Boss Babes Series #1: Bagels, Babes & Babies

Boss Babes Series #1: Bagels, Babes & Babies

Get ready! International Women’s Day is March 8 and in preparation, we are profiling and sharing some great stories of NYC’s best boss babes. Both past and present! Article 1 focuses on historic Russ & Daughters.

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See Our Two-Page Spread in One of Australia's Largest Newspapers!

See Our Two-Page Spread in One of Australia's Largest Newspapers!

Beyond excited that our NYC Flatiron Food Tour received a full two-page spread in Australia’s Traveller! “Pinch me. Am I really in Manhattan, or just dreaming?” Read on and we hope you’ll join us!

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Lower East Side: Enjoy an Afternoon of Art & Food

Lower East Side: Enjoy an Afternoon of Art & Food

We LOVE NYC’s Lower East Side and thought it would be fun to put together our ideal Saturday — popping into art galleries and nibbling in between…

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Focus on Immigrant NY on our Lower East Side Food Tour

Focus on Immigrant NY on our Lower East Side Food Tour

The story of immigration and migration in the United States is one that can be told through the history of New York City. Our Lower East Side Food Tour tells all and fills your tummy all while meeting the people that make NYC what it is!

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Travel & Food Blogger Roaming Nanny raves about our Flatiron Food, History & Architecture Tour!

Travel & Food Blogger Roaming Nanny raves about our Flatiron Food, History & Architecture Tour!

We are so pleased to share this great write-up on our Flatiron Food Tour by Roaming Nanny. “Our tour met up in the Flatiron district at 10:30 sharp. Rory, our tour guide, was there early to meet up with us all and I liked her instantly! Upon further investigation - Rory I swear I'm not a stalker, but think we should totally be friends - I found out that she was voted one of the best tour guides in New York. Get it girl! She is one of the best guides I've had in a very long time…”

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Interview with a Local: Ariel Rodriguez of La Sonrisa Empanadas!

Interview with a Local: Ariel Rodriguez of La Sonrisa Empanadas!

We are so excited to introduce you to Ariel Rodriguez of La Sonrisa, a Pop-Up Empanada company selling in artisan markets and parks throughout NYC. We visit them on the High Line as part of our Chelsea Market & High Line Food Tour. Read on to learn what makes La Sonrisa so special!

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Don't miss our Chelsea Market, Meatpacking & High Line Food Tour!

Don't miss our Chelsea Market, Meatpacking & High Line Food Tour!

If you haven't been, Chelsea Market and the High Line are two of NYC's best attractions! And even if you have, our food and history tour will share incredible insights and stories that we bet you never knew. Plus our tour guides are truly entertaining. Read on for more about where we go and why it’s a special experience not to be missed!

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Why we love our Williamsburg Bites Brooklyn Food Tour

Why we love our Williamsburg Bites Brooklyn Food Tour

Join us on this 3 hour, food and fun filled experience in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It's a great way to meet locals, see street art, learn the history and have a meal! For only $50, this tour is a steal! Read on to learn more...

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Here's why you don't want to miss our Flatiron Food Tour this winter!

Here's why you don't want to miss our Flatiron Food Tour this winter!

The Flatiron District and Union Square are wonderful neighborhoods in winter! From beautiful Madison Square Park, great views of the Empire State Building on Fifth Avenue to the majestic Flatiron Building and of course all the wonderful restaurants and delicious foods that we have in store for you on our Flatiron Food Tour. Plus Eataly has a special rooftop surprise and there is an incredible public art piece...

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Like A Local Tours is Featured (& Recommended) by Verlocal!

Like A Local Tours is Featured (& Recommended) by Verlocal!

We are so excited to be featured in Verlocal's Host Spotlight! Verlocal is evolving the way individuals build businesses by connecting them to people looking to discover local classes, events, products, and services. From our food tours to Ikebana in Chicago or surf lessons in Washington, this awesome website has it all! We love their mission and how they're empowering individuals to share their passions with others! 

