search Buscar

    Hell's Kitchen: New York's boho-chic neighborhood

    Who I am
    Martí Micolau

    Item Feedback:

    content warning

    Although once it was purely inhabited by workers, immigrants and disreputable individuals, today Hell's kitchen (also known as Midtown West or Clinton) is one of the most chic neighborhoods in New York, with a vibrant nightlife and many trendy clubs. Given its proximity to the Big Apple theater area, this is where actors live and where artistic and cultural organizations are based.

    Full of restaurants, bar, pub e designer shops, Hell's Kitchen is a privileged meeting point both for those who want to choose a boho-chic after-theater, or for those looking for news and trends in the fashion, artistic and musical fields. Without forgetting the appointments with the vintage markets and antiques, real happenings for the most demanding New Yorkers.


    • History of the neighborhood and origin of the name
    • How to reach Hell's Kitchen
    • What to do and see in Hell's Kitchen
      • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex
      • Cruises departing from Hell's Kitchen
      • Tour gastronomico di Hell’s Kitchen
      • Nightlife
      • Shopping tour between XNUMXth and XNUMXth Avenues
    • Where to eat
      • Rudy’s Bar & Grill
      • Southern Hospitality (di Justin Timberlake)
      • Bergamot
    • Hell’s Kitchen è sicuro?
    • Accomodation

    History of the neighborhood and origin of the name

    Territory of gangs and gangsters. In summary, this is how one could define what Hell's Kitchen was in the past. A neighborhood that is certainly not very recommendable and very not very livable (in terms of tranquility and safety). From the mid-80s to about 1980, this area of ​​Midtown Manhattan was undoubtedly a neighborhood populated with people who had nothing to lose. Gangsters and ghosts, prostitutes and clandestine alcohol sales (ah, prohibition! ...). And then again mysterious disappearances, crimes, feuds between gangs. So much so that Herbert Asbury took inspiration from this neighborhood for his masterpiece "Gangs of New York”(Transposed into a film version by the great Martin Scorsese), defining the population as“ a jumble of the most ruthless criminals in the city ”.

    Right here lived and clashed, just to name a few, characters of the unfortunate caliber of Owney Madden (nicknamed the Killer) and Lucky Luciano. But the neighborhood was also home to workers (of Irish and German origin) who formed minor gangs and vented their miserable condition with fights, stabbings and murders. As for characters of the past, who have never really left Hell's Kitchen, we must remember George Raft, an actor who was born and raised in this suburb, whose ghost is said to haunt the Landmark Tavern (corner between 11 Avenue and West 46th Street), a place that the artist used to frequent.

    THEorigin of the namefinally, it is not really unique and clear, but it has several versions, all quite bizarre. The most popular one, however, would like two policemen on patrol in the neighborhood arguing among themselves to say "this place is hell" and the other replied "hell has a mild climate, these are the kitchens of hell!".

    How to reach Hell's Kitchen

    To reach Hell's Kitchen the best way (as with most of the attractions in Manhattan) is to use the New York subway, although, in this case, the most useful stops are at the edge of the neighborhood. You will therefore have to allow for 10 to 15 minutes of walking to reach the most important areas.

    Here are the stops and the lines that reach them in detail:

    • 34th Street-Hudson Yards Subway Station: in the southern area of ​​the district served by line 7
    • 42 St – Port Authority Bus Terminal: in the south-east area of ​​the district served by lines A, C and E.
    • 50 Street Subway Station: the stop in the same directive as the previous one this time in the easternmost area of ​​the district, always served by lines A, C and E.
    • Columbus Circle: in the north-eastern area of ​​the district served by lines A, B, C, D, 1 and 2.

    What to do and see in Hell's Kitchen

    In this neighborhood there are some of the most popular attractions in New York: let's find out what they are.

    Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex

    Opened in 1982, this museum displays military and sea-related collections. Highlights on display include the USS Growler SSG-577 submarine, the WWII aircraft carrier USS Intrepid CV-11, the Space Shuttle Enterprise and a Concorde. Founded precisely to save the Intrepid from scrapping (and today part of the American national historical heritage), the Museum is also home to the annual event dedicated to the stars and stripes fleet, the Fleet Week. The visit to the Museum, suitable for everyone, winds through interactive itineraries and exhibitions, guided tours and flight simulators, and lasts about 2-3 hours.

    • Curiosity: The Intrepid was used as the temporary headquarters of the FBI in 2001, following the terrorist attacks of 11 September.
    • Where: Pier 86, W 46th St. and 12th Avenue, NYC.

    For more information on timetables, tickets and how to visit it, I refer you to our in-depth study entirely dedicated to the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum.

