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5 Reasons to Take a Food Tour in the 518 – Upstate New York’s Capital Region

a group of people standing in front of a building

Top: kick off pose of tour guests by Troy’s iconic sign.

As travelers, there’s always an important question we ask ourselves before we head out on our trip: Where are the best places to eat?
Tripadvisor and Yelp reviews may help you find the most (or least) popular spots, but it can be overwhelming to choose where to start. A great food tour can be the budget-friendly way to try a sampling of local eats, and get inspiration for what to explore next on your vacation as you learn about the places you pass along the way.  

Taste of Troy Food Tours began with the tale of Troy, a history-rich city with its colleges and universities, famous residents (past and present), and delicious fare. More recently, we opened our arms, and our bellies, to the neighboring city of Albany— just across the Hudson River to give travelers another taste of New York— that goes beyond the Big Apple.

Today, Taste of Troy Food Tours offers both the Central Troy Historic District Food Tour and the Historic Downtown Albany Food Tour with plenty of stories and facts to weave the Capital Region’s history into its gastronomic present.

Here are 5 essential ingredients in our food tours’ recipe:

a plate of food on a wooden table

Photo of Albany Pump Station’s taste: beer pretzels with 3 dipping sauces and 2 different beer tastes

1. You sample more local flavors at five eateries in one day.

Any good food tour will incorporate a city’s hidden and historic highlights into every dish or drink you try. Whether you are a food tour–aficionado or its your first food tour, Taste of Troy Food Tours has a great experience mapped out for you. Here in the Capital Region, we are lucky because both Albany and Troy have rapidly expanding food and craft brewing scenes. Over the course of a 3-hour food tour, guests get to try anything from baked artisan goods, riffs on classic recipes, flights of craft brews, and palate-cleansing tea. All tastings are included, which also makes it a budget-friendly way to try different foods and drinks to see what you like. 

The Troy tour ends with plenty of time to shop the amazing year-round farmers’ market, a cornerstone of Troy’s food scene for 21 years; meanwhile the Albany tour ends at Olde English Pub & Pantry just in time for happy hour (it’s the oldest working building in Albany, and it was almost lost to us when the nearby interstate ramp was built!).

 

a person holding a birthday cake

Photo of owner/operator in The Dutch Udder, next to their Enjoy Troy table

2. You learn how food is connected to the history of Albany and Troy.

The dishes you try with us are more than just a progressive brunch or lunch; they are specifically chosen to connect the Capital Region’s history with its evolving food scene.

Taste of Troy Food Tours founder, Amy Koren-Roth, spent hours combing through the Rensselaer County and Albany Historical Society’s archives, studying what was served (or sold) in each city’s heyday, dating back to the 1860s. You will end the tour with a sense of the amazing past these Hudson River sister cities have while appreciating the thriving scene that makes Albany and Troy the small city gems that they are today. Along with a great history lesson, you’ll gain insight to some of the local favorite things to do, places to eat and spots to spend time.

 

a doughnut sitting next to a cup of coffee

Photo of the combined taste – coffee from Stack’s Espresso Bar with the 2 mini doughnuts from Cider Belly Doughnuts

3.  You get to support local, small businesses.

Today, food franchises are recognizable the world over and, without the right local tips on where to eat, they can make one destination’s food scene indistinguishable from another. When you take a food tour, your money goes directly toward local eateries. It’s an opportunity to support local culinary talent, and the city itself. You can expect the unexpected as you discover secret spots and local favorites! 

a woman holding a sign posing for the camera

Photo of tour guests hamming it up at the start of the Historic Downtown Albany Food Tour

4. You get to go beyond the user reviews and guidebooks.

If you’ve never been to a city or place, it’s likely you’re going to rely on the best-of lists to create an itinerary. We take it one step (and bite) further by explaining how these food and drink establishments made their claim to fame, while introducing you to the hometown heroes you would never have thought to visit on your trip. It’s about giving you the local’s take on all the great food that exists beyond New York City.

 

a close up of a person holding a cup of coffee

Photo of tour guests toasting with final drink at Olde English Pub

5. You are treated like an honored guest from start to finish.

How lovely it is to be greeted and ushered through the busy hub of not one, but many thriving eateries. No reservations, no lines, no waiting: You get to bypass people waiting for a table to arrive at your own private table and start your tasting right away. This is what one can look forward to as part of the Taste of Troy Food Tours experience. As you tour, you are a valued part of Troy and Albany’s culinary histories in the making! If you’d like to really feel like a high-roller, book a private tour! Our personalized, private tours are great ideas for birthday parties, bachelor(ette) parties, team-building, or just a fun day with friends.

Join us on a Taste of Troy Food Tour

When you next find yourself looking for weekend plans in the Capital Region, May through October, book a tour and carve out 3 hours and give yourself Taste(s) of Troy and Albany, NY! Troy tours are offered on Saturdays at 10 a.m. and Albany tours are offered on Fridays at 12:45 p.m.

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