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The Upper West Side Scene | NYC Things to Do

The Upper West Side Scene | NYC Things to Do

We are reminded everyday how NYC is one of the most exciting cities in the world. It’s a cultural melting pot and a cosmopolitan metropolis that has a little bit of everything. The cultural atmosphere is especially evident in the Upper West Side. This neighborhood is a complete microcosm of everything that New York City has to offer. There’s a fantastic assortment of nightclubs, restaurants, cultural institutions and colleges. The Upper West Side has a sophisticated atmosphere, but it’s more down-to-earth than the neighborhoods that are located east of Central Park. It is friendly to young professionals, students, families and new residents in ways that the Upper East Side is not. Here are a few of the most beloved attractions and activities that visitors enjoy in the Upper West Side.

The Nightlife

While many people come to the Upper West Side to go shopping, the neighborhood is also known for its thriving nightlife. There are historic theaters, world-class concert venues, intimate jazz clubs, hip comedy clubs and neighborhood bars that serve up great drinks and exceptional food. Many clubs host free events and live performances that are great for local college students and anyone who wants to enjoy a fun night on the town. You have the Lincoln Center Complex, which is much more than the NY Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera. You can find great performances in the numerous theatres, including ones in the famous music school, Julliard. As you get in 90s and above, you encounter many students from Columbia and neighboring colleges. Some are older undergraduates but the bulk are the large population of graduate students enjoying a drink.

The Restaurants

Wholesome, unique food is one of the West Side’s best offerings and there isn’t the same distinction between Broadway, Amsterdam and Columbus restaurants as you see with bars and nightlife. We are happy to be part of this community of businesses. At any time of the day or night, locals and visitors will find an outstanding variety of dining options. Bakeries have strong coffee and great breakfast foods for weekday snacks and extravagant weekend breakfasts. The delis are always open, and the local cafes serve delicious and economical organic soup and salad combinations. Plus, there are plenty of pricey international gourmet restaurants that represent all parts of the world. But the real area that the Upper West Side stand out is in quality neighborhood restaurants built on loyal customers and unique menus.  Bodrum is an example of this type of restaurant rich with cultural diversity that celebrates the intersection of several East Mediterranean cuisines. Those who’d like to prepare their own meals will find many excellent food vendors and farmer’s markets.

The Bars

The Upper West Side is a diverse community that has bars and clubs with all types of niche themes. There are crazy college hangouts, barbecue shacks, seafood restaurants and bars where visitors will find a great selection of craft beers. We often see a late night crowd of revelers who come in for some brick oven pizza. You will notice that the two main bar avenues, Broadway and Amsterdam, have different qualities. On Broadway you are more likely to find cocktail lounges and fashionable, dressy hangouts. Amsterdam has bars that resemble pubs (TVs) and tend to be more lively at night. While many lounges and nightclubs cater to young people, there are also sophisticated wine bars, jazz bars and many cozy venues that host eclectic performances and events. The Upper West Side has more than 50 historic bars and modern nightclubs, so there really is something for everyone.

The nightlife, the restaurants and the bars in the Upper West Side are as unique as the people who live in this diverse neighborhood. In fact, the welcoming residents and the friendly community atmosphere are responsible for some of the Upper West Side’s tremendous popularity.