Chelsea Market Food and Culture Walking Tour

Food tours are one of my favorite tourist activities while traveling.  I’ve had great food tours in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Siem Reap and Mexico City.  I had one day to spend in NYC so of course I wanted to incorporate a food tour into my schedule.  Google and TripAdvisor led me to Foods of NY Tours, rated as TripAdvisor’s #1 New York Food Tour.  They have 6 different tours on their calendar, with additional options for private groups.  While the Brooklyn Tour was really tempting, ultimately I decided on the Chelsea Market Tour, in part so I could get a glimpse of the Highline I’d heard so much about.  I cannot recommend the Chelsea Market food tour highly enough!

Food Tours of NY

The reservation process was quick and easy, and detailed instructions were emailed and texted to me well in advance of the trip.  The New York weather went from 60 to 30 and snowing overnight, so the Chelsea Market tour was perfect because we were indoors most of the day.  We met up with our guide, Curt, who was quite possibly the best tour guide I’ve ever had!  If ever there was a perfect person for their job, Curt has found his calling!  His hilarious stories and witty observations kept us entertained while we stuffed our faces with way too much food.

Chelsea Market Food Tour

Chelsea Market Restaurants

Our first stop was at Creamline, a “farm to tray” spot with classic American food.  Our tasting here was a deep-fried Oreo with delicious whipped cream.  Nothing like starting your lunch with a big fried ball of dough! Not gonna lie, I’d totally buy these again!

Chelsea Market Food TourDeep Fried Oreos

Next up was Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, a butcher shop in Chelsea Market offering artisanal meats and house-made charcuterie. Our tasting here was steak tartare, made from home-schooled bi-curious cows, according to Curt.  If you told me I would eat steak tartare, I would have said you were crazy.  But, the power of not wanting to look like a child is strong!  It was served with potato chips, and I took a teeny-tiny bit.  It was good, and I was soon diving in for seconds and thirds!

Chelsea Market Food TourSteak Tartare

We then strolled over to Lobster Place, where Curt reminded us several times this wasn’t a tasting stop, although we did get a small sample of their lobster bisque.  This stop was mostly for a photo opp with a big lobster.  I would have loved to try the lobster rolls here, but was too stuffed by the end of the tour.

Chelsea Market Food Tour

After torturing this poor lobster, we headed over to Cappone’s Salumeria where we sampled a hero sandwich.  I was already starting to feel full at this point, so the sandwich was good, but I wanted to save room for everything else that was yet to come.

Chelsea Market Food Tour

Buon Italia was next on our stroll.  This was more of a grocery store than restaurant and had so many varieties of cheese, pasta and meats.  Definitely a fun place to come if you have a dinner party to plan! Here we had a slice of delicious frittata.

Chelsea Market Food Tour

For me, the sleeper surprise of the tour were the meat pies and kale salad at Tuck Shop. Oh my, I would definitely love to come back here for lunch!  So, this is two times in my life that I have enjoyed kale, for anyone who is keeping track…Mom!

Chelsea Market Food Tour

Chelsea Market Baskets is not specifically a food stop, but a gift shop.  We were offered a sampling of different salts, although served on cucumber sticks, so I passed on this portion.  Not a fan of cucumber, unless it’s in a lotion or facial mask!

Just when I thought I might burst, we headed to SaraBeth’s Bakery.  There’s no way I’m skipping a bakery sample, so I sucked it up and tried the biscuits and jam.  SaraBeth has a pretty cool story from making jam in her kitchen to building a food empire, and her bakery is walled with glass windows so you can watch all the action.  We saw bakers applying a crumble to pies and SaraBeth herself rolling up rugelachs!

Chelsea Market Food Tour

Can you believe we’re still eating? Me neither!!!

Our last food stop was at L’Arte Del Gelato where we chose from all their flavors for a tiny cone of gelato.  I was super full, but there’s always room for gelato, right?

