. Nowadays I have over 3 dozen different tours, with a particular emphasis, in the last three years, on developing tours in the Bronx, particularly to areas tourists just don't know but which offer wonderful food and lively culture.
You can look forward to a new Noshnews blog before 2016 is over!
In 2014 I expanded into New Jersey, adding tours easily accessible on mass transit: tour to Newark, New Jersey's fascinating "Ironbound" district (Portuguese, Brazilian and Latin American) and, in 2015, Journal Square in Jersey City (Egyptian, Indian and Filipino).
Noshwalks has been mentioned often in the print press (New York Times, New York Magazine, many other domestic and overseas publications) and in a range of guide books, such as Lonely Planet, Frommers and the Time Out New York guide. In 2014 Noshwalks were included in the New York Times Gift Guide - giving a gift certificate is a great way to introduce a friend to the culinary delights of NYC!
You can choose from a vast menu of tours, which are on a public schedule and also available as custom experiences. Name your food interest and I can probably shape a delectable tour for you!
Every customer receives a map with the tour route and a listing not just of places we'll go to but of places I recomend for future visits. Once you have map, you can return on your own. Many people want to shop in these neighborhoods and it's often easiest to do so on your own.
My book Nosh New York, was published by St. Martin's Press in 2003 and covered many of the neighborhoods where I take customers. While I continue to plan my blog, I regularly publish information on my Noshwalks Facebook page, but the blog will be much richer. I also write about travels overseas (which almost always include food tours and cooking classes. In recent years trips that have included cooking classes and food tours where in Oaxaca, Mexico; Istanbul, Turkey; and Medellin, Colombia. Check my Noshwalks Facebook page for photos from these and other overseas visits!
My tours use public transportation. As a private guide, I will take individuals and groups of all sorts. One summer, I created a tour for kindergartners learning about neighborhoods and neighborhood food. Many of my tour groups are families, alumni groups, synagogue groups, and corporate groups. .
Hope to hear from you and guide you through my beloved and delicious New York City!