About the Neighborhood

Once a maze of tenements, bakeries and bargain stores crowded along narrow little streets, the Lower East Side is still that—but with glassy hotels, celebrity-filled restaurants and secret cocktail bars filling the mix. Gritty one minute, it's shiny and beautiful the next. And though the same could be said for New York at large, the Lower East Side’s crumbling glamour is so appealing that it’s been knocked off the world over. But what no one can properly copy is the neighborhood’s New Yorky food, from Katz’s half-foot-high pastrami sandwiches to Russ & Daughters’ briney lox.

Beware the Lower East Side’s vigilant meter maids.

Fill up at Stanton Street’s original Meatball Shop.

Bernard Tschumi’s blue build sits on Norfolk Street.

For bars and boutique hotels between former tenements.

Salmon roe doesn’t get tastier than at Russ and Daughters.

People come from all over for Katz Delicatessen’s crunchy pickles.

The pastrami is piled high at Katz’s Delicatessen.

Open fire hydrants equaled endless fun for 1920s downtown kids.

A guided tour of the New York of yore.

Yonah Shimmel’s has stuffed and fried knish since 1910.