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NYC: Lower East Side Food, History and Culture of the Tenements (Small Group)

New York, United States
Book online or call: (888) 651-9785(888) 651-9785

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up to 24 hours in advance
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3 hours (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
Offered in: English


From stroopwafel to mozzarella to knishes, there are many amazing eats on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. This small-group guided Lower East Side walking tour takes your taste buds to the most edible parts of the historic neighborhood. Emphasizing immigration and its influence on the area, the tour focuses history—and the food—of one of the city’s most dynamic areas. The small group means you’ll get easier access to the guide.
  • Food tour of New York City on foot
  • Sample New York’s famous knishes and four other dishes
  • Visit bustling markets and taste the treats on offer
  • Stroll among the city’s cultural sites in the Lower East Side, Chinatown and Little Italy
  • Get a glimpse into New York’s immigrant heritage and how it is shaping the city today
  • Discover New York’s vibrant Lower East Side from a local’s perspective, with an informed guide
Today the Lower East Side is crammed with bars, clubs and trendy restaurants. But if you know where to look, you can find very edible remnants of its intriguing past. The neighborhood was once home to many of the city’s new immigrants and the old-school food of the area still reflects this.
So come hungry for this fun small-group tour, where you’ll munch on the sample some of the best snacks and learn a lot about the history of the Lower East Side. Start off with some stroopwafel, which is Dutch for ‘syrup waffle.".
Indulge in knishes, representative of the Jewish immigrants who once populated the area, at some of the bakeries that are still sprinkled around here. Munch on mozzarella in nearby Little Italy, today just part of Mulberry Street, but once a bustling part of town with thousands of immigrants from southern Italy.
And learn about the history of the place from your local guide. From Poles to Jews to Italians, many people of come through the Lower East Side and they’ve all left their mark.
Learn about the erstwhile African burial ground, where Africans, both enslaved and free, were put to rest through most of the 18th century. 
Finally, step into chaotic Chinatown, where steamed pork buns and succulent soup dumplings compete for your taste buds.
The tour finishes back on the Lower East Side, so you can continue to do some exploring on your own.
It’s advisable to wear or bring clothing that is weather appropriate depending on the season, as you’ll be outside for at least 3 hours. It’s also recommended you book the tour at least 48 hours before.


367 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers
Food & Culture was Okay,
, Jun 2019
The Food and Culture tour would have been better with audio enhancers. We could not hear many of the presentation, unless we were very close to the guide. Also, it probably went a little too long, almost 3 hrs. We had to rush off for another tour. The food sampling was okay, but would be better, if it started a little sooner.
The East Side Tour
, May 2019
The tour hit a number of food establishments in different locations on the east side. It is worth taking the tour because you go to locations you would never find or hear about. The quality of food varied by establishment probably the best were the knishes. Our tour guide was ok, she seemed to spend a lot of time on the phone either making or arrangements or whatever.
Wish there had been more history
, May 2019
We’ve done many food tours in different cities and we love the mix of interesting food and history that we wouldn’t necessarily pick up from a Wikipedia article of the area. The food was good (portions were very small), but the history was lacking.
Lower East Side - history and food
, May 2019
Really good tour. Mary- Hannah took us around at a very reasonable pace (not rushed) and explained so much of the history and showed us the development of the Lower East Side in Manhatten. We were advised to go on this tour by someone else and were not disappointed. If you want to see more of the city other than the usual tourist haunts - then go on this tour.
Fabulous tour!
, May 2019
Our lower Manhattan history and food tour was terrific. Josh J. is an amazing tour guide. He has so much knowledge about the city, is very engaging and enthusiastic! We enjoyed the various food taste stops and the chance to learn about the history of this island of immigrants at the same time.
Lower East Side Tour
, Apr 2019
Lower East Side Tour was great. The food sampling was great, but the information provided along the walk was the highlight. Even with the rainy day, our guide Bruce did a great job taking care of us and making sure we had a great day.
Our opinion
, Apr 2019
We were disappointed in the tour. We come to Ny every year and do a food tour This was by far our least favorite
Great time!
, Mar 2019
Definitely a highlight of a 9 day trip to the big Apple. Tour guide was well versed in NY history and the food stops were great. From the Five Points to Chinatown to Little Italy and Nikita. Bravo!
Lower East Side Food and Culture Tour: Simple, Easy Walk...Great Food, Terrific Guide!
, Jan 2019
We have done these sort of tours in many different cities around the world....this one ranks with the best of them. The route is intelligently planned, interesting sites and stories, and feels like a great value for the time invested.Important: the tour stands on its own, but if you can get assigned to the section led by "Elena", then you will be very pleased. Elena is very personable, works hard to spend individual time with each guest, and is well-versed in almost every area of knowledge associated with the tour, and general aspects of NYC. A real stand-out in the world of guides!
fun time
, Dec 2018
Lots of fun, the food tasting was a delight. the Tour guid was very good and knew what she was talkng about. The tour was somewhat different than I expected but still fun

Product code: 5713SUNB

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