We believe in supporting the small, local business that make NYC unique.
Let our local guides show you their New York. With beer tours and food tours, we focus on the small (usually hole-in-the-wall) shops you might not have noticed. You'll meet local shop owners, bakers, bar owners and brewers as we introduce you to the places New Yorkers like to hang out!
Meet our awesome guides:
We followed our guides around their favorite neighborhoods to see where they like to eat, drink & hang out. Learn more about our guides & see some spots that are definitely not going to be in your guidebook.
David Naczycz, Founder
David is a dedicated urbanist and amateur historian who loves cities and their histories. He has traveled to and lived in a number of cities all over the world and, everywhere he goes, he immerses himself in the history of that place. A resident of New York City for over ten years, David has a special interest in the world's greatest city and its history. One of his favorite activities when he's not leading a tour of the city is to explore greater New York by bike and his mission is to have cycled through every neighborhood in the city. He's also an entrepreneur who values sustainability, urban neighborhoods, and the people that live there. He has built a consulting practice working with the leaders of cities to help them create viable communities and while living in Detroit he founded Detroit Synergy, a grassroots non-profit that empowers every day citizens to get involved in improving their city. Now, through Urban Oyster, David has found a way to combine all the things that he loves: cities, history, sustainability, and food and he can't wait to share it with you.
Alex is an American army brat who grew up in Germany. And European drinking ages being what they are, he developed a love for beer at an early age. Here in the US he became an actor, and had the good fortune of being on tour in the late nineties just as the Craftbrew movement was taking off. He moved to New York about fifteen years ago, and working as a bartender between acting gigs, he was immersed in the culture of food and drink that is such a great part of this city’s history.
Why He Loves Being a Tour Guide: It combines 3 things he loves; history, beer, and performance.
Favorite Slice. Wheated in Ditmars Park, Brooklyn.
Special Skills. Plays the african thumb piano & makes a really good Glühwein (German mulled wine).
Brian is a trained actor (and waiter by default) who has lived in New York since 2000. In those years, he's developed a deep passion for the city, its culture, and its food. There's nothing he loves more than walking through the streets as the neighborhoods, people, and architecture change. In addition to giving tours, Brian has a food blog (Eat This NY) and web series where he searches for the most authentic and delicious food adventures in the city. He is also the host of the series Locals Know that visits other Urban Adventures tours around the world to see how the locals do it.
Why He Loves Being a Tour Guide: He loves meeting people from all over the world and getting to see New York through fresh eyes. It's always exciting to share their discoveries.
Special Skills: He can clap with one hand. You sort of have to see it to believe it...
Why NYC is So Great: We literally have everything you could possibly want. Nigerian food? Check. A brewery in a basement of a sports bar? Check. A Christmas supply store open in July? Check. And there's no way you can ever be bored.
What He Does on Days Off: He's constantly on the search for iconic NY food & drink experiences. Giving the walking tours is the only way he keeps from weighing 500lbs.
Favorite UA/UO Tour: I get asked that question a lot and truly can not choose. It's like picking a favorite child.
Jessie is New York native who loves showing people her home. Despite regular travel for her travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, NYC is her favorite place in the world. You'll often find her wandering various neighborhoods with her camera, taking hip hop and Indian dance classes, sipping spicy cocktails at Mayahuel and trying to get her cat to walk on a leash (unsuccessfully). As a recent Upper East Side local - via artsy Bushwick, Brooklyn - she's pumped for regular picnics and yoga in Central Park.
Why She Loves Being a Tour Guide: Getting the opportuntity to show people NYC beyond the typical sites.
Why NYC Is So Great: Because nothing is impossible or far-fetched here. Because you can travel the world without leaving the city walls. Because you can be your crazy yourself and find your tribe.
Favorite UA Tour: The Craft Cocktail Tour because we go to some of my favorite spots in the city. Plus, I love seeing the look on guests' faces when they try mezcal for the first time, or visit a speakeasy Al Capone drank at during Prohibition.
As a 4th generation New Yorker, Nikki feels a great responsibility to dispel the "grumpy & jaded New Yorker" reputation by sharing the incredible, fun & friendly city she's always loved (unless you catch her, for some reason, anywhere near Rockefeller Center during Christmas time...). Living in Queens, she's incredibly grateful for the insane variety of food just steps from her apartment from Australian to Czechoslovakian to Greek to Venezuelen (seriously, all within two blocks) and will try anything once. Nikki is constantly reading memoirs and history accounts to find new stories about the experiences of the people that have made up the greatest city in the world.
Special Skills: She can eat almost any meal with chopsticks.
What She Does on Her Days Off: Loves to take her dog to the park to play with all of the other dogs.
Why NYC Is So Great: It's just so incredibly diverse. You can be anybody with any random hobby or interest and there will be other people just like you. Everyone's super unique, but at the same time, everyone's a New Yorker.
The #ShopSmall Effect
- Purchasing a tour supports us, a small, local NYC business, which employs local New Yorkers.
- On our tours, we bring customers to small, local NYC shops, restaurants, and bars(many of which buy produce and supplies from other NYC businesses) directly supporting them.
- By supporting local, you're contributing trifold to the local neighborhoods instead of extracting from the city by frequenting chains.