    Cruises departing from Hell's Kitchen

    For adrenaline enthusiasts, from Pier 83 depart every day (from 9 May to 30 September) speedboat rides lasting about 30 minutes. It's no ordinary cruise, though, but full-speed exploration, with sensational turns and scenic passes around the Statue of Liberty. A unique way to see Manhattan reflected in the water. This experience is organized by The Beast company and tickets cost $ 30 for adults and $ 25 for children. Speedboat cruises are operated every day from 10am to 18pm.

    • Where: Pier 83, W. 42nd Street / West Side Highway.

    More info and booking

    If, on the other hand, you prefer to enjoy the view, without running too much on the water, the perfect choice is the one proposed by Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, which offers tourists a wide range of solutions, all fascinating. The most complete is certainly the Landmark Cruise which allows you to see the most famous places of interest in New York, such as the Empire State Building, the One World Trade Center, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty (at which stops to take pictures), all embellished with a guide who tells anecdotes and curiosities.

    The cost of this experience is $ 37 for adults and $ 31 for children aged 3 to 12. Children under 3 travel for free. Those with the New York Pass, New York Explorer Pass, New York Build Your Own or New York City Pass currently have the option to include this type of cruise. For safety, however, I recommend that you check on the official websites or through our ComparaPass app.

    Finally, it should be noted that the cruises are carried out every day from 9 to 19.

    More info and booking

    • Where: Boats depart from Pier 83, West 42nd Street.

    Tour gastronomico di Hell’s Kitchen

    There are many operators who organize culinary tours gourmand at Hell's Kitchen, but the absolute best is Manhattan Food Tours. Managed by New Yorkers who love their city, excellent gastronomy and unique and unforgettable locations, the tour is designed to make tourists experience the neighborhood as if they lived it. Moving away from very sponsored places, but little frequented by locals, this experience allows you to appreciate restaurants and bars that offer different types of cuisine, from ethnic to vegetarian, up to the most chic bakeries in which to order five-star dishes, which you do not expect .

    The tour lasts approximately 2 hours and includes the guide, water and delicacies to be savored in five different locations. For more information and details, you can click on the link below:

    More info and booking

    Where: the meeting point of this tour varies according to the places that are selected, always different from each other and is communicated via email at the time of booking confirmation.


    Bars, clubs, trendy hangouts, Hell's Kitchen has everything you need to experience New York nightlife to the fullest.

    Il Don’t Tell Mama NYC (343, W 46th St), for example, has been one of the top addresses for over 30 years. Famous for its entertainment evenings, excellent music and sublime food, it is composed of 4 different rooms: a piano bar (where it is not uncommon to appreciate famous artists and actors trying their hand at singing rehearsals), a restaurant and two separate cabaret rooms.

    Frequented by true New Yorkers, it is also appreciated by stars of the caliber of Liza Minnelli, Paul Newman, Kathy Griffin and Rosie O'Donnell, to name a few. If you decide to spend dinner and after-dinner here, be sure to order roasted halibut, served with crispy leeks, mushrooms and demi-glace sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. The cost of dinner, per person, starts at $ 34 excluding drinks. The unmissable cocktail, on the other hand, is The Funny Girl, based on peach vodka, orange, liqueur, lime and blueberries.

    Il The Ritz Bar+Lounge (369, West 46th St), on the other hand, is one of the places that most attract customers of all kinds: from students to professionals, from members of the LGBT community, to couples, regardless of color, ethnicity, sex, religion.

    A real happy island in which to get lost on musical notes, let loose during the DJ-sets, be surprised in the shows of famous illusionists. A place to live not only to savor drinks, but also to attend live musical performances. Furthermore, for those who wish, the Ritz Bar + Lounge is already open for happy hour, starting at 16pm.

    Shopping tour between XNUMXth and XNUMXth Avenues

    If one of your holiday goals is shopping in New York, here are some tips that may be useful to you.

    Vintner Wine Market

    Perfect mix of wines and paired tastings, in this shop you can buy fine bottles of red or white nectar, but also craft beers, all accompanied by wine-tasting and simple but well-finished menus, ranging from cheeses to sandwiches, from meat salads roast.

    The restaurant looks like one of our classic wineries furnished with wooden tables and displays full of bottles. Don't miss the glass of prosecco mix paired with fondue (for just $ 5). The restaurant is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10.30 to 21, Tuesdays from 10.30 to 22, Saturdays and Sundays from 10.30 to midnight and Sundays from 12 to 21.