Chelsea Market Food Tour

Before we headed outside, we made a quick stop at Morimoto.  No, we weren’t sampling any of their famous food, we were just there to check out the crazy Japanese toilets.  You know when you sit down after someone in a meeting room or restaurant and the seat is warm, which is kind of weird?  That’s how I felt about a heated toilet seat.  Anyhow, Morimoto looked super cool and chic and like someplace I would be totally out of place in.  More fried oreos, please!

The Highline

We then left Chelsea Market and headed outdoors for a short stroll on the snowy Highline and then up to the swanky roof of the Gansevoort Hotel, where our tour concluded.  At the beginning of the tour, we were given a booklet with a map and overview of all the shops, as well as coupons for some of the shops in Chelsea Market.  After the tour, we headed back to the market for a bit of quick shopping before heading back to our hotel.

I’m now writing this from my home in Chicago and my mouth is literally watering as I remember all this amazing food. My waistline is also suffering the aftermath of this food extravaganza, but YOLO, amirite?

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be back in New York, but I will absolutely make time for another Foods of NY Tour!

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chelsea market restaurants

I paid full-price ($54) for this tour and was not compensated in any way for this review.

 

 

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Hotel Review: Hyatt Place New York / Mid-Town South

This would be my fifth trip to New York, and I wanted to give the city one more chance to woo me as it has so many others.  For the third year in a row, I was attending a conference and decided to stay an extra night to have some tourist time.  For this stay, I chose the Hyatt Place Midtown South.

Hyatt Place New York Midtown South

It can be difficult to find reasonably priced accommodation in New York and it’s not like you’re going to be lounging around your hotel pool or room while visiting, so why pay an arm and a leg for a luxury hotel?  Luckily, the Hyatt Place Midtown South fit the needs of my trip.  I don’t usually frequent the Hyatt brand, but had a gift card balance remaining from my Mexico City visit.  For $199/night (AAA Rate), I had a spacious room with 2 double beds, in a great location within walking distance of Penn Station and Times Square.

Hyatt Place New York Midtown South

Location

The Hyatt Place Midtown South is a great location for being a tourist!  We arrived in Newark and took NJ Transit to Penn Station and then walked to the hotel in under 15 minutes.  Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park and the theater district were all within walking distance.  Kips Bay, Chelsea Market and the meatpacking district were just a $10 Uber away.  Nestled between 5th Avenue and Broadway, there is no shortage of superb restaurants and shopping, including Macy’s Herald Square.

Bryant Park / Empire State Building

Rooms

This is the first New York hotel room I’ve had with a view – and a view of the Empire State Building at that!  On all my prior trips, I anxiously open my hotel room curtains to find a brick wall.  So, already impressed!  The room itself was quite spacious, which was another surprise.  Beds and linens were super comfy (and I am totally the Princess and the Pea when it comes to scratchy sheets!)

Hyatt Place New York Midtown South

Hyatt Place New York Midtown South

The bathroom was nice, clean, and the towels were good.  I found it odd that lotion wasn’t one of the toiletries provided in the room, but luckily I had brought my own.

I had two great nights of sleep, although I’m a heavy sleeper anyways, but no noises kept me awake at the Hyatt Place!

Amenities

Another perk of the Hyatt Place was the free breakfast and generous breakfast hours.  There is a really good assortment of hot food, cereal, yogurt, bagels and fruit.  The in-room brochure even gives tips on when to expect lines at the breakfast buffet.

Hyatt Place New York Midtown South

Hyatt Place New York Midtown South

The front desk also has a little cooler area where you can buy juice, water and some snacks. And there was a small room service menu, of what I can only assume are items microwaved downstairs and delivered.  The hotel also has a fitness room, but you all know I didn’t get that far!

Free wifi was great, and I didn’t have any issues accessing the internet to get some much-needed work done while I was away.  The lobby also has a small business center with computers for guest use.

If you’re planning a New York trip and looking for a reasonably-priced, but not so-cheap-it’s-shady, hotel, Hyatt Place Midtown South is a great option!

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Hyatt Place Midtown

I paid for my room at the Hyatt Place Midtown South and was not compensated in any way for this review.

Two Traveling Texans
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