Best Places To Live In New York City: Top 5 NYC Neighborhoods, According To Experts

From unparalleled pizza to some of the world’s most famous museums to the legendary New York Yankees, New York City is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. People often move to New York City to start or boost their careers with so much opportunity in the many skyscrapers lining the skies of Manhattan. It’s of course well-known as well for having a very expensive cost of living, but there are still so many fantastic places to live in New York City no matter your budget. We turned to the experts to find the best places to live in New York City whether you are a student fresh out of college or a retiree looking to enjoy your golden years in the Big Apple.

Another aspect that has people flocking to the city is their world-famous pizza. That doesn’t mean you’ll be lured to break your diet after moving there, though. A recent study finds people can eat much more pizza than what normally makes them feel “full” without causing health problems. That being said, grabbing a slice here and there is no cause for guilt.

In addition to the delicious pizza, scientists are giving the public a reason to move back to the concrete jungle. Researchers with the National Institute of Health say there’s a 19-percent higher risk of experiencing heart failure when you reside in a rural area compared to an urban setting. You heard it here, start packing!

That is not all the Big Apple has to offer. Joins the thousands that reside in the city that never sleeps and see for yourself. StudyFinds did the research for you to compile a list of the five best places to live in New York City after reviewing 10 expert websites. Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments!

The List: Best Places to Live in New York City, Per Experts

1. East Village

Pods says the birthplace of punk, “is now crammed with NYU students (this is the hub of many of the dorms for the college) and is still a humming central location for artists, culture, and nightlife — making it one of the best Manhattan neighborhoods for students. With the highest concentration of bars in the city (since this is New York, that’s saying something), you’ll have no shortage of options for places to stop in for a cocktail or quick bite. The East Village is also home to the legendary Strand Book Store, which features 18 miles of new, used, and rare books.”

busy street in East Village, New York
The East Village (Photo by Leonard Alcira on Unsplash)

Cube Smart points out the area’s nickname, “Little Ukraine” for its population of Ukrainian immigrants from after World War II. “The legacy lives on in hearty Ukrainian fare, like at the restaurant Veselka. Now-legendary writers like Norman Mailer, W.H. Auden, and Allen Ginsberg once called the East Village home. And though you can’t still hang with the cool kids at the CBGB (closed in 2006), you can still find plenty of nightlife in local bars, restaurants, and music venues. Don’t be afraid to stroll. The East Village is very walkable. Gentrification has also hit this neighborhood’s rental prices. If you’re looking to rent in the East Village, you can expect to pay a median rent of $3,500 a month.”

“If you want to be as close as possible to the legacy of famous musicians and artists, there’s no better place than the East Village. The neighborhood was the jumping-off point for huge art stars like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jeff Koons. Along with musicians like Madonna and the Strokes. Besides its incredible history as a home to the arts, the neighborhood is just a great place to spend a week or a lifetime. It’s steeped in stunning street art. There are a ton of exciting speakeasies like Please Don’t Tell and Death & Co. There are tons of upscale restaurants and cozy cafes,” writes Travel Lemming

2. Greenwich Village

Business Insider writes that Greenwich “possesses its own sense of character and charm within the city. The neighborhood has served as a home to the creative community, the LGBT movement, and New York University. The area has become a melting pot of its own, filled with bustling restaurants and venues, while keeping its small community feel.

A rainy day in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village
A rainy day in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village (Photo by Nathalia Segato on Unsplash)

“Despite being famous as the home of ‘Friends’ unbelievable apartment, Greenwich Village also holds deep historical and cultural roots. The neighborhood’s Stonewall Inn, a gay bar and National Historic Landmark, was the site of the 1969 riots that launched the gay rights movement,” points out Apartment List. “It’s laid-back enough to get some quiet, but residents are also steps away from iconic pubs to outdoor chess games and restaurants.”

