Hello! My name is Maryana, and I’m a tour guide with Ahoy New York Tours & Tasting. I’ve been feeding travelers and dropping knowledge with Ahoy for a year, and every tour brings the excitement of bonding over food and history!
Happy decade-adversary Ahoy! It’s amazing to see how the company has grown in 10 years, all thanks to our all-star team. Wishing endless decades of food and merriment to come!
Favorite Cheap Eats Spot in New York City:
Oh boy, I find a new cheap eats favorite almost daily! Tacos. Dumplings. Fried chicken. My go-to, hands down, is Peasant Stock (120 Essex St), purveyor of soups and cornbreads situated in the historic Essex Street Market. The menu changes daily and everything on offer is made fresh daily, in small batches on premises. I always stop in when the split pea with fresh herbs or the red lentil, kale and quinoa are simmering on the stove, and I don’t leave without a slice of one of their many flavors of cornbread (can’t go wrong with the classic)!
Favorite Fine Dining Restaurant in New York City:
Hanoi House (119 St Marks Pl) is a culinary adventure that never disappoints. It’s rare to find traditional Hanoi-style pho, with its light, subtle flavors. Hanoi House does it right, bringing me back to days spent eating my way around Vietnam with every bite. It definitely doesn’t hurt than you can add on some bone marrow! My favorite item on their menu, however, is their egg yolk coffee. Commonly served in Hanoi’s cafes, it’s like a warm, comforting glass of tiramisu! It’s a shame it’s only served during brunch.
Favorite Guilty Pleasure:
Triple cremes, Thai iced tea, the list is endless! My staple guilty pleasure (no guilt involved though!) is a tie between chocolates from Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolates (43 W 42nd St) and the signature beer cheese at Earl’s Beer and Cheese (1259 Park Ave). Kreuther has a rotating selection of unique flavors and textures scrumptiously enveloped in chocolate. My favorites are their gooey, fruity dark chocolate apricot bergamot and delicate jasmine. What can I say about Earl’s? Have you ever tried beer cheese? Please, please go out and have some beer cheese! Theirs comes with thick crunchy toast and sliced garlic, the perfect accompaniments.
Favorite Thing to Do in New York City:
Wander! Wander endlessly, with a cup of hot black tea in hand (even in the summer!). I’ve discovered the best food, shops, street art, and hidden wonders while meandering [somewhat] aimlessly though the city’s streets. I walk across the Brooklyn and especially Manhattan bridges regularly, I stroll along the High Line, and I get lost in our many neighborhoods. Wandering was how I came across my favorite place in New York, the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. My own two feet have always been my favorite way to explore any city, and though I’ve lived in New York most of my life, I have no doubt I’ve only scratched the surface.
Best Tip for Visiting New York City:
One of the beautiful things about New York is how much free/ low-cost stuff there is to do. There are plenty of things to splurge on, but lots of resources to help balance that out. My favorite is the Skint, a free daily email compilation of what’s going on in the 5 boroughs, ranging from events and performances to exhibitions, pop-ups, and more. Of course, there’s also Time Out for ideas on things to do, Tkts booths for Broadway show tickets, and most importantly, wandering is always free!