When you are planning a trip to hells kitchen New York City, you hear all about Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Midtown Manhattan dominates the list of must-see attractions. However, if you venture a bit west of Midtown, you will enter Hell’s Kitchen, a community worth visiting.
Why would one want to visit a place named Hell’s Kitchen and what would they do there? Here’s a guide to this historically significant, culture-filled part of New York City.
Hell’s Kitchen History
One of the most distinctive things about Hell’s Kitchen is its name. While the exact origin can’t be pinpointed, the name was directly connected to the area’s role as an Irish slum sometime in the 1880s. Developers have since tried to rename it with something more aurally pleasing as the area was gentrified, but nothing else has stuck.
Due to zoning regulations, building heights are limited, making the area seem smaller than its gargantuan surroundings to the east. This has also limited development opportunities over the years, keeping the neighborhood intact.
What to See in Hell’s Kitchen
Hell’s Kitchen is filled with interesting bars and restaurants, as well as a couple more popular tourist attractions. Most notable is the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. This educational institution is home to the famous Intrepid aircraft carrier, as well as the Enterprise space shuttle.
If you’re heading to Hell’s Kitchen though, what you really want to experience are the food and music. From dive bars to rooftop lounges, rock and roll to jazz, this small neighborhood bordering the Hudson River has it all.
Where to Eat in Hell’s Kitchen
While in New York, eat as the New Yorker’s do. You can’t leave Hell’s Kitchen without trying a piece of New York style pizza. For that experience, you’ll either want to head to Sbarro’s for an extra large slice or Don Antonio by Starita for an authentic blend of New York City and Italy. Don Antonio’s even dips one of their pizzas in the deep fryer for an amazing (if totally unhealthy) experience.
If you are done with your pizza tasting, you can broaden your horizons and visit Kashkaval for a delectable Mediterranean spread or Nizza for a blend of Mediterranean, Italian, and French. For finer dining, hit La Silhouette and try the veal.
Where to Party in Hell’s Kitchen
Image Source: Flickr
If New York is the city that never sleeps, Hell’s Kitchen is party central that keeps everyone awake all night. Visit Rudy’s for free hotdogs and cheap shots or the Albert Hall Tavern for a large selection of draft on tap.
For a wilder atmosphere, you will definitely want to visit the Fairytale Lounge. This glittering dance club lives up to its name with Victorian-inspired decor and the option to take drinks off the back of mythical creatures.
Wine connoisseurs will love Ardesia and the Xai Xai Wine Bar, while craft beer drinkers will find their home in The Pony Bar, a diamond in the rough that is the Hell’s Kitchen nightlife.
Where to Sleep in Hell’s Kitchen
If you want to truly embrace the nightlife, pack your bags and head to the Hudson. With a gorgeous rooftop lounge and beer hall, you can start or finish the night with a drink with fellow tourists.
Ink48 is a boutique-style hotel which offers a more modern, elegant approach to accommodation. Though the look is modern and sophisticated, there are hidden elements of the building’s printing house past, including the name.
Yotel New York is an experience in itself. Though much of Hell’s Kitchen pays tribute to the past, Yotel makes you feel like you’ve traveled to the future. You’ll notice that they list their address as “Midtown West” which is one of the many names developers have used in lieu of Hell’s Kitchen.
How to Get There
Hell’s Kitchen is just a hop, skip, and jump away from Times Square, and according to TopView Tours, just a brief walk from most major tourist attractions in the area. That means that you can absolutely find the time to stop by Hell’s Kitchen and experience the lively lifestyle of this vibrant, historic neighborhood.
Featured Image Source: Flickr