Lower East Side
Culinary & Nightlife

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Our most recommended Lower East Side Culinary & Nightlife

New York: Lower East Side Food Tastings and Culture Tour

1. New York: Lower East Side Food Tastings and Culture Tour

Stroll the streets of the Lower East Side of Manhattan to discover the history of those immigrants who wanted to reside in the land of opportunity. See how they made this part of New York their home and let your tastebuds tingle whilst enjoying delicious food samples from all over the world. Stop outside significant local landmarks including the African Burial Ground Monument and the New York Supreme Court. Learn about the origins of the African American community in New York through those that were brought as slaves, and those that were freed.   Head to the Chinatown district and learn more about the Chinese community which once lived in the area. Try some fried dumplings at a spot that is popular with locals. Then, discover the adjacent district of Little Italy which was home to thousands of immigrants from southern Italy. Enjoy some classic Italian flavors which have formed the basis of some of the most popular modern American snacks. Next, enter the Nolita neighborhood and stop outside St Patrick's Old Cathedral, a key focal point of the Irish Catholic community. Take a short stroll through the Sara D Roosevelt Park. Learn about the history of the Jewish community as you stroll through other parts of the Lower East Side. Try some knishes, a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish snack made with potato-based dough and a variety of fillings, before finishing up the tour outside the Tenement Museum.

Manhattan: Brooklyn Delights and Lower East Side Bike Tour

2. Manhattan: Brooklyn Delights and Lower East Side Bike Tour

You'll begin your tour on the lower east side of Manhattan, once the most densely populated neighborhood in the world and now a very hip area with a thriving nightlife and plenty of quirks. Heading into Brooklyn, you'll explore high-end Bohemian neighborhood of Williamsburg to visit one of the Big Apple's truly underground microbreweries — where participants over the age of 21 may sample craft beers on tap. A short ride away, yet seemingly centuries back in time, is a Hassidic shtetl, where the orthodox Jewish population lives according to centuries-old religious tradition. On Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, all businesses are closed as the synagogue becomes the focal point of existence. As if traveling through time, pass by the Brooklyn Navy Yard, site of nearly 200 years of shipbuilding history and the birthplace of scores of famous ships, from the Fulton Steam Frigate to the USS Maine. Complete your return to the 21st century as you ride to the now-posh neighborhood of Dumbo and, finally, pedal over the Brooklyn Bridge to take in incredible views of the New York skyline and harbor.

New York: Lower East Side 2.5-Hour Walking Tour

3. New York: Lower East Side 2.5-Hour Walking Tour

Get to know New York City's Lower East Side on a 2.5-hour walking tour with food tastings included. Since the early 1800s, this area has been the home of immigrants to the United States wanting to start a new life in America.  This is reflected in the food, clothing, languages, and buildings. In addition a new wave of New York hipsters have now moved in and have dramatically changed the "scene” of the Lower East Side. Learn about this interesting past and changing present as you walk the streets of the Lower East Side, taking in the sights and hearing the history, and enjoy food tastings along the way.

East Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour

4. East Village NYC Pizza Walking Tour

Explore New York’s Lower East Side on a unique walking tour that combines a little history, some local color, and a lot of pizza! Once the proving ground for newly arrived immigrants, the Lower East Side housed a mix of Germans, Poles, Ukranians, and Italians - all from working class families just trying to make it their home. It was a neighborhood so cramped, the goal of all who lived there was to get out as quickly as possible. Fast forward a few decades and it has become one of the hottest neighborhoods in New York. More importantly, it has become one of the most pizza-dense neighborhoods on the planet! The streets are filled with classic slice shops, tiny Neapolitan eateries, and creative new angles on century-old techniques. As you walk - and your guide fills you up with pizza knowledge - stop at 3 pizzerias, each specializing in a different stage of the pie's development from a humble Neapolitan street food to a celebrated American staple. Spend time with the owners and pizzaioli (pizza makers) to learn some of the tricks of the trade. Beyond learning about ancient pizza toppings and dough stretching techniques, compare the baking patterns of 3 different pizza ovens. By the end of the tour you’ll have a deep understanding of pizza’s origin, as well as its evolution into a worldwide phenomenon.

North Brooklyn Pizza Walking Tour

5. North Brooklyn Pizza Walking Tour

The best way to enjoy New York is by walking its streets, but the only way to taste New York is by eating its pizza. You can do both on this 2.5-hour crosstown pizza walk! When the Williamsburg Bridge opened in 1903, Southern Italian immigrants fled the tight quarters of Manhattan's Little Italy for the wide open spaces of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This tour concentrates on this vibrant neighborhood, which today boasts a mix of trendy hipsters and old-school standbys. Every pizza walking tour focuses on the history, science, culture, and taste of pizza from all angles — not just New York style. Your guide will take cues from your group and route the tour to pizzerias that will satisfy your curiosity and answer your pizza queries. That's right — we don't hit the same spots every time! You'll visit pizzerias heralded by Zagat's, AOL City Guide, Time Out New York, the Food Network, and New Yorkers alike as the city's best. After your tour you’ll have a new appreciation for this modest dish and the people who introduced it to the masses.

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What people are saying about Lower East Side

This tour was one of the highlights of our trip to New York! Our tour Hannah stuck it out with us in a torrential down pour and still did not miss a beat in entertaining us with all sorts of fun facts and history. The food was DELICIOUS but it was really the fun conversations and stories that made the tour. Hannah was very knowledgeable and had interesting personal stories to share. We went back a later day to get the dumplings again, and stop by an ice cream shop Hannah had recommended (did not disappoint). She also gets an extra bonus for giving us bagel recommendations that we enjoyed throughout our trip. This was a very fun way to see the city, and learn about the culture and community here!

I highly recommend this food/culture tour if you want to check out the lower east side & learn about some history while sampling some delicious bites. Hannah, a life long New Yorker, was an excellent tour guide - super knowledgeable and so pleasant to chat with! We went through parts of NYC I would have otherwise never seen & learned about lots of immigrant groups including the Irish, Chinese, Italians, Jews, & Germans while we sampled dumplings, pizza, knishes, & pretzels. It was a great way to experience a piece of NYC!

Special dishes and especially historical facts were great that day, thanks Astrid Cook

We both loved it. Our guide Erik was fantastic, would highly recommend.

Our guide, Astrid, was extremely knowledgeable and easy to be with.