Lower East Side, NYC neighborhood guide

The Lower East Side, NYC is a prime shopping, drinking and dining neighborhood, but these are the spots that stick out

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Moriza

The Lower East Side, NYC is one of Manhattan’s most fashionable neighborhoods. The former Bargain District meets your late-night comedy, pastrami-on-rye and tattoo needs as it’s home to some of the best comedy clubs, one of the best New York delis and great tattoo shops. Culturally, the Tenement Museum keeps the area's history alive in a series of restored apartments visited via themed guided tours, but most of the area’s cultural draws are contemporary including the numerous art galleries on the LES.

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Things to do on the Lower East Side

How to spend the perfect day in the Lower East Side, NYC
Things to do

How to spend the perfect day in the Lower East Side, NYC

The three spots you must visit in the Lower East Side
News

The three spots you must visit in the Lower East Side

The best hotels near the Bowery
Hotels

The best hotels near the Bowery

The best Lower East Side art galleries
Art

The best Lower East Side art galleries

The three best places to visit on Houston Street
News

The three best places to visit on Houston Street

The best brunch places on the Lower East Side
Restaurants

The best brunch places on the Lower East Side

Restaurants in the Lower East Side, NYC

Wildair
Restaurants

Wildair

The 45-seat restaurant is a sister to chef Jeremiah Stone and pastry chef Fabian von Hauske’s avant-garde tasting-menu den, Contra, two doors down. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Katz’s Delicatessen
Restaurants Book online

Katz’s Delicatessen

This cavernous cafeteria is a repository of New York history—glossies of celebs spanning the past century crowd the walls, and the classic Jewish deli offerings are nonpareil.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
Dirty French
Restaurants Book online

Dirty French

This Ludlow Hotel bistro blockbuster, from Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick, is serving some of the cleanest French fare in town.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
Dirt Candy
Restaurants Book online

Dirt Candy

Chef Amanda Cohen is one of the most prominent champions of vegetarian cuisine, well before vegetable-forward was the gastro buzzword on every menu.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online
More amazing grub in the Lower East Side

Bars in the Lower East Side, NYC

Attaboy
Bars

Attaboy

Not all spin-offs are created equal: The best retain what you loved most about the original, with enough new material to keep things fresh, while others simply crash and burn.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Bar Goto
Bars

Bar Goto

Take a seat at Kenta Goto’s glimmering black-and-gold boîte, lodged away from the Houston Street bedlam, and you’ll find its noisy hype storm is curtailed by cool poise, from the hostess’s graceful reception to silent servers weaving through tables.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Nitecap
Bars

Nitecap

The entrance is hard to find and you’ll have to wrestle an unwieldy velvet curtain the second you step inside. But the effort is well worth it. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
The Flower Shop
Bars

The Flower Shop

Other bars may have the look of a 1970s house party, but the Flower Shop actually seems like one.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
More spots to grab drinks in the Lower East Side, NYC

Hotels in the Lower East Side, NYC

The Ludlow

The Ludlow

The Ludlow classes up the joint by offering ridiculously luxurious studios, terraces, lofts, and penthouses to those aiming for fancy vibe for their NYC stay. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Check prices
Orchard Street Hotel

Orchard Street Hotel

Few hotels can capture the vibe of pre-2000s Lower East Side, but Orchard Street Hotel certainly comes close.

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Hotel on Rivington

Hotel on Rivington

You can’t miss this enormous glass highrise jutting out in the LES skyline. This hotel offers what a lot of spots downtown cannot: space.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Check prices
SIXTY LES

SIXTY LES

Floor-to-ceiling windows, lightbox headboards, and an 180-degree view of Manhattan is why you stay in Sixty, but the spa and pool is why you’ll never want to leave.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Check prices

Nightlife in the Lower East Side, NYC

Arlene’s Grocery
Bars

Arlene’s Grocery

Arlene’s Grocery was one of the earliest rock-music venues south of East Houston, and it remains a hallowed hall of head-banging.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Bowery Ballroom

Bowery Ballroom

This is probably the best venue in the city for seeing indie bands, either those on their way up or the ones holding their own.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Buy tickets
Slipper Room
Nightlife

Slipper Room

This cabaret-style venue commits itself curtain and soul to the nouveau burlesque scene, so if you stumble across a pile of pasties and glitter on the Lower East Side, you're probably somewhere nearby.

Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Mercury Lounge

Mercury Lounge

The unassuming, boxy Mercury Lounge is both an old standby and pretty much the number-one indie-rock club in town.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Buy tickets
More places to rage in the Lower East Side

Shops in the Lower East Side

Claw & Co.
Shopping

Claw & Co.

Inside the hip-hop–inspired shop, expect to find items from her current fashion line, plus racks of rare vintage finds that have been on ice for the past two decades.

Frankie
Shopping

Frankie

We were bummed to see local fave Pixie Market (trendy clothes! übercheap prices!) close up shop. But before we could settle into a deep depression, the owners reemerged with Frankie. 

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Grit N Glory
Shopping

Grit N Glory

Fed up with the dearth of stores that matched their aesthetic, 24-year-old founders Emily Conley and Veronica Cano set up their own boutique with a real American rock & roll feel.

Bluestockings
Shopping

Bluestockings

This self-proclaimed “radical” bookstore and cafe hosts readings and discussions on health, race, class and sexuality, featuring stellar writers such as graphic novelist Alison Bechdel and Christian-right watchdog Michelle Goldberg.

More shopping in the Lower East Side, NYC

Archive Lower East Side stories

Best nightlife on the Lower East Side
Things to do

Best nightlife on the Lower East Side

Best date spots on the Lower East Side
Sex and dating

Best date spots on the Lower East Side

Best gift shops on the Lower East Side
Shopping

Best gift shops on the Lower East Side

Check out photos of Vapeya, the Lower East Side's new vape lounge
Things to do

Check out photos of Vapeya, the Lower East Side's new vape lounge

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Comments

2 comments
lizzie b

Visit www.bohemianrock.com for tips on LES

Sui P

Also home to some pretty swanky hair and beauty salons - you can book almost any appointment online with local business LookBooker (www.lookbooker.co)