New York City is a melting pot, and few corners of the city blend such a wide array of cultures, styles and tastes quite like the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood does. It also has some seriously cool spots to explore. Here are 10 places that give Hell’s Kitchen its energy and its character.
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market logo
Courtesy Will Speros
Hell's Kitchen Flea Market
Burrito Box | Courtesy of Will Speros
An staple not only of the neighborhood but the city at large, the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market is not to be missed. Whether you are interested in snacking on some great local bites or in dire need of new flannel, the Flea Market will hook you up. Table after table offers up everything from antique cameras to vintage sunglasses to customized weaponry. Patrons will also surely learn a thing or two about how to haggle by watching the pros work for a bargain in a supremely entertaining fashion.
It’s remarkable that such a small-hole-in-the-wall houses such unforgettable food. Amid the Hell’s Kitchen lunch rush, you can count on Burrito Box overflowing with patrons and for good reason. As if complimentary homemade chips and salsa are not enough of a draw, their fat, loaded burritos offer a different blend of ingredients that prove quite refreshing compared to the chains we tend to frequent. Though mostly a spot for take-out, those lucky enough to snag a barstool can enjoy some good 9th Avenue people-watching while savoring every last bite.
Rudy’s offers its patrons complimentary hotdogs with each drink order. Formerly a speakeasy that has since been frequented by some of New York’s most famous residents, this dive is easy to spot for its iconic pig statue, which has served as the bar’s vigilant bouncer for two decades. Rich with history, booze, and hot dogs, Rudy’s Bar is a must for tourists and New Yorkers alike.
With a beer list sent from the heavens, it’s no wonder this beer hall on 9th Avenue gets its name from Viking place of eternal rest. Beer lovers will swoon at the wall-to-wall taps, serving up the best brews for all seasons. Valhalla also takes bar food up a notch as well, with savory sliders and buffalo wings packing a unique kick. Valhalla amplifies the average bar experience by putting an emphasis on quality flavors. Beer fans from far and wide will all tell you: Valhalla is nothing short of paradise.
Those looking to indulge their sweet tooth look no further than Holey Cream. Conveniently located amid a sprawl of bars, this snack shop lets you construct a dessert of legendary proportions. First, you build your donut, complete with frosting and toppings. Then, you pile on the ice cream of your choice and smother it in whatever you like. Some may find it hard to finish even one, but this sugary delight unlike any other will have you returning in no time.
In a stretch of Thai restaurants, Pure is without a doubt one of the surest bets. The ambience of this tiny gem has an authentic charm that is sometimes absent from many of the spots in the neighborhood. Along with their quiet, tasteful aesthetic, Pure’s number one priority is flavor and they deliver. Accessible to both the novice and even the most experienced foodie, Pure stands out among its local rivals and lives up to its namesake of pure, quality taste.
Island Burger‘s menu is so massive it could bring a tear to your eye, and it promises a burger to please all palates. From the most simple patty and bun combo to the most decadent indulgence, Island Burgers & Shakes can truly do no wrong for the burger lover in us all.
Whether you come for the scantily clad waiters or the rooftop bar, odds are you leave Boxers remembering some unforgettable sights. In addition to the eye candy and hard-to-beat happy hour deals, Boxers’ famous roof offers guests a chance to hang out and enjoy the sights and sounds unique to Hell’s Kitchen. If heights are not for you, the basement offers up an arcade complete with many favorites. Even if you’re just looking to enjoy a drink and watch the game, Boxers has you covered too.
Once you get past the seemingly endless crowd ordering drinks, Bar Nine will show you a good time. The space includes a few classic arcade games, pool tables, a photo booth, and ski ball. Expansive chalkboard walls are also a sure way to spice up your evening out. With a live band filling this deceptively big watering hole with old classics on the weekends, Bar Nine does good times the old fashioned way, even if that means belting out some oldies. Fridays and Saturdays are especially packed at Bar Nine as they host a ‘Dueling Piano Show’ featuring Donnie Kehr of Jersey Boys. If you want to see what we’re talking about, it’s best to reserve a place in advance.
Many New Yorkers seem to have a love/hate relationship with this Hell’s Kitchen’s venue, but nearly all of us have endured a night or two there that we have surely never forgotten. From sold out shows that barely afforded us space to dance in front of the stage, to rubbing shoulders with famous faces who also turned out for the night, Terminal 5 is something of a rite of passage in our city. With three staggering floors, it is easy to find space to get your swerve on or just hang by one of the many bars.