Essex Street Market Tour
- 90-minute guided tasting tour of this historic public market
- Offered weekly on Sundays at 11:30am
- Taste 5-6 delicious offerings while meeting vendors and hearing their stories
- Explore this market in the heart of the Lower East Side
- Learn about New York City’s public market system and food distribution networks
- Learn about the future of the public market as part of the Essex Crossing development
Join us for an exploration of the Essex Street Market, a centerpiece of the Lower East Side community for more than 75 years. On this 90-minute walking and tasting tour, we will visit with 5-6 vendors, from fishmongers and cheesemongers to bakers, coffee roasters, and restaurateurs. We’ll taste their delicious food and learn about the role the market has played in the evolution of their respective businesses, both vendors who have been there for decades and newcomers. We will rotate the featured vendors from week to week, but tastings may include European and American farmstead cheeses, fresh-baked bagels and breads, coffee, rice balls, fish sandwiches, tacos, spinach pies, or a sampling of Japanese dishes. Along the way, we will also explore the past, present, and future of New York City’s public market system, from its beginnings in the 1930’s under Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, to its role today in providing quality food and opportunities for businesses to launch and grow. We will also look at the historical and contemporary intersections with street vending and the city’s food distribution systems, as well as discussing the future of the market as part of the Essex Crossing redevelopment project.
Also check out our Immigrant Foodways Tour, featuring Williamsburg’s Moore Street Market, available on select Saturdays or as a private tour.
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General Admission: $48 per person
Seniors (65+): $43.20 per person (10% off)
Children (5-11): $24 per person
Children under 5 are welcome to attend free
Advance ticket purchase is required.
We ask tour participants to please arrive 10 minutes before the tour start so that we can begin on time.
The tour begins just inside the southernmost entrance to the Essex Street Market, closest to the subway exit and the intersection of Essex and Delancey Streets. You will meet your guide near Saxelby Cheesemongers.
This area is easily accessible by subway from the Essex Street (J,M, Z) and Delancey Street (F) subway stops.
Public tours are offered every Sunday at 11:30am. If you are interested in other Public Market Tours, try our Immigrant Foodways Tour of Brooklyn’s Moore Street Market and Graham Avenue. Use the calendar below to find our next available tour date.
Tastings on the tour rotate from week to week but may include a selection of farmstead cheeses, fresh-baked bagels and lox, artisan breads, tacos, spinach pies, or a sampling of Japanese dishes
We strive to accommodate most dietary restrictions and requests, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets, as well as allergies and food sensitivities. When making your booking, please be sure to indicate these so that we can make appropriate arrangements. Our team will strive to accommodate you as best we can, but we cannot guarantee all dietary accommodations.
If you have any questions regarding the menu, please contact us directly.
As this tour takes place in public facilities and on sidewalks, this tour is fully accessible to visitors who use wheelchairs. Please note any requests for accommodations in your reservation or contact us in advance so that our guides can review the tour route for any obstructions or inaccessible pathways in advance of the tour. Please be advised that this tour involves extended periods of walking and standing with minimal opportunities to sit down.
With at least 24 hours advance notice, FM assistive listening devices with headsets or neck loops can be made available for all public and private tours. Please note in your reservation or contact us at least 24 hours prior to your tour if you or a guest in your party would like to use a receiver. We cannot guarantee that assistive listening devices will be available if the request is made within 24 hours of the tour start time.
Several of our staff members are experienced in verbal description and offering touch tours for visitors who are blind or have low vision. Please notify us in advance either when making your reservation or by contacting us if you would like your public or private tour to be staffed accordingly so that we can ensure a fully-inclusive experience.