“‘The Village,’ is where NYC goes to Washington Square Park, restaurants and bars on MacDougal and lots of action near NYU. With historic streets like Washington Mews and no shortage of people-watching, The Village is a very desirable NYC neighborhood for living. Is it cheap? Not quite. The Village is one of the more expensive NYC neighborhoods to choose to rent or buy property in, and apartments are mostly old historic walk-ups with few amenities, or rather expensively-priced new builds and a few high-rises,” adds Half Half Travel

3. Brooklyn Heights

According to Business Insider, “Just off the Brooklyn Bridge along the East River, Brooklyn Heights has a historic feel within close proximity of Manhattan. The neighborhood has more than 600 pre-Civil War houses and has become a popular neighborhood for families. The area has been called New York’s first suburb.”

Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn Heights
Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn Heights (Photo by Steven van Deursen on Unsplash)

“Brooklyn Height’s reputation as a beautiful slice of Brooklyn is well-known. Find your way off the idyllic commercial strip on Montague St and the bustling Boerum Pl and you’ll discover quiet pictures of New York past,” says Property Nest. “Grace Ct Alley is a tiny representation of the beautifully preserved architecture and historic feel that Brooklyn Heights has to offer. Situated between the East River and Cadman Plaza Park, you can find beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline just a short walk from the Brooklyn War Memorial and other famous monuments.”

“Located in Kings County, Brooklyn Heights is continually rated one of the best places to stay in NYC. But that comes with a super high price. Literally. The neighborhood is a top choice for families and young professionals alike because it’s just comfortable. The streets are beautiful. There are lots of parks and activities around. Plus, there are relatively direct subway routes to anywhere else you want to go in NYC,” adds Travel Lemming

4. Lower East Side

Apartment List points out what you should expect to pay: “Average rents in the Lower East Side (LES) vary, but you can expect to pay around $4,725 a month. This eclectic NYC neighborhood is filled with tons of history. Once a hot spot for European immigrants during the late 19th to early 20th centuries, historical tenement buildings in the neighborhood still remain. The LES is still a vibrant neighborhood with lots of great live music, trendy bars, fantastic nightlife, art galleries, and a Jewish community. You can see some of the history at the local Tenement Museum.”

Lower East side in the morning
Lower East Side (Photo by Jeffrey Blum on Unsplash)

The editor of Half Half Travel explains, “My grandmother was born in the Lower East Side and my grandfather grew up there in the 1930s, and the transformation of this NYC nabe from the Industrial Revolution to the 2020s is frankly unbelievable. Once a working-class area of cramped immigrants living on top of each other, the Lower East Side (or LES, as it is abbreviated) attracts young people, yuppies, college students and anyone who wants to be seen, in Manhattan.”

“The Lower East Side (LES) is a gritty neighborhood with historic roots. A mix of old-style tenement buildings and new apartments, this neighborhood hit a stride of rapid gentrification starting in the early 2000s. Bordered by Chinatown, Nolita, and the East Village is the area alongside the East River and bordered on the West by Broadway. Prior to European settlement in the during the 17th century, the LES was home to the Lenape tribe,” says Cube Smart. “In the early 1900s, European immigration boomed with settlements from Eastern and Western European cultures and set the flavor of the neighborhood to this day. Now you’ll find a cool mix of bars, restaurants, music venues and art galleries. Check out Katz’s Delicatessen for legendary Jewish deli sandwiches and dishes. The Bowery ballroom is a well-known venue once awarded #1 best club in America by Rolling Stone magazine.”

5. Forest Hills

Clever writes: “Forest Hills is a more affordable Queens alternative to rising neighborhoods like Astoria and Long Island City. The neighborhood is known for quiet, tree-lined streets, and rambling Tudor-style, single-family homes. Unlike some of the neighborhoods on this list, Forest Hills also has dining and retail, in addition to its residential offerings. The median home value in Forest Hills is $932,100 and the average monthly rent is $2,203.”

subway route to Forest Hills
Subway route to Forest Hills (Photo by Kat Maryschuk on Unsplash)

“You won’t find many high-rises here, but Tudor and Georgian style buildings instead. This neighborhood is known as one of the most family-oriented ones in Queens. If you want to escape from the city, but not to leave it completely, Forest Hills is perfect for you and your family. It is quiet enough to raise kids, and close enough to Manhattan at the same time,” adds EQ Moving. “By the way, commuters can use not only subway, but also Long Island Railroad. Go to Forest Park to enjoy a bike ride with your kids or a horseback riding. You can do anything here, from swimming to golf. If you enjoy shopping go to Austin Street and its trendy stores, while Metropolitan Avenue will offer you more casual brands.”

