Upper East Side
The Upper East Side is the embodiment of haute Manhattan culture. Home to a large percentage of the city’s elite, this neighborhood boasts unbelievable townhouses and mansions overlooking Central Park, avenues lined with designer shops and boutiques, and an incredible restaurant selection. You may never be a resident of this exclusive area, but it’s certainly worth a visit.
You’ve probably heard the stereotypes about Williamsburg, and all that hipster talk is no joke. This is the spot for the trendiest new bars and restaurants, and a hoard of homogeneously dressed mid-20 to 30 year olds. Head over for some of the city’s best thrift shops, the Brooklyn Flea or a seriously fun night out.
Sound advice from New Yorkers everywhere: avoid it. Midtown is characterized by hoards of slow-walking tourists and dense crowds. From the hustle and bustle of 34th Street to the insanity that is Times Square, Midtown is the embodiment of every New Yorker’s nightmare. Great for tourists, not so great for locals.
Brooklyn’s neighborhoods have gone through some serious changes in recent years. Greenpoint, a charming area with a plethora of hipster bars and restaurants, is still highly associated with Eastern European culture. Here, you’ll find Polish and Ukrainian versions of your local bodega, and no shortage of incredible pierogi spots (not that we’re complaining).
Greenwich Village screams university life, and harkens back to your college days. With NYU located around Washington Square Park, it’s unavoidable to come across a plethora of 20-somethings in all the local bars and restaurants, scurrying to a class, and skateboarding through the archway in the morning’s wee hours. Greenwich Village has a younger vibe as a result, and no shortage of great dive bars and restaurants.
Trendy meets a special brand of NYC suave in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. One of the city’s most cultural areas, Chelsea caters to people of all ages and interests for its world-renowned gallery scene to its incredible restaurants, its proximity to the highly traveled High Line, and the seriously chic Meatpacking District. You’ll find locals lunching outdoors and walking some rather posh-looking dogs.
SoHo is for the boho-chic, the fashion-forward and the in-the-know New Yorker. What used to be the most popular artist hangout spot back in the 1960s and 70s, SoHo has turned into the fashion capital of the city. Its popularity has seen up-and-coming artists out, and brought celebrities in with proper NYC rent prices. However, you can still find New Yorkers shopping at the newest boutiques, drinking espressos in small cafes, and gossiping at some of the city’s best bars and restaurants.
Tribeca is for the New Yorkers who spend all of their time working during the day and working out on weekends. Among some of the city’s most picturesque streets, you’ll spot yogis on their way to an exclusive gym, and groups of friends heading to Soul Cycle. By night, you’ll find many an amateur film critic attending an independent screening at the Tribeca Cinema.
One of New York City’s most culturally rich and diverse neighborhoods, Harlem has long been a historic part of the city’s jazz culture. While this holds true today, Harlem has changed quite a bit in recent years, and caters to a steady increase in tourism. Now home to museums, incredible restaurants and trendy speakeasies, it’s still the best place to go for a local mom and pop shop with unparalleled soul food.
Lower East Side
The Lower East Side is one of New York City’s grittiest historical neighborhoods. Today, the area maintains its original punk-rock vibe, but is characterized by some of the city’s best bars and local hangouts.