From Art to Eats - 20+ Best Things to Do on The Lower East Side, Manhattan

From Art to Eats - 20+ Best Things to Do on The Lower East Side, Manhattan

We know until now it has been very hard for you to find a detailed guide to what to do in the Lower East Side of New York City, but we have got you covered. You must be aware of the fact that you are right in the middle of the most happening yet historically outstanding neighborhoods in New York City, you should go through our guide and figure out all  the things to do in Lower East Side NYC while you are at it.

You will be amazed to know that most famous movies were made in these locations which are still iconic and lots of tales began on the Lower East Side attractions. We are not lying when we say that the Lower East Side is anything but boring. So, keep on reading to find out our top suggestions for all the fun and best things to do in New York Manhattan's Lower East Side, which includes suggestions for foodies, coffee lovers, cocktails and drinks, and exclusive experiences that will teach you something new, or get you creative.

Where is the Lower East Side in NYC? 

Lower East Side is the neighborhood of Manhattan, the famous borough of NYC. The area is surrounded by the East River from the East, Bowery from the West, Fulton from the South, and Houston Street from the North. This neighborhood has Chinatown, Little Italy, and a famous area of East Village. 

Coffee Shops in the Lower East Side, Manhattan

 Coffee Shops in the Lower East Side, Manhattan

The Lower East Side of Manhattan has various famous coffee shops and snack bars where you can spend some time and enjoy coffee. 

Ludlow Coffee in Lower Manhattan

Ludlow Coffee in Lower Manhattan

It’s one of the most popular coffee houses in the Lower East Side. This coffee house is located in the space that was previously a café and a bar named Pink Pony Café and Bar. Now, it’s transformed into Ludlow Coffee House, but the incredible wooden structures and wood panels interiors remain the same to keep memorizing the old traditional style decorations. The coffee house has a back room and outdoor seating.

Caffe Vita Coffee House in Lower Manhattan

Caffe Vita Coffee House in Lower Manhattan

Caffe Vita is Seattle-based and located in various areas like Oregon, Washington, and New York. All locations are stunning and different from each other according to the neighborhoods and lifestyle. The Lower East Side café has brick walls, dim lights, wooden floors, and a soft atmosphere. It’s a perfect spot to sip a cappuccino or espresso and chit-chat with friends. Enjoy freshly roasted coffee beans and a tasty blend of creamy coffee at this lovely spot. 

For Foodies

1. Katz’s Deli

Katz’s Deli

Location: 205 E Houston St, New York

The most famous Katz's Deli which is located on the Lower East Side, is known as one of the best restaurants in all of New York City. You must visit this restaurant in order to try their famous pastrami on rye, but we need to assure you that you will have to wait in line. And the most interesting fact is that you will recognize it from an iconic lunch scene in the movie "When Harry Met Sally." It is one of the best things to do in New York for first-timers.

2. Scarr’s Pizza

Scarr’s Pizza

Location: 35 Orchard St, New York

At this outstanding restaurant Scarr's Pizza, there is a variety of options for you to choose from appetizers like eggplant parm as well as garlic knots to full pies, it will leave you feeling completely spoiled for choice and if you are looking for things to do in NYC with kids, it is the right place but you must be aware of what you will have since it can be quite spicy, if you are in for it, you should place an order for the Hotboi pie, which comes with sauce, cheese, pepperoni, jalapenos, and Mike's extra hot honey.

3. Dhamaka


Location: 119 Delancey St, New York

Dhamaka is a culinary restaurant that serves amazing Indian food, and what will amaze you about this restaurant is that New York Times has ranked it as one of the top 10 new restaurants in New York City to open in 2021. Since it is such a popular reservation, you should make sure to book your spot a very long time in advance.

4. Russ & Daughters

Russ & Daughters

Location: 127 Orchard Street, New York

A known fact about this restaurant is that the Lower East Side is where Russ & Daughters got started and instantly got so famous, despite the fact that they have just opened a brand-new location in Hudson Yards. In spite of the fact that they serve one of the city's finest lox bagels, you should never ever pass up the opportunity of things to do in Central Park and definitely try their latkes, black-and-white cookies, or rugelach, you will regret.

5. Clinton Street Baking Co.

Clinton Street Baking Co.

