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NYC Lower East Side Culture and Food Tastings Tour

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New York, United States
NYC Lower East Side Culture and Food Tastings Tour

From $81.63

Price varies by group size

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon3 hours  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

From stroopwafel to mozzarella to knishes; there are many amazing eats on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. On this small-group walking tour, discover the neighborhood's diverse cultural heritage and learn how its immigration history has influenced its dynamic foodie scene. Along the way, visit markets, bakeries, and restaurants, and sample delicacies from all around the world.
  • Explore Manhattan’s Lower East Side like a New Yorker with a local guide
  • Sample New York’s famous knishes and four other dishes
  • Small-group tour offers a more personalised experience
  • Receive insider tips and recommendations on where to eat in the city
Saved to wishlist!
Fried Chinese Dumplings
Cheesy Italian Tasting
Savory Jewish Baked Good
A surprise local treat
Professional Local Guide
Gratuities
7 Elk St , 7 Elk St, New York, NY 10007, USA

In front of the African Burial Ground National Monument, across from 7 Elk Street (between Duane and Elk Street), New York, NY 10007

Lower East Side , Lower East Side, New York, NY, USA

Your tour ends in the heart of the Lower East Side neighborhood (New York, NY 10002)

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.".

Next, try 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.

Learn about the history of the neighborhood from your local guide. From Poles to Jews to Italians, many different immigrants have called the Lower East Side home and they’ve all left their mark. Also 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, where you can continue 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.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
African Burial Ground National Monument
We discuss the discovery of the burial ground and the building of the memorial and monument, including the significance of some of the design. We also talk a little bit about the early African experience in New York through those that were brought here as slaves and those that were freed.
Duration: 5 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
New York City Supreme Court
We talk about the history of the surrounding area that was once a poor Irish community and before that a polluted pond. You get to see the building that is now most famous for being featured on most episodes of Law & Order.
Duration: 5 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Columbus Park
We briefly walk through this park on the edge of Chinatown and talk about what used to be here: the notorious neighborhood of the Five Points. We discuss the Irish immigration and show photos of what the neighborhood used to look like.
Duration: 5 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Chinatown
We walk through part of the neighborhood, discuss Chinese immigration, and visit a dumpling shop that is a local favorite. We also give tips on where else to visit in the large community.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Little Italy
We head up and around Mulberry Street and discuss Italian immigration. We get to see some amazing modern street art, hear stories about organized crime, and visit an historic local Italian food shop for a delicious tasting.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Nolita
We cruise through one of the most trendy neighborhoods in New York today and discuss the changing neighborhood. This used to be Little Italy, but today it’s loaded with hip bars and restaurants and we get to see some of the best street art in the city.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
St. Patrick's Old Cathedral
As we walk through Nolita, you get a chance to see the original St. Patrick’s and learn about the hardships Catholic immigrants first suffered when coming to this country.
Duration: 5 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Sara D Roosevelt Park
Learn about the history of this park, named for FDR’s mother, and take a quick stroll through the northern end. We’ll also stop at the M’Finda Kalunga Garden inside the park to discuss Latin American immigration and how this neighborhood has changed throughout the decades.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Lower East Side
See the transformation of the neighborhood from an area filled with run-down tenements and poverty to one that is currently being gentrified. See lots of great street art and community gardens. Learn about Jewish, German, and Latin American immigration in this neighborhood and sample some traditional food.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Tenement Museum
We share stories about the founding of the museum and its important part in Lower East Side history. Our tour ends very close to the museum and our guides can give you tips on how to get tickets and explore their excellent gift shop.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Children aged 5 years and younger are welcome at no charge
  • Tour runs rain or shine
  • Comfortable walking shoes recommended
  • Maximum group size is 12
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Intrepid Urban Adventures - USA
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during NYC Lower East Side Culture and Food Tastings Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by NYC Lower East Side Culture and Food Tastings Tour.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during NYC Lower East Side Culture and Food Tastings Tour?
A:The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by NYC Lower East Side Culture and Food Tastings Tour.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during NYC Lower East Side Culture and Food Tastings Tour?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by NYC Lower East Side Culture and Food Tastings Tour.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


  • "The food sampling was okay, but would be better, if it started a little sooner." See review
  • "Alex Pappas was an excellent guide and I would highly recommend him and the tour." See review

