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800.ELLIMAN

6.5 out of 10

Lower East Side

Ranked 26th best neighborhood in Manhattan
40.7150069721938 -73.9842257210639
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Public Transport
  • Eating Out
  • Internet Access
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Parking
  • Clean & Green
  • Pest Free
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Lack of Traffic
Who lives here?
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Country Lovers
  •  
  •  

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
2yrs+

"Lower East Side: Lots to do at affordable prices!"

The Lower East Side is generally the area of Manhattan from Canal up through 14th Street. It includes such places Little Italy and Chinatown -- two of my favorite spots especially for eating authentic cuisine. Not the most pretty parts of the city, this area is generally known for great little cafes and restaurants. There's lots to do and you're always in close proximity of places like Washington Square Park, Bowlmor (a great bowling alley for adults) or the Tenement Museum, which gives you a great indepth view of the conditions immigrants lived under when moving to New York in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

There is great shopping to be had here especially along 14th Street, and comparatively speaking this is one of the more affordable areas. Close to transportation (trains and buses), you can shoot anywhere you want in the city and always come home on the express train since 14th and Canal are main stops.

If you are a bar drinker there are great bars to visit like Good Beer on 9th Street and Drop Off Service on Avenue A. If you like performance art the Nuyorican Cafe in Alphabet City is a must to visit. It's in-your-face poetry that is loud and fun to watch.
Pros
  • Shopping
  • Tenement Museum
  • Bowlmor
  • A wonderful sense of history
  • Home to the Tenement Museum which catalogues the history of NYC's immigrants
Cons
  • Not as glamorous as other areas
Recommended for
  • Tourists
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
2yrs+

"Not Anything To Write Home About, Just A 'Hood To Pass Through"

The Lower East Side was once one of the great immigrant neighborhoods of New York City, in fact in a few ways it still retains a few of the old country charms and some of the old school synagogues. At the same time, it is one of those typical "in-between" neighborhoods that is still developing into the yuppie residential area (similar to the Village) that it wants to be and the still-very-much-in-development neighborhood that it is. As a New Yorker, I can't remember the last time I actually stopped to do something here as I'm usually just passing through to get to another area.

If you are thinking of moving here, this might not be such a bad area to live as long as you live in one of the nicer parts. The neighborhood is great for local foods, drinks, shopping, and hangouts. The rents differ from part to part but it is one of those areas where you can still snag a pretty good deal. The area is not so easily accessible by train but is fairly close to pretty nice areas like the Village.

As a tourist, there is not a whole lot of sightseeing. There is the Tenement Museum and some glimpses of the area's history but is largely a residential and general commercial area that has good and bad parts. Good for a good bite to eat, a drink, or maybe even some music but not a whole lot else.
Pros
  • great bar scene
  • great music venues
  • Great restaurants
Cons
  • far from subway
  • some poor areas
  • Rising rents
Recommended for
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
2yrs+

"A little overrun by punk hipster kids, but still one of the coolest places in the city"

Yeah, sure, the bars and restaurants . . ok, every square inch of this neighborhood is completely dominated by jerky hipsters. But, if you can ignore that, it's a really cool neighborhood that still has a lot of grit to it which is rare in Manhattan neighborhoods these days. It's kinda dirty and loud but in a good way. There are some definite characters in the neighborhood; sitting in one of the indie cafes and people watching in this neighborhood is always a great way to spend an afternoon.
Freemans is one of my favorite spots in the city and its on Freeman alley in the LES. It's a warm restaurant with great, hearty food and this cool old school decor with a lot of taxidermy. It's very old world, right down to the lumberjack looking bartenders. But, it's always packed with people way cooler than me.
Katz's Deli is another thing worth visiting. I, personally, prefer Carnegie's pastrami a bit over Katz's but it's a cool place and it's where they filmed the famous scene from When Harry Met Sally. Also worth checking out is Arlene's Grocery. It's this crappy, stinky dive bar where they hold Karaoke to a the most incredible live band. They know every rock song and they totally wail.
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is my favorite museum in the city. It's such an eye - opening thing to experience how it was for people to live in the 19th century -- horrible, crowded conditions . . . sadly, not unlike some of my friends' current apartments down the street.
LES is one of the few neighborhoods that has a smattering left of the gritty NY that people know and remember. It's interesting, fun and just plain cool.
Pros
  • Great restaurants
  • Lots of energy
  • great bar scene
  • great music venues
  • nice mix of old and new
Cons
  • Punk hipsters
  • Loud all the time
  • Ugly
  • dingy apartments
  • far from subway
  • some poor areas
Recommended for
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Increasingly depressing as a nightlife spot, still has some of the best vintage in NYC"

My nostalgia for this neighborhood is often overtaken by the weekend crowd of dudes from Jersey - though I actually go out at night here less and less. My first official residency was located in this neighborhood - a tiny one bedroom apartment that I shared with two other girls, and if that tells you anything about how affordable this neighborhood was about five years ago then let me assure you it's only gotten worse.