Location: 4 Clinton Street, New York

You be extremely picky about your pancakes and still find the one you want at Clinton Street Baking Co. It is just that irresistible yet the most unique thing to do with toddlers in the West Village. Imagine fluffy, pillowy clouds topped with a lot of ever-changing ingredients such as whipped cream or fresh fruit, but that is never overly sweet. Savory food fans, on the other hand, have the option of choosing from menu items such as their Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich, Spanish Scramble, or Clinton Street Omelet. They also provide a bakery that you can take with you if you are in a hurry.

6. Beauty & Essex

Beauty & Essex

Location: 146 Essex Street, New York

Behind a plain-looking pawn shop is a great lounge and restaurant that serves a wide range of delicious snacks yet unique drinks. It would be a terrible waste of time to visit this restaurant and leave without ordering some of their incredible grilled cheese with soup dumplings. One of the dishes that appears in each and every one of our dreams and no, we're not exaggerating in the least.

For Cocktails & Drinks

1. Double Chicken Please

Double Chicken Please

Location: 115 Allen Street, New York

This amazing Ranked as the best bar in the world, Double Chicken is outstanding for its taste. It can be found right on the corner of Delancey and Allen Streets. The customers can easily experiment with cocktails just as Cold Pizza and Mango Sticky Rice, and the best part is before ending your night you can order a chicken sandwich right from the front room.

2. Lullaby Lower East Side


Location: 151 Rivington Street, New York

Lullaby is so good and the best place to go if you want to discover a unique bar with an outstanding drink menu. The best part is that their entire idea is to serve high-end drinks in a safe space. Our favorite drink is The Dole Whip, which is a boozy take on Disney's famous Dole Whip Soft Serve it is the best place if you are looking for unique things to do in NYC.

3. Attaboy


Location: 134 Eldridge St, New York

Have you ever sat at the bar and wondered what to order? at Attaboy you shouldn’t worry about such stuff because there is no menu. Yes, you got that right! It is one of weird things to do in NYC. The bartenders will ask you what you like and then make you a drink that fits your tastes. You might have to walk down Eldridge a few times before you find this hidden spot since there's no sign to let you know you're there. Have fun!

4. The Flower Shop

The Flower Shop

Location: 107 Eldridge St, New York

This amazing Flower Shop's cheetah-print pool table is so mesmerizing yet it is 70s-style furniture that will take you back in time for a night of drinking and good company. It is the best thing to do in NYC at night.

5. Ye’s Apothecary NYC

Ye’s Apothecary

Location: 119 Orchard Street, New York

Ye's Apothecary's door on Orchard Street can be very easy to miss. The most interesting part is that it will lead down a few stairs in order to get into a room with a lot of different things. The gin menu is very long, and each drink just sounds amazing since it has a unique mix of Chinese herbal infusions, it’s quite refreshing yet the best adventurous thing to do in NYC this summer.

6. The Back Room

The Back Room

Location: 102 Norfolk Street, New York

The Back Room will definitely take you back to a different time zone specifically with its paper bags for beer and tea cups for the erotic cocktails. It's one of only two New York City speakeasies that still exist from the time of Prohibition. It is one of the best Lower East side things to do. The interesting fact is that its hidden entrance is still the same as it used to be 85 years ago.

Exclusive Experiences

1. The Gutter LES

The Gutter LES

Location: 77 Essex Street, New York

You should get all your friends gathered together and take a trip to the bowling alley if you're looking for fun places to go in NYC with friends along with incredible food. Just put in an order for a pitcher of beer and keep the drinks coming while you try to bag a bird. Doesn't that sound so much fun? You will find various interesting things to do in Les with friends.

2. Happy Medium

Happy Medium

Location: 49 Market Street, New York

At this Art café, we all let out your creative side with an amazing menu entirely offering lots of art experiences. Invite your friends and family at Happy Medium and have a creative day away from the hustle and bustle of the city by working with clay, charcoal, or collage. And it is one or most favourite cafes. Also, the best part is when you are finished you get to keep your art, to make it the most memorable experience.

3. Economy Candy

Economy Candy

Location: 108 Rivington Street, New York

Just visit this incredible oldest candy store in New York City, which was established in 1937, and they always stock up on sweets. The variety of treats available at Economy Candy will make you feel spoiled, there is no candy you won’t find her eat this store! It is truly amazing. Visiting this candy store is one of the best things to do in NYC with teens.

