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Photograph: Belmont Business Improvement District

You voted Chelsea NYC's coolest neighborhood—here are five other red-hot neighborhoods in the city

Fresh off of Time Out's coolest neighborhoods list, we share five other neighborhoods to watch in NYC now.

Written by
Will Gleason
Shaye Weaver
Amber Sutherland-Namako

If there’s one thing our recently published roundup of the coolest neighborhoods in the world has shown, it’s that city dwellers around the world are incredibly passionate about the places they call home. Based on a survey of over 27,000 people, the list crowned Chelsea as not only the coolest neighborhood in NYC but also one of the top 10 coolest in the world. (You can see the neighborhoods that brought home the most votes in every borough here.)

Jumping off of those results, we’re highlighting five additional exciting parts of the city today that are worth exploring now more than ever before. These five neighborhoods are the areas Time Out editors think best represent the exciting cultural innovation, Love Local spirit and boundless creativity that can be found all over the city now. See you out there!

Five red-hot neighborhoods for 2021

Prospect Lefferts Gardens

This Brooklyn neighborhood southeast of Prospect Park is undergoing major changes as it faces the effects of gentrification but despite that, its rich West Indian influence is still found at many of its shops and restaurants along Flatbush, Church, Nostrand and Utica Avenues. It's an enclave that deserves spending time in and getting to know, especially if you enjoy Caribbean cuisine, and supporting local business.  

What's New: Any Thing Bar opened next to Mo's last year with wacky cocktails and a great patio, Zanmi opened with Haitian cuisine and Lips Cafe opened and brings the neighborhood art showcases and comedy nights.

If you only do one thing: Walk from Prospect Park down Flatbush Avenue for a day of shopping and tasting great food at any one of these Caribbean-influenced spots (Peppa's Jerk Chicken, The Rogers Garden and Allan's Bakery).


This northwest Queens neighborhood is a melting pot of cultures with huge Greek and Middle Eastern populations, a thriving bar and restaurant scene that give hip Brooklyn neighborhoods a run for their money—it's more affordable and just as cool. The Welling Court Mural Project and the Socrates Sculpture Garden offer amazing street art and sculptures with incredible views of the Manhattan skyline. Astoria Park is underrated as is the Museum of the Moving Image, which has an incredible permanent exhibit about Jim Henson and his Muppets. Astoria's cuisine runs the gamut with incredible spots such as Taverna Kyclades, Comfortland, Sal, Chris and Charlie Deli and The Bonnie. 

What's New: Astoria is becoming a destination for sweet treats with the openings of Duchess Cookies, Krispie Kreme, Kung Fu Tea and Milk & Cream Bar.

If you only do one thing: Go to the Museum of the Moving Image and grab lunch at the nearby Chela & Garnacha Mexican eatery.



Just south of Fordham Road in the Bronx, Belmont is home to the borough’s bustling Little Italy. Alongside classic pizzerias and red-sauce restaurants, you’ll find speciality food vendors, lively cafés and traditional bakeries throughout the area. Grab a cannoli and venture a little way off the main drag to discover local neighborhood favorites like Artuso Pastry Shop and Casa Della Mozzarella. Looking to throw back a pint? Head to the Bronx Beer Hall which has a ton of seasonal brews perfect for fall. Once you’re fueled up you can stroll over to the neighborhood entrance of the world-famous Bronx Zoo.

What’s New: During the pandemic, Arthur Ave fully embraced the Open Streets outdoor dining program by transforming the street into a European-style piazza called “Piazza di Belmont.” Needless to say, there are plenty of outdoor dining options for those looking to grab dinner. 

If you only do one thing: The Arthur Ave Retail Market is an indoor market specializing in Italian foods, bakery items, dry goods, meat and seafood. It also houses the famous Mike’s Deli.


Harlem needs no introduction. Long one of the cultural centers of NYC’s African-American community, the neighborhood is a lively meeting place influenced by many of the city’s immigrant communities. It is also an innovative hub of the visual arts, performance and food and drink. Grab dinner at Sylvia’s (currently temporarily closed but taking reservations for November), cocktails at the throwback 67 Orange St., and catch some of the late-night offerings at Bill’s Place. Marcus Garvey Park is perfect for those looking for a green space with some great views of the area, Alibi Lounge is a must-visit spot as one of the city’s sole remaining Black-owned LGBTQ+ bars and Time Out Market vendor Sugar Hill is the place to go for ice cream lovers.

What’s new: If you’re looking for a fun new spot on the water, hit up the Baylander Steel Beach, a new boatstaurant and bar that opened during the pandemic on one of the world’s smallest aircraft carriers.

If you only do one thing: Go see Amateur Night at the Apollo which is still worth a ticket!


Red Hook

The photogenic Brooklyn neighborhood on the shores of the East River harks to its nautical history with maritime touches throughout its streets, including at classic NYC dive bars Sunny’s and Ice House. Eat and drink at local favorites Somtum Der, Defonte’s and Red Hook Tavern and play picnic games at the multi-level Brooklyn Crab.

What’s new: Popular restaurant Fort Defiance just moved a few doors north to 347 Van Brunt Street, where you can pick up sandwiches, cheese and charcuterie to bring to the waterfront nearby. We’re also keeping our fingers crossed for the return of Fort Defiance’s famed Irish Coffees in the near future

If you only do one thing: Check out NYC’s best view of the Statue of Liberty from Valentino Pier

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