Try something new and use code VerlocalDIY for 10% OFF.

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Interview with a Local: Meghan Love of Mable's Smokehouse

Interview with a Local: Meghan Love of Mable's Smokehouse

Mable’s Smokehouse has been a neighborhood gem in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, since it opened in 2012. A BBQ joint is a bit unorthodox for the neighborhood and perhaps that precisely why it’s so beloved. Praised by the New York Times, Food & Wine Magazine, Eater, Travel Channel, New York Magazine, The Village Voice and many many more. We were fortunate to chat with Meghan Love, of the husband and wife team behind it all. 

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Eisenberg's Famous Sandwich Shop now on our Flatiron Food Tour!

Eisenberg's Famous Sandwich Shop now on our Flatiron Food Tour!

We are so pleased to have this tiny but historic (and famous!), classic New York luncheonette on our Flatiron food adventure. We truly do bring you the best of New York City ... especially on a fork!

From a bygone era on Ladies' Mile, Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop is an institution. Located on Fifth Avenue just below 23rd Street and established in 1929, generations of family and friends have dined here.

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Fodor's Travel: Best Tours in New York City

The Best New York Tours: Sometimes a guided tour is the way to go, even if you usually prefer to fly solo. It can be a great way to investigate out-of-the-way areas, to get an insider's perspective on where locals eat and play in the city, and to learn about interesting aspects of the city's history, inhabitants, or architecture. Whether you want the classic hop-on, hop-off bus tour to get oriented in the city or a more personal, interest-specific walk, you'll find it here. Some of the bigger tour companies offer discounts if you book in advance online. Like A Local. Walk like a local, talk like a local, and best of all eat like a local with a highly curated tour from Like A Local. Tours include the Flatiron Food tour, which is a lovely walk from the Flatiron District to Union Square with a lot of tasty stops, photo ops, local history, and private kitchen visits along the way. If you're looking to feel like a hip local in Brooklyn, take the Sunday Funday tour of Williamsburg. New York, New York.

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An Afternoon of Gluttony in Williamsburg, Brooklyn by Subways & Stilettos

January 11, 2016: It’s Saturday afternoon in NYC and you and your bestie are overdue for some catch-up time, you are both STARVING and you’re feeling exploratory. What do you do? You open up YPLan, a super cool mobile app designed to help you find fun things to do in the city at any time of day. From free activities, to discounted tickets to shows, YPlan is perfect for planning some fun with your friends, a date night when you don’t want to “Netflix & Chill”- or check out local sporting events.

I pulled up Yplan and clicked on a super colorful confetti-infused picture of a bagel and quickly purchased tickets for a Williamsburg Foodie Tour. I’m a visual girl, what can I say? I see something pretty, and I must eat it, buy it or own it.

Now, unlike many New Yorkers who refuse to go to Brooklyn, I am actually quite fond if it. I enjoy visiting it very much. I find the bars, the food and the crowd to be completely different than the vibe in the city. And, even if hipsters are not your thing, Williamsburg is definitely worth checking out, even if for the food alone.

If you want to play tourist, check out “Like a Local Tours”- they are a fun, affordable way to get to know the hidden gems, while learning a little bit of history about the places you visit. The tours are great and honestly the best way to get to know a neighborhood is by walking in the shoes of the people who live it and love it every day. For $45 we stopped at about seven local foodie spots and got to taste everything from pizza, to gourmet chocolate, southern food and of course, my favorite, ice cream and more ice cream.

Allow me to explain.

First stop, Best Pizza. Now, in my opinion, to call it Best Pizza, and back it up, I’d say I would have preferred to have visited and devoured various pizza spots, to decide for myself if it really is the best. But, I will say, it was pretty damn good.

