I’m a firm believer in exploring the city you live in like a tourist. Now I don’t mean that in the sense that you should only visit the super popular, sometimes overrated, always crowded spots of a city. What I mean is that, you should treat each day like an adventure and make the most out of what your city has to offer. See new things, try new things, and never take your city for granted just because you get to stay there every night.
This all brings me to the point that I’m always in search of new activities to do in New York City, because boy there are a lot. I noticed that there was a company called Great New York Tours that offered these various themed walking tours around the Big Apple. They do a ghost walk, chocolate tour, chocolate tour of Brooklyn, Brooklyn food tour, Italian food tour, cupcake tour, pizza tour, and a more general “Great Food Tour.”
These tours are especially great for people from out of town who want to sample as much as they can in a short period of time since there really are so many “famous” places in New York City to try.
Normally the tours go for $50 a piece on the Great New York Tours website, but I haven’t ever had trouble spotting them on Groupon, which is where I bought my chocolate tour voucher for half the price. I thought that a chocolate tour would be a good one since I had already been to many of the stops on the cupcake tour list and because I would rather eat a full meal at wherever the other tours stop at since I live in the city and have the luxury of doing so over time. I also figured that a chocolate tour specifically would be a good deal since fancy, artisan chocolate here can be quite pricey and it’s not every day that I grab a box of chocolates (but it kind of is every day that I want pizza…but that’s another story).
The tour lasts approximately 2 hours and you start at Chelsea Market where a tour guide rounds up the group and you set off on your chocolate adventure to seven spots. Most of the tour takes place in the West Village and it ends up in Soho. A nice little bonus is that along with providing random history and facts about chocolate, the tour guide also brings up other bits of New York City trivia along the way, like pointing out the apartment building used as the exterior shot for the show Friends.
I had a feeling that we would only get bite-sizes pieces of chocolate at each place, and for the most part that turned out to be true. At the more standard chocolate shops like Li-Lac Chocolates, Chocolate Bar, Xocolatti, and Vosges Haut-Chocolat, we got little pieces that ranged from dark chocolate to toffee crunch to white chocolate to sea salt chocolate. But we also got a mini chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing at Magnolia Bakery, a whole double chocolate cookie at Milk and Cookies Bakery, and a chocolate macaron (which I had never seen or had before, so that was interesting!) at Bisous Ciao.
I liked how we stopped at a wide assortment of places from old school chocolatiers (Li-Lac) to trendy new neighborhood spots (Chocolate Bar) to super swanky and artsy chocolate shops (Xocolatti and Vosges) along with a couple bakeries as well. You also get the chance at each stop to buy any goodies you want if you so desire.
While I think $50 is a little steep, I didn’t mind paying $25 for some samples and the experience (remember you’re paying for the tour guide as well!), and now I know all the cool spots to get great gifts for the chocolate lovers in my life. See, it’s all just “research.” Delicious, delicious research.
Various locations (Li-Lac Chocolates, Chocolate Bar, Magnolia Bakery, Milk and Cookies Bakery, Bisous Ciao, Xocolatti, and Vosges Haut-Chocolat)