New York City

NYC: The Story Of Lower East Side's Food Culture

Badge of ExcellenceNew York City, USA
Likely to Sell Out

From $79.00

Price varies by group size

Select Date and Travelers

up to 24 hours before the experience starts (local time)

  • 3 hours
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Explore the many faces of diverse cuisine, from New American to Italian, the Middle East, and beyond, when you explore Manhattan’s Lower East Side. On this small-group (or private) 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
  • Small-group tour offers a more personalised experience
  • Receive insider tips and recommendations on where to ea
  • Upgrade to make this a fully personalized, private tour

What's Included

  • Friendly Local, English-speaking food lover guide
  • Stroll in the Lower East Side, Chinatown, and Little Italy on 3 hours food walking tour
  • Sample 4 historic dishes on 4 Food stops
  • Learn about the importance of immigration to the city
  • See 100-year old bakerie, churches, and historic New York sites
  • Get tips on what else to see, do and eat during your stay
  • Gratuities
  • Drinks

Meeting and Pickup

Meeting point

  • 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

End point

  • Lower East Side, New York, NY, USA

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

What To Expect

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.

Come hungry for this fun small-group (or private) 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.

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.

African Burial Ground National Monument

5 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

New York City Supreme Court

5 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Columbus Park

5 minutesAdmission Ticket Free


20 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Little Italy

20 minutesAdmission Ticket Free


15 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

St. Patrick's Old Cathedral

5 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Sara D Roosevelt Park

10 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Lower East Side

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Tenement Museum (Pass By)

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Children aged 5 years and younger are welcome at no charge.
  • Maximum group size is 14.
  • This tour can cater vegetarians, vegans, gluten free customers, but for any any specific dietary request we need to know 24 h before the tour start time.
  • Tour runs rain or shine.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 14 travelers

Cancellation Policy

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.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
Eric did an amazing job explaining the history of New York, immigration, and the growth of the metropolis! He was interesting, fun, and very personable! The food was delicious, however, I do feel it should have included at least two more tastings.


