Hell’s Kitchen, also known as Clinton, is considered as one of the most significant neighborhood of Manhattan that spreads across west of 8th Ave to Hudson river, and 34St to 59St . Home to the working-class and poor Irish-Italian-Americans up until 1980s, this rough neighborhood always had a characteristic grittiness associated with it. Known as the turf of gangs and gangsters up until the 1970’s, it inspired the creation of some popular fictional superheroes like DareDevil (Marvel’s blind vigilante of Hell’s Kitchen), that reflects accurately on the troubled past of this neighborhood. However, times are changing. Due to its proximity to Midtown, which was quickly gaining on commercial importance during that time, gentrification of the area became rapid post 1980’s. Also, its closeness to Broadway theatres and Acting schools, attracted a lot of struggling actors to this neighborhood. Tom Hanks was one of such superstars who used to rent their apartments here during their early days.
Landscape of this neighborhood has transformed a lot. There has been a constant influx of great eating joints. Former hardware shops have turned into fancy cafes and bakeries, smoke shops have become exotic cuisine restaurants, and mom-and-pop cafes have been re-incarnated as hip & trendy restaurants. 9th Avenue is known as the restaurant street of Hell’s Kitchen and offers a plethora of options and wide variety of cuisines. It also holds an International food festival every year in May. Needless to say, Hell’s Kitchen is a fantastic neighborhood for all the food lovers.
Some of the best places to eat in Hell’s Kitchen are:
Totto Ramen — 366 W 52nd St
Battle for the best Ramen in NYC is still on-going. But make no mistake, Totto is the prime contender for that spot. One of best and most authentic place for Ramen lovers. The miso ramen and pork buns are to die for. Small place, long wait time, and cash only. It is totally worth the wait and effort though.
(photo credit: yumyum NYC)
5 Napkins Burger — 630 9th Ave
NYC has much to offer than just Shake Shack in burgers. With 5 Napkin Burgers, your burger craving will remain satisfied. 5N is a local chain that started from Upper West side, and keeps trying to reinvent the burger. Their original 5N burger with a 10 ounce ground beef patty with caramelized onions and rosemary aïoli is scrumptious. You will not regret ordering it!
(photo credit: 5napkinburger.com)
City Sandwich — 649 9th Ave
One of the many little gems in this neighbourhood for sandwiches. They use portuguese meats like Paio, and Alhira (sausage), Morcela (blood sausage) in their sandwiches. Try the ‘Franco’, ‘LGBT’, or ‘James’ sandwich from their great selection. They also have interesting desserts selection which includes Portuguese Pasteis de Nata.
(photo credit: nelsoncarvalheiro.com)
Pio Pio — 604 10th Ave
Peruvian restaurant famous for its rotisserie chicken in homemade green sauce, and ceviches. Don’t forget to try their ‘Matador combo’ and ‘Mixto ceviche’
(photo credit: thatfoodcray.com)
Anejo — 668 10th Ave
Upscale Mexican restaurant with great selection of tequila and agave based liquor. Must try the short rib taco, shishito peppers, or chicken empanadas with amazing red salsa. A great place for good times.
(photo credit: anejonyc.com)
Schmackary’s — 362 W 45th St
One of the best place for cookies in NYC. With more than 45 types of different cookies, and seasonal flavors, this place offers way too many options for a cookie. The chocolate chip cookie is as close to perfection as possible. Must visit for all the sweet tooths.
(photo credit: bartonsbites.files.wordpress.com)
Gotham West Market — 600 11th Ave
If you decide to walk a little further west until the 11th Avenue, there awaits a great food surprise for you. A food court that sprawl over an entire block on 11th Ave, home to two of the finest chefs of NYC in Seamus Mullen and Ivan Orkin, and rivalling the charm of Chelsea in the meatpacking district. This food court boasts of some amazing eating joints:
- Ivan Ramen — chef Ivan Orkin’s ramen which rivals Totto Ramen in taste and quality
- El Colmado — chef Seamus Mullen’s delicious tapas bar
- The Cannibal — meat lover’s paradise
- Little Chef — great place for breakfast and lunch
- Blue Bottle Coffee — famous coffee chain from New Orleans
- Ample Hills Creamery — Zagat’s #1 rated ice cream place is New York City
(photo credit: bonappetit.com)
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