Lifestyle

Which NYC Neighborhood Should You Move To?

Published On 10/13/2015 Published On 10/13/2015

So you’ve decided to move to New York. Congrats on the best life decision ever. Like, ever. You won’t be sorry. But now comes the time to decide which New York is right for you. There are SO many neighborhoods in NYC, and if you’re not from here, it’s impossible to tell the difference between them. And even if you ARE from here, it’s impossible to keep track of each neighborhood’s monthly mood swings. Or at least it WAS until we put together this: a breakdown of 19 NYC neighborhoods for the next time you’re thinking about changing ZIP codes. P.S. It’s not an accident that Times Square is not on this list.

Flickr/Young Sok Yun

Astoria

The answer to proximity to Manhattan when you just can’t afford Brooklyn anymore.
Who lives here: Young professionals, families, and old-timers who have been in the neighborhood for generations
Average one-bedroom rent: $2,149/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: You aren’t coming to Astoria for the insane nightlife, unless your idea of insane nightlife is intense Greek nightclubs that belong back in 1999. But the restaurant/bar scene for the earlier hours in Astoria will leave your head spinning. And new ones are opening all the time. Start here. You’re welcome.
Public transit situation: The main access to Astoria is the N,Q, which run along 31st St. Astoria stops include 36th Ave, Broadway, 30th Ave, Astoria Blvd, and Ditmars Blvd. Further east into Astoria you can take the M,R to Steinway St or 46th St.
Quote from a resident: “Astoria manages to maintain its authenticity and sense of community (read: residents who have lived there all their lives and still sit on the stoops in lawn chairs to chat with their neighbors) while at the same time luring in very cool, modern restaurants and shops so that you have the best of everything in one neighborhood.”

Flickr/Bonnie Natko

Bed Stuy

Bedford-Stuyvesant (aka Bed Stuy) is a Brooklyn neighborhood in the Northern central part of the borough. Not as well known as other Brooklyn ‘hoods like Williamsburg and Park Slope, Bed Stuy is slowly increasing in popularity as the rents are much, MUCH cheaper than almost anywhere else.
Who lives here: The neighborhood is made up of predominantly old-school New Yorkers who were born and raised there. It is the second-largest African-American neighborhood in the country after the city of Detroit. The locals who live here have seen it change dramatically as hipsters and international travelers slowly carve out their own niches.
Average one-bedroom rent: $2,000/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Still pretty limited. Bed Stuy isn’t where you’re going if you want to “go out,” but if you’re there you can find a few gems like Saraghina, which serves awesome brick-oven pizza; The Hot House for delicious fried chicken and Southern treats; and Casablanca Cocktail Lounge, a local dive that keeps reinventing itself each generation.
Public transit situation: You’re not living in Bed Stuy if you like convenience. But the rent is cheap so you’ll get over it. You’ll be reliant on the G train at Bedford-Nostrand Ave or the A,C at Clinton/Washington Aves or Franklin Ave.
Quote from a resident: “I moved to Bed Stuy for its affordability and its proximity to other fun areas of Brooklyn, but I stayed for the cheap bars and friendly neighbors with roof access.”

Flickr/Devyn Caldwell

Boerum Hill

One of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods that is pretty damn picturesque, with tree-lined streets, brownstone charm, and that low-key vibe you probably left Manhattan for.
Who lives here: Young couples and families, along with the trendy set that left Manhattan because they just needed to “get away from it all” without actually going that far.
Average one-bedroom rent: $3,016/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Boerum Hill is part of a triangle that also includes neighborhoods Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. The three together make a cross-section of eclectic neighborhood bars and restaurants that are always filled with locals. Bar Tabac, Rucola, and Henry Public are just a few must-hit places. 
Public transit situation: Pretty convenient subway access; you can get the F,G at Bergen St or the M,R at Union St.
Quote from a resident: “It seems like whether you have a stroller or whether you’ve never been in a relationship in your life, there is something for you. One positive about Boerum Hill is that there are no box stores. It has kept its charm with the mom-and-pops and hopefully it will stay that way, but I doubt it.”

