Hell’s Kitchen is a neighborhood in Midtown Manhattan’s West Side that is a hub for the transportation, medical and warehouse industries. The area isn’t as touristy as some of New York City’s other neighborhoods, but there is a plethora of local restaurants worth visiting. Ninth Avenue offers an array of ethnic eateries representative of the many immigrant and minority populations whose members have called the area home. From tasty and affordable Thai food to classy Italian joints and hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurants, there is really something for any palate. The neighborhood is conveniently located nearby the theater district but offers a more affordable and less touristy option for post-theater dining than the ever-popular Times Square. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.44 & X Hell’s Kitchen

44 & X Hell’s Kitchen
© 44 & X Hell’s Kitchen

44 & X Hell’s Kitchen is a bright, airy restaurant serving a selection of creative dishes inspired by New American comfort food. As the name would suggest, the venue is located right at the corner of Forty-fourth Street and Tenth Avenue, making it a prime place to grab a meal pre- or post- theatre with both Broadway and Theatre Row within walking distance. They offer a stupendous selection of Tony-themed cocktails at the bar as well as comfy tables to enjoy lunch, dinner, or their weekend brunch offerings. The homey dishes include such favorites as individual portions of meatloaf, rich and indulgent mac and cheese and crispy buttermilk fried chicken served with waffles.

622 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-977-1170

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2.Otto's Tacos

Otto's Tacos
© Otto's Tacos

A third location of Otto's Tacos in New York opened in Hell’s Kitchen and is considered their flagship shop – seating 40 inside and 12 on the sidewalk, it is twice as big as their other shops in NY. Modern, sleek, and unpretentious, the new Otto’s Tacos is quickly taking over the neighborhood with freshly made tortillas and each taco made to order, piping hot, fragrant, and delicious. With fresh corn tortilla, you can get a seared filling of chicken, carnitas, or seasonal veggies. Add some guacamole and you get a signature Otto’s taco. You can also get chips, fries, rice, and beans on side and a churro for dessert, but there is nothing else on the menu: Just the best tacos in town.

705 Ninth Avenue, btw 48th & 49th Streets, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 646-918-7681

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© Capizzi

Capizzi is an old-fashioned wood-burning pizzeria with a location in Hell’s Kitchen and one on Staten Island. The restaurant serves thin crust, Neapolitan-style pizzas crafted from the family recipes of owner Joseph Calcagno, recipes honed in his immigrant family’s Brooklyn pizza shops over the years. Pizza options include margarita pizza and a tasty eggplant parmesan pie. While the pizza is delicious, make sure to leave room for one of their homemade desserts. The environment is relaxed and old-fashioned with family artifacts and photographs decorating the walls and an open kitchen where guests can peek at their pizza being made in the wood-burning oven.

547 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10018, Phone: 212-695-6900

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© Danji

Danji is an upscale Korean restaurant that specializes in creative small plates, cocktails, and more. They emphasize the use of organic and sustainable ingredients in all of their dishes. Their meat is raised without growth hormones or antibiotics, and their sustainable fish is caught wild. The menu includes many varieties of bibimbap as well as their praiseworthy bulgogi sliders. They are popular among both the lunch crowd and the pre-theater crowd. The small dishes are perfect for ordering several and sharing, or you can indulge in multiple courses to enjoy a full experience. The drink menu includes both soju and sake as well as a range of cocktail and beer options. Reservations are recommended.

346 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-586-2880

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© Esca

Esca is an upscale, southern Italian trattoria located in Manhattan’s Theater District. The restaurant is part of the Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali restaurant empire. This location focuses on serving the fruit of the sea and features many seafood dishes inspired by locally caught seafood and the cuisine of Southern Italy. The chef is from a Montauk fishing family that has deep roots in the area, and they are basically single-handedly responsible for bringing crude to the mainstream of the New York restaurant scene. Before Esca came along, many New Yorkers had never heard of the Venetian specialty. Highlights of the menu include the grilled fish, Sicilian-style seafood stew, and of course the crudi, which is a raw antipasti dish.

402 W. 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-564-7272

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© Courtesy of onlynuta - Fotolia.com

Friedman’s is Hell’s Kitchens iconic brunch destination. They serve a selection of egg dishes, Southern-inspired fried chicken and waffles, pancakes, and more. Their menu of brunch cocktails includes mimosas, Bellinis, and a formidable Bloody Mary. Friedman’s approaches heaven-on-earth status for gluten free diners as almost all of their menu items can be served gluten free. In fact, their menu features more than a dozen entree items that are either gluten-free or can be made gluten-free on request. They also have gluten free bread for sale. While the restaurant specializes in gluten-free dining, diners without gluten sensitivity will easily be satisfied as well.