A little background on the place: Best Pizza was opened in the winter of 2010 by pizza man Frank Pinello. Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in a former bakery, Best Pizza utilizes a century old, wood-burning oven to turn out some of the best slices in town.

We ordered two kinds and they were both amazing. Traditional red sauce with basil and my personal favorite was the caramelized onion white pizza. It was our first stop, and I could have eaten a whole pie, but I am glad I didn’t because this was only the beginning of an afternoon of gluttony.

What I found unique about this place is the massive amounts of paper plates that line the walls. They are composed of local artists drawings and align the walls of this tiny and quaint joint.

Next stop, one of my NY favorites, Momofuku Milk Bar. I ordered the crack pie, the compost cookie and we got to sample their famous Cereal Milk Frozen Yogurt, which I happen to love, but my friend thought it tasted like breast milk.

Milk bar, called “one of the most exciting bakeries in the country” by bon appétit magazine, is a culinary empire and lifestyle brand founded by award-winning pastry chef and masterchef judge Christina Tosi. Christina focuses on putting a playful spin on familiar home-style desserts and savory snacks using quality ingredients and locally sourced dairy. She is the creator of the highly addictive cereal milk™ ice cream, compost cookies® and crack pie®, all of which have gained worldwide recognition since she opened milk bar’s doors in 2008.

I’ve never met Christina, but she is my hero. She is to blame for my love affair with birthday cake truffles-which I can never get enough of.

Next up was Pies ‘n’ Thighs for some old fashioned Southern comfort food. Pies ’n’ Thighs started in 2006, in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge. The owners took over a beer storage closet and transformed it into a tiny kitchen with six stools, serving huge donuts, two-napkin smoked pork sandwiches and salty, crispy fried chicken.

The place is small, and there were people lined outside waiting for a table. But clearly one can understand why.

The owners all share a love for comfort food (I mean, who doesn’t?)- Their fried chicken and savory flakey, warm and soft biscuits are the best I’ve ever had.

After feeling greasier than a fried chicken, we waddled our way to what was for me, the highlight of the tour (and the main reason I booked it): The Bagel Store.

What can I say about the bagel store except for the fact that I am drawn to beautiful colorful and funfetti, looking things. I am also obsessed with anything cake batter related and will try anything that involves sprinkles. So when I found out we were going to the place that made the rainbow bagel famous I could not contain myself.

Despite the fact that I was super full I made sure I tried every single bagle they offered us.

Listed below:

French Toast, Rainbow (my fav of course), the famous Kragel (who owner claims he invented), Super Cinnamon Raisin, Pretzel (more rainbow) and sourdough.

Cream Cheese flavors- (get ready):

Birthday Cake Funfetti, Cookies & Cream, Sun Dried Tomato, Nutella, Red velvet, Strawberry & Blueberry.

The line for these bagels is out the door and the owners claims to have gotten the idea from his kid playing with Playdough.

The Rainbow bagel tastes DELICIOUS, kinda like Fruit Loops, or some other sugary cereal! If you want one, you have to call the day before to reserve one. You cannot just walk in a buy one. They are so popular, but they only make limited batches! Why? Because these rainbow bagels take much longer and have a need for a much more intensive process than a regular bagel.

I was told they can make 5,000 regular bagels in the same exact amount of time it takes to make 100 rainbow ones.

Check out the gallery below!

I will def be back for another sugary overload of bagels!

To help settle this overload of food, we stopped at Devocion Café: a super hipster Colombian-brewed coffee shop that was once a warehouse. It now caters to trendy hipsters who flock to the café for some inspiration on whatever it is hipster minds think of these days.

It has a beautiful skylight, is decorated with beautiful greenery (almost makes you feel like you’re in a greenhouse) and will serve you every kind of overpriced latté your hipster heart desires. But there is magic in their coffee- Devocion coffee beans are sourced from farms deep in Colombia’s most inaccessible zones, and the beans are dry milled in Bogota where they are then sent to the US for roasting. This means the price tag ensures you can still smell the Colombian breeze in your cup.

