A collection of vibrant and distinctive neighborhoods in the heart of the city’s origins
Typically defined as the portion of Manhattan south of 14th street that extends all the way to the island’s southernmost tip, the area of Lower Manhattan is known as the epicenter for business, government, and culture, as well as the location of the city’s origins. Lower Manhattan can be broken into several distinctive neighborhoods, including Nolita, Little Italy, Chinatown, Battery City Park, the Financial District, and the Lower East Side.
Each section of Lower Manhattan is brimming with its own unique personality, contributing to the area’s reputation for diversity and its lively, enterprising spirit. The most notable neighborhoods include:
Nolita, which stands for North of Little Italy, is where downtown living blends harmoniously with a slower moving, quaint charm that radiates from its local boutiques, narrow arbored streets, and manicured old-world architecture. Housing can be difficult to snag in this highly desirable area, and living in one of the coveted pre-war walk-ups allows residents to enjoy a picturesque lifestyle.
Just south, Little Italy is rich with tradition and vibrant culture, all packed into a tiny little neighborhood. Popular with tourists for its authentic cuisine, lively yet casual atmosphere, and long history, Little Italy is also a much-loved neighborhood for locals who are drawn to its family-friendly vibes, Old New York sensibility, and the never-ending opportunities to enjoy the incredible dining scene.
Another neighborhood driven by culture and heritage, Chinatown’s colorful tapestry of restaurants and shops all pay tribute to the area’s deep history. Walk-ups are the most common form of residential housing, and those living here are treated to quiet streets, plentiful commuting options, and an immersive cultural experience that includes great authentic food and incredible shops.
Battery City Park
A unique neighborhood, Battery City Park is one of the city’s few planned residential developments. Panoramic views of the Hudson River, spacious rentals and condos, plenty of space for peaceful walks, pristine streets, and a reputation as a suburban escape from the urban hustle of the city are all some of the key defining facets of this newer neighborhood.
Entrepreneurial and fast-paced during the day, the Financial District neighborhood is also known for more than just its status as the city’s financial hub and the home of the famed Wall Street. Highly appealing to those seeking a picturesque residential life, the Financial District’s cobblestone streets, shimmering skyscrapers, housing that serves a variety of budgets, and an oasis-feel next to the convergence of the Hudson River and East River all make an idyllic background for urban living.
The Lower East Side
This neighborhood truly embodies the famed “city that never sleeps,” with its thriving nightlife crowds and energetic population. Culturally diverse and replete with some of the city’s best entertainment options, The Lower East Side maintains a dynamic and artsy energy that appeals to an eclectic crowd of residents. Housing options are affordable here, and while there are a few luxury condos and apartments, the majority of real estate consists of pre-war walk-ups.
What to Love
- A myriad of neighborhoods that allow you to find your personal aesthetic
- Proximity to Manhattan’s richest heritage locations and earliest histories
- Diverse culinary, shopping, and entertainment options
Dining, Shopping, & Entertainment
The neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan allow visitors and residents to have their pick of atmospheres and personalities, in addition to a chance to expand their horizons. Foodies fall in love with Chinatown and Little Italy, whose incredible restaurants are almost innumerable.
Eateries like Emilio’s Ballato—whose classic Italian cuisine is to-die-for— are hotspots for celebrity sightings, including the likes of Barack Obama and musician Joe Jonas. The hybrid Vietnamese and Chinese pho at Bo Ky is absolutely crave-worthy, and the neighborhood comes packed with unassuming storefronts that house some of the best eats in the city.
For trendy boutique shopping, Nolita is the place to go, and this tiny neighborhood contains a bevy of sophisticated finds at stores like Maison Kitsuné and Everlane, both of which house curated selections of high-fashion apparel.
Things to Do
The encircling riverfront landscape in the Financial District is a major source of entertainment and activity for the area’s residents, who can often be found lounging in parks like The Battery. Situated on 25 acres at the southern tip of Manhattan, this epic park houses an awe-inspiring SeaGlass Carousel, nearly 200,000 square feet of perennial gardens, river view walking and biking paths, and plenty of green lawn space to picnic on or simply enjoy a day in the sun.
Lower East Side is the place to be for live entertainment, particularly music performances. Venues include the famous Rockwood Music Hall, which has long been a booming location for rising artists and established names alike. The hall hosts performances in three separate stages, seven days a week, and several notable performers throughout the years have included Lady Gaga, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, and Billie Joe Armstrong.