Moving to NY. Suggestions on where to reside based on chow?
I'm leaning towards moving to NY as my company is based there. As a single, 30 something guy, my choice of potential neighborhoods isn't defined by schools, family, etc. The office is midtown, so just about any area is fair game.
So if I used chow as a factor in where to live, would you have any suggestions?
We're not talking about being nearest the top 5-star eateries. Rather, being of much simpler means and income, I'm more interested in variety of both food and prices. Also a variety of options beyond restaurants... good grocers, farmer's markets, street food, take-out, etc. I like cooking/eating at home as much as eating out. No need for $30 meals... I'm just as impressed by a $3 Indian food snack or a nice Vietnames sandwich. Love ethinc. Love spicy. Great food is everywhere in NYC. There are great swaths of ethnic streets.
The question is: Where are some suggested places to live where you can walk out the door and have a wide mix of tastes to explore?
Boerum Hill Brooklyn has a really exciting restaurant scene (newish) and near to some great mid-eastern restaurants as well as Sahadi the fantastic emporium of all things culinary.
Don't move to the UWS if you're looking for food. Fairway and Zabar's are excellent, and Telepan, et. al. are good, but in general the restaurants are pricey and mediocre. Access to Central/Riverside Parks, good subway service, and a nice, safe neighborhood are great. But as far as being a foodie, ehhh..... not great.
Avoid the Upper East Side. It's incredibly boring, bland and overpriced for food.
(I would actually say that generally, the west side beats the east for food.)
If you truly care about nothing but food, probably somewhere near Jackson Heights in Queens is your best bet for variety and excellent cheap ethnic (of pretty much every stripe). There was an article in the NYTimes recently about this:
Sticking with Manhattan, your best bet is somewhere near Union Square. You've got the most amazing Greenmarket and Whole Foods if you feel like cooking, and no shortage of tasty restaurants within walking distance. Plus, you've got great access to all the major subway lines to whisk you away to other delicious destinations.
i second Union Square (although i'm biased because i live there)...while none of my absolute favorites are within four or five blocks, almost all the others are within walking distance: for example all the East Village places mentioned below are walkable from UnionSq, but if you lived on say, Ave.B, it's a longish walk to Gramercy Park, or to any convenient subway, or some W.Village spot....from Union Sq, you get those plus many others because you are a ten or so minute walk from: the East Village, Soho, West Village, Gramercy Park, etc...and as mentioned above, the Greenmarket and Whole Foods are highly convenient...
But one of my favorite things about living here is that i can walk two very short blocks to the 4/5 express train, which is a mere ONE stop to get me to the Grand Central Oyster Bar, so travel time from my door to fresh Alaskan/NW/etc bivalves is about 20 minutes...on a cold day like today, it's warmer and quicker and comfier to get there than walking 2+ blocks in any other direction...
Union Square -- its the Gourmet Ghetto.
Markets: Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Garden of Eden, Jefferson Market, Citerella and Japanese Sunrise Market (real close) and of course the Union Square Farmers Market (reason enough alone).
Restaurants: Union Square, Craft, Tocqueville, Fleur du Sel, Casa Mono, Otto, etc etc etc. Thats on the pricey side, but its very close to East Village, for great cheap eats, such as the ramen at Momofuko, and the West Village, ditto.
How does anyone live uptown?