A 'Grand' foodie tour of the Lower East Side
There's no doubt that the Lower East Side has become a foodie haven. But navigating the streets of restos, shops and fairs can be nothing short of overwhelming.
That's where Lady of Grand comes in.
The newbie walking tour company guides New Yorkers (and tourists) through a treasure trove of the 'hood's hidden food- and drink-focused gems, as well as the Essex Street Market and its many food stalls, with the Lady of Grand founder Jolie Warbet giving both historical perspective of the area and fascinating info about each of the stops along the way.
This isn't some mass-market walking tour - groups are kept to six people, max, and the tour feels more like an afternoon spent with friends than a formal outing. At each stop, Warbet - an LES native and food-industry vet - has the owner chat with the group and take questions, and she provides her expertise. Overall, there's a fun, friendly vibe throughout.
And, of course, there are the tastings. On the tour I took, our group chowed down on everything from tacos and flights of local beer, to handcrafted chocolates and sandwiches. I was totally full - both of food and new info - by the time I left.
"My heart and roots are on Grand Street, where I was born and moved back to to be amongst the ever-changing landscape that is the Lower East Side," Warbet said.
"It gives me great satisfaction introducing people to places they may have never found on their own."
Tours cost $50/person and can be booked at ladyofgrand.com.