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Exploring NYC's Hell's Kitchen: 5 Restaurants To Try

There's really a lot of options to choose from!

· 3 min read

Nestled on the west side of Manhattan, Hell's Kitchen is a neighbourhood that has undergone a dramatic transformation over the years. Once known for its gritty reputation, the area has evolved into a vibrant and trendy enclave, particularly when it comes to its culinary scene. And in case you were wondering, no, Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen variety show has no direct relation to this neighbourhood in NYC.

Source: Find My Food Stu

Where is Hell's Kitchen?

Hell's Kitchen is a neighbourhood located on the west side of Manhattan, and is also commonly referred to as “Midtown West”. You will pass by this neighbourhood if you were walking from Times Square to the Hudson.

If you are a tourist visiting Times Square and want to skip the tourist traps - simply walk two blocks and go to Hell's Kitchen! There is plenty of good (and cheap) food waiting for you there.

Source: NYC Tourism

What is Hell's Kitchen known for?

There are a few theories behind the origin of its name - Hell's Kitchen. From the name of a notorious 19th century gang to a reference to the area in a New York Times article. No matter how the name Hell's Kitchen came about, they were all largely associations with crime and poverty.

Today, Hell's Kitchen is no longer an area that you would think twice about visiting. Instead, it is a bustling neighbourhood with a lot of up-and-coming small businesses. But while the area has been developed, you can still see traces of its rich history.

Perhaps also due to Gordon Ramsay's television show with the same name, Hell's Kitchen today is also known to be a go-to area for some good food in Manhattan. (No, there's no direct relation between the show and the area.)

What to Eat at Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan?

There are many popular restaurants in Hell's Kitchen, and here are some of the most renowned restaurants in the area. And if you can't decide what you want to eat - or if you wanted to taste a little bit of everything - consider going on a food tour in Hell's Kitchen to uncover some of the best foods in the neighbourhood!

1. John's Pizza

Source: John's Pizzeria

Hell's Kitchen is home to many popular pizzerias. One of the most famous ones in the area is John's Pizza, a pizzeria housed in an old church. John's Pizza has been around since 1997, and they are best known for their thin-crusted pizzas. Their pizzas have a crispy crust, but the middle of the pizza is soft and cheesy.

Note that the pizzas are sold only in full, so if you only wanted a single slice, this might not be the place for you.

2. Rudy's Bar & Grill

Source: Rudy's Bar & Grill Facebook Page

Rudy's Bar & Grill is a tavern that has been very popular with the residents in the area since the 1990s. It is best known for the cheap beer and great atmosphere, and is a fantastic spot if you just wanted to chill and spend an afternoon. The best thing? You get a free hotdog with a purchase of drinks!

3. 5 Napkin Burger

Source: 5 Napkin Burger Facebook Page

If you are looking for some of the best burgers in New York, you should definitely try out 5 Napkin Burger. 5 Napkin Burger is known for its juicy and fresh burgers, with decent portions. They also have a variety of sides to choose from. Especially if you are a fan of onion rings, you should most definitely try the onion ring tower!

4. Anejo

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Source: Anejo

For a comfortable and cozy meal with some good Tex-Mex food, check out Anejo. They serve some of the best Mexican food in the area, and it gets crowded really quickly so it is recommended that you make reservations in advance! Compared to the very popular Los Tacos No. 1, the prices at Anejo are on the higher side. But, if you are someone who can't stomach food that is too strong in flavours nor too greasy, Anejo is a much better option — the food here is much lighter on the palate!

5. Chalong

Source: Chalong

Hell's Kitchen also features plenty of Asian food. If you are looking for some Thai food, head over to the 9th avenue. Chalong is a fairly new restaurant in the area, but is quickly gaining reputation to be one of the best Thai restaurants in Hell's Kitchen. They are known for their Thai seafood dishes along with creative cocktails. Crowds here are also much more manageable, making for a great option for a casual meal out with friends.