And as if the sugar overload had not been enough, we made another sweet tooth stop at OddFellows Ice Cream Parlor. Apparently it’s a Brooklyn staple.

They have the coolest, strangest but most unique flavors of ice cream I’ve ever seen. Plus their ice cream is made from scratch, with no added stuff and nothing but organic, fresh ingredients. How about a Foie Gras Drumstick, a boozy popsicle, an alcoholic ice cream or what they call "OddFlavors" like Caramelized Onion and Prosciutto Melon? Makes you wonder what they were smoking when they came up with these flavors!

The décor cracked me up too.

Check out Jesus and his ice cream. It doesn’t get anymore spiritual than that!

Our last and final stop was at Mast Brothers Chocolate Factory. A gourmet chocolate spot that is a chocolate lovers dream. Or worst nightmare, depending on how you look at it. They’ve got gourmet classics like sea salt, smoked & almond butter. Their warehouse space is even cooler and you can tour the facility and see how all that deliciousness gets made. Don’t forget to try the free samples!

I don’t know if it was the overload, but I couldn’t really appreciate the chocolate tasting at this point. All I was ready for was my PJs and my bed.

The tour ends with a stop at the beautiful DUMBO area. AL though it was cloudy, the view of the Manhattan skyline was breath taking.

All in all, the tour was worth the $45. You got some history, some culture, A LOT of food, and some pretty picturesque spots, along with some history and some street art.

Here are some pics I snapped along the way, in between stuffing my face.


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Download the app and check out of list of recommendations in Brooklyn. Or better yet, take our Williamsburg Bites Brooklyn Food Tour or Sunday Funday boozy Brooklyn Tour! | Brooklyn Tour

Like A Local Tours part of NYC & Co + Australian Travel Trade Mission

October 30, 2015 by eGlobal Travel Media: NYC & Company, in partnership with Air Canada, recently hosted four product managers from Venture Holidays, Qantas Holidays, STA Travel, The Travel Corporation and a representative from Air Canada, as part of its trade educational program, from October 11-16.  

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Air Canada Lounge Product Mngrs Kristin Hellmrich, Jacqui Browne Creative Holidays, Alysha Hughes Qantas Holidays, Hien Tran STA, Pauline O’Connell Venture Holidays, Zohreh Sanayei Air Canada Oct 15

The itinerary was designed to provide a New York City update featuring new attractions, tours and hotels, which have populated the city’s landscape over the past 12 months.

New Trade Manager at NYC & Company, Kristin Hellmrich said, “Air Canada was the ideal partner as the airline has recently opened a new route to New York City via Vancouver complimenting the ‘new’ New York theming.  It’s an exciting time to visit the city,” she said.

Air Canada’s daily non-stop B777-200 flights from Sydney to Vancouver seamlessly connect with its direct flights to Newark Liberty International Airport, providing travellers with a comfortable and efficient way to reach New York. In addition, the airline operates to LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport from its global hub at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

“One of the many advantages of flying with Air Canada is that our passengers can effortlessly clear US Customs in Vancouver or Toronto, ensuring a hassle-free start to an unforgettable holiday,” says Air Canada General Manager Australia and New Zealand Paul McLean.

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The group experienced the newly opened Whitney Museum of American Art, enjoyed Finding Neverland on Broadway and took a behind the scenes tour of Disney on Broadway with Walks of New York, which also guided the group through the 911 Museum and Memorial and up to the new One World Observatory.

The Product Managers were hosted at the recently refurbished Loew’s Regency and the Roosevelt Hotel and were able to explore the newly opened New York EDITION hotel.

From cycling through Central Park with Bike and Roll to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to rambling through cobblestone streets in DUMBO with BQE Tours and discovering the Brooklyn Museum, followed by a walk along the High Line’s new extension, the group was able to explore a number of the City’s boroughs and neighbourhoods.

