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Best chowish neighborhood?

What are the best neighborhoods (particular streets/blocks would be helpful here) in Manhattan for great varieties of wonderful, diverse food? Am moving to Manhattan soon and have some choice about where to live...

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  1. I'll put a vote in for the East Village but you really can't go that wrong with any part of the East side from 14th street all the way down to Chinatown.

    1. I think it will depend upon your age group whether you'd think it's the East Village or just The Village. There are a lot of places in the East Village, but the vibe is VERY young. so if you are, then it is!

      1. Another vote for the East Village here, too. Union Square would be good if you like to cook (go Greenmarket and Whole Foods) and go out to some of the notable Flatiron-ish restaurants.

        But I think East Village (and the LES) win out in terms of diversity (and the new Whole Foods on Bowery/Houston is pretty amazing).

        West Village also has some great spots. I've avoid that weird Central Village, NYU nether-zone, though.

        See also: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/367684

        PS I define West Village as 14th to Houston Streets, west of 6th Avenue, East Village as 3rd Avenue/Bowery to East River, between 14th St and Houston. And Lower East Side as Houston to Delancey Streets, between the Bowery and the East River... Some hounds definitions of those neighborhoods may vary, dependent on generation, mostly.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          The "weird Central Village, NYU netherzone" is GREAT for hounds! Close walking distance to East and West villages, Union Square and not far from Soho, Gramercy or Chelsea.

          1. re: maxine

            Eh, but there's a number of lame student eateries (and many students) around.

            I'd rather live IN the East or West Village than within a 10-15 minute walk.

        2. Grand St is good. There's the Donut Plant, Kossar's Bialy', Egg Custard King, the Pho place...what have I forgotten?

          3 Replies
          1. re: lucybobo

            The Pickle Guys! Man, you make me wish I lived around there again!

            1. re: rose water

              Hell's Kitchen and the whole 9th Avenue stretch in the 40s and 50s is wonderful. Nothing but restaurants.

            2. re: lucybobo

              Yum . . .I need a pear donut, do they still have them?

              I live in lower manhattan which is ridiculously overpriced these days because it's become "trendy." I see a lot of whining about no place to food shop and near the Seaport many of the restaurants leave alot to be desired. That said, I can walk to Chinatown & Little Italy (for food shopping, not eating), the Union Square Greenmarket/Trader Joe's is one subway stop, Fairway in Red Hook is a 10 min. drive when I can find a car, it's a quick bus/bike ride to the new Whole Foods on Houston/Essex Street Market/Economy Candy/Earth Matters (small, independent health food store). Then there are restaurants: TriBeCa, LES, EV, Chinatown.

              So you might want to keep to be a bit North of where I am. Suggest you stick to places near good transportation hubs (why I love downtown so much), that will also give you easy access to outer boroughs. Just watch out for bars, too many students wherever you live (only if you want peace & quiet as a lifestyle). Agree w/Ora's comments below. My neighborhood has had an influx of restaurants/bar (food smells!). We are always concerned about becoming another "Stone Street."

            3. Another good street is E Houston. You could start around Bowery where the amazing new Whole Foods is that someone mentioned. Then keep walking east and you will hit the Himalayan restaurant and the cheap Indian place where all the taxi drivers go (both on the north side.) Then on the south side is Bereket, great Turkish kebabs, Russ&Daughters, Katz's. You could go all the way to Clinton St and make a detour for the Clinton St. Baking Company etc etc.

              1. I have lived in NYC for the vast majority of my life, I can safely tell you that you may not necessarily want to live where you like to eat. I like to eat in virually all the neighborhoods of Manhattan; however, there are many neighborhoods that I have absolutely no interest in living in for a variety of reasons (I won't name names). This board seems to skew toward far downtown when people express preferences, which is fine. But, this island and city have a lot of choices to offer--for eating and living.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Ora

                  Thanks, Ora. Well put. To read this post, apart from one mention of Hell's Kitchen, you'd think that the island ended abruptly at 14th Street. Harlem happens to be a very Chowish neighborhood - what about all the African offerings (Senegal, Ghana, Ethiopian) on 116th Street and the environs, not to mention soul food, and places like Sandy's and Chuchifritos, countless others in East Harlem. Washington Heights, with chicken joints such as El Malecon, El Mundo and Capital Fried Chicken, is a great hood to explore for Dominican chow. Manhattan's a big island; eat up.
                  P.

                2. Both east and west village...

                  1. West village- moved away from there to the Upper West Side recently. To be fair I used to eat in the East Village and LES pretty often also. I do miss Claude's Patisserie on West 4th early on weekend mornings though, plus you can beat the rush to Pearl Oyster Bar etc as much as that's possible if you're right there.