Exploring Brooklyn with a Local on the Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour
When I lived in New York City, I never would’ve thought to take a pizza tour in Brooklyn. However, when I went back home in April for two weeks, I wanted to eat and explore as much as possible.
Cue the Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour!
This tour went to two renowned pizza places, Grimaldi’s & Spumoni’s, and went through a few neighborhoods that I haven’t been to such as Red Hook and Coney Island.
Even better, the owner of the tour group, Tony, personally led the tour. He’s really the only person I know who’s fully born and bred in Brooklyn.
All my friends who live in Williamsburg, Bushwick, or DUMBO moved there about five years ago so don’t have the born and bred insight that Tony has from seeing Brooklyn evolve in the past few decades.
They certainly don’t have Tony’s Brooklyn accent or the deeply rooted love he has for his borough. His passion for Brooklyn runs so deep that he started the Slice of Brooklyn tours 10 years ago specifically to show out-of-towners (even locals like me) that New York City has more to offer than Manhattan.
For those exploring Manhattan, the usual tourist hot spot in NYC, Tony makes it super easy to get into Brooklyn. His bus picked us up in Union Square and brought us to our first stop, Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO.
Melissa and I thought it was kind of silly going to DUMBO since she’s been living in DUMBO for five years, and I’ve been there more times that I can remember, but we were pleasantly surprised to learn a lot of fun facts that we would’ve never known about if we didn’t go on the tour.
FYI– This statement holds true for the rest of the tour.
Eating Neopolitan Pizza at Grimaldi’s
After the park, we went to Grimaldi’s, which I was so excited about. Grimaldi’s has forever been on my NYC bucket list, but frankly, I’ve never been because I never wanted to deal with the long lines that come with the soon-to-be in your mouth pizzagasm.
Luckily, Tony and Slice of Brooklyn pizza tour has got the BK connection with this place, and we didn’t have to wait.
NYC Bucket List Item #16 — Check!
We all had two slices of pizza here, and for the ones who could stomach it, some people were able to have three (like me— but I definitely didn’t need it).
The pizza met my expectations and more. The dough is chewy and full of gluten (my fave ingredient that torments me sometimes) yet also crispy from their coal burning oven.
Also, the ingredients were fresh and simple. For example, the sauce is simply tomatoes imported from Italy puréed and nothing more, and the cheese is made locally by a local family-run Brooklyn mozzarella maker. Sometimes, simplicity is the best!
— Get $5 off this pizza tour with my promo code TFAF2016 —
Exploring Brooklyn from the Bus
After Grimadi’s, we all hopped back on the bus and drove through a bunch of Brooklyn neighborhoods like Red Hook and Bay Ridge.
We learned about the history of Brooklyn, what’s going on in these neighborhoods nowadays, and even who’s living in these million dollar homes.
The coolest part was that Tony curated clips of movies with Brooklyn scenes and drove us through exactly where they were filmed while they played. It really helped us envision Brooklyn in another time period and from different perspectives.
Eating Sicilian Pizza at Spumoni’s
After covering a couple of miles of Brooklyn (with a lot to see and learn), we stopped by Spumoni’s to have a different kind of pizza— a Sicilian slice!
I really appreciated having a different slice of pizza because most of the pizzas I’ve eaten in NYC have been the Neapolitan (like Grimaldi’s) or New York style (duh).
Of course, we learned about this family-run business, how it started, and how the pizza was made, but best of all, we got to have two slices (and more if you wanted).
What makes Spumoni’s sicilian so different from other sicilian slices is that they have the dough, mozzarella, and then sauce (not dough, sauce and mozzarella). The cheese melts into the dough and creates a gooey texture that sticks to your teeth when you bite into the pizza. #nomnomnom
Even though we were overstuffed, Melissa and I split a Spumoni (not included in the tour price), which is a mix between ice cream and Italian ice— hot damn!
Exploring Coney Island
We hopped on the bus once again and headed to the Coney Island boardwalk, which is yet another location on my New York City bucket list.
It was the perfect day to stroll around the boardwalk and get the low-down from Tony about this eclectic beach making a comeback.
He even had stories from his childhood about how you used to be able to walk under the boardwalk to get to the beach, but because of shady Brooklyn business going on under there, the city shoveled a ton of sand under the boardwalk to prevent people from hanging out there. Now, everyone has to walk on top of the boardwalk to get to the beach, but it’s all in the name of safety.
After Coney Island, we headed back to Manhattan and half watched a montage of all the famous born and bred Brooklynites/half snoozed off the wonderful pizza coma we all fell into.
What was really cool was to see all the changing neighborhoods from the bus. You could clearly see which neighborhoods were largely made of a Russian, Polish, Jewish, or other immigrant population. Diversity is so cool!
Get $5 Off the Tour
All in all, this tour was a ton of fun, tasty, and quite insightful for both locals and tourists of any age. Book it when you go to NYC!
Use my code TFAF2016 just for my readers
when booking this tour through Slice of Brooklyn’s website.
This blog was NOT compensated for this blog post except for in pizza and the lowdown on Brooklyn! All opinions and information presented are of this blog’s alone and have had no input from Slice of Brooklyn.