Like A Local Tours Makes Industry City the Perfect Place For NYC Locals and Visitors Alike
Like many a good New Yorker living in one of the world’s top travel destinations, you’ve probably extended your home to your plethora of out-of-town friends and family. And by home, we mean closet-of-a-fifth-floor-walk-up.
Some acquaintances whom you haven’t heard from in years will reach out and ask to use the place as a crash pad (to which we quickly say “Sorry, we’re booked!”). Others, friends who are perhaps visiting New York City for the first time, are always welcome—so long as they can entertain themselves doing touristy things on their own. A New Yorker can only pretend to enjoy walking around Times Square (unless its to get a cocktail or see a Broadway show) so many times.
Then, there is the most blessed of visitors: the friend or family member who has been to New York City enough times that they are merely coming to visit YOU. They don’t need to see the Empire State Building, or pop down to the Friends’ apartment building in the West Village. They are purely content hanging out in your apartment, venturing out to your favorite restaurants and living like a local.
That’s where Like A Local Tours comes in.
Like A Local Tours operates unique, off-the-beaten path tours that would fascinate both locals and visitors alike. The company eschews typical touristy attractions to get to the heart of what makes New York City so cool—namely, its food and drink. And if there’s one thing that will get jaded New Yorkers out and about, it’s the city’s delicious food and drink scene.
While tours are not solely for the foodie in your family, the majority of them focus on some element of food and drink in areas such as the Flatiron District, the Meatpacking District, and Williamsburg. There’s even a Prohitibtion Era tour.
Music & Mojitos was recently given the chance to attend Like a Local’s Industry City Insider Tour on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn.
If you haven’t yet heard of Industry City, keep reading—you’ll want to head down to this chic Brooklyn outpost in Sunset Park as soon as you are able.
Industry City was at one point a huge interconnected swathe of warehouses along the water near Sunset Park. Today, it’s home to hundreds of vendors, artisans, and makers—creatives coming together to work, play, and eat.
Sitting on top of 35 acres of land, Industry City is absolutely enormous. Built in the 19th century, it was primarily used for shipping and manufacturing until the 1960s. The area underwent a revival in the early 2000s, when the abandoned warehouses began to transform into a food hall and shopping center attracting people from all over the world. Since 2013, Industry City has created over 7,000 jobs for the area—nearly 1 in 5 people who live in Sunset Park work at Industry City.
So how is the space at Industry City divided today now that it’s transitioned from a manufacturing space to a commercial space?
The warehouses are primarily divided into first floor restaurants and food halls, while the higher floors are reserved for artisans and “makers” from all different fields.
With Like A Local Tours, we were able to go behind the scenes on both ends, visiting both food vendors and makers studios.
Music & Mojitos is excited to walk you through our day with Like A Local Tours. Here’s a look at our afternoon at Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Hey vegan friends, we see you! Ever wondered where you can find a delicious, natural, fat-free, gluten-free sweetener that doesn’t come from chemicals, isn’t processed in a lab, and is totally animal friendly? It’s a tough questions, but Wanna Date? is the answer you’ve been looking for. Melissa, the young entrepreneur behind Wanna Date?, was on hand at her studio in Industry City to share with us how she conceptualized the idea (while working at a smoothie shop) to grow from a dorm-room dream to reality. Next up? “I want to put Nutella out of business,” she laughed. Of course, she showered us with a goodie bag and loads of free samples. With its smooth and creamy texture, and delicious flavors like chocolate, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice, you’ll never look at a date the same way again.
“Modern Art Inspired by the Mediterranean,” Micòl Ceramics embraces maker Micòl Hernández’s Spanish roots.
Our Like A Local tour group was invited to take a behind the scenes look at Micòl’s studio, where she showed us how she throws clay to craft her simple yet elegant designs. Micòl is currently working on creating a custom wedding dishware set, a project which could take two to three months to complete. When she’s not creating her own masterpieces, Micòl gives lessons from her studio in Industry City, so be sure to head over to Micòl Ceramics to learn how you, too, can sit behind the potter’s wheel.
Once we left the makers’ studios, it was time to begin the insider’s food tour of Industry City. Our first stop was at Ends Meat, a whole-animal salumeria that honors the animal by using every part.
