• Explore the buried roots of a gritty, yet charming neighborhood
• Uncover the secrets of historic buildings on a guided walking tour
• Order classic New York dishes at the landmark café that perfected them
• Sample a selection of infused pickles at a local snack shop
Want to get acquainted with the Lower East Side’s immigrant roots? Start with lunch at Russ & Daughters Cafe. Though this annex to the East Houston Street landmark only opened in 2014, the array of “appetizing” is as authentic as any in New York. Here, chefs at the salmon-slicing station turn out wooden boards with bagels, lox and other smoked fish, cuts of private-stock sturgeon, and an array of premier caviar. Order classic dishes such as potatoe knishes, latkes and noodle kugel or sip on a classic egg cream. Then take a tour at the Tenement Museum, where you’ll see restored apartments from the turn of the previous century and a German saloon, meet costumed interpreters, and take a guided historical walk around the neighborhood. Afterwards, drop into the Pickle Guys shop to sample owner Alan Kaufman’s selection of briny veggies, especially the blend infused with fresh horseradish grated by an employee donning a gas mask.
The best way to explore the Lower East Side is to start at Orchard and Delancey. Have lunch at Russ & Daughters and check out the Tenement Museum just there on Orchard. Then, go two blocks east and find the Pickle Guys on Essex.
RUSS & DAUGHTERS CAFE: 127 Orchard St.; 212-475-4881; russanddaughterscafe.com
TENEMENT MUSEUM: 103 Orchard St.; 877-975-3786; tenement.org
THE PICKLE GUYS: 49 Essex St.; 212-656-9739; pickleguys.com