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Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes


On this walking tour explore the history of Jewish immigration on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York. Led by long-time resident Richard Soden, discover the surviving buildings and structures that tell the story of the neighborhood's past. Sample traditional Jewish food along the way and learn about the history of the area, including tenement life and where immigrants shopped, banked, and obtained news.

🍽️ Samples of traditional Jewish food from three places

🏢 Discovering the history of Jewish immigration on the Lower East Side

🕍 Exploring synagogues that have been repurposed into art galleries, churches, and event spaces

🎥 Visits to significant Lower East Side landmarks, including old movie theaters


When do I choose a date?

After purchase, you can request your preferred dates and times by following the instructions in the email you receive. If it's a gift, the recipient will also get an email with booking instructions.


Practical information

How in advance should I book?
It is recommended to book at least 1 week in advance.

Where do I meet Richard Sodden?
Meet Richard in front of The Pickle Guys (357 Grand St, New York, NY 10002).

How long is the tour?
The tour is 90 minutes long.

Where does the tour end?
The tour ends at the new Essex Market on Delaney and Essex street.

How strenuous is the tour?
The tour is easy and most people can participate.

Is the tour ADA accessible?
Yes, it is! Shoot us an email so we can best prepare for your visit.

Is the tour mostly indoors or outdoors?
This tour is mostly outdoors, so dress appropriately for the weather!

Full description

Join Richard Soden, a long-time Lower East Side resident and licensed NYC tour guide, on a walking tour of the area's Jewish heritage. Discover the remnants of a bygone era and explore the remaining vestiges of the neighborhood's rich history. From synagogues that have been repurposed into art galleries, churches, and event spaces to bathhouses, restaurants, and movie theaters, this tour will uncover the secrets of the Lower East Side's past.

As you walk through the streets, Richard will highlight the buildings and structures that still exist today, as well as those that have been restored, re-purposed, demolished, and abandoned. Learn about what transformed the neighborhood and the challenges that the immigrant community faced in their daily lives. The tour will conclude with a discussion of several food establishments that still exist today, some of Richard's fond childhood memories, and a brief look at the Lower East Side today.

Expect to sample traditional Jewish food from three places along the way, and to hear about the history of Jewish immigration in the area. Find out what tenement life was like, where immigrants shopped, banked, and how they obtained news of the times. Stop by significant Lower East Side landmarks including the Eldridge Street Synagogue, the Jarmulowsky Bank, Forwards Building, and old Old Loew’s movie theaters.

Returns, exchanges and cancellation

Unused Experience Vouchers can be returned within 30 days for a full refund to the original purchaser, no questions asked.

If you have any unused Experience Vouchers, you can exchange them for anything else in our marketplace, no matter when. If you choose an experience that's more expensive, you'll need to pay the difference, but if you choose one that costs less, you'll receive a credit towards your next booking.

No refunds are allowed once the experience is booked, but you can reschedule up to 72 hours before your experience, for a date within a year of the original booking. To reschedule, contact the experience provider directly. No-shows or rescheduling less than 72 hours in advance means losing the value of your experience.

Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Regular price $39
$39 Regular price $42.40 Sale price
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Here's what others have to say!



Based on 0 reviews

Natalie F

I had an absolutely amazing and informative tour with Richard Soden. He provided fascinating insights and personal perspectives on the history, significance, and future of this important area of New York City. The combination of exploring architecture and enjoying delicious food (including bagels with lox and cream cheese, rugelach, and incredible pickles) made for an incredibly enjoyable and fulfilling experience. I would highly, highly, highly recommend this tour to anyone!

Lauren M

Richard was an absolute fountain of knowledge! The tour was so enjoyable that I left with enough notes to write a book. If you're a history buff, this tour is a must-do. Don't miss out on the chance to explore the secrets of the Lower East Side with Richard as your guide!

Kelly T

I recently took the Secrets of the Lower East Side Tour & Tasting with tour guide Richard Sodden in June 2022, and it was a fantastic experience. Richard was incredibly knowledgeable and provided us with fascinating insights into the history of the places we visited. During the tour, he took us to a building that used to be a grand movie theater in the 1920s. He showed us what it looked like inside on his iPad, and it was stunningly beautiful. Without the tour, I would have walked past this spot without a second thought. Richard, who grew up in the Lower East Side, was able to answer all of our questions and share interesting stories about the area. Overall, it was a great tour, and I learned a lot. I'm looking forward to taking more tours in the future!