Meat that isn’t dried is prepared fresh for guests to enjoy with a glass of wine or beer at the bar, which makes Ends Meat a win-win in our book. Ends Meat ethically sources their meat from local, family-run farms in New York and New Jersey, and produces a delicious array of European-inspired cold cuts and cured meats. Their beef and juniper and finocchiona alone are worth the trip to Industry City.
One Girl Cookies
As you walk down the sidewalk towards the water on 36th Street in Brooklyn, you might notice a few windows with unique displays. One window in particular is sure to catch your eye as you make your way into Industry City, and it belongs to One Girl Cookies.
With a few locations in Brooklyn, One Girl Cookies offers a variety of delicious baked goods including cookies, cakes, and buns. They even make fresh coffee and cappuccinos, which is the perfect pick me up during a food-centric walking tour. We highly recommend trying their Earl Grey Tea Cookies. They were so light and flavorful—an absolutely English delight.
Blue Marble Ice Cream
It’s impossible to not like ice cream (we dare you to try), especially on a hot summer day. That’s why Blue Marble Ice Cream—New York’s only certified organic ice cream store—was such a treat. We cooled off with delicious flavors like sea salt caramel, midnight mint cookie, and a delicious vegan fan favorite, “Bread and Roses.” Lightly sweetened with a hint of rose and stuffed with shortbread cookies, we will definitely be returning for a scoop (or two) as the summer continues to swelter. And probably in winter too because let’s be honest—we could eat ice cream all year round.
Cheerfully marketing themselves as “stubbornly old-fashioned, Li-Lac Chocolates certainly has the bragging rights to go along with that statement.
Manhattan’s oldest chocolate shop, Li-Lac chocolates began as a small chocolate shop during the Roaring Twenties. Li-Lac traces its lineage back to its first shop in Greenwich Village, where chocolate makers were surrounded by artists and intellectuals in a similar fashion as their current location in Industry City. We’re thankful that Li-Lac Chocolates hasn’t changed, because everything we ate was off-the-charts delicious. Chocolate fudge and chocolate covered sea salt caramels topped the list for one of the best samples of the day. Even King Kong thinks Li-Lac Chocolates is delicious.
We have big news to share in the foodie world: New York’s iconic gourmet grocery store, Sahadi’s, is finally expanding—and it’s new second location is at Industry City. Like A Local Tours was privileged to get insider access into Sahadi’s newest (and at time of publication, not-yet-open) Industry City location, where we met with the store’s fifth-generation owner Christine Sahadi Whelan. The original Sahadi’s was established in Brooklyn in 1895 and has been a staple to New Yorkers—particularly those lucky enough to live close to the original location on Atlantic Avenue. “It’s our grocery store, so we can stock it with whatever we want. If a customer has a particular request, we don’t have to go through third party suppliers—we can go straight to the source to bring you the most unique ingredients,” Christine explained. Sahadi’s was generous enough to provide us with a veritable feast. We happily snacked on a beautiful spread of cheeses, meats, crackers, olives, wine, and chocolate-covered halva. We can’t wait for Sahadi’s to officially open at Industry City.
Japan Village is the store you never knew you needed until you stepped foot inside it for the first time. An enormous grocery store selling hundreds of Japanese imports, we spent time wandering the aisles and marveling at all of the unique items for purchase. Japan Village would be a Japanese chef’s dream—we’re pretty sure that if you’re looking for a rare or unique ingredient and can’t find it here, you won’t find it anywhere. We suggest bringing a Japanese-speaking friend or translator—most of the ingredient labels are not in English. Japan Village also has several restaurants inside where you can purchase food to order, so we’ll definitely be back to try them out.
Big aLICe Brewing Co.
To conclude our walking tour of Industry City with Like A Local Tours, our final destination was the newly-opened barrel-aging facility of Big aLICe Brewing Company. The Barrel Room at Industry City just opened up in 2019, and features a myriad of brews aging in large oak barrels, as well as a tap room to enjoy some of Big aLICe’s delicious small-batch beer. We were only too eager to raise a glass to toast Like A Local Tours and our successful day at Industry City.
Like A Local Tours was able to provide insider access to places typically closed to the public, which made it an altogether unique experience for both visitors and locals alike.