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NYC Lower East Side Food and Culture Small-Group Tour

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New York, United States

COVID-19: Check local travel restrictions and learn what we're doing to help keep you safe and your plans flexible. Learn more.

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon3 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
More questions?
(888) 651-9785

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!
Traditional Cookie
Fried Chinese Dumplings
Cheesy Italian Tasting
Savory Jewish Baked Good
German Pretzel
Professional Local Guide
Gratuities

Departure Point

African Burial Ground National Monument, 290 Broadway, New York, NY 10007, USA

Departure Time

10:00 AM

Return Details

Lower East Side, New York, NY, USA
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 Not Included
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 Not Included
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 Not Included
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 Not Included
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 Not Included
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 Not Included
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 Not Included
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 Not Included
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 Not Included
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

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. 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 social distancing policy during NYC Lower East Side Food and Culture Small-Group 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 Food and Culture Small-Group Tour.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during NYC Lower East Side Food and Culture Small-Group 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 Food and Culture Small-Group Tour.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during NYC Lower East Side Food and Culture Small-Group Tour?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by NYC Lower East Side Food and Culture Small-Group Tour.

Traveler Tips


  • "This is a must do tour if you are at all interested in the American immigration story." See review
  • "We love to sign up for food tours at the beginning of a trip to get culture, history, sample foods and recommendations on other places to return." See review

Reviews

5.0
star-5
453 Reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 453 reviews
star-5
Well informed
Catherine
, Mar 2020
It was a great experience- we learned lots about immigration and how some New York staples we’re established. Our guide was very good, well informed with lots of research and ready for any questions
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star-5
Walk, history and food
Chris_H
, Mar 2020
A wonder three hour walk with great history and taste of different foods. Alex Pappas was an excellent guide and I would highly recommend him and the tour.
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star-5
Great tour
cynthia_k
, Mar 2020
Justin was awesome...friendly and knowledgeable Food choices and neighborhood history were both perfect
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Great Tour Guide and Tour
Josee_G
, Feb 2020
Brian was terrific. So knowledgeable but delivered the information that spanned our three generation family. My 8yr old had a great time and learned a lot. Brian have some great recommendations as well for things to do after the tour. It was an awesome addition to our NYC trip!
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
NYC food tour
karennicholson58
, Jan 2020
I ended up being the only person on the tour. Brian, my tour guide was great. Had a lot of information and could answer all my questions. I would highly recommend this tour.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Best New York Experience, hands down!
Compass42015889227
, Nov 2019
My husband and I like to schedule a walking tour in a different part of NYC whenever we visit. We've done 3 now and this is by far the best one! Brian, our guide from Urban Adventures was just terrific. He really knew his subject matter and made it so interesting. Also, the food stops were just delicious. I will definitely schedule with this company again! Just terrific!
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star-5
Excellent Tasty Tour
John L
, Nov 2019
Our tour was hosted by Astrid (Ace) of nycurbanadventures.com who was a very pleasant and knowledgeable guide. The tour area of the Lower East Side encompassed mainly China Town and Little Italy although the foods provided also included Jewish and German fare. All the tasters were very good, particularly the Chinese potstickers. The other members of our tour were from various countries /locations and all mixed well. Ace ensured that she kept everyone involved and spoke on a one-to-one with everyone at some point. An excellent introduction to New York.
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star-5
Awesome morning with Jillian on the lower east side food and culture tour
Sthorne125
, Nov 2019
My Hubby and teenage daughters loved our tour with Jillian. She was very knowledgable about NYC's history and brought the Lower East Side to life for us. My 13 year old twins are not big fans of anything to do with "learning" and they had a brilliant time which goes to show how interesting and fun Jillian made the tour. She had us all laughing on many occasions too. Combining info about NYC's past with food was the perfect combination for learning and fun. Food was delicious too. Thinking about those Chinese fried dumplings now is making my mouth water. THX JILLIAN.
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star-4
NY Lower East side, culture and cuisine
markkN4689KE
, Nov 2019
Excellent experience. Jillian was our guide and was very personable, knowledgeable, and professional. We enjoyed the history (Five Points, the Bowery area, China Town, Little Italy) and the diverse cuisine (dumplings, antipasto, knishes and pretzels). Easy walk of a couple of miles over flat terrain. If you enjoy history, noshing and getting a little exercise, this is the tour for you
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Small group, very personable guide and very well informed
Navigator28017226293
, Nov 2019
I had wanted to see the lower east side but did not feel comfortable walking around on my own with no frame of reference. This walking tour was perfect for me. some food, some history, some suggestions of activities and things to do. After the tour i spent the day walking around and exploring the area with a few landmarks and familiar touch points to keep me from becoming lost.
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Product code: 5713SUNB

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