Flickr/John Gillespie

Chelsea

Socialites, trendsetters, and trailblazers have carved out this section of West Manhattan. It’s the hub of NYC’s gay scene and the real estate is some of the city’s best.
Who lives here: (Mostly) gay people
Average one-bedroom rent: $3,920/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Some of the city’s hottest restaurants and bars with the latest hours live in Chelsea. In the city that never sleeps, Chelsea is the one usually handing out the Red Bull. During lunchtime, you’re probably going to be at Chelsea Market’s Los Tacos No.1, sucking back the adobada tacos. Not into tacos? (Whatever...) Then make your way to The Red Cat and order yourself a Dirty Burger. If you’re rooftop drinking, then you’re going to be at Gallow Green on top of the McKittrick Hotel with the rest of the pretty people.
Public transit situation: 6th Ave is the main artery of Chelsea, so you’ll be reliant on the B,D,F, or M trains. But Chelsea also extends West toward 8th Ave, so you can easily take the A,C,E wherever you need to go.
Quote from a resident: “It’s been a great run as I’ve lived in Chelsea for over 10 years. However, I’ve seen many changes over the years, both good and bad. The neighborhood has a lot to offer and is super convenient as far as getting to Midtown, the West Village, and the Meatpacking/High Line. But the over-gentrification has pushed a lot of small businesses away. 8th Ave used to be a hub for the gay community, but many shops, restaurants, and bars have been pushed out by high rent and replaced with commercial/sterile chains and banks. It’s still a great place to live, but I miss the charm of old Chelsea.”

Flickr/Vincent Desjardins

East Village

What was once the pulse of NYC’s hippie/artist scene (have you seen Rent? Same, same.) has moved aside as NYU students and faculty have taken over. Still, it’s one of the best neighborhoods in NYC for culture, nightlife, and dining... if you don’t mind dining next to college kids.
Who lives here: With no fewer than five NYU dorms nearby, the East Village is crammed with students. A few old-timers have clung on for dear life as well, but the vibe in the East Village tends to swing toward the youth.
Average one-bedroom rent: $2,800/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Un.Freaking.Real. Good luck ever deciding on where to go. Seriously. But to start... try here and here.
Public transit situation: The heart of the East Village is the 6 at Astor Pl or the N,R at 8th St. But it is possible to walk to Union Square from almost anywhere in the East Village, putting you near the L, 4,5,6,N,Q, and R.
Quote from a resident: “The amount of food choices is crippling, in a good way. But don’t be surprised when the bro-next-door leaves a trail of pizza to your door in a boozy state and then vomits all over the floor... and then tries to clean it up with a slice of pizza.”

Flickr/Wally Gobetz

Financial District

The heart of NYC’s financial center. You’re going to live here if you work in a bank, are married to someone who works in a bank, or just like banks. It’s pretty dead after 5pm and on the weekends, but the locals who live there enjoy the quiet. And that they never have to pay an ATM surcharge because the Financial District has... all the banks.
Who lives here: Bankers, day traders, or people who REALLY like quiet
Average one-bedroom rent: $3,580/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: If you’re looking for all the nightlife, then you’re looking in the wrong neighborhood. The Financial District is at its peak during the daytime lunch rush at places like Europa Cafe or Pret A Manger. Still, there are a few pocketed-away local favorites. Visit Stone St during the summer months when the bars open their doors and spill out onto the cobblestone streets. Adrienne’s Pizza Bar is a favorite on this block. If you want ultra modern with swanky cocktails, visit the Living Room Bar at the W Downtown. If you want a lunch that ISN’T a salad with four toppings visit Ramen Co. and get the Brooklyn Blend ramen, or hit Zaitzeff for its half-pound Kobe and sirloin burgers.
Public transit situation: All. The. Trains. The central hub of the Financial District is Fulton St, where you can catch the A,C,J,Z,2,3,4,6 trains. You can also get the R at Cortlandt St or Rector St, the 1 at Rector St, or the 2,3,4,6 at Wall St.
Quote from a resident: “I like that the Financial District is dead after the work crowd leaves. It is pretty central to a lot of things, which is why I don’t mind living in an ‘uncool’ neighborhood. It forces me to leave so I can explore nearby places like Soho, Chinatown, and Tribeca. There are basically no food options, but that’s not terrible when you’re trying to budget or live on a diet.”

