A Taste of New York: Food Tour of Chinatown, Little Italy, and the LES

Tour Highlights

  • Discover how the historic buildings of these areas have been transformed and repurposed into art galleries, churches, and event spaces as well as restaurants and more

  • Sample traditional Chinese, Italian and Jewish food

  • Learn about the history of immigration in these areas and the impact that each group played in this part of New York City, once the most densely populated district in the world

  • Uncover the history of what tenement life was like in Chinatown, Little Italy and the Lower East Side, and find out where immigrants shopped, banked, and how they obtained news of the times

  • Stop by significant Lower East Side landmarks including the Synagogues, the Jarmulowsky Bank, old movie theaters, Old Saint Patrick’s Basilica, the Bowery, Doyers Street and many more

Make this tour private, schedule it anytime. Starts at $392

Guests Love This Tour

About This Tour:

Once one of the most densely populated districts in the world, the Lower East Side of Manhattan has witnessed numerous changes during the past hundred years. This walking tour is a resourceful glimpse into the past, with stops at some off-the beaten track locations. The tour will focus on a few of the remaining vestiges and surviving structures of this era of immigration and offer a taste of the delectable flavors of each neighborhood.

The history of New York City is rooted in the immigrants that came over from various parts of Europe and other parts of the world. This includes  Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Chinese people. This tour will review the reasons each of these groups left their homelands and the impact they had on the history of New York City. This includes the culture, the architecture, and the various foods of these immigrant groups. We will start at Columbus Park in Chinatown which was the initial site of the famous “Five Points.”

After exploring Chinatown and eating tasty dumplings, we’ll move to Little Italy to see some sites and sample some traditional dishes. We’ll then move on to the Lower East Side to learn its history and sample authentic Jewish food.

About Your Guide

Richard M. Soden, O.D., F.A.A.O. is a Clinical Professor and currently the Director of Health Care Development At SUNY College of Optometry. Previously, he served as Vice President for Clinical Affairs at SUNY Optometry for 10 years. Dr. Soden graduated from SUNY College of Optometry in 1979. After graduation, he completed a residency program at the Northport VA Medical Center on Long Island. In addition to primary care optometry, his special interests are in pediatrics, children with special needs and low vision rehabilitation for children and adults. He is recognized as a low vision specialist and has worked with the Commission for the Blind for his entire optometric career. After leaving the VA and private practice, Dr. Soden returned to SUNY College of Optometry as Vice President for Clinical Affairs.

In addition to the above, Richard is also a licensed New York City Tour Guide and a Docent at the Museum at Eldridge Street.

Ear pieces are provided to each guests, ensuring everyone hears the guide perfectly, even from a distance!

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