450 10th Avenue, New York, NY 100018, Phone: 212-268-1100

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7.Gotham West Market

Gotham West Market
© Gotham West Market

Gotham West Market is a fancy food court that hosts a selection of well-known vendors and several options for counter and communal seating. The indoor market is located on sparsely populated 11th Avenue, so it is virtually never crowded even though it has an impressive selection of vendors such as the Cannibal, Apple Hills Creamery, and Blue Bottle. You can find anything from gourmet chili dogs to ice cream to pizza and more, all created by some of New York’s most famous chefs. The shops cover the whole gamut of ethnic cuisine one would expect in New York City with world-class Italian, Indian, Asian, Spanish, Mexican, and American joints all rubbing shoulders in this foodie paradise. Things to Do in NYC

600 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-582-7940

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© Hakkasan

Hakkasan is a New York outpost of a London-based chain that has a few locations scattered around the globe. It is only the second of the chain’s outlets in the US, with the other being in Miami. The restaurant features some interesting interior design features like a cavernous entrance and a windowless bar area. However, don’t let some strange interior design choices throw you off – the restaurant features delicious Cantonese cuisine with menu highlights such as a Hakka steamed dim-sum platter, pork ribs smoked with jasmine tea, Hakka pork-belly clay pot, and for dessert, the apple tarte Tatin.

311 W. 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-776-1818

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9.Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen
© Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen restaurant shares the name of the neighborhood where it resides for almost 20 years. The restaurant is a go-to spot among the theatre crowd and is also a great place to meet up with co-workers, take a date, or celebrate a special occasion. They serve up fiery Mexican cuisine with popular specialties like their grilled cactus and sweet potato flauta, a Seven Chile Pork Chop Mixiote with drunken pinto beans, three types of guacamole and well-loved mahi-mahi-tacos, and much more. The restaurant’s interior features festive Dia de los Muertos decor. It is quite popular, so plan to arrive early if you hope to make it to the theater on time.

754 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-977-1588

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10.Ippudo Westside

Ippudo Westside
© Ippudo Westside

Ippudo is a Japanese ramen Brasserie that specializes in Japanese small plates as well as ramen and exquisite sake. The restaurant is simple but stylish. The restaurant is the first international restaurant to serve authentic Hakata tonkatsu pork soup. The ramen is loved by New Yorkers all around the city as well as tourists. The Hell’s Kitchen location is the second location of the now-famous restaurant, and it has not lost any of the appeal of its predecessor but at least for now is quite a bit less busy than the other location, meaning you might actually score a table.

321 W. 51st Street, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-974-2500

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© Kashkaval

Kashkaval is a small, candlelit wine bar that serves Mediterranean inspired food. The menu specializes in tapas, grilled skewers, salads, and fondues as well as cheese and charcuterie platters. The restaurant is fronted by a gourmet grocery store that brings to mind an old-fashioned general store. The selection of charcuterie and tapas is impressive, but be sure to leave room for their entrees. The fondue pots are not to be missed, and there are several combinations of cheeses to choose from. Many of the other entrees are top-notch as well. Try the Garden Poutine, the fiery Chicken Adana, or Proscuitto Asparagus for a special treat.

852 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-245-1758

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© Mercato

Mercato is a homey Italian restaurant in the Garment District that is inspired by the Tuscan osteria. The wine list features a wide selection of Italian wines. The pasta is delicious and authentic with favorites such as the malloreddus, which is a Sardinian dumpling tossed in a tasty, house-made wild boar sauce. Other popular dishes include the orecchiette served with breadcrumbs and sardines as well as the rigatoni Norma that is served with a ricotta salad. They offer an impressive selection of starters, including dishes such as the caprese and the octopus and potato casserole, served warm.

352 W. 39th Street, New York, NY 10018, Phone: 212-643-2000

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13.5 Napkin Burger

5 Napkin Burger
© 5 Napkin Burger

5 Napkin Burger is a modern bistro chain serving gourmet meat and veggie burgers. The Hell’s kitchen restaurant is the chain’s flagship location. The restaurant offers numerous tasty burger options to choose from such as the cheddar bacon burger and the avocado ranch burger. However, the real star is the Original 5 Napkin, which consists of a 10-ounce patty topped with caramelized onions, Gruyere cheese, and a rosemary aioli. For veggie lovers, the 5N Veggie is a solid choice. In addition to burgers, 5 Napkin offers an array of tasty starters like avocado hummus, as well as sushi rolls and platters, salad bowls, and a selection of draft beers.

