Insider's Guide to NYC's LES

As many of you know I lived in the Lower East Side for a long time and it is absolutely my favorite part of Manhattan. It feels like home. Of course, every New Yorker inevitably finds their "New York" and swears that their neighborhood is the best. So here I am, with my favorite tips on exploring the Lower East Side of Manhattan. 

Where is the Lower East Side technically?

LES snobs will correct you if you get this wrong but the LES starts at Houston Street. If you live on 1st and 1st, you live in the East Village. Be proud of it but don't say you live in the Lower East Side.  Going West, the Lower East Side end at Bowery and Canal St. is it's most southern street. 

Where to Stay:

The Ludlow

Truthfully, I don't spend a lot of time in hotels in NYC because I always have a place to stay and usually I just call it home. However, I do know that The Ludlow is a very beautiful hotel and hotspot. Whether you need a place to crash or a bite to eat enjoy the urban, industrial style fanciness while watching some of your favorite bloggers (Always Judging, Damsel In Dior, Tuula Vintage) and celebs (Harry Style and Hello, cast of Suits) enjoy their days off. Also, the views are pretty fantastic. 

Bowery Hotel

Similar to The Ludlow, The Bowery Hotel has serious It-Girl vibes. I'm not qualified to make any real suggestions about knowing interior design but the decor feels Morocco meets Hunting Lodge meets New York City. Are we intrigued? You should be. It has some great spaces to hang back and have drink while, again, spotting celebs and bloggers (Rob Pattinson, Blake Lively, Chloe Moretz, etc.) Oh, and the rooms are stunning.  

Plenty of AirBnB's

You can be like us normal folks and live like an actual Lower Eastsider by renting someone else's digs. Now, there won't be room service, but let's reiterate, it's New York, you can always get delivery at any hour. You'll have to manage your own bags but it will save you money. You'll also get a more legitmate New York feel. So, rent away, my friends. 

Where to Eat:

I believe that when it comes to food, pictures speak louder than words.  

Dudley's

(lived upstairs so they became my second living room) 

 

Il Laboratorio Del Gelato

 

Clinton Street Bakery

 

Russ and Daughter's

So, you have a choice...you can order from the classic deli style Russ and Daughter's or eat at their new cafe. Both are tasty though one is more authentic.

Freeman's

 

The Fat Radish

 

But in between the fancy, tasty, restaurants, there are great bodegas and cheap eats. Trust me, when you leave Hotel Chantelle at 2 am, The Fat Radish isn't going to feed you but the place on Orchard and Delancey will serve you two dollar pizza. 

Where to Shop:

Vintage Shops

They are scattered about the LES. I can't even name just one as it's better to just walk around and discover them

Reformation

 

Bowery & Wine

 

Assembly NYC

Yumi Kim

Gift Shop of The Tenement Museum

 

Honorable Mentions:

Erin McKinna's Bakery aka the artist formally known as Babycakes

Beauty and Essex

The Tenement Museum 

Piano's