Flickr/Jens Schott Knudsen

Greenwich Village

NYU’s heart, for better or for worse. You know Greenwich Village because you’ve seen the Washington Square arch in more than a few films (Friends episodes?). Today the ‘hood is teeming with activity from NYU, whose students affectionately refer to Washington Square Park as “campus.”
Who lives here: All the NYU kids. And rich people.
Average one-bedroom rent: $3,850/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Smack between the East and West Village, Greenwich Village is prime territory for eating and drinking. For daytime eats, you could start at Melvin’s Juice Box/Miss Lily’s; tuck into the jerk chicken roti at this Caribbean restaurant-cum-juice bar. But you’d be foolish to move to Greenwich Village and miss out on a superb (if not slightly pricey...) steak at Minetta Tavern. You should also order the Black Label burger, but only if you’re into burgers that are made with tears of angels. At night, steer clear of MacDougal St if you want to avoid the underage fray. Your best bet is to wander over to the quieter corners of the neighboring West Village.
Public transit situation: Like the East Village, Greenwich Village is easily accessed via the 6 at Astor Pl or the N,R at 8th St. You can also catch the A,C,E or B,D,F,M at West 4th St.
Quote from a resident: “I love the energy of the people, restaurants, and convenience of the neighborhood. To me it is the quintessential NYC neighborhood with real New Yorkers -- and I know all of my neighbors. I will admit the NYU students can drive me nuts, and whenever I walk my dog in the morning I almost always see vomit on the corner of 11th St and University Pl, which is from the people at Reservoir Bar. No joke.”

Flickr/Jason Kuffer

Hell's Kitchen

Bordered by the Hudson River, Columbus Circle, Times Square, and Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen is a unique neighborhood with a seedy past. Once the capital of NYC’s sex tourism, Hell’s Kitchen retains its gritty personality, while reaping the best of gentrification with phenomenal restaurants and bars.
Who lives here: Anyone who works in Midtown West, artists, old-timers who are clinging to their rent-controlled apartments, and anyone who works in the theater industry
Average one-bedroom rent: $3,390/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: 9th and 10th Aves are flanked with a cornucopia of bars and restaurants, many of which are actually worth stopping into. They range from ultra high-end like Print, to old-school Italian at Bello, and dive bars like Rudy’s. For killer pizza try Annabel, and head to BarBacon if are into all things bacon like bacon flights, bacon lobster rolls, and bourbon.
Public transit situation: Hell’s Kitchen residents rely on the A,C,E, which run down 8th Ave, so it could be a bit of a walk the farther west you live. If you live on the Northern end of Hell’s Kitchen you can also get access to the 1,B, and D at Columbus Circle. You can also brave the flocks of tourists and general awfulness of Times Square and catch... LITERALLY any subway.
Quote from a resident: “Hell’s Kitchen is like the eye of the tornado, close enough to the subways and theater of Times Square, but isn’t somewhere the tourists are really venturing. It’s a beautiful neighborhood with brownstone buildings and streets lined with trees. It’s a 24-7 neighborhood, as well, with tons of restaurants and bars, and is a solid piece of NYC history.”

Flickr/Stijn Nieuwendijk

Lower East Side

What was once the heart of the immigrant community in NYC, the Lower East Side is packed with historic spots like Katz’s Deli and the Tenement Museum. It’s also a hub of creative and alternative nightlife, where grit meets glam and dives share sidewalk space with A-list hotspots.
Who lives here: An eclectic hodgepodge of old-timers, creatives, and fringe characters, you aren’t moving to the Lower East Side if you aren’t at least a little bit odd, but in a good way. The Lower East Side also rubs up against Chinatown, so you’re bound to get a good late-night takeout deal.
Average one-bedroom rent: $2,450/mo (but you aren’t getting much space for that!)
Bar and restaurant scene: Throw a stone in any direction and you will hit a gajillion bars (seriously). But start with these and see how you do. For good eats, you’re going to Ivan Ramen, and you’re ordering the Herbie’s International. You can also try The Fat Radish and order the burger, but only if you’re into really good burgers with aged cheddar and bacon and brioche buns. Its sister bar, The Leadbelly, is across the street and makes a mean cocktail alongside an irresistible oyster happy hour.
Public transit situation: Stops to know include Grand St (B,D), Bowery (J,Z), Second Ave (F), Delancey St-Essex St (F,J,M,Z), and East Broadway (F). You can also take the B,D,F,M to Broadway-Lafayette and walk a few blocks, too. It’s not THAT far.
Quote from a resident: 169 Bar summarizes my Lower East Side/below Delancey neighborhood. Until eight years ago it was a creepy no-name dive where hoodlums got shot. Now trendy NYC newbies wait in long lines to get in and then be packed like sardines.”