Like a Local tours provided the inside scoop on the foodie scene around the Flatiron District while the Hilton hosted the group in sub-zero conditions at its minus5 ice bar.  The Product Managers enjoyed breakfast at Norma’s at Le Parker Meridian as well as supper at The Surrey Hotel.

Become a NYC Specialist by completing the online training and receive a NYC Trade Pass, providing entry to many of the iconic NYC attractions.  Go to

Brooklyn Museum L-R Zohreh Sanayei Air Canada, Pauline O'Connell Venture Holidays, Jacqui Browne Creative Holidays, Kristin Hellmrich NYC&Company, Alysha Hughes Qantas Holidays, Hien Tran STA,

Brooklyn Museum L-R Zohreh Sanayei Air Canada, Pauline O’Connell Venture Holidays, Jacqui Browne Creative Holidays, Kristin Hellmrich NYC&Company, Alysha Hughes Qantas Holidays, Hien Tran STA

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Like A Local Tours Makes NYC Feel More, Local

October 26, 2015 by Not Just A Girl in a Dress: Anyone who knows me, knows I am a proud native New Yorker. I love everything about New York City, so much so that it makes me a little sad whenever I have to tell people that I now live in New Jersey with my fiancée. Love makes you do crazy things. In truth, Jersey with its easy commute to Manhattan, oddly cheery inhabitants, bike friendly lanes and spacious apartments has grown on me, but the siren song of my hometown will always be there. So, when I was invited by Live Like A Local Tours to try their Williamsburg Bites food tour, I decided I was up for a weekend NYC adventure. Since I grew up in Harlem, I thought this would be a fun way to explore and learn a little more about Brooklyn and try out a few new food spots. Plus, the press release/invite sounded like it was written by a total hipster and promised to show me “hidden wonders” and Brooklyn’s “creative charm,” so I figured it would turn out to be a great story no matter how the tour went.

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The Tour Group

We met outside of a popular Williamsburg restaurant (my fiancée tagged along with me) and kicked off the tour. Our tour guide turned out to have the right amount of historical knowledge, food savvy and sports humor to make him completely charming. By our first stop at Best Pizza, I was totally digging the tour.

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At the pizzeria, we not only tried two of the houses most popular slices (a red sauce and an all white), but also got to speak to the owner, Frank Pinello and learn more about its history. The pizzeria use to be a bread bakery and Pinello uses the century old wood-burning oven to make his pies. Pinello grew up in Brooklyn and learned how to cook from his grandmother.

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Frank Pinello – Owner Best Pizza

After graduating from culinary school and working at restaurants and chains around the city, Pinello decided to bring his flare back to Brooklyn. He opened Best Pizza in 2010 and has been turning out some of the best slices in city ever since. It’s no wonder that this was the first stop on the Tour. It was definitely some of the best pizza that I’ve had in the city (and I’ve had a lot of NYC pizza in my life to compare). Totally worth a trip on the “L” train to grab a slice and meet this food-preneur.

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From there, we hit a series of independent food, coffee and dessert spots that were all really amazing. I was also really impressed by the fried chicken and biscuits at Pies N Thighs. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try any pie, but am looking forward to going back and correcting that oversight. The comfort food spot was opened in 2006, by two transplant chefs and has racked up a number of “best of” awards while becoming a neighbor staple.

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Over the course of our three hour tour (our tour time ran over the advertised 2.5 hours), we stopped in five stellar food spots, explored graffiti artwork, admired and discussed the impact of the Williamsburg Bridge, took in brilliant sights of Manhattan from the pier and had tons of laughs with our group.

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The City Reliquary Museum

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The Tour provided just the right amount of food, fun, education and exploration to make me feel both at home and the joy of discovering something new. I really loved learning more about Williamsburg and being able to connect with the amazing entrepreneur-owners and chefs at each stop.