918 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 918 reviews
Great food. Great time!
Andrew_B, Apr 2024
Had a great time getting to know the city and eating some great food. We had our 7 and 9 year old daughters with us. It turned out the food we got was very kid appropriate. Potstickers, pizza, empanada, etc. they actually ate most of the food we tried, which was a bonus!
Great guide! Great tour!
Beth_V, Apr 2024
Eric did an amazing job explaining the history of New York, immigration, and the growth of the metropolis! He was interesting, fun, and very personable! The food was delicious, however, I do feel it should have included at least two more tastings.
Lower East side history tour, with a little food
Ian_G, Apr 2024
We had a terrific three hours on a beautiful NYC day with our excellent guide, Alex. Interesting history and a very personable guide. The only reason for not giving five stars, is we only had four food stops. And only two of those were particularly excellent. Still worthwhile, but other food tours we have taken have had six or seven different food stops.
Mickey was so...
Gretchen_K, Apr 2024
Mickey was so knowledgeable! We had fun exploring and learning from her. It truly was a small group and we were able to connect with Mickey and ask questions to learn more. The mix of history and food was just what we were looking for!
Amy_L, Apr 2024
We loved our tour with Eric. He was knowledgeable, patient, was able to keep our children interested. He brought the history to life and knew a ton about food too.
Great tour from Erik
alex_g, Mar 2024
Erik was an amazing guide, we enjoyed our tour of the Lower East Side. He gave us a lot of history of the area but added just the right amount of humor and intrigue to keep it interesting.
Awesome tour
Natanya_M, Mar 2024
Eric did a fantastic job sharing both the historical story and the personal stories of the LES. He clearly has a passion for what he does, and a tremendous respect for the cultures that made the LES what it is today.
Tasty bites of history
Deb_S, Mar 2024
Alex did a fantastic job providing just the right amount of history to sprinkle over our tasty lower east side food bites. We enjoyed his company and would highly recommend to those looking for historical eating experiences.
Fun way to learn about a NYC neighborhood & its place in history!
Christine_K, Feb 2024
Michaela was a wonderful tour guide! She was interesting & informative! We made several stops at “hidden” places in the lower East Side. Lots of history to find here! Nice variety of foods on the tour as well. Our group really enjoyed themselves!
Excellent informative walk
campbelladam74, Jan 2024
Micaela was a excellent guide with heaps of interesting information. Food stops were great. Discovered parts of NY we would have otherwise missed.
Great tour!
Suzan_K, Nov 2023
The tour was excellent mostly due to our guide Mickey. She could be a historian! Our food stops were places we would never have found.
Definitely Recommend
Kristen_H, Oct 2023
A fantastic tour! Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. I would definitely recommend this culture tour to others that want to learn about Lower Eastside culture and try different types of food. The pizza was amazing!!!
The World Through Food
Ann_B, Oct 2023
Being introduced to so many immigrant stories through the food they created. Observing the changes in one neighborhood as new immigrants arrived.
Awesome Tour of lower Manhattan
Elizabwth_A, Oct 2023
Enjoyed everything about this tour. It was great learning the history associated with lower Manhattan from such a knowledgeable tour guide.
A little disappointed
David_C, Sep 2023
The people we met on the tour made it interesting . The food was at best just Ok and the actually area's of Little Italy and Chinatown are more interesting in other locations .
History and Food
Robert_E, Sep 2023
My husband and I have done food tours in several cities in the states, in Europe and in the far east. They all have an interesting twist. This tour's unexpected twist was the starting point which was on Elk St. and was The African Burial Ground Natioanl Monument. This small "National Park" was a gem of a find. Our tour guide Kenny gave us some background. The tour was approximatley three hours. Lots of walking to go from Chinatown to Little Italy and then the Lower East side. Our group numbered 18 people. It was very hot the day of the tour. Our first stop was at a dumpling shop in Chinatown. Kenny ordered up our dumplings and then we had to find shade in a nearby park to eat them. He gave us some history of the Chineese mirgation to this country. On to Little Italy where we stopped for pizza. Kenny again pre ordered for us and we could sit outside of the restaurant. He again gave us background on the Italian influence in NYC . No cannolis! What's a stop in Little Italy with out a cannoli. Off to a Latino section where we had a variety of empanadas. However, again we had to find shade in a nearby park. Finally we got to the lower East Side. We stood near the Tenement Museum and Kenny gave us more history. This tour was on Labor Day, our last stop which was to be the Essex Market but it was closed. I feel Kenny should have checked out if there would be any closures on a holiday. Finally, we went to a pickle shop. Everyone got a pickle. Thought more could have been done on the Lower East side, perhaps a stop at Katz's for a knish as well as a pickle. My husband and I felt with perhaps a smaller group, on a less hot day it would have been more enjoyable. Kenny was an enthusiastic about the history and he was very personable. I would recommend this tour.
History, Culture, and Food ...So Perfect!
Mark_M, Sep 2023
I had such an amazing time on my tour! Our tour guide Erik shared some insightful history and culture of New York City. With his pictures and references I was able to get such a good mental picture in my mind. The food that we tasted were such a topping to the experience. If you get a chance to get Erik as your guide you will not be disappointed! I was so glad I made this tour as part of my NYC trip!
Fun and great tour guide!
Gary_B, Sep 2023
Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about the history and culture of the area. Fun experience and good food.
Love the Story of the Lower East Side!
Peter_F, Aug 2023
We started at the African Burial Ground National Monument, which was such a powerful place and a piece of history I had never heard about. Our guide, Alex was thoughtful, funny and patient (which turned out to be his most relevant skill) we had some difficult tour participants that wandered, got lost, forgot items…they were a challenge and he handled himself impeccably. We learned a great deal of history about all of the areas we visited (Government area, Chinatown, Little Italy and the Lower East Side) and the food choices were wonderful. I would definitely recommend this tour for ages 12 and up. My two older kids (16 & 23) loved it.
Informative and Tasty!
Samantha_M, Aug 2023
Mickey (our tour guide) was excellent and really knowledgeable! We had a wonderful time exploring the Lower East Side and sampling delicious foods! I would certainly recommend this tour!

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