During my brief stay in New York, I stayed at Ink48 Hotel, within walking distance of the Javits Convention Center where I was working. On previous trips, I’ve stayed in Times Square, the Upper East Side and next to Central Park. This time around the neighborhood of choice was Hell’s Kitchen, named for a quote by Davy Crockett referring to Five Points, saying, “In my part of the country, when you meet an Irishman, you find a first-rate gentleman; but these are worse than savages; they are too mean to swab hell’s kitchen.” It was a gritty neighborhood for a long time, so I was surprised how much I liked the area, despite how little there is to actually “see” in the traditional sense.
Updated to include more places!
Close to Sights, but Quiet Enough
Hell’s Kitchen is a good area to stay in no matter what you’re looking for. If you want to hang out in Times Square and go to Broadway shows, you are a short walking distance from the area. It’s also a short walk from Central Park, Columbus Circle, the High Line and the Garment District and easily accessible by subway. You can catch just about every line at Times Square and the 7 to Queens from Hudson Yards. But if you want to avoid the mess of those areas, it’s very easy to get what you need nearby. There are CitiBike locations all around the neighborhood for a faster commute.
Popular Filming Location
One morning as we walked to work past the Chelsea Garden Center (now closed), we saw them filming White Collar. They also film other scenes on nearby Riverside Drive. The Daily Show is filmed in the area as is Montel Williams Show and many celebrities have made their homes in the neighborhood. I’ve once seen actors from Orange is the New Black walking around as well.
Plenty of Parks
I walked past dozens of small parks along my way to the subway, including Hell’s Kitchen Park and De Witt Clinton Park. Central Park and Chelsea Waterside Park, as well as the High Line, were also nearby. Green spaces like these keep a city from feeling too big and too concrete. You can also bike or walk the entirety of Riverside Drive via the Hudson River Greenway.
Dining Options and Rooftop Bars
My many trips to New York have allowed me to experience many Hell’s Kitchen restaurants. Most are congregated around 9th Avenue, but a few are located closer to my hotel on 11th. Five Napkin Burger offers upscale burgers and bar food. Sunac Natural Market is our morning go-to, offering bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and yogurt. Gotham West Market has a number of options, including ramen and tapas, and is the ideal stop on the way home from work. Sullivan Street Bakery has an outpost nearby that sells freshly baked bread, sandwiches, and pastries. Pio Pio is a surprisingly big Peruvian restaurant with authentic pisco sours. You’ll likely have to wait in line at Pure Thai Cookhouse, but the authentic food at this cozy eatery is worth it. Añejo is another one of our standbys, with the best tequila selection in town as well as ceviche and tacos.
The Press Lounge has some of the best views in town, as you can see in the top picture. Drinks are expensive and you’ll be sharing the views with a large crowd. Frying Pan is a bar on a boat in the Hudson River with views of New Jersey. The Landmark Tavern is a historic pub with decent bites and a menu of classic beers like Guinness and Smithwick’s.
For local experiences in New York City, check out Urban Adventures tours.