Our first stop of the day was Il Cantuccio, a traditional Italian bakery and sandwich shop. They specialize in contucci, a biscotti-like creation from the city of Prato. The chocolate and fig flavored ones were to die for. While we enjoyed our cookies, we were able to watch their artisans at work as they crafted handmade focaccia bread. I enjoyed a cup of Numi jasmine green tea at this stop.
Right next door we were treated to some amazing Swedish candy at Sockerbit. This was not a run of the mill candy shop. The entire space was blindingly white and sparkling clean. The brightly colored candy and friendly owners made it especially cheerful. Everything we tasted was delicious but my favorite was probably the salted liquorish.
The next stop was so delicious that I forgot to take a picture of it! We had these amazing arancini (balls of cheese and rice that were breaded and fried) and soppressata (a spicy cured meat) at Faiccio's Italian Specialties. The shop was too small for us to explore inside but I will definitely be returning. According to their sign, they have been there for over 100 years. I have walked past this place many times and never noticed it until our stop on the tour. It goes to show that there are gems hiding under our noses every day.
As if all of that wasn't enough, we feasted on brick oven pizza at Numero 28 Pizzeria. I live in the land of pizza in New Jersey but I have never had anything quite like this. It was doughy, yet light and altogether incredibly delicious. I was amazed at how little grease there was.
In addition to all of the amazing food, we also got to see some wonderful sights that we might not have noticed otherwise. There were so many secret gardens tucked behind the brownstones and old fashioned buildings. We also spotted the building that was used as the outside of Monica's apartment on the sitcom Friends! The best thing about the walking tour was that we took our time and noticed things that we never would have seen otherwise. It was a great break from the usual hustle and bustle of the city. I felt like I wasn't even in Manhattan.
Popbar for some delicious gelato on a stick. I had the banana with dark chocolate and it was heavenly. I was amazed at how creamy yet light it was. I also picked up a couple of tea sticks while we were there. My review of the Pomegranate White Tea is already posted and there will be an upcoming one about the Jasmine Green Tea soon.
Mario is a tea lover like myself so our last stop of the day was McNulty's Tea & Cofee Co. This place was like stepping into a time machine. When you order your tea it is hand measured on an old fashioned scale and your bag is stamped with a rubber stamp. Every tea is displayed in large glass jars. It was a truly sensory experience as everyone in the group shared which ones they thought smelled amazing.
I'd really like to thank Mario and Adriana Trigini Tours for a really great day. Make sure to watch the video of episode seven of On the Go with Mario below, you'll spot me in a few scenes :)