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Eat and Drink

Dig into doughnuts and NYC history with the Underground Donut Tour

Walk past the Empire State Building and One World Trade in between doughnut shop stops.

Eat at local doughnut vendors and learn history on a Manhattan walking tour that includes Chelsea and Greenwich Village. (Credit: Li Yakira Cohen)

You can’t go through The Big Apple without taking a bite out of a big doughnut.

That’s where Underground Donut Tours steps in.

Originally started three years ago in Chicago, the walking tour has arrived to take you through some of the best sightseeing spots in New York City, including the Empire State Building, Flatiron Building and the One World Trade Center. You start off the morning with a freshly made doughnut in Chelsea at Doughnut Plant, where the tour guide chats about the best flavors to try and offers a brief history of the shop. That first stop is among the older businesses on the tour, with Doughnut Plant founded in 1994 in Mark Isreal’s Lower East Side apartment.

As you walk through Manhattan eating circular treat after circular treat — which may or may not be as big as your hand — the tour guide provides a thorough and unique history lesson. Burning off some of those calories hoofing it from shop to shop, your lesson includes everything from architecture to popular idiom. Nearing 23rd Street in the Flatiron District, for example, you learn why cops used to say "23 skiddoo."

Underground Donut Tours hits four businesses, all of which have original flavors and consistencies, so you can eat doughnuts as diverse as the city itself. Some shops offer more traditional flavors and cakelike textures for those who might like to stick to what they know, while others take a more artisanal approach. The last storefront on the tour is The Doughnut Project, which is full of specialty creations, with flavors including the Bronx (glazed with olive oil and black pepper) and The Everything Doughnut (a sweet cream cheese glazed topped with the popular bagel seasoning).

Tours are available Fridays through Sundays, with spots are available on a first-come, first-eat basis. 

If you go: Tickets are $40 (11 years and older) and $20 (10 and younger), including the doughnuts. Tours are 9 a.m. Fridays through Sundays. More: undergrounddonuttour.com.

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