• images from our tour of the lower east side
  • images from our tour of the lower east side

Walk Description

New York's Lower East Side has been a gateway for immigrant groups to the United States for more than a century. No group has left its impression here more than the Jewish immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe who lived here from the early 20th century until the 1960s. This walking tour of the Lower East Side focuses on the area's Jewish culture and, specifically, Jewish cuisine.

If you’re a foodie, you might also be interested in our Tasting the Immigrant Experience walk in Little Italy and Chinatown.

  • Small group walks—6 people max
  • Led by an expert in Jewish history and cuisine
  • Taste the cultural legacy of Jews in New York

Experience History Through Food

In the company of an expert in Jewish history and cuisine, we will visit the great landmarks of the Lower East Side including the eateries on Houston Street (Yona Shimmel's, Russ & Daughters, Katz's) as well as a number of hidden-away spots where Jewish culinary traditions provide a window on the neighborhood's history. We'll sample bialys, pickles, and, depending on the day, stroll through one of the city's best covered markets.

The seminar will also look at Jewish culture and politics. We'll pass by some of the city's oldest synagogues, including the oldest Russian Orthodox synagogue in the U.S. Our perambulations will also carry us past the Forward newspaper's headquarters, a major site in the history of American socialism.

Take Aways

In the end, we'll emerge sated with some of the best food in the city and a deeper sense of the cultural legacy of Jews in New York over the past century.

Duration: 3 hours
Category: Cuisine
Venues: Katz's Deli, Russ and Daughters, Kossar's Bialys
Additional Costs:
  • food tastings (Jewish cuisine and culture walk) - $10 (mandatory)

    This per-person charge is for the food you will be sampling during the course of the walk.

  • Jenniferabadi2_300dpi_thumb

    jennifer abadi

    Jennifer Abadi wrote and illustrated her cookbook-memoir, A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes from Grandma’s Fritzie’s Kitchen (now in its third printing in paperback), and currently assists others in writing and preserving their own family recipes. Four years ago she created “The Traveling Palate,” a monthly event where guests enjoy a series of food demos and tastings while learning about less-common cuisines and cultures in an intimate café setting. Jennifer teaches in such professional cooking schools in New York City as The Jewish Community Center (JCC), the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), and the Natural Gourmet (beginning fall 2010), as well as privately in individual homes. Her area of expertise covers a range of cuisines, such as Syrian, Indian, Moroccan, Iraqi, Egyptian, Yemenite, Persian, Greek, Armenian, Georgian, and Turkish, all of which she can customize to your needs. Jennifer is also an active member of The New York Women’s Culinary Alliance as well as ChefsLine.com, MyFoodMyHealth.com, and Cookstr.com. She has done food demonstrations on NBC, ABC, and Fox 5 News, as well as been interviewed by such radio on stations as “Awake, Alive, and Jewish,” and “Radio Sefarad: The English Corner,” in Spain.

  • Sarahlohman_thumb

    Sarah Lohman

    Sarah Lohman has over a decade of museum experience with a specific focus on culinary history. Currently, she is an educator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and also works as a freelance curator, consulting with historical institutions to create public programs focused on food. Dubbed an "historic gastronomist," Lohman recreates historic recipes as a way to make a personal connection with the past. She chronicles her explorations in culinary history on her blog, FourPoundsFlour.com, and her work has been featured in publications as diverse as Edible Manhattan and NHK Japanese Public Television.