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We had such a good time that my fiancée and I decided to buy Tour tickets for some family members for their upcoming birthdays. I’m looking forward to comparing notes and finding out which food stops are their favorites. I’m also looking forward to showing off my favs to my tourist friends when they visit. I am a NYC local after all :).

– à bientôt

Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

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Sunday Funday: Exploring Williamsburg Brooklyn with Like A Local Tours

October 23, 2015 by Cultural Xplorer: I find that the best way to explore any city is by doing it like a local. I am such a big believer in keeping it local, that I wrote a whole guide to exploring New York City like a local, which highlights some of the top things that I love to do as a resident. When the New York City based company Like A Local Tours invited me to explore Williamsburg with them on their Sunday Funday Tour, I jumped at the opportunity to get to know one of my favorite neighborhoods better through a resident’s eyes.


Sunday Funday Like a Local Tours

The tour of Williamsburg began right in the heart of the neighborhood on Bedford Avenue, the longest street in Brooklyn, where our tour guide (and company owner) Lauren introduced herself to us, handed us maps which included some of the best places to check out in neighborhood, and then proceeded to take us on a tour of the neighborhood where she has resided for over ten years.

Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Brewery
Brooklyn Brewery, 79 N. 11th Street

The first stop on the tour was at the Brooklyn Brewery, one of New York City’s most famous craft beer companies.

Personally, I have been a huge fan of Brooklyn Brewery’s beers for a number of years and I really love their seasonal ales, particularly their Summer Ale. Since the tour took us to the brewery in the fall, I decided to try their Oktoberfest ale, which is brewed from actual German malt and hops, and it reminded me of the beers that I tasted when I visited Munich, Germany.

Brooklyn Flea

Brooklyn Flea
Brooklyn Flea’s Williamsburg location, 50 Kent Avenue

Our next stop was to the Williamsburg location of Brooklyn Flea, which is New York City’s largest outdoor/indoor market system. Every week at various locations around the city, Brooklyn Flea features hundreds of vendors that sell everything from antiques, to vintage clothing, to one-of-a-kind artisan souvenirs. In addition to selling goods, the Williamsburg location of Brooklyn Flea also serves an eclectic mix of freshly made foods from vendors around the city.

While I typically do not shop at flea markets, I would definitely come here to buy unique gifts for my friends and family.

Mable’s Smokehouse & Banquet Hall

Mable's Smokehouse & Banquet Hall Williamsburg
Mable’s Smokehouse & Banquet Hall, 44 Berry Street

After walking around Williamsburg for about 45 minutes, our group was beginning to get very hungry, so we headed over to Mable’s Smokehouse, a family-owned Texas-style barbecue restaurant (and we all know how much I love Texas barbecue).

I ordered the delicious chopped beef brisket sandwich, and even weeks after eating it, I am still salivating thinking about its crispy deliciousness. I am kind of sad that I did not know about this amazing place before, but now this is going to be my go-to barbecue restaurant in Williamsburg!

Artists & Fleas

Artists and Fleas Williamsburg
Artists & Fleas, 70 N. 7th Street

After we had our fill of barbecue, it was time to go shopping again, so we headed to the Williamsburg location of the popular Artists & Fleas market. Similar to Brooklyn Flea, Artists & Fleas is a year-round indoor market that sells both vintage and unique items by local artisans.

This is a great place to go and ‘shop local’ and definitely a place that I would return to if I wanted to buy hand crafted items and one-of-a-kind gifts.

OddFellows Ice Cream Co.

OddFellows, 175 Kent Ave.

A lot of shopping can build up an appetite, so after leaving Artists & Fleas, we made our way over to OddFellows Ice Cream Co., a small batch ice cream shop that is well known for its extremely unique ice cream flavors, such as Thai Iced Cream and Oatmeal Cookie Dough.

