At a Glance
The narrow streets of the Lower East Side were once lined with tenement buildings, shirt factories and bialy shops. Although a few vestiges of the neighborhood's immigrant heritage remain, many of the tenement buildings have been updated and now offer relatively affordable rental options to young New Yorkers looking to live right in the thick of Downtown Manhattan. There's no getting around it - the LES is a major nightlife destination. In this part of the city, last call is late and often negotiable -- especially if you're a regular. On weekend nights, the neighborhood is packed as crowds overflow from the local bars and take to the streets in search of a late-night falafel fix before heading onto the next party. During the day, the neighborhood chills out as residents nurse their hangovers or head to work slowly after stopping at one of the area's many trendy juice bars or coffee shops.
Eclectic, noisy and both edgy and irreverent, the Lower East Side mixes highbrow and lowbrow.
Heart of the Neighborhood
Once a bodega, Arlene's Grocery is a dive bar and music venue that's come to define the Lower East Side's nightlife scene.
The LES is one of the city's oldest neighborhoods and has been home to many different groups of immigrants including Eastern European Jews and later many Latinos who dubbed the area "Loisaida."
The Lower East Side is truly a 24/7 kind of place. Whether you're looking for a last-minute concert, a nightcap or a slice of pizza for breakfast - the LES has you covered.
The Lower East Side is not a place to go for beautiful tree-lined blocks as the area severely lacks in green space.
By the Numbers
Housing stock in the LES is primarily comprised of tenement-style apartment buildings. As such, the properties tend to be walk-ups with unique, if outdated, layouts. Prices for these types of units were once on par with their quality, but the neighborhood has grown increasingly expensive.
Food & Drink
The Lower East Side is one of the city’s best and most diverse neighborhoods for eating and drinking. Your options will run the gamut from super-trendy restaurants with celebrity chefs to hole-in-the-wall dive bars.
Sweet ChickAmerican (Traditional)
More fancy than your average fried chicken joint, Sweet Chick serves up inspired takes on classic Southern favorites.
WassailAmerican (New), Cocktail Bars
Highbrow meets lowbrow at Wassail, a cider bar that offers up an extensive list of brews as well as modern British food.
Barrio ChinoMexican, Bars
Barrio Chino perfectly mixes the diverse roots of the LES with its penchant for trendy cocktail bars. The eclectic menu fuses Chinese and Latin flavors.