The first city tours served as informative warnings of which cart-swallowing potholes and overly chatty parking meters to avoid. Replenish your stock of useful urban information with today's Groupon: for $25, you get a walking taste tour of Arthur Avenue (a $45 value) from SusanSez NYC Walkabouts, a locally run, private-tours program. You'll meet Susan inside Grand Central Station in Midtown Manhattan to commence the tour. Just consult the schedule and reserve a time that works for you. Tour-goers will also need to purchase a Metro North round-trip ticket to Fordham Road (around $9) prior to meeting the group.
Tour guide Susan Birnbaum steers tourists and locals alike through streets that contain even more history and life than appear on the surface. Over the course of about two hours, you'll explore the restaurants, cafés, and food stops that populate the Belmont section of the Bronx, known as New York's "real" Little Italy. Prep your palate for five or six visits to mom-and-pop establishments, where fresh-baked breads, pastas, and pizzas make regular appearances. A charming neighborhood that housed waves of twentieth-century Italian immigrants, Belmont still bustles with delightful cigar rollers at La Casa Grande Tobacco Co. and enticing aromas wafting from the Arthur Avenue Retail Market. Tour-takers can pull back the curd-colored curtain on the cheese-making process while witnessing a live cheese-making demonstration. Intrepid cultural seekers will also learn neighborhood facts along the way, stopping to pay homage to the corner where Dion and the Belmonts gave an a cappella voice to the woeful plight of teenagers in love.
Zerve reviewers give SusanSez NYC Walkabouts an average rating of 4.5 stars:
- Susan has a very contagious love of the Bronx and a large bank to great trivia and wonderful places - makes for a fun event! – keppstein
- Susan's deep knowledge of the area and her relationships with the local vendors and business owners were real assets and made us feel we were getting an "insiders" tour. I wish I had this opportunity in other cities I visit on business. – campbbr1
- Susan gave us an excellent tour of Aurthur [sic] Avenue. She was very knowledgeable, and the food was excellent! We had the BEST pizza we've ever tasted. – saadragna
SusanSez NYC Walkabouts
Born and raised in New York, Susan Birnbaum always had a fascination with her city's history and unparalleled cuisine. She transformed those interests into a career when she founded SusanSez NYC Walkabouts, from which she leads slightly atypical walking tours. Rather than hit the major tourist attractions, she explores the city through its restaurants and neighborhood gems, giving her guests a taste of what life in the city has to offer along with a sampling of how it came to be. She conducts five unique tours, including the Farm to Fork Tour in East Village—which provides samples of seasonal eats—an Italian-eatery-focused stroll through the Bronx, and a Lower East Side walk that celebrates the pushcart fare once available on every street corner before the carts grew roots and sprouted into restaurants.