Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

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

Top: group photo at Albany’s Ama Cocina Bottom: kick off pose of tour guests by Troy’s iconic sign.

Every city chosen to be the center of a food tour, challenges the tour director to find the lens through which to tell its tale. As such, every food tour is uniquely crafted. The city invites you to find the blend of ingredients both historic and culinary that make it tour worthy. Taste of Troy Food Tours began with the tale of Troy, a city rich in history that offers prime material for food tourism because of Troy’s icons on the National Historic Register, it’s colleges and universities, it’s famous residents (past and present) combined with its delicious fare provide food for body and mind. More recently, we opened our arms and our bellies to the neighboring city of Albany, just across the Hudson River. Taste of Troy Food Tours has designed both the Central Troy Historic District Food Tour and the Historic Downtown Albany Food Tour to weave the Capital Region’s heyday with its gastronomic present. Here are 5 essential ingredients in our food tours’ recipe for success:

Top row: fish tacos at Ama Cocina, guests enjoying happy hour at Olde English Pub and dessert with Cider Belly doughnuts (Downtown Albany tour)Bottom row: guests enjoying gigante bean salad and a reuben sample at Illium Café, Taste of Troy tour guest leaves our mark on a table at craft ice creamery The Dutch Udder (Historic Troy tour)

  1. You get to savor specialties from five local eateries in one day.

Whether you are a food tour aficionado or a newcomer to this type of tourism, Taste of Troy Food Tours has a great experience mapped out for you. We in the Capital Region are lucky because both Albany and Troy have a rapidly expanding food and craft brewing scene that will unfold as your footsteps follow the path to each hand-picked taste. Any good food tour will incorporate a city’s hidden historic highlights while introducing you to the entrepreneurs creating the culinary present. Taste of Troy Food Tours offer our guests an array of food ranging from artisan baked goods, riffs on classic recipes, flights of craft brews and palate cleansing brewed tea. The Troy tour ends with plenty of time to shop the amazing all year-round farmer’s market, a cornerstone of Troy’s food scene for 18 years, while the Albany tour ends at Olde English Pub & Pantry just in time for happy hour (it’s the oldest working building in Albany and was almost lost to us when the nearby interstate ramp was built!).

2. You have the opportunity to re-imagine historic Albany or Troy as you walk from taste to delectable taste.

From left to right: Wow! St. Paul’s Episcopal Church’s Tiffany designed interior in Troy. Have a seat in Teddy Roosevelt’s personal pew at the First Church of Albany.

The tastes along our food tours are more than just delectable portions of your progressive brunch or lunch; they are specifically chosen to connect either Capital Region city’s historical backdrop with its evolving “FOOD PRINT.” Taste of Troy Food Tours spent hours combing through the Rensselaer County and Albany Historical Society’s archives linking the tour’s tastes to what was served or sold in the respective area’s in their heyday. 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.

2. You get to be a tourist in your own city.

When you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, you get to experience the world from a new perspective. This is surely the case on a food tour. Whether visiting a place for the first time or exploring your “own backyard”, a food tour will provide information, history and fabulous food intended to acquaint you more intimately with the city being explored. Time and time again, residents of the Capital District of NY sign up for a food tour for adventure and great dining, walking away with just that in addition to a whole new understanding of the city they’re in.

These Albany locals brought their parents from Korea on a food tour! Both locals and their out-of-town family members had fun exploring the city – and learned something new along the way!

4. You will discover and support local “eatistry”.

Today, food franchises are recognizable the world over and often make one locale indistinguishable from another. When you take a food tour, your food prints are directed toward local eateries offering delicious fare that showcases local culinary talent while contributing to a larger picture of the city itself. You can expect the unexpected while resting assuredly in the knowledge that the tour owners/foodies all have taste-tested what you are about to enjoy!

5. You will experience what it feels like to be an honored guest.

Sam Pagano, the head brewer of C.H. Evans at Albany’s Pump Station, loves to say hi to our tour guests and share some secrets about his creations.

How lovely it is to be greeted and ushered graciously into the busy hub of not one but many thriving eateries. This is what one can look forward to as part of the food tour 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!

When you next find yourself looking for weekend plans in the Capital Region, May through October, book a tour, carve out 3 hours and put your foot to the pavement and give yourself to the Taste(s) of Troy (and now Albany, too!) as you embark on the Central Troy Historic District or Downtown Albany Tour! Troy tours are offered on Saturdays at 10 a.m. and Albany tours are offered on Fridays at 12:45 p.m.