Courtesy of Detour

“Detour” produces audio walking tours of famous neighborhoods around the world.

Elisabeth Sherman
June 30, 2017

If you’ve ever wanted a famous chef to show you around his favorite neighborhood, look no further. A company called Detour has put together audio tours of neighborhoods known for their food, and the newest installment features one of New York City’s most vibrant neighborhoods: Harlem, through the eyes of Marcus Samuelsson.

Samuelsson, who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, and is the head chef at Harlem’s Red Rooster, will lead you around the neighborhood he now calls home as you listen along.

The tour include stops in Harlem’s West African section, where you can try pastries from a Senegalese bakery, the “legendary” – his words – soul food restaurant Sylvia’s, a jazz club, and ending with Red Rooster, of course.

Detour’s full catalogue includes 150 audio tours, and many of them are food-related. You can find audio tours on Rome, hosted by the daughter of a food blogger, Boston’s North End, where you’ll be able to sample Italian specialties like cannoli, one in Barcelona that focuses on Vermouth, and another that gives in-depth look San Francisco’s Chinatown neighborhood. This summer, they’ll also launch in new tours in Seoul and Tokyo. 

The Big Easy seems to be an obsession of the Detour crew: In another episode, Alfred Singleton, executive chef at Café Sbisa, will take you on gumbo tour of New Orleans, while another will take you a “boozy historical tour” of the The French Quarter with a chemist. 

Detours use GPS to guide you throw the tour, so you can focus on the sites – and the food – and you don’t have to stay glued to your phone while you’re enjoying your outing. The tours could be a great way to get to know a city with an expert guide (especially if you’re short on time and on a budget) through its most important offerings: The food and drink.