Though the fancy hotels and boutiques keep moving in (and out), there are some great (and even affordable) vintage stores that are a must-see for the dedicated shopper. The first of those is Fox & Fawn - a tiny spot on Suffolk St that you may just miss if you aren't paying close attention. The prices here are incredibly affordable and this store is often cited as one of the best of its kind in the area. Daha Vintage is another store that I greatly enjoy, and the prices are not the lowest but they aren't incredibly insane, either. They have an amazing collection of vintage shoes
Pros
  • great bar scene
  • great music venues
  • Great restaurants
  • Lots of energy
  • A wonderful sense of history
  • Home to the Tenement Museum which catalogues the history of NYC's immigrants
Cons
  • weekend B&T crowd
  • Loud all the time
  • Punk hipsters
  • Rapid gentrification is destroying the soul of the neighborhood
  • Rising rents
Recommended for
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5
2yrs+

"A new beginning for Lower East Side"

The Lower East Side community continues to change as time goes on. Rental prices are five to eight times higher than they were five years ago due to major renovations the neighborhood has undergone. Surprisingly, the Lower East Side is no longer populated by lower income immigrants, but now flooded with dot com gurus and the downtown crowd. There is an influx of new boutiques, restaurants, bars and music clubs that are now in run with the area’s long-established fabric dealers, button wholesalers, old-school tailors, and pickle vendors.

Nightlife is pumping on the weekends in Lower East Side. New up and coming local rock bands play at the Bowery Ballroom (a former vaudeville hall) on Delancey Street and at the Mercury Lounge on East Houston Street. Other performance venues, albeit much smaller, are the Pianos and the Living Room on Ludlow Street.

Hungry? Grab a bite to eat before concert hopping at Prune – known for its fine American cuisine. They offer very interesting appetizers like sardines and triscuits, or beef marrow. Be sure to call for reservations ahead of time and show up early!
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
2yrs+

"LES for shopping, partying, living (if you like high rents)"

The Lower East Side is the site of my very first New York apartment (as long as you’re not counting an NYU dorm), and so the neighborhood will always have a place in my heart, long after it stops being trendy and it turns into whatever formerly trendy neighborhoods become. If you are looking for a place to shop for vegan shoes (Moo Shoes), a hotel completely made of glass so that the neighborhood can watch you shower (The Hotel on Rivington), or just some really awesome live music featuring a local Brooklyn band, you can it all in the Lower East Side.
The neighborhood has gotten crazy expensive as it becomes the ultimate trendily gentrified section of Manhattan, causing all the artists to relocate to cheaper neighborhoods (Bushwick), but hanging out here is still just as inexpensive (or as expensive, depending on your POV) as the rest of New York’s hipster hot spots.

Unranked Streets in Lower East Side

Orchard St

3.5/5
"Great street for the young and energetic"
40.715461000366 -73.9915995024526
"About Willett Street"
40.7165307805848 -73.9825147665648

Bowery

1.5/5
"Restaurant supplies and lighting fixtures"
40.7143135001936 -73.9973170009398

Broome St

3.5/5
"Quieter than other LES streets, but not dead by any means"
40.7168084784542 -73.9859005995982

Essex St

2.5/5
"Not much on the pro but no horrible cons either"
40.7182739198707 -73.9883460698437
"Interesting Street in the Village"
40.7127310482982 -73.9838124668258

Hester St

1.5/5
"Not much outside of tenements"
40.7160423390355 -73.9913755042502

Jackson St

2.5/5
"On Jackson Street"
40.7125127066424 -73.9807434819292

Jefferson St

1.5/5
"Not That Jefferson"
40.7130718100668 -73.9885325310501
"The lackluster bridge"
40.7123940237066 -73.993483989679

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