Welcome to Hell’s Kitchen, a vibrant neighborhood located on the west side of Midtown Manhattan, New York City. With its rich history, diverse culinary scene, and artistic vibe, Hell’s Kitchen has transformed from a gritty industrial area to a trendy and exciting destination for locals and tourists alike. In this blog post, we’ll explore the hidden gems, mouth watering eateries, and unique experiences that make Hell’s Kitchen a must-visit neighborhood in the Big Apple. We’ll share our fave coffee spot, eateries and things to do in the area.
Video Travel GUide
We were last in the neighborhood for the New York Travel & Adventure Show held at the Javits Center each year. If YOU are attending this or another convention at this venue, we’ve got another post with tips and tricks, but to plan the rest of your visit, keep reading!
Where To Stay:
There are always plenty of hotel options in the city, and when it comes to space, New York is one of the few places where the adage “you get what you pay for just doesn’t align” I’ve paid crazy amounts of money to stay in boujie hotels that offer you a bed that touches 3 out of 4 walls and feels like a walk in closet. This isn’t Texas, it’s NY, so space comes at a premium, and you’ll typically pay extra if you want to see something out of your window that isn’t a brick wall.
That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about the pleasantly surprising experience I had at Ink 48. This hotel is stunning and clean and full of amenities. It’s an easy walk to the theater district, the Javits Center, and Hudson Yards. The prices are fair, the rooms were clean and roomy and the suite upgrade with a view is totally worth a little splurge for a lot of NY out your window!
Where To Eat:
One of the main reasons why Hell’s Kitchen stands out is its exceptional culinary offerings. From trendy gastropubs to fine dining establishments, this neighborhood caters to every palate and budget. Restaurant Row, along West 46th Street, is a culinary haven boasting a myriad of international cuisines. Here, you’ll find everything from traditional Italian trattorias to authentic Thai, Mexican, and Mediterranean eateries. Make sure to arrive hungry and let your taste buds embark on a flavorsome journey!
Mercado Little Spain
One of our favorite ways to experience this is just a few blocks from the Javits Center in Hudson yards. Mercado Little Spain, located on the ground floor of Hudson Yards is a tangible love letter to Spain from chef Jose Andres and his team. Inspired by the markets of his home country, chef has created a mecca for gathering and experiencing the energy, food, and passion of Spanish cuisine. You could spend hours exploring and tasting your way through Mercado Little Spain and if you have the time, we highly recommend it, but if you’re looking for a delicious break to make your tastebuds soar, we highly recommend the tapas experience at La Barra.
If you follow us on Instagram, you know small plates is the 6th Love Language and my FAVORITE way to eat. Who wants to commit to one unknown dish, when you can taste your way through a whole menu? La Barra allows you to sit and sip while small plates come out 2-3 at a time. With vegetarian options, seafood, tender meats and decadent sauces, you might have a reaction similar to mine and you’ll definitely want to come back for more!
Another great option is the Michelin star Korean tasting experience at Kochi on 10th Avenue. Kochi is the Korean word for skewers and chef Shim’s tasting menu combines the accessibility of street food with the depth of traditional Korean flavors to create a unique and fresh experience. The nine course tasting menu presents delicate but robust courses that are exquisitely presented and offered to diners with treasures ranging from caviar to truffles, to wagyu steak and not one but two desserts to finish.
Hell's Kitchen Art Scene:
Beyond its culinary prowess, Hell’s Kitchen also houses a thriving art scene. The neighborhood is home to numerous galleries and studios, showcasing the works of both established and emerging artists. Wander through the streets and discover vibrant murals, sculptures, and public art installations that add color and vibrancy to the area. We love exploring Pier 84 and soaking in the views of the Hudson, are excited by the live shows and community at The Irish Arts Center, and look forward to soaking in the local art and shopping at Domus and supporting artists around the world. As you explore south into Hudson Yards be sure to visit The Shed for innovative art and dazzling exhibits!
Entertainment and Nightlife:
Hell’s Kitchen truly comes alive after dark, with an array of entertainment options and a bustling nightlife. Broadway enthusiasts will be delighted to find themselves just a stone’s throw away from the renowned Theater District. Catch a dazzling musical or a thought-provoking play and experience the magic of live theater.
For those seeking a lively night out, Hell’s Kitchen offers a plethora of bars, clubs, and lounges. Whether you prefer sophisticated cocktail bars, vibrant dance clubs, or cozy dive bars, this neighborhood has it all. Raise a glass, mingle with the locals, and dance the night away in the heart of New York City’s nightlife scene.
The Press Lounge
Our top recommendation for where to start is the rooftop bar The Press Lounge which offers craft cocktails, small plates and absolutely swoon-worthy views of Manhattan. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel (which we do highly recommend), I still definitely recommend you pop by for a drink and a swoon. Indoor and outdoor options allow you to take in the full magic of Manhattan at its most serene before you dive into exploring it further!
For this particular trip we were pretty immersed in the travel and adventure show and didn’t have as much time for exploring, but we did add the Intrepid museum to our list for next time and if you find yourself with time to spare, you’re a short walk to the theater district to take in a show as well.
So, the next time you’re in the Big Apple, make sure to venture into Hell’s Kitchen and immerse yourself in its eclectic atmosphere. Prepare to be captivated by the flavors, inspired by the art, and enthralled by the energy that defines this remarkable neighborhood. Hell’s Kitchen awaits, ready to show you a side of New York City you won’t soon forget!
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