630 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-757-2277

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© Obao

Obao is a sleek and sexy Thai and Vietnamese restaurant that has the vibe of a swanky nightclub. The Asian fusion venue serves up creative small plates, barbecue, and innovative cocktails. The menu is a combination of traditional Asian street food and innovative fusion dishes. They offer an affordable lunch special popular with locals. The selection of creative cocktails includes drinks with such names as “Ladyboy Daiquri,” “Thai Sabai,” and “One Thousand and One Nights.” They also have a short wine list, a few beers, Thai iced tea and Vietnamese coffee among other beverage options. The restaurant is busy so plan time to wait for a table. They accept reservations.

647 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-245-8880

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15.Pio Pio

Pio Pio
© Pio Pio

Pio Pio is a casual Peruvian restaurant that specializes in rotisserie chicken. The chicken is marinated for 12 hours in a proprietary blend of spices that includes garlic, cumin, Peruvian beer, and more. The Hell’s Kitchen location is one of a small chain of restaurants based in Queens. The chicken comes out with a special homemade sauce. For the full Pio Pio experience, order the Matador Combo, which includes an entire chicken that comes out with a spread of side dishes such as rice and beans, fries, and hot dog bites for sharing. The restaurant is quite busy, and reservations are recommended.

604 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-459-2929

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16.Pure Thai Cookhouse

Pure Thai Cookhouse
© Pure Thai Cookhouse

Pure Thai Cookhouse is one of Ninth Avenues best Thai restaurants. They offer homemade noodles showcased in a variety of dishes, all of which are delicious. The star of the show is the crab and pork with stir-fry noodles, a must-try for your first visit. The vegetable dumpling starter is a solid choice as well. Thai food is famous the world over, and Pure Thai Cookhouse offers signature dishes from virtually every region of the country. From sticky rice and papaya salad to fried rice and southern-Thailand inspired seafood dishes, they have it covered.

766 9th Avenue #2, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-581-0999

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© Shorty’s

Shorty’s is a sandwich shop that specializes in Philly Cheesesteak. They offer both traditional beef and chicken for their cheesesteaks, and several specialty sandwiches appear on the menu. For veggie lovers, they offer both a Broccoli Rabe sandwich as well as a veggie combo. They also sell salads, small plates, and side dishes to accompany your meal. The weekend brunch is a local favorite built around a selection of South Philly-style breakfast sandwiches. Shorty’s offers an impressive selection of craft beer, including 20 beers on tap and an array of bottles. The bar has twelve flat-screen TVs for catching the big game while you enjoy a sandwich and a beer.

576 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-967-3055

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© Taboon

A Taboon is an Arabic clay oven that is dome-shaped and resembles a truncated cone with an opening at the bottom for stoking the fire. Hell’s Kitchen’s prime destination for upscale, modern Middle Eastern food is a restaurant of the same name. The restaurant features a menu centered on fresh bread cooked in the traditional oven. The menu features a selection of crowd-pleasing entrees like hanger steak and whole bransino as well as traditional favorites like house-made hummus and lamb kebab served in an oven-baked pita bowl. The restaurant is perfect for a nice date night or dinner for a special occasion.

773 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-713-0271

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© Tavola

Tavola means “table” in Italian, but in Hell’s Kitchen it is the name for a rustic neighborhood Italian trattoria that nails traditional Italian favorites like eggplant parmesan, homemade pasta, and lasagna. The menu focuses on regional Italian cuisine from areas like Sicily and Rome. The restaurant also serves up Neopolitan-style pizza that is cooked in their wood-burning ovens, handmade in Italy from volcanic clay. Tavola places a strong emphasis on fresh, high quality ingredients. They use fresh seafood, market-fresh produce and high-quality olive oil and olives, which are both imported from Italy and available for purchase at the restaurant.

488 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10018, Phone: 212-273-1181

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20.The Marshal

The Marshal
© The Marshal

The Marshal is a cozy neighborhood spot with a rustic-chic vibe serving New American dishes to a regular bustling crowd. The space is quite small and the food is simple, but there is a reason the regulars keep coming back. The menu is built around American comfort food and includes such items as Wisconsin Mac N’Cheese, pork ribs, and tasty salads. The menu changes regularly depending on the season so there’s always something new to try. They are highly committed to sustainability in their restaurant, which is obvious in their use of wind power as well as their choice to use replanted wood instead of gas for cooking and to shop local.

628 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-582-6300

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21.Totto Ramen

Totto Ramen
© Courtesy of Nishihama - Fotolia.com

Totto Ramen is a quick-serve noodle restaurant below street level that is thought by many to be the best ramen around. The cash-only, no-frills restaurant is styled like a traditional Japanese ramen-ya. A large portion of the dining area is counter seating where you can peek in at the cooks crisping pork slices and cooking up bubbly ramen. Some of the menu highlights include the patina ramen, which is a chicken variation on the traditional Japanese Hakata. The Totto chicken is the simplest option and is comprised of straight noodles and slow-cooked pork. As if you needed anything more, in addition to ramen, you can add sides such as char sit mayo don, which is a rice and pork dish topped with scallions and yuzu mayo.

