Lower East Side Neighborhood Guide

Get Info On Nightlife, Restaurants, Landmarks and More

Lower East Side neighborhood in NYC
••• Photo credit: Tony Shi Photography / Creative RF / Getty Images

The Lower East Side is Manhattan’s most eclectic grit-meets-glam neighborhood. Probably best known for the slew of trendy bars and lounges that sprung up in the early 2000’s (most of which remain alive and well), the Lower East Side also has a funky mix of trendy boutiques, mom-and-pop shops, cozy cafés, and chic restaurants. With longtime residents and hipsters welcoming a new wave of students and young professionals to the area, the diverse population continues to grow.

Lower East Side Boundaries

The Lower East Side stretches east from the Bowery to East River Park. It is bordered on the north by Houston Street and on the south by Canal Street and East Broadway.

Lower East Side Transportation

  • Subway: B or D to Grand; F to 2nd Avenue; F to East Broadway; J or Z to Bowery; 6, B, D, F or M to Broadway/Lafayette St.; F, J, M, or Z to Delancey St./Essex St.

Lower East Side Apartments & Real Estate

Available units in the area mostly include five-to-six story pre-war renovated walk-ups. Look skywards, however, and discover new high-rise apartments and condos alongside these century-old tenement buildings.

Lower East Side Nightlife

The area in and around Essex, Clinton, Stanton, and Rivington Streets have enough bars, lounges, and clubs to keep you moving all night. For a local pub favorite, try Whiskey Ward, or hit up some of the live music venues like Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, Rockwood Music Hall, and Arlene’s Grocery.

Lower East Side Restaurants

Explore the neighborhood and find a wide variety of food establishments, from top-rated Manhattan restaurants and international eateries to scrumptious sandwich shops and local diners. For post-bar crawl munchies, make sure to check out Rosario’s Pizza at 173 Orchard for cheap and delicious late-night pizza.

If you’re a morning person, the Clinton Street Baking Company (Clinton Street between Stanton and Houston) is a popular spot for Sunday brunch.

Lower East Side Parks & Recreation

The East River Park stretches along the East River from Montgomery Street to 12th Street and has football, soccer, and baseball fields, a full-size track, and an amphitheater, which is used for public performances.

Sara D. Roosevelt Park, located between Chrystie and Forsynth Streets, stretches from Canal Street to Houston Street and has several basketball courts, soccer fields, and small community gardens.

Lower East Side Landmarks & History

At the turn of the century, the Lower East Side was Manhattan’s largest Jewish neighborhood. In 1915, 60% of the neighborhood’s population – just over 320,000 people – was Jewish. Even though today’s Jewish population has more than dwindled with gentrification and the spread of Chinatown northwards, establishments such as Katz’s Delicatessen and the Eldridge Street Synagogue recall the area’s Jewish heritage.

The Lower East Side was also one of the most densely populated working-class and immigrant settlement districts in Manhattan. If you’re feeling a little cramped in your apartment, a visit to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum on 97 Orchard Street will make your 400 square-foot studio seem much more spacious.

The museum offers tours of early 20th-century tenements, where well-informed guides give you the scoop about the history of the buildings and the thousands of people who lived and worked in them.