Flickr/Jeffrey Zeldman

Midtown East

With a reputation of all work and no play, Midtown East isn’t usually thought of as a hangout spot past happy hour, but the locals don’t mind it one bit when they get the ‘hood to themselves on the weekends.
Who lives here: High-powered career types who know they’ll be burning the midnight oil
Average one-bedroom rent: $3,330/month
Bars and restaurants: There’s not much going on in Midtown East after weekday happy hour, and even then you’re rarely scoring a deal (unless $6 beers is a deal to you). Still, there are a few noteworthy spots worth your time. Upstairs at the Kimberly has one of the best rooftop scenes around. For lunch, you’re visiting P.J. Clarke’s for a banging burger (if you can snag a seat amid all the suits). You’ll have the best of luck post 5pm wandering 2nd Ave’s stretch of bars and restaurants.
Public transit situation: Residents of Midtown East are reliant solely on the 4,5,6 subway lines, which run up Lexington Ave. This can make for a cramped and crowded situation on the occasions when the subway is delayed... which NEVER happens.
Quote from a resident: “Too old to be fist-pumping at Tonic, too poor to afford the West Village rent, and not hipster enough to hack it in Brooklyn? Say hello to Midtown East -- Manhattan’s equilibrium. It’s a great neighborhood to call home if you desire convenience, activity, and affordability in your late 20s, as long as you don’t mind the Queensboro Bridge traffic clogging up Third. Third and Lex is like a 'diet Fifth Ave' for shopping. Also, your friends won’t scoff about attending your housewarming party because you’re not ‘all the way on the Upper East.’”

Flickr/Jeffrey Zeldman

Murray Hill

Frequently the butt of many New York neighborhood jokes, Murray Hill has become known as the neighborhood for early-20-somethings who haven’t quite realized that college is over. Still, for those who enjoy a good late-night scene, this is a place to be.
Who lives here: Young professionals who work in Midtown, former NYU students, ALL the bros
Average one-bedroom rent: $3,300/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: The bar scene in Murray Hill catches a lot of flack thanks to notorious NYC “legends” like Joshua Tree and Tonic. The crowds here tend to swing more douchey than others, where UGG boots and button-downs are as ubiquitous as boozy Sunday football brunches. But all is not lost. There are still a few spots in Murray Hill that won’t make you want to slowly curl up into a ball and die to an Eddie Money throwback. These are them.
Public transit situation: The 6 at 33rd St is the main point of transfer in Murray Hill, but Grand Central Station’s 4,5,6,7 are not too far of a walk, either.
Quote from a resident: “I like living in Murray Hill because it’s convenient and an easy walk to other neighborhoods. The streets are a little quieter than they are Downtown, but I’m still close to everything I need... like Shake Shack.”

Flickr/Wally Gobetz

Park Slope

Just west of Prospect Park, Park Slope has a friendly mix of affluent young families and hipster neighbors who are bringing in all things reclaimed, locally farmed, and small batched.
Who lives here: Sidewalk walking becomes a game of stroller-dodging along 7th Ave and up near the park, but on lower avenues like 5th and 4th, closer to Gowanus, young professionals rule the roost. On the weekends, everyone comes together for outdoor picnics, barbecues, and bike rides in Prospect Park.
Average one-bedroom rent: $2,500/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: An ever-changing landscape of sweet bars and restaurants, there are old favorites that continue to please both existing and new generations of Park Slopians. Must-tries include Pork Slope for great BBQ, Union Hall for live music and and bocce, and Mission Dolores for all the beer.
Public transportation situation: Depending on where you live/how far you’re willing to walk, Park Slope gives you a lot of subway options. The F,G make stops at Fourth Ave, Seventh Ave, and 15th St-Prospect Park; the 2,3,4, stop at Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center, Bergen St, and Grand Army Plaza. The D,N,R trains serve Prospect Ave, Ninth St, and Union St; while the B,Q stop at Seventh Ave.
Quote from a resident: “Park Slope has a neighborhood-y feel and, depending on where you are between 4th Ave and Prospect Park, it can border on industrial or bougie, making it a home for a variety of personalities.”

