“Shitty & Gritty” Food & Culture Tour

Duration: 3 Hours

Location: East Village and surrounding areas



Child (age 3-12)


Sample awesome foods from unassuming places as we visit some of the hidden gems in the East Village

  • See how over the last 150 years, different nationalities left their mark on the neighborhood in the form of their ethnic foods
  • Find amazing dishes tucked away in greasy spoons, tiny storefronts and bad lighting
  • Learn about East Village history, culture, architecture, and local offerings
  • Taste cuisines from around the world as well as around the block
  • Taste between 7 and 10 delicious foods that will wow your taste buds and fill your belly
  • Skip the tourist traps and visit the spots that real New Yorkers frequent and foodies love

All of the yummy food we eat is included in your ticket price

Total distance travelled is aproximately 1 mile

We will meet at near Union Sqaure and walk together to each destination. We will provide all guests with a water bottle and lots of delicious food. We visit many food destinations and, of course, sample some along the way. We will also visit culturally significant sites throughout the tour as we learn about the East Village.  The tour will end near the Astor Place subway station (6 or R train) which is a 7 minute walk to either Union Square or the tour starting point. Guides are available to assist guests with directions to their next destination after the tour is over.

Shitty & Gritty Tour Destinations

Beijing Style Dumplings

Learn about different dumpling stlyes and then taste the best of them all at the city's first Beijing style dumpling spot

Secret White Sauce

Visit a middle eastern place that started as a street cart with lines a block long for its famous cuisine and tasty sauces

NY Style Pizza

Enjoy classic NY pizza at an East Village pizza institution

Old School Italian Bakery

Taste heaven in the East Village at this spot going strong for 125 years

Underground Ukranian Deliciousness

There’s no way you’d find this place on your own. Actual Ukranian grandmothers’ make their version of dumplings at this spot that is literately underground

Jaywalk to Cooper Square

See the first venue Patti smith ever performed in as well as where Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most important speeches of his life

& More

Above list is just a sample of a few of the places you will visit. Your guide may amend the tour as they see fit to improve the experience we provide for our customers

The tour will meet outside Duane Read at 125 3rd Avenue at the corner of East 14th Street and 3rd Avenue, two blocks from Union Square park. We will meet on the 14th Street side of the corner.

Subway: Take the 4/5/6/L/N/Q/R or W train to Union Square station and then walk 5 minutes to 125 3rd Avenue.

Get Directions

Have questions? Here's the most frequently asked.

Do I need to tip?

Awesome Tours pays for all the tips at food destinations on our tour.

Tour guide gratuities are greatly appreciated if you enjoyed your tour. The standard gratuity in the service industry is 15%-20%.

Do we only walk around and sample food?

Absolutely not! Our tours combine architectural commentary, historical facts, local culture and culinary insight into a unique tour experience. Imagine walking through the city eating our local artisans most delicious foods while learning the neighborhoods from real locals.

What if I have dietary restrictions or allergies?

Please be sure and let us know if you are vegetarian or vegan and we can definitely accommodate you (or anyone in your group). We can also take requests for other dietary restrictions (e.g. diabetic, allergy, etc.) and will work with each destination to find out what foods you should skip and arrange a substitution wherever possible. Don’t worry, we won’t let you leave hungry!

What do we do in case of bad weather?

The tours are held rain, shine, or snow. In the event of inclement weather, we will be able to go inside many of the establishments on the tour. We advise to check the weather conditions for your day’s event, bring an umbrella if needed and dress appropriately.

Still have questions?   Visit our FAQ page to submit your own

"Totally exceeded my expectations! Our guide was so nice and knew a ton about the history of the East Village. She took us to so many cool spots that I would have never found myself and ordered us amazing food. My favorite was the pergoies made by old Ukraniun women. Thanks Awesome Tours!"

Dareen C. from Sydney, Australia

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