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Once a gritty, working-class neighborhood of mostly tenement dwellings, Manhattan's Lower East Side now boasts rows of restaurants that command out-the-door-and-down-the-block lines, and a vivid bar scene after dark. The neighborhood flavor is enhanced by the diverse history of early immigrants to New York. Dining options in the Lower East Side come from all over the globe. Use our New York restaurant guide to find the best restaurants in the Lower East Side.

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The hot New York restaurants of Clinton Street in the Lower East Side often have lines out the doors and down the block, especially on weekends. The no-reservations policy at popular joints like Frankies Sputino means you will just have to wait your turn to get a taste of these highly-touted NYC eats. Wait times are longest on the weekends. Save time by stopping by in the off-peak hours on weekdays. Chinatown continues to expand outward, bringing some great Chinese restaurants to the Lower East Side. Star chef Danny Bowien opened Mission Chinese here as the east coast counterpart to his famed San Francisco restaurant. Wait times can top two hours, but the restaurant does take a limited number of reservations on their website. The Jewish deli is a cornerstone of the New York dining experience. One of New York's finest options is Katz's Delicatessen in the Lower East Side. Don't skip this one. On weekend nights, the Lower East Side's bars are jumping with young revelers. The neighborhood is generally safe after dark, and there are plenty of cabs to escort you home from your parties.

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