Reviews

5.0
star-5
561 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 561 reviews
star-5
Fun and tasty tour
Gerald_M
, May 2022
African burial ground and Chinatown…… but all was interesting. Michael’s was terrific…5 star worthy. A wealth of information. She waited for everyone,spoke clearly and was patient and friendly with everyone.
star-5
History comes alive!
Mary_H
, May 2022
We loved hearing about the history of the lower East Side. Astrid brought it alive with her command of the facts and her skills of story telling. Seeing the old maps was wonderful and it was fun to taste the ethnic food. Astrid was terrific!!!
star-5
You won't be disappointed
Karen_W
, May 2022
Astrid was very friendly and knowledgeable. We were fortunate that my husband and I were the only ones on the tour during a picture-perfect day. We learned about the history of the various neighborhoods and their gang wars. The food was delicious: pot stickers from a hole-in-the-wall place that's been in Chinatown for years; light and airy Sicilian pizza in Little Italy; amazing potato and cherry and cheese knishes from Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery; and excellent pork and chicken empanadas.
star-5
Great tour of the lower East side
CaruAnne_D
, Apr 2022
Our guide was excellent, sharing with us the history of cultures within the lower east side including a bit of her own. The food was delicious and an added bonus - China Town was my personal favourite.
star-5
LEARNING AND ENJOYING
MariadelPilar_M
, Apr 2022
Wonderful, informative tour. BRYAN was an excellent tour guide: knowledgeable, personable and caring. I will recommend
star-5
The guide was great! It...
Guy_E
, Apr 2022
The guide was great! It make the all experience worth taking. Both the explanations and the food were good.
star-5
Fantastic must do
Colette_R
, Apr 2022
Our guide was excellent, very knowledgeable and made the whole experience enjoyable. All the food stops were delicious
star-4
Lower East Side Food Tour
Ken_D
, Apr 2022
I enjoyed all the history of the lower east side, and the food tastings were delicious. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and answered all questions.
star-4
Good tour for out of towners
Donna_M
, Mar 2022
The tour was very basic. I would have liked more stories about Chinatown and some mob stories in Little Italy. I did enjoy all the food and Richard was sooo nice! It was so cold and I admired tha he was focused on the tour!
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
History and Food was awesome
Leslie_H
, Mar 2022
The tour guide, Micala, was wonderful. She had so much knowledge and truly enjoyed every part of the tour herself. She made the tour feel like you are with a friend. She was so fun connected with each one of us. She was kind and best of all she made sure we all enjoyed even my 8 year old. She made sure to allow him to play at 2 parks. It was fantastic. Gave my daughter some good spots to eat because she is an NYU student from Texas. Excellent tour with great history and food. Thank you for making our day great!!!
star-5
Eating while Learning Is a Great Way to See NYC
Marlyn_T
, Mar 2022
We arrived at the African Burial Ground National Monument early but in the wrong place. Our guide, Bruce, sought us out and directed us to the right place. As we waited for the tour to begin, Bruce explained the tone and pace of the day and even allowed us to preview the monument before the tour started. Once everyone arrived, Bruce led us through the Lower East Side rapidly and efficiently. While the food was nothing spectacular, Bruce did a great job explaining the rationale and theme behind the food sampled. In addition, the history lesson received more than made up for the bland food. My wife and I left the tour feeling like we made a better understanding of the food and rich history of the Lower East Side.
star-5
Excellent historical tour
Anonymous
, Mar 2022
Very informative tour, most comprehensive one we’ve ever been on. Lots of historical facts included along the way. Food was excellent. We would have never found these gems on our own. We just needed water at each stop.
star-5
Wonderful tour.
Jonathan_B
, Mar 2022
This was a great tour that balanced the history and culture of the communities of the lower East Side with the traditional foods of their respective cultures. Yummy dumplings, tasty NY style pizza, and traditional Jewish baked goods. We had a great time.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-4
Babka and dumplings was...
Petra_B
, Mar 2022
Babka and dumplings was the best 😁of course the stories about NY was interesting. Thanks to Richard.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-4
Great NY history, light on food culture
Susamarie_M
, Feb 2022
Excellent presentation on the history of the area. Not as much history on the food culture. Very intelligent guide. Would of enjoyed more history on the food. I was placed with a family that had younger, out of control kids, that took away from the experience. Enjoyed learning about the area and a excellent walking tour.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-3
Walk, Talk, but Little to Eat Food Tour
Sarah_P
, Jan 2022
We had very little food on this tour. The guide Greg was very nice and knowledgeable, but this was not really a food tour, more of a walking tour of the lower east side where we learned some history of the neighborhood. We would hear about the best places for lots of different food and just keep walking without trying any of it. After the three hour tour, we had to go grab lunch because we were very hungry.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2022
Hi Sarah, Thank you for sharing your feedback. It’s very disappointing to learn that this tour was not the experience you expected. This tour is designed to incorporate a taster of some of the local delicacies available, while also learning about New York’s history and early settlers. We understand some alternative vendors were used on your tour due to Covid restrictions and some of the vendors having to close. Based on your feedback, we will ensure that our leaders set expectations from the start of the tour and that any substitutions offered are a like for like. Thank you again for your valuable feedback.
star-5
Lower East Side food tour
catherine_c
, Dec 2021
The tour was so interesting,! We learned so much about the history of New York. The guide was fantastic and the food was delicious!
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Fun, informative and delicious
Lisa_L
, Dec 2021
We enjoyed our tour guide Ace’s commentary! A great way to learn the history of the area. You cover Chinatown, Little Italy, NoLiTa, the Bowery and more.
star-5
Great tour guide and experience
Patricia_B
, Dec 2021
Brian was a fantastic tour guide! We enjoyed learning a ton about the Lower East Side and eating a wide array of delicious food. He suggested some great things to do in the city and places to eat. Brian was so personable! We highly Recommend this tour.
star-5
This Tour MADE Our NYC Trip - THANKS, ERIK!!
LuAnne_B
, Dec 2021
If you are taking a tour in NYC, count yourself lucky if you get Eric k from Urban Adventures as your guide. He was gracious, super knowledgeable, kind, and entertaining. He showed us historic places and explained the significance of each place we visited. He made sure the person in our group who had food allergies had just the meal she needed to be safe. He interacted with each of us and make sure we felt part of the experience. This tour, including the sites and food, made our trip to NYC complete - there were seven sassy gals that were extremely satisfied and pleased to have taken this tour with Erik. Can't wait to get back and find another tour on which he can entertain us!!

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