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Photograph: Courtesy Meatpacking District BID

Non-douchey things to do in the Meatpacking District

We highlight the coolest spots in the Meatpacking District, including restaurants, bars, shopping and more

By Jennifer Picht and Time Out New York contributors

Nestled between the West Village and Chelsea, the Meatpacking District is loaded with high-end shopping, some of the fanciest and best restaurants as well as popular attractions like one of the top art museums—Whitney Museum of American Art. The nabe’s crowded clubs and pricey eateries can give off an exclusive vibe, but if you look past the glitz and stilettos, you’ll find a restaurant that lets loose during its weekly Thursday night rager, a beer garden with affordable and delicious brews and brats as well as cool, independent art galleries and more.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the Meatpacking District

Things to do in the Meatpacking District

1. Bagatelle

Restaurants French Meatpacking District

This whitewashed, French bistro gets turnt on Thursdays during its Rock ‘N’ Baga event. A DJ spins ’80s and ’90s hits while you munch on truffled chicken and tuna tartare. Hit the dance floor afterward to burn off the grub!

Photograph: Bex Wade

2. The Standard Biergarten

Bars Lounges Meatpacking District

The beer garden at this famous hotel draws crowds with its $9 price cap on German bites such as brats and pretzels—and beer, too. Play some Ping-Pong between gulps. Prost!

Pie sundae at Ample Hills
Photograph: Mirella Cheeseman

3. Bubby’s High Line

Restaurants American Meatpacking District

Meatpacking clubgoers can grab late-night burgers at the second location of this wildly popular brunch spot. With robin’s-egg blue ceiling and white brick walls, the homey space serves casual American fare like pit-smoked BBQ, chicken and waffles, and biscuits and grits. A takeout window offers the joint's beloved pies, along with tacos and pulled pork sammies into the wee hours.

The High Line
Photograph: Courtesy Iwan Baan

4. The High Line

Things to do

New York's elevated park has more to offer than iconic views and gorgeous greenery. During the warmer months, go stargazing, mediate and enjoy free entertainment such as music and dancer performances.

Whitney Museum of American Art
Photograph: Karin Jobst

5. The Whitney Museum of American Art

Museums Art and design

Planted at the foot of the Highline along Ganesvoort Street, the Whitney boasts some 63, 000 square feet of both indoor and outdoor exhibition space. Founded in 1931 by sculptor and art patron Gertrude Vanderbilt, the Whitney is dedicated to presenting the work of American artists. Its collection holds about 15,000 pieces by nearly 2,000 artists, including Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Edward Hopper (the museum holds his entire estate), Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, Georgia O’Keeffe and Claes Oldenburg.

The Beach at Dream Downtown
Photograph: Courtesy Dream Hotels

6. The Beach at Dream Downtown

Restaurants Pan-South American Chelsea

This hotel pool setup resembles a Hamptons oasis, which is complete with sand imported from the popular vacation spot as well as private cabanas with flat screen TV's. Day passes start at $65, and did we mention this is the largest pool in NYC? (It’s 4,800-sqare-feet!)


7. Brass Monkey

Bars Lounges Meatpacking District

Though Meatpacking mayhem rages around this low-key pub, the Brass Monkey remains the eye of the nightlife storm. The attitude is relaxed, and the decor is simple—just plain wooden chairs and tables. You won’t find any hypersweet cocktails or tarted-up bar snacks, either: There’s a rotating list of 20 drafts (including Hoegaarden, Chimay and Magic Hat), 60 bottled beers, and tavern fare like mussels, burgers and shepherd’s pie.

Photograph: Courtesy LUMAS


Art Galleries Meatpacking District

Art lovers know to hit the Meatpacking District for attractions like the Whitney Museum of Art, but don’t overlook this intimate photo gallery featuring images by Tommy Clarke, Werner Pawlok and more.

Photograph: Courtesy Filip Wolak

9. Le Bain

Bars Lounges Meatpacking District

Le Bain—the Standard, High Line’s Meatpacking District hot spot—has a lot to offer folks who are looking to get off the ground floor. Sitting by the plunge pool, sipping champagne and hitting up the crêperie are just a few rooftop highlights, but there’s also amazing dance parties like Dance Dance Dance on Wednesday nights, during which you can shake your rump to house music.

Looking for more great things to do in the area?

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