The recapitulation of tissue development and patterning in three-dimensional (3D) culture is an important dimension of stem cell research. Here, we describe a 3D culture protocol in which single mouse ES cells embedded in Matrigel under neural induction conditions clonally form a lumen containing, oval-shaped epithelial structure within 3 days. By Day 7 an apicobasally polarized neuroepithelium with uniformly dorsal cell identity forms. Treatment with retinoic acid at Day 2 results in posteriorization and self-organization of dorsal-ventral neural tube patterning. Neural tube organoid growth is also supported by pure laminin gels as well as poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based artificial extracellular matrix hydrogels, which can be fine-tuned for key microenvironment characteristics. The rapid generation of a simple, patterned tissue in well-defined culture conditions makes the neural tube organoid a tractable model for studying neural stem cell self-organization.