Flickr/Chris Goldberg

Sunnyside

And as Astoria manages to fall victim to rent hikes, we present Sunnyside. 
Who lives here: A melange of international cultures, like Paraguayan, Filipino, and Indian, Sunnyside is pulling in young professionals (and serious foodies), as well, who want more bang for their buck.
Average one-bedroom rent: $2,000/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: You’d be remiss to not try everything in Sunnyside. Being a major community for West Asian immigrants, it’s a dizzying array of international delights. For Thai food try SriPraPhai, or Mangal Kabob for Turkish halal. Papa’s Kitchen has some of the best Filipino food in town, as well. For something a little more “modern,” visit Salt & Fat, which is indicative of how Sunnyside is not immune to the effects of gentrification.
Public transit situation: You’ll rely on the 7 train to get you in and out of Sunnyside, stopping at 33rd Street-Rawson St, 40th St-Lowery St, and 46th St-Bliss St.
Quote from a resident: “As someone who loves eating, Sunnywide is perfect because it conveniently has three large supermarkets contained within about seven blocks, and a smorgasbord of ethnic restaurants and more places are moving in all the time. On the downside, we get a lot of flack living off the 7 line because we never know if it will be running into Manhattan on the weekends and it’s the only line we have."

Flickr/Jussi

Tribeca

Still stark and a little industrial, Tribeca is a chic neighborhood packed with affluent couples and families, trendy bars and restaurants, a few galleries, and lots and lots of views.
Who lives here: Celebrities, lawyers, and judges that work for the Manhattan courts, and other very rich people who like doorman buildings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Most likely you cannot afford to live here.
Average one-bedroom rent: $4,100/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Restaurants in Tribeca are always changing but the ones that never seem to go out of style are Locanda Verde for Italian (and also sightings of Robert De Niro), Bubby’s for brunch and BBQ, and Distilled for all things gastropub. You’ll also want to check out these bars.
Public transit situation: A compact neighborhood; there are lots of subways within walking distance. You can grab the A,C,E at Canal St, the 1 at Franklin St, and the 2,3 at Chambers St.
Quote from a resident: “Tribeca is now Triburbia.”

Flickr/nycstreets

Union Square

Where Park Ave ends and the fun begins. Union Square sits at a crossroads of all sides of NYC. It’s a center of student life, business, entertainment, and fashion. The square itself is a hub for local artists, entertainers, a farmers' market, and some of NYC’s craziest characters. And it has almost every subway you could need.
Who lives here: Wealthy creatives, startup geniuses, NYU students whose parents have too much money
Average one-bedroom rent: $3,800/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: As the meeting place of the East Village, Greenwich Village, Gramercy, and the Flatiron, Union Square is jam-packed with bars and restaurants, making the choices overwhelming. Visit Bar 13 for a rooftop decked out with palm trees and a happy hour that lasts until 8pm. For a quintessential NYC bagel hit up Murray’s Bagels, and if it’s something like delicate sushi that pleases your palate, then it has to be 15 East. Check out the rest of our Union Square picks here
Public transit situation: The 4,5,6 and N,Q,R lines all run direct into Union Square. But if it’s further along 14th St you need to be, take the L line that runs straight across from 1st Ave to 8th Ave, connecting you to lines like the F,M at 6th Ave, 1,2,3 at 7th Ave, and the A,C,E at 8th Ave.
Quote from a resident: “Living near Union Square is incredible because you’re in the heart of it all -- restaurants, bars, theaters, stores, people from all walks of life... just steer clear of the ones on skateboards.”

Flickr/Jeffrey Zeldman

Upper East Side

A mixed bag of “you will never be able to afford this,” and “oh wow, this is surprisingly affordable.” And you’re walking distance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, and the Frick. Oh and consulates. ALL THE CONSULATES... which is great if you, like... need a visa.
Who lives here: Stroll along Park and Madison Aves and you’ll see how the other half lives. Your doctors, lawyers, and old family money rule the roost in this section of the neighborhood. Farther east toward the river are the graduates of Murray Hill, the young professionals and the doctors-in-training for the nearby Lenox Hill Hospital, New York Presbyterian, and Hospital for Special Surgery.
Average one-bedroom rent: $2,730/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: A huge mix of ethnic cuisines and graduate bro bars (read: not exactly Murray Hill bars, but you’ll still see plenty of button-down shirts and G&Ts). Second Ave continues to be an endless line of alternating bars and restaurants. Ones to know are The Penrose for cocktails and new American cuisine (McClure’s fried pickles!!!), Pizza Beach (please get the Thai coconut shrimp pizza, thank you), and Parlor Steakhouse for your boozy brunch. For all other things boozy, go here.
Public transit situation: You depend on the 4,5,6 and ONLY the 4,5,6. If you live closer to the East River, you’ll want to learn the bus situation because the walk to the subway on a frigid February morning is... unpleasant.
Quote from a resident: "Sure, it's sprinkled with your generic frat boy pubs and you may have to play chicken with a few double-wide strollers, but the Upper East has an unexpectedly homey neighborhood vibe with great grocery stores (a must for me) and easy access to Central Park and museums -- plus, a few of my favorite Downtown restaurants have even migrated north!"

