The Best Lower East Side Food Tour in New York City

lower east side food tour

New York City is known for it’s food and the Lower East Side is one of those places in NYC that has been home to many different cultures and people over the years. I have never actually taken a food tour, but as someone who has visited the New York City over 10 times, I am constantly looking for different and unique things to do while there. Food tours are a great way to explore a city and try something new. As I researched, I realized I was so right – I had a blast on my food tour of the Lower East Side. I was so excited when I found out that Free Tours by Foot does several food tours all over New York City.

They have a really unique model, you pay what you want at the end of the tour. You should definitely end up giving what you would for any other tour because it’s great. This unique model meant we only paid for the food we wanted. Any money we gave to our guide went to him. We paid for our own food and it was easy for people to share things or only get samples instead of eating too much or throwing food away. This made the tour even more interesting and fun!

I looked at doing food tours all over New York City and the Lower East Side was home to Germans, Greeks, Italians, Jews, Chinese, and more. The culture and history in this area of New York is diverse and so is the food. This makes it the perfect spot for a food tour!

Lower East Side Food Tour

This was such a great tour because for one, our guide was a real New Yorker. He knew shop owners everywhere we went. It was also perfect because there were people from all different countries and walks of life. Our guide was funny and entertaining while still helping us all learn so much about the Lower East Side food scene. He took us to all the classic spots I expected and did it all at a budget price!

We met up outside our first stop on the food tour Yonah Shimmel Knish Bakery. It was the perfect first stop! It was easy to find (important for a tour!), had a plenty of space, and gave you a true New York experience – plus Knishes are a Jewish food made of potatoes and potatoes are my favorite!

Up next were two famous New York City food spots – Russ and Daughters and Katz’ Deli. We heard about the history of the Lower East Side as we snacked and walked down the streets full of New York history.

We then stopped in at A Laboratorio del Gelato that had SO many kinds of gelato. They allow you to sample a few and then order. Highly recommend trying some crazy flavors like siracha lavender before getting your delicious favorites like carmel latte. It was a unique and unexpected spot.

Our second sweet stop was Sugar Sweet Sunshine which is famous for it’s not so pudding puddings. It’s more like layers of cake with pudding in between just delicious. This place had a very 70s Vibe (can you tell by the wall paper?!). After all these stops I thought I might fall into a food coma, but we kept going!

We made stops for donuts at Doughnut Planet and ate some famous bagels at Kossar’s. In my case, I ordered them because I was definitely full. Plus what is better on a Monday after a great weekend than an awesome bagel!

Our last stop was for pickles at The Pickle Guy’s right next door. This place was so unique! They pickled everything – fruit, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes. Make sure you try out some different kinds. They sell all their pickles as singles as well as by the quart. I took a whole quart of their famous full dill pickles home. I’m still snacking on them to this day!

A food tour was the perfect way to see a different side of New York, meet some fun new people, and explore a place that I had heard so much about. If you ever want to take a Lower East Side food tour, make sure you check out Free Tours by Foot for some of their awesome food tours!