“Boasting tree-lined roads and easy access to beautiful parks, Forest Hills is an idyllic area perfect for anyone in search of serenity – and it’s only 15 minutes from Manhattan. Nearby you can find Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Yellowstone Park – Not to be confused with the Yellowstone National Park,” Move Hub mentions

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.

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About the Author

Saloni Ordia

Saloni is a freelance B2B SaaS writer who excels at creating in-depth product-focused content. When she is not writing, you can find her in the kitchen whipping up new recipes or curled up with a rom-com novel.

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    1. I am in a similar circumstance.
      I don’t know how old you are
      But I’m looking for a roommate. I am a woman

  2. Please stay away from any part of the city that will displace long time residents and take away from the authenticity of what made neighborhoods neighborhoods (eg LES)

  3. This article is a waste of digital paper. There is no best place to live because each neighborhood has its own personality and demographic.

    1. This article must have been written 25 years ago, before the developers sucked all the character out of them

  4. I noticed it’s all the neighborhoods that are gentified or historical White American neighborhoods.

  5. This city I call home for 49 years and 2 months is about to become my ex home. Sadly, my social security retirement check can not pay for a decent monthly rat hole in this city. I am at the mercy of family menmbers while I am looking for a way out. Great city! I will come to vizit.

  6. The nyu students in the east village have absolutely destroyed the neighborhood. No ambience left…too expensive, too loud and loaded with spoiled brats. The lower east side is similar. Both of these neighborhoods were inexpensive and full of New Yorkers….as well as artists and dancers and actors and poets. Not anymore. This best of is not legit.

    1. How can you overlook Riverdale when you include Forest Hills? Much better commute, Beverly Hills East in terms of classic homes well in $2-5mm range, green belt, next to Westchester County, what am I missing? Oh, I guess it’s the Bronx!

  7. Gee , I can’t wait to get out. Sell my house to a sucker, that wakes up to gun shots every weekend, while I walk away with 1.8 million to a state with less taxes, clean streets, and civilized people.

  8. Bay Ridge in Brooklyn is a very nice place to live except for the R train, Bensonhurst, Jackson Heights.

  9. Who were the “experts” who were judging this predetermined outsider article.
    The best parts of NYC are any areas other than those listed because you can go back home after spending an interesting afternoon in the three lower Manhattan hell-holes listed.
    Forest Hills is nowhere are far from everything and Brooklyn Heights is expensive and full of new New Yorkers who thinks Downtown Brooklyn is a more peaceful Manhattan.
    So long as I can sleep in a quiet bed without rats, roaches, violence, dog crap underfoot, maybe have a patch of green and be able to park my car for free while l can visit any one of NYC’s many wonders without having to live next to the “wanna be whatevers” existing in those neighborhoods, then that is a better place to live.
    NYC is for the Rich who can buy their way around or the young, who can live through anything. The rest of us have NYC’s lovely outer boroughs. God Bless the Bridge and Tunnel People who are the salt of NYC.

  10. ‘Study Finds’ that the writer of this ridiculous article seems to have no idea of what those neighborhoods have become the last 30yrs. The pic of the East Village is NOT even it.

  11. They mentioned all these neighborhoods but forgot the best place downtown. Tribeca! Which also started as an artist community. Pricey but still the best place in town next to Battery Park City.

  12. This is, without a doubt, the stupidest article about living in NYC that I have ever read, you just picked the 5 most expensive places to live and wasn’t to act as if any regular person could possibly live in any of them without some big financial support. I’m so sick of people who aren’t from here, telling others, what’s “the best”. You are the people that ruined this city for everyone else. Please go away

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