I love Troy but being from Schenectady, I feel like there’s this wall between us. People from Troy don’t seem to want to cross the bridge into Schenectady and people from Schenectady don’t seem to make their way to Troy. That’s why when I saw a food tour in Troy, this was my chance to try a bunch of foods in one go that I may not have experienced before. Taste of Troy Food Tours isn’t just for tourists!
/edit Taste of Troy Food Tours is no longer in operation.
We met at the infamous Troy mural next near the water to introduce ourselves and learn a little about the experience. From 10:00AM-1:00PM we would be taking a walking tour around the beautiful downtown Troy, learning some unknown history and eating some delicious favorites. The price for a few hours of learning, walking only 1.5 miles, and eating is $49 for adults and $29 for children. It’s a brilliant way to open your eyes to some places in Troy you may never have been, especially if you’re from another city (like me).
Our first stop was Psychedelicatessen (275 River St.) which without question are some of the best bagels you’ll have in the Capital Region. One of my favorite things about this place is that they try to use local ingredients whenever possible. There’s even a map within the store that labels where in New York they get their products from. We tasted mini everything bagels with lox and cream cheese (mini bagels aren’t normally offered but can be ordered). (EDIT: Restaurant closed, no longer on the tour)
Second on the walk was The Whistling Kettle (254 Broadway). Also found in Ballston Spa, this cute little tea lounge probably has more tea than I’ve ever seen in my entire life in one place. I learned a lot about tea, what makes tea, and what’s allowed to qualify as tea in terms of oxidation and what it contains. We tried the Tumeric Comfort tea which is good for anti-inflamation and didn’t have too strong of a flavor where you have to struggle through it. They generally don’t have tumeric teas out but if you ask, they do have it in stock.
The next stop was St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (58 3rd St) and I have to be honest, I had no idea something this beautiful was hiding in Downtown Troy. Nothing against Downtown Troy, some of the most beautiful buildings in the Capital Region are in Troy but this church looked like something you’d find in Europe. I was fascinated hearing about how Tiffany came in and designed most of the windows in this church. You can immediately see the difference between the Tiffany designs and stained glass, both beautiful but very different. If you’re walking around downtown one day, take a walk in this church. I can’t do it justice explaining it, you have to see it for yourself.
Then, it was time for more food at Illium Cafe (9 Broadway). To eat, we had a “Riff of a Reuben.” It’s a nod to the Irish population of Troy with corned beef, cabbage, swiss, dressing on a crostini with a side of salad. It may have only been a few bites but it was filling and delicious. (EDIT: Restaurant closed, no longer on the tour)
Of course after such a heavy Irish meal, we had to get some beer and where else would we go but Brown’s Brewing Co (417 River St). We tasted two of their beers (A seasonal and a standard) and ate buffalo cauliflower bites with blue cheese. I was pleasantly surprised, aside from a bit of consistency differences, it could’ve been meat! Last was dessert at Nibble Inc (333 Broadway), the potato donut. I know you you’re thinking, potato + donut but yes, trust me, it’s delicious. We has tastes of a few of their greats like chocolate sea salt and coconut lime! When you’re in Troy, don’t miss these delicious treats.
Overall, I had a blast! We ate just enough food where we weren’t stuffed and I learned a ton about Troy and their restaurants that I didn’t know before. I also felt I had the chance to look around on the walk and notice business I never noticed before, or businesses I’d heard of but never knew where they were. If you’re looking for a great weekend activity, look no further, take a taste of Troy!
Note: Though I was not compensated for my review, I was comped a ticket so that I could write about the experience. Opinions expressed are my honest thoughts on the experience.