This outfit offers the most well-rounded, spirited tours of the city. No they’re not actually free; you’re expected to tip at the end, about $20, and you really should because the guide has to hand over a percentage of the tips to the “boss” who runs the operation. But because the guides are dependent on tips (and so is the boss who picks the guides), only truly gifted raconteurs make the cut. The tours hit all the classic areas of the city—Harlem, Brooklyn Heights, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Central Park—but also include some more unusual offerings, like street art tours of Bushwick, Brooklyn, and ghost tours of the High Line area and Greenwich Village. They also offer food tours at a much lower price than the competition, since you pay what you want for the tour, and then can pick and choose among the treats offered, paying for each as you go. But what I like best about these tours is how seamlessly they combine history with pop culture, offering something of interest for pretty much all visitors.
- Pauline Frommer