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

New York County, United States
Book online or call: (888) 651-9785(888) 651-9785
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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 3-hour 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.
  • 3-hour 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 3-hour 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,” a couple of small waffles layered with caramel.
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.


Viator Traveler's Reviews

104 Reviews
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, 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.

, 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!

Marc S
, 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!

Howard W
, 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

Ricki F
, Dec 2018

Even though I come from that area, I learned things that I never knew. Our guide Brian made the tour fun and even more interesting by adding little things like our impromptu stop at Cha Cha’s Macha.

Ronda S
, Dec 2018

This was one of our favorite things we did on this trip to NYC. Our guide, Bruce, was very knowledgeable and personable. He shared history and insight into the areas we walked through. The foods we sampled were wonderful, plentiful, and representative of the areas. The tour took us into places we wouldn't have tried on our own, but that are certainly we'll worth visiting. Would highly recommend this tour!

Tony M
, Oct 2018

Great tour.

It was very interesting and informative about the historical culinary background in the big Apple.

Elena the Tour Guide was very helpful.

Beau B
, Sep 2018

If you really want to say you visited NYC, be sure to take a tour with Josh. From knowledge about the history of the neighborhoods to the best ethnic food from 5 area locales, this tour is a must.

Carl A
, Aug 2018

Great tour with Brian! He included a lot of history around the area and had great photos of how the area looked back in the early 1900's. Great combination of history and food samplings from different cultures who immigrated to the area.

James D
, Jul 2018

Not much on the food side to this tour. Was expecting more, but this tour missed the mark. Not sure why others think they got full.

Product code: 5713SUNB

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