    • Where: 677, 9th Ave, New York City

    Lee Anderson Couture

    The designer, always present in her atelier, offers classic, but contemporary, comfortable, but at the same time glamorous garments. The strong point of his creations is the strong vocation to create strictly tailored clothes and accessories. Attention to details, genius and aesthetic research are naturally inserted in the garments made, with timeless elegance.

    • Where: 88, Lexington Avenue, New York. Open Monday to Friday from 10am to 18pm.

    Couture of the day nyc

    One of the best vintage shops in the area, Couture du jour embodies the trendiest and most fashionable essence of the 60s, 70s and 80s fashion, with some timid hints even today. The products on sale here follow the strict rules of the hostess who prefers garments in natural fibers to polyester, 60s linen or wool dresses, cashmere pullovers, bags preferably exotic and not too inflated.

    You will not find, however, shoes, hats, black garments (according to the owner, it is the most difficult color to sell), high leather bags with logos too evident. The atelier is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 12 to 19, or by appointment.

    • Where: 349, W 44th St, (Between 8th & 9th Avenues), NYC

    Where to eat

    Hell's Kitchen is also a great choice for a lunch or dinner, these are the most representative places.

    Rudy’s Bar & Grill

    It's called "the most famous dive in all of New York", but don't let the nickname scare you. This historic place, which once housed a clandestine distillery, welcomes guests already on the threshold of entry: the door, in fact, is still the original one of the time and bears the name of the family that ran it, Rudy precisely. Also frequented by Al Capone at the time, Rudy's was the first to obtain the official license when prohibition fell in the 30s.

    Over the decades this venue has seen the passage of numerous VIPs such as Paul McCarthney, Drew Berrimore, Julia Roberts and the Rolling Stones, among many others. This is why this location cannot be missed in the stages of your trip to Hell's Kitchen. Suitable for an unpretentious dinner, but perhaps in the company of some famous film actor, Rudy's Bar & Grill goes strong on grilled meat dishes, sausages with mayonnaise and mustard and paired beers. The environment is easy.

    • Useful Information: the restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday, from 8 to 16, while on Sundays it is open from 12 to 16.
    • Where: 627, 9th Avenue (Btw 44th and 45th) New York City

    Southern Hospitality (di Justin Timberlake)

    The philosophy of this place is: come here and feel at home. Opened by Justin Timberlake together with two historic childhood friends from Tennessee, the restaurant offers dishes that mix flavors of the Big Apple and typical dishes of the south. Meat, fish, Mexican-influenced proposals, salads and desserts, all accompanied by local and international beers or fine imported wines. The atmosphere is rustic and welcoming and it is not unusual to find stars of the caliber of Jessica Biel (with Justin), Chunning Tatum, Elton John, Kim Kardashian at the table next to yours. The prices, then, are exceptional: the cost of dinner, per person, starts at $ 31, excluding drinks.

    • Useful Information: the restaurant is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 17pm to 22pm; Friday from 12 to midnight; Saturday from 11 to midnight and Sunday (brunch is also served) from 11 to 22. Closed on Mondays all day.
    • Where: 645, 9th Av., NYC


    Pastry and bistro, this place brings a chic French touch to the Big Apple. Much appreciated by the locals for the quality and freshness of its ingredients, typically French dishes are served here (for lunch, for brunch or for a romantic dinner): from onion soup to smoked salmon with butter canapes, from fois pate gras to mixed cheese dishes. Do not miss the wonderful Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame for breakfast. Cost of lunch, per person, from $ 44, excluding drinks.

    Useful Information: La Bergamote is open from Monday to Saturday, from 7 to 22; Sunday is open from 7am to 21pm.

    • Where: 515, W 52nd St., NYC

    Hell’s Kitchen è sicuro?

    Hell's Kitchen is, by far, a 'safe area of ​​New York. Certainly no less safe than other areas, equally central and popular. The fact that it still bears the name given to it over 100 years ago does not mean that the situation in which the neighborhood finds itself is still the same. On the contrary. Progress has been made, and with success. Proof of this are the chic clubs that have opened, the increasing number of actors and artists who choose this suburb to live there permanently and the many investments, including real estate, made here to further redevelop the neighborhood.

    This does not mean that you should not, however, pay due attention and take the usual precautions. It is therefore better not to go around, especially at night, with too much cash and flashy jewels. Foresight, however, that would be taken in any other metropolis in the world.


    The hotel offer of the neighborhood is not the best, so if you are looking for accommodation in the Big Apple, I invite you to read our in-depth study dedicated to the best accommodation in the various areas of Manhattan by clicking on the link below.

    Our tips on the best areas to sleep in New York

    add a comment from Hell's Kitchen: New York's boho-chic neighborhood
    Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.