The Lower East Side (or LES) is best known these days as a place for an exciting night out. Its narrow streets are lined with trendy bars, clubs, restaurants, galleries and music venues, but the neighborhood has a gritty history too. Nowhere else can you find stilettoed club goers waiting in line across the street from a tenement museum, and some vestiges of its immigrant, punk and artistic past remain—the mix adds to the area's vibrant energy.
Where trendy nightlife mingles with history
Explore remnants of an immigrant past, check out contemporary art and up-and-coming bands, and visit the shops, bars and eateries in this downtown neighborhood.
Manhattan's Lower East Side is crawling with nightlife. Find the best cocktail bars, dance bars and dive bars in the downtown neighborhood.
The restored historic Eldridge Street Synagogue, a 19th-century landmark with stunning architecture that initially opened its doors to a wave of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, recently reopened as a vibrant arts and education center for all ages and backgrounds, with exhibitions and tours of the restored synagogue.
NYC’s hotels offer a range of covetable amenities—not least their artworks. Here are a few hotels where the decor is by contemporary masters.
Marcel Dzama talks Raymond Pettibon.
Check out our video and review of the Raymond Pettibon exhibition at the New Museum.
See the best shows in New York City’s world-renowned galleries! Delve into the world of contemporary art on a two-hour tour that will give you a real sense of what's current in art right now. Come on your own to meet new people, bring friends, family, or a date. Rely on your guide to know which shows to see in what part of town and what order.As you stroll and take in each show, you gain insight into artists' creative process, hear what artists have said about their own work, engage your curiosity and get to know new friends or old friends anew. Tours are highly interactive and freshly curated by Jody Lee Drafta, artist, critic and university studio art professor. She combs through dozens of galleries, mixing long-established with newly minted spaces to track down the most unmissable work on view. Let Jody give you an experience that brings to life the best of what artists do.
The New York Beer and Brewery Tour is an upbeat, fascinating and unique weekend bus tour that visits some of the best breweries in New York City. Guests enjoy a variety of craft beer tastings and great food, along with behind-the-scenes access to breweries, and a rare glimpse at remnants from New York’s rich beer history. The tour has 4 stops, which includes 3 craft breweries and 1 specialty craft beer bar for a meat and cheese pairing. This is a great experience for both the beer snob and the beer novice alike.
Taste your way through the Essex Street Market, a centerpiece of the Manhattan's Lower East Side for over 75 years that is today home to over 20 vendors, including fishmongers, cheesemongers, bakers, coffee roasters, and restaurateurs. Taste delicious food and learn about the stories behind each vendor's business and the role the market has played over time in supporting culinary entrepreneurship, especially for immigrant and working class communities. Featured vendors rotate from tour to tour, but tastings may include European and American farmstead cheeses, fresh-baked bagels and breads, coffee, rice balls, fish sandwiches, tacos, or a sampling of Japanese dishes. Along the way, we will explore the past, present, and future of New York City’s public market system, from opening day in 1940, to its role today in providing quality food and opportunities for businesses to launch and grow.
Here’s where to spend your ducats on Crosby Street in Lower Manhattan.
Go on the beat with a retired NYPD detective or officer, and learn the shocking truth behind New York’s organized crime rings, white-collar swindlers, and modern scandals. Visit traditional hotbeds of NYC crime like Chinatown, the Lower East Side, and a more recent addition to the list of Manhattan’s most notorious neighborhoods: Wall Street. A perfect 2-5-hour tour for anyone interested in true crime, storytelling, or the turbulent history of this legendary American city.
Biking is the perfect way to see lower Manhattan. The area is rich in architectural, historical and cultural beauty. You’ll go from the Lower East Side to Little Italy to Chinatown, the City Hall area and the World Trade Center quickly and easily.
Explore the "city that never sleeps" aboard this open-top bus sightseeing tour. This tour takes you to Brooklyn for breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. Enjoy night time views of Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, the Lower East Side, Chinatown, Little Italy, the Brooklyn Bridge and more.
Reflecting the diversity and energy of the Lower East Side neighborhood it serves, this multidisciplinary performing-arts space presents edgy works by innovators like modern dance choreographers Twyla Tharp and Martha Graham and avant-garde musicians Laurie Anderson and John Zorn.
Thanks to a recent appointment of more than $1.6 million in City funding, the creativity continues at this well-loved and environmentally friendly Lower East Side social center, which was first conceived in 1979 and features a darkroom, a computer lab, an art gallery, a library of more than 12,000 'zines culled from the now-defunct Blackout!
Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Manhattan/Downtown East is ideal for business, leisure and extended-stay travelers, offering personalized service for visitors of all itineraries.
This 100 percent non-smoking hotel is conveniently located in SoHo/Lower East Side, within walking distance to all that these hip, artistic neighborhoods have to offer, including world-famous restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries, shopping and more.
The first downtown outpost of this star-making gallery opened in 2007 (a subsequent Bowery satellite opened in 2010), taking a hipper track than its famed uptown sibling: it specializes in a younger and more off-beat crop of artists, including photographers, painters and conceptual artists like Marilyn Minter, Katy Grannan, Laurie Simmons, Jules de Balincourt and Gerald Davis.