366 W 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-582-0052

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© Courtesy of FPWing - Fotolia.com

ViceVersa is a modern and clean Italian restaurant with a modest storefront and delicious food offerings. They specialize in house-made pastas with creative sauces and other traditional Italian food with a modern twist. The signature dish is the casoncelli all bergamasca, which consists of tiny ravioli that are filled with raisins, veal, and amaretto cookies tossed in sage butter and pancetta. For a lighter option, the lobster salad is a solid choice. It is dressed with balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with thyme. They have a bar lounge as well as classy tables in their main dining room and outdoor garden seating.

325 W. 51st Street, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-399-9291

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22 Best Hell’s Kitchen, NYC Restaurants

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Anejo is a corner bar focused around an imaginative list of alcoholic drinks with an eclectic selection of Mexican spirits such as tequilas, mezcals, and more. The food menu is just as amazing and consists of a selection of modern Mexican small plates. Highlights include Mexican enchiladas that are wrapped around cornhusks or alternatively served Oaxacan-style in banana leaves. They offer three versions of guacamole that come with fresh made tortillas. The space is modern and chic, furnished with wood and brick, and it creates a warm and inviting space to have a drink and dinner with a few friends.

668 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-920-4770

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More Ideas: Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space

When we think of New York City, we think of what seems to be one of the richest, most developed, and most successful cities on Earth. It's one of the most iconic urban locations on the planet, drawing in millions of visitors from all over the globe and leading the way as the gold standard in terms of what a city can be and all it can offer to its residents and visitors, but NYC has had its ups and downs over the years, and the city wouldn't be where it is today, if not for its people.

Back in the 1970s, when New York City nearly went bankrupt, local New Yorkers and community activists didn't just sit around and wait to watch their city fall down around them. They took action. Times were tough and neighborhoods were struggling, but activists worked hard to make things better for everyone, transforming vacant lots and old, abandoned buildings into beautiful community spaces, parks, gardens, and more. The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space pays homage to these activists.

The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space - Unique NYC Museum

A monument to urban activism, the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space is easily one of the most special museums in the whole of NYC. This museum is fully dedicated to the activists and leaders of the East Village and surrounding Lower East Side neighborhoods who worked together, through grassroots action and fueled by their own passion and love for the city, to save communities and transform neighborhood spaces.

These people saw abandoned buildings and empty spaces around their city and decided to transform those simple sites into things that were useful, enjoyable and fun for all. They helped to make NYC what it is today, with their actions inspiring a city-wide movement and leading to the development of many public spaces and community hubs all over New York.

the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space shines the spotlight on those activists. It's a sad fact that many people in NYC today aren't even aware of those brave community members did, but MoRUS aims to raise awareness. The museum was founded by East Village natives, Bill DiPaola and Laurie Mittelman, and opened up in 2012 as a non-profit organization. It has since become an East Village institution, inspiring many and beloved by locals and visitors alike.

Visiting the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space

The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space is one of the best museums in NYC for those who are interested in the city's past and want to learn more about some of the untold stories and forgotten tales of the East Village and Lower East Side in particular. There's such a lot of interesting and inspiring history in this part of NYC, and this museum is working hard to keep those stories alive and help more and more people see just how much we all owe to the grassroots activists and brave innovators of the past. To really see and experience all that MoRUS has to offer, you have to pay it a visit. Here's all you need to know:

- Location - The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space is situated at 155 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009.

- Opening Times - The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space is open from 11am to 7pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. MoRUS is closed on Mondays and Wednesdays.

- Admission - Technically, MoRUS is free to visit, but there is a suggested donation of $5 for all visitors, and you can choose to donate more if you want to support this fascinating NYC museum.

- Contact - To get in touch with MoRUS with questions, queries, or for any other reason, you can email info@morusnyc.org or call either 973 818 8495 or 646 340 8341.

- Tours - MoRUS runs a range of tours around the East Village, with experienced, passionate, local storytellers and guides leading the way. These tours take you to various historic sites, showing how community members and activists were faced with empty spaces and worked to transform them. You'll visit various tenement buildings and community gardens along the way, and all tours run at 3pm on weekends, starting at the museum and requiring no reservations at all.

- Support - If you admire the work being done by MoRUS, simply visiting the museum or heading off on a tour is a great way to show your support. You can also choose to make a donation directly online or by mailing a check to 155 Avenue C, New York NY 10009. You can additionally choose to volunteer your own time and efforts to the museum, helping out with community gardens, fundraising, archiving, tours, and more.

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