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Discover New York: Pickled Everything In The Lower East Side

pickles I’ve eaten worms, ant larvae, guinea pig, grub worms — hell, I’ll eat moldy bread if I’m hungry enough. One thing I will not put in my mouth, however, is a pickle. While all of my friends love these sour tasting, pimply-looking snacks, I just can’t do it. That’s why I was amazed at my amazement when I wandered into The Pickle Guys in the Lower East Side. While this New York City neighborhood was once full of pickle shops from the thousands of Jewish immigrants that settled there from Eastern Europe in the early 1900s, this is the only one that stands on Essex Street today. Open since 1981, The Pickle Guys cater to the Jewish community — as well as anyone who is craving something pickled — operating under the Rabbinical Supervision of Rabbi Shmuel Fisheli.
While I don’t like pickles themselves I do enjoy other items that are pickled, which is why I love this shop. I couldn’t help think of the Portlandia skit, “We Can Pickle That” — clip above — where Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen literally pickle everything in sight — shoes, dead pets and used Band-aids included. Okay, so The Pickle Guys aren’t fermenting any leather or furry friends, but they do offer pickled turnips, watermelon, tomatoes, relish, mustard, garlic, okra, string beans, celery, mangoes and more. Of course, they all offer barrel-cured pickles in a variety of flavors like hot, sour, sweet and horseradish. My favorite: The pickled pineapple! So sweet, sour and juicy. pickled vegetables Even if you don’t want to order anything, it’s worth a stop just to check out the colorful barrels filled with pickled produce and condiments. Feel free to ask staff about how they go about pickling the different ingredients, as it’s quite interesting, not to mention a great conversation starter if you want to get to know a NYC local. The Pickle Guys are located at 49 Essex Street in the Lower East Side.

About Jessie Festa

Jessie Festa is an New York-based travel content creator who is passionate about empowering her audience to experience new places and live a life of adventure. She is the founder of the solo female travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, and is editor-in-chief of Epicure & Culture, an online conscious tourism magazine. Along with writing, Jessie is a professional photographer and is the owner of NYC Photo Journeys, which offers New York photo tours, photo shoots, and wedding photography. Her work has appeared in publications like USA Today, CNN, Business Insider, Thrillist, and WestJet Magazine.

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  1. I love pickles, but that’s about it! Maybe I’m not trying the right stuff!

    • Jessie Festa on at 3:22 pm

      @Rachel: I highly recommend this place, even if you don’t try anything. It’s so colorful!

  2. Sheena on at 7:42 pm

    Oh no I spent the whole summer in New York but I found this post too late!

    I’m not the biggest fan of traditional pickles either, but I think I’d like some others and of course, I love a good specialty store. Nice find!

    • jess2716 on at 9:55 pm

      @Sheena: Thanks 🙂 Next time you’re in town let me know!

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