Moving to New York City is a dream come true for many millennials. As Frank Sinatra sang “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” However, if you’re not from the Big Apple, it can be tough to figure out which neighborhood is the right fit for you. If you’re young, you’ll want to find a neighborhood with plenty of trendy bars and restaurants, and probably more affordability than Tribeca. Here is our list of the 10 best neighborhoods for millennials in New York:
Dumbo, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass has become a hotspot in Brooklyn. In particular, a number of startups in the tech industry are situated in Dumbo. Plus, being just under the Manhattan Bridge gives you easy access to Manhattan. According to New York Magazine, people in the arts make up about 20% of the workforce. Dumbo is also home to some of the best pizza in the United States. In 2015, Trip Advisor named Juiliana’s Pizza in Dumbo the best pizza restaurant in the country. While the rent can be rather high in Dumbo, if you work in the tech industry there may be no better place to live in New York.
Given its name for being just north of Little Italy in Manhattan, Nolita has become one of Manhattan’s best shopping districts. However, its generally more affordable than the more well known SoHo. The neighborhood has a quaint and almost European feel, free from tourists and large crowds. Nolita is also known for its trendy fashion shops. One of the best in the area is a store called Warm on Mott Street. After shopping, a great place to relax with wine and tapas is Balzem. If you want to find a little piece of Europe in Manhattan there’s no better neighborhood than Nolita.
Williamsburg might be the most hipster neighborhood this side of Portland. Although rent has dramatically increased in recent years, Williamsburg remains a hub for artists and continues to set trends. The North Side of Williamsburg has developed a more glitzy Manhattan-esque feel, while the south side retains more authenticity. Although it may be home to the most hipsters per capita, Williamsburg has begun to feel less alternative as big box stores such as Apple have moved in. Still, Williamsburg is one of the trendiest neighborhoods to live in throughout the United States, not just New York. Plus, there aren’t many other neighborhoods that feature a bowling alley with live music every night.
Located next to the more well known Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Bushwick is starting to become the new gathering spot for artists. As rents in Williamsburg have gone up, Bushwick continues to increase in popularity. What used to be a neighborhood full of abandoned warehouses has become a plethora of art studios and galleries. Bushwick serves as a cheaper, but just as cultured alternative to living in Williamsburg. One of the best art galleries in Bushwick is the Robert Henry Contemporary. After an art showing, the Guadalupe Inn on Knickerbocker Avenue offers delicious upscale Mexican cuisine. If you’re looking for a hip neighborhood with more affordable rent than Williamsburg, look no further than Bushwick.
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Despite the influx of high rise condos and wealthier residents, Crown Heights remains relatively affordable. Franklin Avenue has an incredible dining and nightlife scene including Dutch Boy Burger where you can get burger, fries, and even a beer float. The restaurant is also connected to a great bar called Franklin Park, which features outdoor seating. If you want to get more in touch with nature, Crown Heights lies just east of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The Brooklyn Museum is also located near the neighborhood and holds nearly 1.5 million pieces of art. Crown Heights is also within walking distance of the Barclays Center for Nets and Islanders games. If you’re interested in living in an up-and-coming neighborhood you may want to check out Crown Heights in Brooklyn.
Astoria is a large and diverse neighborhood located in Queens. Originally an Italian neighborhood, Astoria later became a settling place for Greek immigrants. According to Astoria.org, Astoria is just a 15 minute trip from Midtown Manhattan via the N and W subway lines. One of the main reasons for the increase in popularity of Astoria is the affordability of the rent. According to Trip Savvy, you can still find one-bedroom apartments for rent in Astoria for less than $2,000 per month (not bad for New York). The neighborhood is also home to the very innovative Museum of the Moving Image, a museum dedicated to film, video games, and digital media.
Murray Hill, Manhattan
There’s nothing wrong with being a little mainstream. If Brooklyn is just too trendy for you, Murray Hill is a great neighborhood for recent college graduates. Located in Midtown East, Murray Hill continues to thrive. The bar scene on third avenue has been described by the New York Times as a postgraduate playground. Often, the buildings in Murray Hill serve as an intermediary between college life and the adult world. For many residents, their place of work is within walking distance. With the convenience of Murray Hill, you can save time on your commute while still living in a lively and fun neighborhood.
Located on the northern edge of Manhattan, Inwood has gained popularity recently. While the neighborhood used to lack dining options, restaurants have been popping up as of late. One of these restaurants is Raices, which serves Latin fusion cuisine. As you can see in the picture above, there is plenty of green space in Inwood. In particular, Inwood Hill Park has vast forest space that is perfect for taking an afternoon stroll. Inwood is also great for reverse commuters to New Jersey, with its close access to the George Washington Bridge. If you prefer a quieter neighborhood that remains on the island of Manhattan, Inwood could be the place for you.
East Village, Manhattan
The East Village is located in Manhattan right near the campus of New York University. Its location near the NYU campus gives the East Village a younger crowd and increased diversity. According to New York Magazine, the East Village has the highest concentration of bars in New York- and possibly the world. You can check out this list by Thrillist of the 16 Best Bars in the East Village. One of the most famous bars is McSorley’s Old Ale House which is the oldest Irish Tavern in New York. If you’re a music fan, the East Village is also home to the Turn Table Lab where you can find an incredible collection of vinyl. The East Village is a young, diverse, and fun neighborhood perfect for any millennial.
Perhaps no show captured millennial life in New York better than the HBO series Girls. The main character of the show, Hannah Horvath lives an in apartment and works in a coffee shop in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint. If you move to Greenpoint, you can create your own walking tour of spots from the series. Greenpoint is home to a number of chic bookstores, including WORD. The neighborhood also provides tremendous views of the East River and across to Manhattan. For a great place to eat in the neighborhood, try out Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. on Nassau Avenue. Whether you want to walk in the footsteps of Hannah Horvath or just enjoy the scenic views, Greenpoint could be the neighborhood for you.
Whether you just graduated college or are relocating for a job, moving to New York can be thrilling. While the rent may be high, the opportunities are endless. Regardless of where you decide to live in New York, be sure to wander around and check out all the city has to offer!