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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
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Traditional Cookie
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Cheesy Italian Tasting
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A surprise local treat
Professional Local Guide
Gratuities

Departure Point

290 Broadway, 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

Return Details

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 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
507 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 507 reviews
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.
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!
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!!
star-5
Immigrant food thru the ages.
Julia_R
, Dec 2021
Brian was wonderful. He was entertaining, informative, and relaxed. We learned about the many immigrant populations that have called the lower east side of NYC home over the years. While we learned about their history, Brian took us to out of the way places to taste samples of their cuisines. Highly recommend. Pictured: Crispy pepperoni pizza. The bread was light and easy to eat! This was one of many stops on the tour - this time in Nolita.
star-4
Great culture tour!
Carrie_C
, Nov 2021
Ace is an awesome storyteller and historian! She is quite knowledgeable and willing to answer any question. She did such a great job explaining the differences in culture and foods. Some of the food options weren't awesome, I think mostly due to some of the Covid restrictions and restaurant options.
star-5
Our family loved the whole thing!
Jill_T
, Nov 2021
This was the best way to experience parts of the city we wouldn't otherwise have seen. Our guide Astrid was terrific! Super knowledgeable about the history of all the neighborhoods and the immigrant experiences. The food was great and hearty enough for our three college age boys. This was definitely a more meaningful and memorable way to learn than going to a museum. Would highly recommend!
star-5
Great tour!
Ic_G
, Nov 2021
Ace was a wonderful guide!!! Very knowledgeable and personable Tour and food was fantastic! Subject matter very interesting
star-5
Fantastic tour and guide
Heather_K
, Nov 2021
Brian was informative and enthusiastic, and the food selection was authentic and delicious. We were looking for a variety of things to see and food to experience, and he did not disappoint. Plus the group size is always small, so you get a chance to ask questions and go at a good pace throughout. For a true cultural and culinary experience, this tour is spot on! Thank you for making our trip memorable, Brian :)

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