I ordered a scoop of the Miso Cherry flavor, which tasted like an interesting blend of miso soup and cherries, a combination one would not typically think of eating together. Somehow the blend worked and I hungrily devoured every last spoonful of the ice cream.

Brooklyn Oenology

Brooklyn Oenology
Brooklyn Oenology, 209 Wythe Ave.

After we finished eating our ice cream, we headed to Brooklyn Oenology. Located in a converted warehouse, Brooklyn Oenology is a locally-focused winery and tasting room that serves wines from their own label as well as from other wine producers around New York State.

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may know that I have a healthy obsession for wine, and I have enjoyed many wines from New York at places like the Brooklyn Winery (also located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn), on Long Island on a vineyards tour, and recently up in the Fingerlakes region during a trip that I took to visit Syracuse; so it was only natural for me to be ecstatic when finding out that we were going to be having a couple of tastings of wine.

One thing I particularly liked about Brooklyn Oenology was the artwork on their wine bottles. Not only do they use New York City artists to design their labels, but the labels also peel off of the bottles, so you can keep the artwork forever, and that’s pretty awesome!

Mast Brothers Chocolate

Mast Brothers Chocolate
Mast Brothers Chocolate, 111 N. 3rd St.

The last stop on our tour of Williamsburg was to the famous Mast Brothers Chocolate, a high-end chocolatier that crafts dark chocolate bars & baked goods. In addition to being able to purchase chocolate bars at the Williamsburg location of Mast Brothers, you can also sample some of their finest chocolates and look through a glass window into their kitchen where you can watch how the chocolate is made.

Like A Local Tours Information

If you are interested in taking a tour of Williamsburg, Brooklyn with Like a Local Tours, check out their three-hour Sunday Funday Brooklyn Tour ($55), which includes: Winery & Brewery Tours & Tastings, Tastes of Local Eats & Treats, and History of the Neighborhood & Local street art.

If you are looking to discover more of the food side of Williamsburg, they also offer a 2.5 hour Williamsburg Bites tour ($50), which includes popular spots such as:Momofuku Milk Bar, The Bagel Store, Odd Fellows Ice Cream, Pies N Thighs, Best Pizza, and Mast Brothers Chocolate Factory.

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Brooklyn Tour Company Gives Tourists A Chance To Experience The Area Like A Local by Her Agenda

Posted on October 19, 2015 by Shannon ThomasWe understand how taxing life can be as a millennial woman.

Between snagging interviews, attending conferences, navigating your way through work place dynamics and watching Empire…there’s hardly anytime to relax. That’s why we took a moment to relax for you with a Like A Local food tour in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

For two hours, myself, and seven other food lovers from all corners of the U.S., from LA to Minnesota, trekked around Brooklyn’s trendiest neighborhood. We were introduced to some of NYC’s most delicious in-the-cut spots.

As a native New Yorker, it was a nice chance to actually enjoy the charm of NYC that is usually only reserved for tourists. As we walked down North 7th Street to our first destination, our super friendly and knowledgeable guide/tour curator, Lauren Bebe gave us a tidbit of Williamsburg history and the important role the city played in NYC history. Lauren founded the Like A Local tours after deciding her job at the time, as head of marketing for a venture capital firm wasn’t as fulfilling as she thought. Two years ago she took her passion for food, traveling, and her cravings for the latest in Williamsburg and transformed it into the successful business it is today.

In 1903, immigrants walked over the Williamsburg Bridge to escape the densely populated tenement apartments of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, for better living and working conditions. Since then, Williamsburg became a breeding ground for opportunity.

Our first stop was BEST PIZZA. This is a mom and pop style pizzeria that plays old school reggae music and serves delicious slices of heaven for amazing prices. We enjoyed a fantastic in- house Margherita topped with fresh basil and a White pie covered in savory caramelized onions.

The owners source their ingredients from the local farmer’s market, and use a vintage 120 year old brick oven to create their mini masterpieces.

