NEWARK – New Jersey’s largest city sometimes gets a bad rap.
As with many things, however, there is much more to this diverse travel destination than meets the eye. For this reason, city dwellers Emily Manz and Antonio Valla decided to share their view of the city with the tour company Have You Met Newark.
The 7-year-old company that founded the duo after deciding to team up to run city tours after their own efforts, now offers two fun, informative walking tours with its Nom Nom Newark, either downtown or the The city’s food scene focus tour scheduled for March 2 at 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
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“I think so many people hear about Newark on the news and we always felt like the best way to experience it in person and on foot,” said Valla, who has an urban background, as does Manz. “There are so many small businesses in this city that we wanted to show people up close.”
The Nom Nom Newark Tour takes approximately 10-15 visitors to four local restaurants, all of which are within walking distance and a total of up to two miles to enjoy food tastings and meet with chefs. For a $ 30 ticket, guests can expect to “leave very full – don’t eat beforehand!” said Valla.
While the company works with around 20 restaurants, the restaurants selected on each tour change depending on the season, ranging from eateries like TM Ward Coffee, which has been a staple in Newark since the 1860s, to modern establishments like Burger Walla, which is for their Indian-inspired burger is known.
“Newark is a very diverse city and full of interesting entrepreneurs. So the food scene captures a lot of the diversity in a format that also shows the city’s history,” said Valla.
Since did you meet Newark? Since 2012, the customer base has grown exponentially, from locals who found the tours online to large groups of people looking for some fun alumni or family reunion activity.
“We’ve had Newark residents wanting to find out what’s going on in their town and people who have heard, for example, that Red Rooster’s celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson has opened Marcus B&B on Halsey Street and wanted to check it out,” said Red Rooster Valla.
Regardless of the reason for visiting, Valla said the tours have a wide range of ages and some families bring their children. However, the feedback is still streamlined – Valla made many comments: “I’m a lot more stuffed than I thought!”
“Newark is such a big city that even if you’ve lived here all your life, so much opens up and happens here,” Valla said. “Many of our tourists will say, ‘I didn’t even know this was here!'”
When you go
Name Name Newark Food Tours
When: The next monthly tour is on March 2nd at 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Costs: $ 30
Jenna Intersimone’s Destination Jersey column appears on Tuesdays. Tweet them at @JIntersimone or send an email to [email protected]