4. Tenement Museum

Tenement Museum

Location: 103 Orchard Street, New York

Step inside recreated apartments of former residents who lived in the museum's two tenement buildings between 1860 and 1980 to learn about New York City's immigrant history. The Tenement Museum does more than just give tours of apartments; it also provides walking tours of the area's historic sites one of the best things to do in times square.

5. Essex Market

Essex Market

Location: 88 Essex Street, New York

The sellers at Essex Market offer food as well as general and specialty groceries which is very convenient. The Great Market also has a community fridge located at 220 Broome Street that's accessible all day long 24/7. And the most interesting part is that in the winter, they often host the largest gingerbread village in the entire world which is so unique.

For Coffee Lovers

1. Black Cat LES

Black Cat LES

Location: 172 Rivington Street, New York

If you're ever looking for a new place to work from home, Black Cat LES should definitely be on your list of potential candidates. The cozy seating area along with outstanding caffeinated beverages, and free Wi-Fi ensure that you will be productive during your time there.

2. Supermoon Bakehouse

Supermoon Bakehouse

Location: 120 Rivington Street, New York

Supermoon Bakehouse has amassed a devoted customer base, because of its out-of-this-world flavor profiles and inventive pastry creations, they’ve sold sweets like lavender cruffin, elderflower croissants along with blackberry, and a Thai iced tea doughnut, just to name a few examples. Be aware that the restaurant is only open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays; the menu is always evolving.

3. Pause Cafe

Pause Cafe

Location: 3 Clinton Street, New York

The Pause Cafe is an additional fantastic place to work from home, and it features ample seating both inside and outside. The Moroccan culture is evident throughout the menu, which features options such as crepes and superfood bowls in addition to the traditional pastries. In addition, their plateware is absolutely stunning, making it the ideal choice for a little aesthetic cafe moment on the feed.

4. Davelle


Location: 102 Suffolk Street, New York

It's possible that you've already come across this Japanese cafe's most famous toasts, which include everything from Mentai Mayo to Black Sesame and Cream Cheese. Order one of those with a cold brew in the Kyoto style, or go for one of their Japanese curries instead.


We hope that our detailed guide has helped you with what to do in the Lower East Side. Our favorite drink is The Dole Whip, which is a boozy take on Disney's famous Dole Whip Soft Serve from Lullaby which is located at 151 Rivington Street, New York. And for fun we just love Happy Medium it is one of the best art cafés if you are looking to experience some fun art. We would suggest you grab a notepad and write down everything you’d want to do when you're at Lower East Side so that you won't miss out on any experience. Have fun!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Lower East Side good for tourists?

People love to go out at night in this lively downtown area, which is full of cool places to drink, dance, and hear live music. A lot of the synagogues, museums, and restaurants in the area are reminders of the people who came there as immigrants.

Are East Village and Lower East Side the same?

People used to think that the area north of Houston St., south of 14th St., and east of Broadway was part of the Lower East Side. It is east of the Village on Manhattan.

Why is it called East Village?

Manhattan's East Village is a famously culturally and artistically rich neighborhood known for its lively nightlife. People from Ukraine, Israel, and Puerto Rico used to live in this neighborhood, which used to be a part of the Lower East Side.

Why is East Village famous?

The U.S. Census Bureau gave us this information. Down East Side is home to 74,363 people. There are 84,652.87 people per square mile, and most of them are between the ages of 25 and 64.

What is the population of the Lower East Side?

The U.S. Census Bureau gave us this information. Down East Side is home to 74,363 people. There are 84,652.87 people per square mile, and most of them are between the ages of 25 and 64.

How do you spend a day on the Lower East Side of Manhattan?

You can go out for dining options, lunch, dinner, or coffee, or stroll at the famous Seward public park, walk on the Williamsburg Bridge, or visit the art galleries in the New Museum.

Is the Lower East Side good for tourists and travelers?

The Lower East Side is a safe place for tourists and travelers. They can enjoy the best fun activities and culinary scene in this neighborhood.

What was the Lower East Side known for?

The Lower East Side is known for its Jewish History and great nightlife.

Is Lower East Side Manhattan expensive?

Lower East Side Manhattan is not recommended for budget travelers. It’s quite expensive compared to other neighborhoods.
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