For more than 75 years, New York City has had a network of publicly-owned markets to provide affordable fresh and prepared foods to local neighborhoods. These tours seek to highlight not only the history of the remaining public markets, but also the wonderful food and the people that serve it that can be found within their walls. In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, our Immigrant Foodways Tour of the Moore Street Market offers visitors the chance to try cuisine from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Mexico from the market and restaurants in the surrounding neighborhood, highlighting the connections between immigrant communities and local food systems. And we now offer tours of the Essex Street Market, showcasing the butchers, fishmongers, cheese purveyors, and more that make this market a cornerstone of the Lower East Side.
Public Market Tours are offered in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the vendors in the local communities.
This tasting exploration showcases the vendors of the Lower East Side’s Essex Market, founded in 1940 and now housed in a new, bustling facility home to over 40 vendors. This 90-minute walking and tasting tour visits 6-8 vendors, with generous tastings that may include top-quality olive oils, tacos, empanadas, fresh-baked breads, handmade chocolates, and a selection of cheeses and charcuterie. Along the way, we will explore the past and present of New York City’s public market system, from open-air pushcart markets, to the retail and wholesale network built by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, to markets’ role today providing quality food to communities and creating opportunities for food entrepreneurs to launch and grow new businesses.
From farms to pushcarts to public markets, this 2-hour walking and tasting tour explores historical aspects of New York’s food system and the influence of Caribbean and Latin American cultures and cuisines on the past and present of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Once known for its pickles and kosher meat, today the eastern section of Williamsburg serves up herbal tea remedies from Mexico, sounds of salsa, and traditional ingredients. Based on more than 20 oral history interviews with neighborhood residents and local business owners, and on original archival research, this tour explores the history of Brooklyn’s “Avenue of Puerto Rico” and takes an in-depth look at the Moore Street Market, built in 1941 to mark the end of the pushcart era and today a centerpiece of the Spanish-speaking community. The tour includes 6-8 generous tastings from market vendors and local eateries.