Lower East Side

Lower East Side Travel Guide

Installed at 134 Eldridge Street, near the boundary of Chinatown, a plain gray door with “134” and “M&H” in small stickers is the only indicator patrons will find that this hush-hush cocktail lounge exists.

One of the best indie-rock music venues to emerge this millennium, Pianos opened quietly in 2002 in a former piano store—the club’s current owners didn’t bother to remove the sign—and since then has become an emerging band’s dream gig, thanks to the intimate setting and über-cool nabe.

Located below the street level, Wu Lim Qi Gong Master looks and feels like a musty, dim basement but has a cult-following of massage lovers. Wu Lim offers $21 half-hour massages of uncommon intensity (the Asian masseuses are scary strong, so don't expect a gentle back rub).

As grandson of one of ice cream giant Carvel’s first shop managers, you might say the frozen treat is in owner Jon Snyder’s blood. Throw in an epiphanal trip to Italy, and you’ve got the genesis of Laboratorio del Gelato.

A fashionista's dream (or just a cool stop-in), this avant-garde Chinatown boutique offers pricy goods all majoring in originality. The sparsely filled space, with white walls and clothing racks made of disused pipes, feels more like a gallery than a store of one-of-a-kind finds.

This chandelier-draped, Moulin Rouge-esque destination—a multihyphenated performance space-cum-cocktail lounge-cum-celebrity hangout-cum-restaurant—opened in late 2006.

Clean lines, streamlined forms, and the season's hot colors can be found among the designs of this Chilean-born couturier favored by Michelle Obama.

Music and fashion merge in John Varvatos’ menswear shop at 315 Bowery, the former home of the Lower East Side's legendary CBGB live music club.

Pickle love shines at this Lower East Side destination at the corner of Essex and Grand. Proprietor Alan Kaufman devotes nine hours a day to producing remarkably fresh and snap-perfect pickles, from hot to sweet and new to fully soured.

Although it opened in 2004, walking into this custom tailor/barber/apothecary is like stepping into a 19th-century gentlemen's stockist.


A 19th-century cabinet of curiosities, with European antiques and packable objets for the home, like a French nutcracker or a Syrian chess set.

Live entertainment is the main order of business at Bowery Electric, just a short walk from the Bowery Hotel. DJs play nightly and the bartenders serve up cocktails, wine, Scotch, bourbon, tequila, and tap and bottled beer at this muilti-level venue.

105 Riv is inside the Hotel on Rivington, but also has an unmarked entrance down the street. Expect 105 Riv is inside the Hotel on Rivington, but also has an unmarked entrance down the street. Expect vintage 70’s interiors and impeccably made cocktails.