Hell's Kitchen or East Village?
I'm going to be spending 5 nights in Manhattan in June. I'm looking at vacation rental apts in Hell's Kitchen (W 49th btwn 9 & 10th) and East Village (E 3rd st @ Ave A). Which is the better location for good chow (w/various ethnicities and price ranges)? Also, any specific recommendations in either area?
Both are good for chow, but my preference, foodwise is the east village, though Hell's Kitchen is the better place to stay--quieter.
Actually, I consider E. 3rd @ A the Lower East Side. But regardless, that area and adjacent neighborhoods have lots of excellent dining options.
Although Hell's Kitchen and vicinity have plenty of restaurants, some of which are, in fact, very good to excellent, this is the Times Square/Theater District area, which -- no surprise -- attracts lots of tourists.
Once you've decided on which of the two neighborhoods you'll be staying in, let us know, and we'll clue you in on all the not-to-missed spots.
I would consider the Lower East Side starting below Houston Street and I think most major publications agree with me. New York Magazine, at least. Maybe it's an age difference? I'm in my mid-20s.
If you live at 3rd and A, you're within walking distance (and delivery distance) of a lot of great places in the East Village and it's super easy to walk across Houston down onto Essex St and beyond. The neighborhood definitely skews young and hip, if that matters, and it a little noisy on the weekends, especially if you live right by a bar.
E Vill--it's a great eating area itself, and it's in proximity to a lot of other great eating areas (LES, W Vill, Chinatown). Hell's Kitchen is a good eating area, but if you venture further, you're in dreaded midtown, which I try to avoid unless I'm at work.
I would go for the East Village as well. I used to live a block away from East 3rd and Ave. A. and I really felt I was in chow heaven. Also, you are just a block away from the F train on 1st Ave and Houston St. There's a crosstown Houston Bus that can take you from the EV to the West Village...passing Nolita/Soho in between. There's the M14 (on Ave. A) and M9 (on Ave. B) that can take you North to Union Square and far South to Chinatown passing by the LES on the way. In the Theater district most restos will be on 9th Ave. and there's a crosstown bus on either 49th or 50th that can take you to Midtown East...which unfortunately is not that exciting in terms of chow specially if your looking for diveristy in cuisines. Prices downtown (below 23rd St.) generally are also more reasonable unless your going to a fine dining establishment. Also, in the East Village it can be noisy living on an Avenue (specially Ave. B) not really on A versus the numerical streets. As for demarcation, the term East Village now defines the area above of Houston East of Bowery and South of 14th St. which includes Alphabet City...and the LES generally refers to the areas South of Houston, East of Bowery and North of Delancey.