Which New York neighborhood is best for me?

By Andy Sto Published 26/12/2023

Moving to NYC is an exciting endeavor, but the long list of neighborhood options can be overwhelming. Here are the best neighborhoods in Manhattan – by borough – in terms of remote work, safety, diversity, amenities, and overall feel.

The best neighborhoods in Manhattan

Manhattan has always been the most popular borough with plenty to offer New Yorkers, tourists, and newbie New Yorkers alike. While housing may be more costly, you can still find affordable co-living spaces here to enjoy the thousands of activities and sights Manhattan offers.

Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village brings you between Manhattan’s brownstones, New York University buildings, and Washington Square Park (WSP). Enjoy tons of down-to-earth cafes, bars, and jazz clubs.

  • Best for: younger professionals, hippier vibes, students, the young at heart
  • Pros: smaller feel than in other parts of Manhattan, great restaurants, WSP, historic, LGBT+ friendly, many accessible subway lines, plenty of coworking spaces
  • Cons: a lively neighborhood means noisy nights and soaring home prices


Harlem comes from a rich and proud history and allows access to a tight-knit community, Central Park’s north woods area, and vibrant nightlife. As per 2019 census data, Harlem has a 20%+ foreign-born population with 42% single-person households. If you’re looking for a diverse environment, this is the place for you.

  • Best for: embracing and learning about new cultures, those on a budget, building a community
  • Pros: affordable housing – including co-living options for digital nomads, express train (subway) access, a rich history, access to Central Park, architecturally diverse with brownstones to high-rises, highly-rated coworking spaces
  • Cons: street safety changes block by block

Lower East Side

The Lower East Side (LES) has transformed over the last few decades, starting as a hub for immigrants and street life and evolving into a hot spot for artists, families, and young professionals. Find your nest near the Brooklyn Bridge, Pier 35, and the famous Katz’s Delicatessen.

  • Best for: extroverts who want to explore and enjoy the LES’s dense urban feel
  • Pros: vibrant community, bargain shopping, plenty of entertainment, bars, and nightlife
  • Cons: crowded, few green spaces, limited parking, fewer coworking spaces


If you’re a fan of luxury and the finer things in life, you may find your dream home in SoHo. Enjoy the cobblestone streets, high-end shopping, and a mix of upper-class, upper-middle-class, and tourist groups.

  • Best for: big-earners who appreciate luxury eats, shops, and experiences
  • Pros: usually quiets down after 10 pm, plenty of restaurants and shopping areas, beautiful streets and architecture, shared office spaces available
  • Cons: expensive housing, very crowded during the day, touristic area

The best neighborhoods in Brooklyn

Brooklyn sports a calmer feel than Manhattan but still airs the bustling energy of the Big Apple. Enjoy waterfront views, street art, parks, bridges, and tons of good eats. Brooklyn natives have formed tight-knit communities that cater to all groups of people, from hipsters to parents and everything in between.

Prospect Heights

Prospect Heights is a fantastic location to get work done, enjoy a variety of restaurants, and relax within the 526 acres of Prospect Park. While the area is oriented more towards families, plenty of young professionals find the serenity they need there while also getting the most New York has to offer.

  • Best for: families, introverted professionals who prefer a calmer environment with the amenities of a big city
  • Pros: Co-living spaces, highly-rated coworking areas, a diverse community, Prospect Park, farmers markets, Brooklyn Public Library, Botanic Gardens, a lower crime rate compared to NYC as a whole
  • Cons: not known for its nightlife, some areas are safer than others, a 45-minute commute to midtown

Crown Heights

Like much of Brooklyn, Crown Heights has been transitioning over the years and is currently going through gentrification. With a mix of Caribbean, Orthodox Jewish, and hipster residents, you’ll enjoy a culturally rich experience with plenty of things to explore.

  • Best for: extroverts, those looking to build connections in their community
  • Pros: spacious co-living options, diversity, a sense of community, increasing levels of safety, historic preservation
  • Cons: 45 to 50-minute commute to midtown, gentrification changing the neighborhood composition, limited coworking spaces


If you are or have heard of hipsters, you’ve found their native watering hole in Williamsburg. This neighborhood is a highly-sought after place to live with all the perks of NYC and fewer crowds. Enjoy local indie music, distilleries, and food vendors at Smorgasburg along the river.

  • Best for: artsy and edgy folks, a younger crowd, single people, couples
  • Pros: bikeable neighborhood, short commute to Manhattan, many local events, art and music scenes, trendy restaurants, tons of coworking spaces
  • Cons: High cost of rent, growing crowds, limited subway lines


DUMBO, short for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is a sweet spot on the Brooklyn waterfront. Recent trends have moved in new restaurants, tech startups, companies, and galleries to the area. The industrial buildings provide great open-floor plans combined with plenty of creative jobs and things to do.