After munching on pizza we made our way over to Milk for cookies and cereal milk flavored soft serve ice cream.

Milk is owned by Master Chef Judge Christina Tosi. The cereal milk flavored ice cream gave me flashbacks to my childhood, fruity pebbles and Saturday morning cartoons.

It was a unique spin on a classic dessert. On our way to our next location we passed by some incredible street art.

When we arrived at this popular eatery, the restaurant was packed with customers anxious for a bite. I found out it’s the norm for there to be a 2 hour wait for some of the best fried chicken in New York City. The golden melt-in-your-mouth chicken, biscuits and cheesy grits all live up to the hype, and I believe it is definitely worth the wait.

My personal favorite stop was The Bagel Store, Home of the Cragel (crossaint/bagel).

By the way, the bacon, egg, and cheese cragel was named the best bagel by The Food Network. The owner Scot Rossilo took the seven of us down into the kitchen and showed us how he rolls out his renowned rainbow bagels.

A tour member making her own rainbow bagel.

After we retired from our short lived careers as bagel artisans, we scooped up some ice cream from Odd Fellows.

Odd Fellows had a variety of unusual ice cream flavors, such as olive oil and jalepeno grapefruit. Of course, I tired them both and they were nothing short of delicious. The olive oil flavor was smooth, creamy, and sweet. The olive oil taste was very subtle. The grapefruit jalepeno was the perfect blend of sweet and spicy, yet refreshing to the palette. Unlike the average Haagen Dasz shops, that share their samples with plastic spoons, the servers gave us samples in cute, eco-friendly mini silverware.

Our last spot was the Mast Brothers Chocolate Makers.

The Mast Brothers began their chocolate making business in Iowa city in the early 2000s at a dinner party where they realized a need for gourmet chocolate in the United States. They bought pounds of cocoa beans and began experimenting with blends until they found their winners. They are the only company in the US to use artisanal beans in their chocolates. The cocoa beans are sourced from different corners of the earth everywhere from Tanzania, and Madagascar to the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala.

The most popular chocolate bar is the Sea Salt flavor from their artisanal collection and I see why, the saltiness is the first flavor tasted yet, it doesn’t overwhelm the taste buds. Instead, the salt compliments the sweet, floral taste of the cocoa. I don’t think I can eat a Hershey bar again, I am still swooning over the Mast Brother’s eclectic confections.

As we enjoyed the beautiful day, I appreciated the fact we didn’t experience the cliché portrayal of Williamsburg famous for hipsters and overpriced coffee shops. We were given a genuine view of the diverse neighborhood…we toured like true locals.

The tour curator, Lauren also hopes to bring Like A Local to other exciting cultural and culinary cities such as Miami, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago, and Havanna, Cuba. She wants her tour to be a starting point for tourists to really have an understanding of what a city has to offer and give a glimpse of a authentic lifestyle of local residents. Beebe said, “Hopefully my tours open the minds of locals and tourists alike so they are able to get more out of where they live or are visiting.”

Lauren has also recently partnered with another NYC tour company, Take Me Out, in order to launch a North Fork Wine Tour. The wine tour is a day trip to Long Island Wine Country for wine tasting, farm visits, craft beer, oyster shucking and so much more. To book your own tour, check out


People are going nuts for this bagel that looks like a rainbow and tastes like cereal

October 15, 2015 by Business Insider: I discovered The Bagel Store's Rainbow Bagels a couple of days ago on Snapchat. In a 10-second video, reality-TV star Jonathan Cheban — Kim Kardashian's best friend — emptied a bag of the colorful creations onto a table and stared at them as if they were the bagel equivalent of a unicorn. And they kind of are. They taste like cereal, they're slathered with Funfetti-style cream cheese, and you'll get a ton of likes if you post a photo of one on social media. Keep scrolling to learn all about the trippy-looking Brooklyn bagels that are burning up Instagram.

Click here for the article on Business Insider.