Lower East Side Neighborhood Guide

The Lower East Side is roughly bounded by the Bowery to the West and FDR Drive to the East, and East Houston Street to the North with Canal Street to the South.

This neighborhood has an eclectic and unpretentious identity full of history and culture. It has become somewhat gentrified and is packed with hipster-bait, creative, trendy shops and cafes everywhere, and there are endless things to do. At night the bars and restaurants seem to compete for “most spirited,” but during the day it is relatively quieter. Neighborhoods still have a homey-vibe where residents hang out their laundry.

Lower East Side Bagel Shops

  • Russ & Daughters Café – Perfectly toasted and chewy in the center. It’s also a great place for brunch and smoked salmon.
  • Tompkins Square Bagels – Bagels are made hourly and there are a lot of different varieties of cream cheese. Bagel sandwiches are supreme.
  • Kossar’s – Iconic, homey vibe. Watch the bagel making process as you enjoy bagel with lox.
  • Heaven’s Hot Bagel – Small establishment, quick service and great bagels popular with locals.
  • Black Seed – James Beard nominated bagels push the boundaries of how bagels are made. These are Montreal-style wood oven baked. Gluten-free bagels are available.
  • David’s Bagels – Reasonably priced everyday bagels with a good view of 1st Ave from tables.

Lower East Side Highlights

  • Unique galleries and shops everywhere make wandering an event. Check out World Hats and Superare.
  • Tenement Museum – A reminder of our uniquely American immigrant story. A collection of objects from two preserved tenement buildings.
  • New Museum – At the eastern most edge of the neighborhood, on Bowery Street, is Manhattan’s only dedicated modern art museum.
  • Performance Space New York – Off-off Broadway, so off you can drink beer as you watch performances. It’s also where Fame was filmed.
  • Too many nightclubs and bars to name.