The name may confuse you at first; however, this neighborhood is anything but hell. Hell’s Kitchen is home to many intimate theaters, very diverse restaurant choices and some really exciting parties. The area is also characterized by an abundance of things that are way too big to go anywhere else in Manhattan such as car dealerships, the Port Authority Terminal, cruise liners and more. Hell’s Kitchen is a fun neighborhood with good-looking people and tons of cool places to go to. Choosing the stand-out spots is the hardest part, but here’s our guide to the best bars, restaurants, and shops in the area.
Just like the neighborhood, the arts in Hell’s Kitchen is unlike other parts of Manhattan. The Affirmation Arts, for instance, is an exhibition venue for individuals and formal partners, while Sean Kelly Gallery is more traditional. Avoid your phone when strolling down the street in this area, as you may certainly come across some magnificent street art works. The contemporary art scene is primarily lead by 555ten, but you can browse through several other galleries including Jadite Galleries, Fountain House Gallery, Gallery MC, Art Addiction and many others circulating around the blocks of this Midtown West neighborhood. Hell’s Kitchen is also home to one of New York City’s most famous, the Theater District, where world-class entertainment and high-energy street performers will be easy to come by.
CULTURAL & HISTORICAL HUBS
(Photo by Flickr U. M.)
Hell’s Kitchen is a history and culture oasis. Learn more about the aircraft at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum where you can spend hours browsing the site. Or, head to Pier 96, where swimming is allowed. Please note that it’s organized by the Manhattan Island Foundation; so, be sure to schedule before you go. Also, make some time to go to the Hudson River Park, which played a major role in the transformation of this neighborhood. Consider discovering the park by joining our Waterfront Bike Tour. Besides, biking is a wonderful way to see the sights of Hell’s Kitchen, because it’s bike-friendly streets. If you are with kids go to Hell’s Kitchen Park or De Witt Clinton Park, which is six acres big and has enough space for your children to let loose.
(Photo by Jason P.)
A trip to New York City is not complete without a really great dining experience that will leave you wanting more. In this neighborhood, Print Restaurant and Esca always provide superb dining experiences. Esca’s main competition is Toloache, which serves authentic and extraordinary Mexican plates in a Paris bistro vibe. Another great Spanish restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen is Pio Pio. There are also some cheap eats like Totto Ramen, Empanada Mama and Gazala’s Place that all deserve great reviews. Finding something to eat in Hell’s Kitchen is probably the easiest thing to do. You can even get a slice of pizza for just $1 on West 41st Street and 9th Avenue. Hell’s Kitchen delighted residents and visitors are drawn to many things but the sweet treats are definitely on many people’s list. The numerous types of desserts available echo the diversity of this community. Whether you want a sweet Japanese treat like bubble tea at Vivi Bubble Tea, or some cupcakes at the Cupcake Café nearby the Port Authority Bus Terminal, in this neighborhood your option is all but limited. If you are heading to Amy’s Bread, mornings are the best time to go as their delicious pastries sell out quickly. But, their organic treats and sandwiches are usually obtainable in the afternoon. Another good stop is Donna Bell’s Bake Shop, which is partly owned by NCIS actress Pauley Perrette and serves classic Southern baked goods and savories.
BARS & NIGHTLIFE
(Photo by Devyn C.)
Beer fanatics can head straight to the Beer Authority, the New York Beer Company or the Pony Bar where a staggering amount of craft brews are available along with munchies for the non-enthusiasts. For cocktails lovers: Industry bar and Library Bar at Hudson New York both have extensive selections to choose from. As the neighborhood that hosts a few of the city’s biggest dance clubs like Pacha and XL Nightclub, Hell’s Kitchen attract both gay and straight crowds.With more than a dozen LGBTQ bars in the area, Hell’s Kitchen’s large gay population has fashioned the nightlife scene somewhat vividly along 9th and 10th avenue. The nightlife here doesn’t stop at clubs; you can also go to lounges like Therapy and the Ritz Bar & Lounge. If you prefer smaller venues or cabarets, then check out Don’t Tell Mama and Fairytail Lounge.
(Photo by Maciek L.)
Hell’s Kitchen is no Fifth Avenue, but it has a lot of interesting bookstores, jewelry stores, adult shops, furniture stores, and other niche stores that may spark your interest. For such a bustling neighborhood, it often throws visitors off guard when they approach the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market open every Saturday and Sunday year round on West 39th Street & 9th Avenue, offering merchandise ranging from vintage clothing to mid-century housewares and modern crafts. Hell’s Kitchen is also a great area to shop for menswear with stores like Tagg, Universal Gear along with Fine and Dandy where they curate looks specifically for you to look your best.
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It may look a little detached from Times Square but the locals actually appreciate the mellow ambiance that you don’t really expect only a few blocks away from one of the busiest locations in New York City. Explore Hell’s Kitchen and tell us what your favorite things are about this neighborhood.