NYC Like a Local: Flatiron District Food Tour

Since our family moved to Connecticut, we have been traveling around the Northeast on weekends whenever possible. Luckily, we are only an hour away from New York City, so we try to visit at least once every 2 months. On this particular weekend, I wanted to explore a new section of the city, so I did some research and found out about NYC Like a Local Tours.

Our family ended up choosing the Flatiron Food, History, and Architecture Tour. Honestly, I was expecting some food tastings and a little walking tour of the area; however, in addition to the delicious food we tasted, we learned a great deal of the history and architecture of the Flatiron District. I’d like to thank Like a Local Tours for our tickets and for a fantastic experience. Here’s one way to see NYC like a local – take this Flatiron District Food Tour. All opinions are my own.

flatiron family

NYC Like a Local – Flatiron Food, History, and Architecture Tour

Distance walked: 1 mile

Stops: 4

Price: $56 adults and $46 kids

Dates: Wednesday through Sunday

Times: 10:30 AM – 1: 30 PM

Tour Size: maximum 14 people

Weather: Not canceled due to snow or rain

Eataly NYC Flatiron

This was our meeting point. The email confirmation was precise and told us to meet our tour guide right in front of the black awning in front of the Eataly gelato area, next to the Tiffany gold clock. They also provided the address of the meeting point and directions in the email. It was very easy, and sure enough, our tour guide Rory met us there right on time to check us in.

Our tour was about 12 people, which was great because Rory never had to yell at anyone who was farther away, and it was easy to keep the pace with such a small number of people. She began by discussing a little about how the Flatiron District is a historic district in New York City, and the only one to be named after a building. We learned that many toy companies came to this area in NYC and that the Eataly store we were about to enter was once a toy manufacturing center.

I had been to a couple of other Eataly stores before, but this one in the Flatiron District is stunning. The designers kept much of the original architecture of the building, so you can see a lot of it is still exposed. The Eataly itself is as amazing as the others; filled with rows of fresh produce, pasta, cheese, bread, and more. The restaurants inside Eataly source everything from the market and are as fresh as it gets.

After walking around the various parts of Eataly, we stopped at the bread section and had our first bite of the tour – an apple cinnamon focaccia. We were then given 10 minutes of “free time” to peruse the store and buy anything we wanted before the walking portion of our tour began.

Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop

Our second stop was a seated tasting at a sandwich shop opened in 1929, Eisenberg’s. We had a delicious pressed reuben sandwich with pastrami and corned beef. I would have loved to order some other things on the menu, but there just wasn’t time. This is definitely a place I need to head back to for lunch.

Just outside of the deli we learned about some of the history of the area. The Flatiron building was an architectural marvel. No one could believe in 1902 that a triangular building would ever stand the test of time. Department stores moved into the area due to the crowds the Flatiron building was drawing, and women flocked to these stores to go shopping. The area soon became known as Ladies Mile.

flatiron

We then walked past a Lego store that told the history of the area through its Lego creations. Our tour guide showed us a huge Lego wall that depicted many famed areas of New York City. My Lego-loving kids really enjoyed this. This wall really displayed NYC like a local.

Lego wall

Madison Square Park

Our next stop was a stroll through Madison Square Park, named for the first site of the original Madison Square Garden. This spot held more history than I knew existed. First off, the original Shake Shack is located here. This park is also the spot where the Statue of Liberty’s arm and torch were on display while the rest of her was being assembled. I love little tidbits of history!

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

I love cheese! When I saw we were going to try cheese on this tour, I became giddy. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is the only cheese factory in New York City. They started in Pike Place Market in Seattle and opened this store in 2011. Lucky for me, they had samples to taste – fresh cheese curds and their flagship cheese, which is a blend of cheddar and gruyere.

After perusing through their cheese selection and buying some on our 10 minute break, our group headed upstairs to eat some grilled cheese sandwiches. Wow, this was a great grilled cheese! The bread was buttered on both sides, pressed, and had a combination of their flagship cheese and jack cheese. After learning a bit about the cheese making process from Rory, we headed to our next stop.

Just outside of Beecher’s, Rory explained a bit abou the architecture of the surrounding buildings and some fun facts about the neighborhood. We walked towards Union Square Market, which had some great local vendors selling food, crafts, and more.

Bread’s Bakery

Our last stop on the tour was for dessert. I learned that Bread’s Bakery has won a whole bunch of pastry awards – best chocolate chip cookie, best chocolate babka, and best chocolate rugelach. We tasted the mini chocolate rugelach, which was this light, flaky croissant shaped pastry filled with Nutella. It melted in my mouth! Our whole family loved it so much, we bought 4 more for later.

bakery 2

Overall, our experience touring through NYC like a local was wonderful. Not only was everything we tried delicious, but we really did learn so many facts about the history of the Flatiron District and New York City in general. Rory, our tour guide, was very thoughtful with our kids, entertaining, and knowledgeable. The NYC Like a Local Flatiron Food, History, and Architecture tour was a great way to spend three hours. We left with an appreciation of the neighborhood, some historical facts, a satisfied stomach.

I would only recommend a food tour for families if their kids love to eat. Otherwise, the cost wouldn’t be worth it for young kids or picky eaters. If you’re visiting for a weekend, check out this two day Manhattan itinerary for families and these tips on 10 things NOT to do in New York City from a native New Yorker. Another great area to explore is Greenwich Village.

Food can be pricey in New York City, so if you are a budget traveler like me, check out: Best Value Restaurants in NYC. NYC Like a Local Tours offers even more food tour options such as Chelsea Market and Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Check out these tours and other options by booking directly on their site – NYC Like a Local Tours.

There’s so much to do when visiting New York City, that it’s hard to choose if you’re a first time visitor. We have been to New York City many times, and while it is valuable to visit Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty, there is much more to this city than those landmarks. By booking this walking food tour, our family was able to explore an area of NYC that we had only driven by.

One of our favorite things to do in any city is to visit some museums. New York City has a plethora of museums for families to enjoy. We have been to MoMA, The American Natural History Museum, and The New York Hall of Science. Check out some ticket options below.

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We received complimentary tickets in exchange for an honest review. All opinions mentioned here were my own. This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission from any sale of a product linked to this post. DQ Family Travel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. Your price does not change when you click on these links, but it does provide me with a small commission.

Shady Rays

9 thoughts on “NYC Like a Local: Flatiron District Food Tour”

  1. Hey, I did a tour like this in dublin and my guides name was Rory!!!!
    I had no idea need her existed! Im in NYC next week for the first time and ive already jotted that info down! I love cheese!

  2. I have not been to New York City in nearly 15 years. I had so much fun then and this post is making me think it’s time to take the kids for their first trip to Big Apple!

  3. Cool about the Flatiron building being triangular. I think I’ve seen photos of it before but not known anything about it. The cheese looked really good. Nice neighbourhood exploration.

  4. I like your suggestion that if you have a picky eater in the family, then this tour won’t worth the money you spend for the ticket. I know that for sure for my son. However, I would like to try the gelato from Eataly. The grilled cheese from Beecher’s looks yummy, too! And one more thing, I like reading the history around the Flatiron.

  5. We’ve spent time in the Flatiron district, including Eataly, and loved it. Such a great neighbourhood in NYC.

  6. I am a huge fan of foodie tours. We did a food tour in London, and not only is the food and cocktails awesome, but we really enjoyed the tour guide & the history of the neighborhood. Love this and I will put on my list of things to do in NYC.

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