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...
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.
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!
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.
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."
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.