  • Best for: millennials, youthful crowds, creatives
  • Pros: Near Brooklyn Bridge Park, plenty of new firms and collectives moving in, one of the safest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, coworking and shared office spaces
  • Cons: limited subway lines, bus stops, and cuisines

The best neighborhoods in Queens

To escape the squished apartments of Manhattan to a real home in the largest borough, Queens is your spot. You can find all living arrangements in Queens, including detached homes, brownstones, and apartments. Those with children looking for better public schools are also in luck.


Astoria is family-friendly but also has options for working professional singles and couples. It has everything you need nearby, including a good bar scene, and Central Park about 15 minutes away by subway. Get ready to become a Mets fan!

  • Best for: quiet folks who plan to stay a while and enjoy knowing their neighbors
  • Pros: proximity to Manhattan, a sense of community, quiet neighborhood, plenty of resources (grocery stores, general stores, etc.)
  • Cons: lacks an array of cultural and artistic events, difficult to visit Brooklyn, few coworking spaces


Flushing is located near LaGuardia Airport, convenient for avid travelers and those who travel for business. With a 69% Asian population, you’ll find cultural diversity with plenty of Chinese and Korean influence in this neighborhood among a melting pot of inhabitants.

  • Best for: curious introverts who appreciate diversity and quiet evenings
  • Pros: Flushing Chinatown, historic landmarks and places, Queens Botanical Garden, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, a low crime rate, highly rated coworking spaces (although they are few)
  • Cons: very limited subway options, restaurants are not well-dispersed

The best neighborhoods in the Bronx

The Bronx is a go-to when you need to escape the long lines and piles of people in the city that never sleeps. Within it, you can find the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo, the summer concert series, and great views of the Hudson. As with any borough, though, you’ll need to choose your neighborhood carefully.


Riverdale is the northwestern, suburban part of the Bronx. It includes mainly upper-middle and upper-class families and individuals, although some parts include the middle class too. If you’re looking for stability and lower housing costs, Riverdale could be for you.

  • Best for: quiet professionals who want a suburban feel while still being close enough to the hustle and bustle of NYC
  • Pros: farm-to-table food options, lower cost of rent, everything from co-op housing to mansions
  • Cons: most residents need a car to get around, little to no nightlife, no coworking spaces

Woodlawn Heights

Woodlawn Heights is a diverse neighborhood housing roughly 8,600 inhabitants. You can find plenty of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops here for families and young professionals. It’s a walkable neighborhood that rates highly for safety.

  • Best for: a small-town suburban feel for professionals
  • Pros: safe, good value for your money, excellent schools, sense of community, many housing options with yards, near Van Cortlandt Park, bars and restaurants
  • Cons: A bit isolated, many hills

The best neighborhoods in Staten Island

Staten Island’s nickname is the Borough of Parks, which means there are plenty of outdoor spaces to pair with your affordable housing. While a fair distance from the hubbub of Manhattan, you can reach it via a free ferry in just 25 minutes! Plus, there is plenty to do within Staten Island itself.

St. George

St. George is on the northeastern tip of Staten Island along the waterfront. While it has everything you need for the day-to-day, you also have direct access to the Staten Island Ferry to visit Manhattan on a whim.

  • Best for: single people and couples without children looking for a variety of housing options
  • Pros: Empire Outlet mall (the only one in NYC), local brewing companies, restored historical buildings, great Italian food, free Staten Island Ferry, walkable area
  • Cons: difficult to reach other boroughs by car or train, no coworking spaces

New Springville

Spot in the middle of Staten Island lies New Springville. A hub for those at CUNY College, young professionals, and couples, this neighborhood offers a mix of city vibes and nature for residents.

  • Best for: young professionals, couples, young families, students of all ages
  • Pros: easy access to hiking trails, nature center, great shopping options, LaTourette City Park
  • Cons: limited transportation in the evenings/nights, far from other boroughs, no coworking spaces

New Dorp

New Dorp is a commercial neighborhood that combines hip and historic vibes with an international crowd. You’ll find Polish, Italian, and Albanian populations in this densely-populated neighborhood.

  • Best for: young professionals, couples, those looking for diversity
  • Pros: the beachfront, is very safe, a combination of available homes and apartments
  • Cons: lots of traffic, limited parking, no coworking spaces

Final thoughts on which NY neighborhood is best for me

When choosing your New York hub, be clear about what you’re looking for. Consider things like co-living and coworking options, restaurants, nightlife, green spaces, and other amenities that are important to you. New York has so much to offer that – with a little planning – you’re sure to find the right niche!

About the author Andy is a seasoned digital nomad from Brussels. He runs a blog for digital nomads, remote workers, and remote company leaders: https://andysto.com/. He enjoys hiking, singing, playing improv games and discovering hidden gems all over the world.