On this new Untapped Cities tour, which launches on April 19th at 11 AM, explore the historic Essex Street Market before it is demolished this year, while meeting the local vendors and sampling their gourmet fare. On the tour, you’ll learn about the Lower East Side’s once-bustling pushcart market, the immigrants and their foods, which have become staples of New York’s culinary culture, and about the new developments that are transforming the Lower East Side.

This tour was developed in partnership with the Lower East Side Partnership, a community-based organization that supports market events. Spots are limited so book soon!

Essex Street Market Food & History Tour


  • Discover the site of the Lower East Side’s once-bustling pushcart market which led to the creation of Essex Street Market
    Learn about the Pushcart War and Jewish gangsters (the “Kosher Nostra”) who preyed on the peddlers
  • Taste delicious dishes from eight very culturally diverse selection of vendors at Essex Street Market (see vendor list below)
  • Listen to the stories of the vendors and discover how they were able to launch and sometimes even save their businesses by joining the Essex Street Market
  • See the plans for the future Essex Street Market currently under construction


Price: $50, includes tastings at 8 different vendors

What to know: The tour is 2 hours long and covers approximately one mile of walking; please consult with the MTA for weekend subway schedules and routing changes. No cancellations or refunds.

What to wear: Comfortable shoes. Half of the tour is out of doors, so please appropriate outwear is advised.

Essex Street Market Food & History Tour

Some of the vendors you will meet and whose food your will taste include:

  • Essex Olive and Spice House. Sample some of the world’s finest Olive Oils and balsamic vinegar from Italy, Spain and Morroco, both natural and infused.
  • Tra La La Juice Bar which offers fresh smoothies and other goodies
  • Cheese from Saxelby Cheesemongers. Purveyors of fine American farmstead cheese, Saxelby Cheesemongers aims to be the bridge connecting cheesemakers to the food-loving public in New York
  • Puebla Mexican Food which has been serving authentic Mexican-style food for years, first in East Village and now at Essex Street Market
  • Osaka Grub puts an inventive spin on traditional Japanese street food.
  • Formaggio Formaggio Essex offers a wide selection of handcrafted cheeses, artisanal meats and specialty foods.
  • Peasant Stock offers several varieties of soup daily. This family owned business does all the cooking on site. Each soup features homemade stock and quality ingredients.
  • Brownies from I.M. Pastry


 Image courtesy Essex Street Market

Christina Han Photography

Photo by Nina LoSchiavo/Lower East Side Partnership

Photo by Nina LoSchiavo/Lower East Side Partnership

Photo by Nina LoSchiavo/Lower East Side Partnership

Essex Street Market Food & History Tour

See our full list of Behind the Scenes Tours.