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Best Dining Neighborhood?

If you had to live in the neighborhood just for the food, what would it be, why?

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  1. East Village

    1. Tons of relatively affordable places
    2. Tons of places
    3. Diverse
    4. I live there
    5. David Chang

    1 Reply
    1. That is a tough one. I agree with East Village based solely on affordable and good quality dining options. But, I would have to say UWS for Fairway, Citarella and Zabar's. I think Union Square area might be the best blend of everything since you have the Market, TJ within walking distance and Balducci's and then plenty of restaurants.

      6 Replies
      1. re: offthebeatenpath1

        I agree that the UWS is great for shopping - and has Barney Greengrass - and, while it's getting better, I don't think it is the "best" because of the restaurant choices. Of course, I live on the UES, which is also not great in that area, though I think the UES has more restaurants, and therefore simply as a matter of numbers, I can find more places that I want to eat at on the UES than I do on the UWS. That said, we tend to head downtown pretty often, though we also tend to go to the same places over and over again. We also do a lot of our grocery shopping downtown - Despana, DiPalo, Murrays, Faicco, Citarella on 6th Avenue when we're in the area, Jefferson Market, Chinatown .....

        This thread would probably be particularly useful if we mentioned specific places where we like to shop and eat in the neighborhoods.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Right, shopping and dining are two different things. All I know is that Midtown East is NOT the way to go for either, which is where I live now.

          1. re: offthebeatenpath1

            Yes - though you have Ideal Cheese, that nearby great butcher the name of which I always forget, the fish monger next to Ideal Cheese, and Bridge Kitchenware.

            1. re: offthebeatenpath1

              This may be one of those "grass is greener" calls, but I lived at Broadway in the low 90s for several years and wouldn't give it the edge over Midtown East for dining or shopping. For those (like me) who love Asian food, cooking as well as eating out, the UWS is not the best place to be.

              Not sure exactly where you are, but in your general neighborhood I would appreciate the heavy concentration of authentic Japanese restaurants, Katagiri for shopping, the relative proximity of K-town, and the straight shot down the IRT to Chinatown.

              1. re: squid kun

                You are right. I am not a huge fan of Asian in general, so that is not a huge consideration for me.

          2. re: offthebeatenpath1

            I've lived right in the heart of the UWS for nearly 3 years now and while the dining scene is definitely much-improved, I still can't put my neighborhood that high up on any culinary list. Sure it's great to have Fairway right there and I'm a minute away from Pioneer, but when it comes time to chow down, there's almost nothing worth its price in the neighborhood. I mean, for crying out loud, a bagel with lox at Barney Greengrass is $13.25! Most of the neighborhood is comprised of overpriced, mediocre haunts. What few great places exist charge an excessive premium (no way that they're paying more for rent in the W70s than a similar place in the WV). The area is a virtual wasteland for Asian, good pizza or really anything ethnic unless Morningside now counts as UWS. The West Village, however, has a wealth of options in varying cuisines and costs. I can hardly imagine a better place to be.

          3. We live in Midtown because it's convenient. I work near my residence and DH works in Connecticut (takes the Metro North). Not our ultimate neighborhood in terms of food and other things, but Manhattan is a very small borough and find that it's easy to get around. We probably walk more than most people, so our location doesn't really bother us too much. But if we could pick where we could live just for food, I would probably say the Village (Washington Square Park area) -- not too far to C-town, Soho, East Village, West Village, Union Square/Chelsea/Flatiron/ LES.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Miss Needle

              Union Square/Flatiron/Chelsea/W Village because they're contiguous and have the most diversity in terms of food styles, the market, and shopping possibilities.

            2. I love Prospect Heights/Park Slope, but agree that in Manhattan the West Village and East Village are tops.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ginsbera

                East Village and West Village, totally. Chinatown a distant third. I hated living in the Upper East Side foodwise due to the lack of good ethnic or new American options (although lately its improved a touch.)

              2. west village...no question