Flickr/Jeffrey Zeldman

Upper West Side

A still-a-little-gritty, but awesomely funky neighborhood that maintains its “old-school” Manhattan vibe... with a dash of bougie thrown in.
Who lives here: The Upper West Side is a mix of serious NYC money along with recent Columbia graduates, families, and young professionals. What results is dive bars alongside fantastic restaurants alongside renovated pre-war apartment buildings that you will never be able to afford.
Average one-bedroom rent: $3,400/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Too much. Just memorize this and this.
Public transit situation: Depending on where you live, you have a few options. The farther west you live (Amsterdam to the West Side Highway) you’ll probably use the 1,2,3 subways. Closer to the park (Columbus to Central Park West), it’s most convenient to use the B,D,A,C. But be aware that the B train doesn’t run on weekends.
Quote from a resident: “If you're looking for a semi-posh neighborhood and willing to spend a bit more money, the UWS offers a lot in terms of spacious apartments and great restaurants, but be prepared to navigate streets filled with new parents pushing strollers.”

Flickr/Ismo

West Village

A mix of old-timers and some serious celebs, the West Village is a quiet corner of NYC, home to upscale boutiques, cavernous underground bars, and romantic restaurants. It’s a historic part of the city as well, but good luck finding your way around it. The whole grid system kind of breaks down once you cross 6th Ave...
Who lives here: Celebrities, people who scored rent-controlled apartments and never let go, classic New Yorkers, and a smattering of NYU kids
Average one-bedroom rent: $3,700/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: Like almost any other Downtown NYC neighborhood, your drinking and dining options are excellent. Simply consult this and this.
Public transit situation: The West Village is a walkable neighborhood and is bordered by major subway lines. The ones to know are the B,D,F,M,A,C,E at West 4th St or the 1 at Christopher St.
Quote from a resident: “I’ve lived in the West Village for 12 years and I love it... at least during the week. On weekends, the neighborhood swells with folks who pour in and out of bars and restaurants, making it somewhat insufferable for local residents (or at least for me). There are worse problems in the world. And it just means that on weekends, I go and make a stink of another (slightly less crowded) neighborhood. But during the week, the West Village is a great place to hang out, particularly west of 6th Ave.”

Flickr/Steel Wool

Williamsburg

Probably NYC’s most famous/“coolest”/most argued-about neighborhood. You either love it or hate it and if you hate it it’s because you probably wish you could live there. This is where it seems to ALL happen, from restaurants, to bars, to clubs, to galleries, to shopping. Also EVERYONE in this neighborhood seems to be under 40 and attractive. Everyone.
Who lives here: Williamsburg used to be nothing but warehouses and factories, so naturally it was the mothership for starving artists. The artists still live here but they are no longer starving. Today Williamsburg is the birthplace of NYC’s hipster movement, but has given way to new money as high rises, Starbucks, and a soon-to-be-coming Apple Store and Trader Joe’s move right on in. Oh, and there used to be Hassidic Jews, but they’ve moved to South Williamsburg because they can no longer afford to live there. Yay gentrification.
Average one-bedroom rent: $3,230/mo
Bar and restaurant scene: You will make yourself sick trying to eat at or keep up with them all. It’s an ever-changing landscape and usually in a good way. You will want to keep these bookmarked, but by the time you read them about 15 new places will have opened.
Public transit situation: Usually the L train, which means you’re essentially fucked as that’s the subway that the MTA likes to shut down the most. If you live in South Williamsburg, you can also use the J,M,Z but that’s only convenient if you work in Downtown Manhattan or anywhere on 6th Ave.
Quote from a resident: “Williamsburg is just the next victim in New York’s continuous gentrification. During the week you can still enjoy the great bars and restaurants that brought everyone to it in the first place. However, it has become overcrowded and terrible on the weekends. It’s simply another crowded Manhattan neighborhood, only not in Manhattan.”

Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.

Meagan Drillinger is a freelance writer for Thrillist and thinks this whole guide will be irrelevant in exactly two months. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @drillinjourneys.

close

Learn More