1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Explore Chinatown Tour and Sit Down Tasting

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

By

Five Dumplings at Dim Sum Go Go

Dumplings at Dim Sum Go Go

Heather Cross

The Bottom Line

If you're looking for a delicious introduction to New York City's Chinatown, Foods of New York's Explore Chinatown Tour is a great option. On the three hour tour, your tour guide will introduce you to the culture and cuisine of Chinatown, leaving you feeling comfortable and equipped to further explore the neighborhood on your own.

Explore Chinatown Tour Pictures

Pros

  • Friendly, knowledgeable tour guide
  • Two sit-down tasting experiences and several street-side samples
  • Great overview of the history, culture and restaurants of Chinatown
  • Ideal choice for visitors interested in Chinatown, but intimidated by visiting on their own
  • Neighborhood guide included with tours features many ideas for further exploration

Cons

  • Young children might be bored during sit-down tastings
  • People with limited mobility might find the tour overwhelming
  • Many places are glossed over and you will need to return afterward

Description

  • Samples on Tour: (enough for lunch)
    • dumplings
    • steamed pork bun
    • Peking duck
    • scallion pancake
    • beef jerky
    • egg custard tart
  • Featured Stops on the Tour:
  • Explore Chinatown Food and Culture Walking Tour and Sit Down Tasting Price: $65 (reserve online)
  • The Explore Chinatown Tour and Sit Down Tasting tours covers approximately 1 mile at a comfortable pace.
  • There are two formal sit-down stops and bathroom breaks available throughout the tour.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. You'll be walking from shop to shop and the tour takes place rain or shine.
  • The Explore Chinatown: Food and Culture Walking Tour and Sit Down Tasting is offered on Mondays and Wednesdays.
  • Pictures from the Explore Chinatown Food and Culture Walking Tour and Sit Down Tasting

Guide Review - Explore Chinatown Tour and Sit Down Tasting

We began the tour at Dim Sum Go Go where our guide, Rasheem, talked to us about the origin of dumplings (who knew they were initially medicinal!) and the tradition of dim sum, before leading us through a tasting of five different dumplings. Throughout the sit-down tasting, he highlighted how Dim Sum Go Go had set itself apart from other dim sum options in Chinatown in both the quality and originality of its offerings. Five dumplings later, I was already feeling full when the waiter arrived with what was perhaps the tasting highlight of the tour for me -- a steamed pork bun filled with sweet, roasted pork encased in a tender, doughy package.

Before we could settle into a food coma, Rasheem led us outside to Chatham Square, where he oriented us to the neighborhood's layout, before leading us up Doyers and Pell Streets toward Mott Street. Along the way he pointed out favorite restaurants, as well as historically important spots, demonstrating his thorough exploration and knowledge of Chinatown.

After walking off the dumplings, we arrived at Peking Duck House for our next sit-down tasting. Rasheem told us about the origins of Peking duck, as well as the process of preparation, before showing us how to assemble our own Peking duck-filled pancakes.

We continued exploring Mott Street, including stopping at a traditional medicinal shop and a tea shop. We sampled beef jerky, plum tea, scallion pancakes and egg custard tarts as we walked around. With each sample, Rasheem gave us an introduction to the food and explained why he felt this particular version was worth trying.

Three hours after beginning, we finished the tour with a better understanding of the culture and cuisine of New York City's Chinatown. Armed with this knowledge and the Foods of New York Chinatown Guide, we are looking forward to exploring Chinatown more.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.