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Alphabet City Neighborhood Guide

Alphabet City is a subsection of the bohemian, artistic East Village neighborhood in Manhattan. It is one of the most authentic, offbeat neighborhoods in Manhattan, and has maintained its gritty character through waves of heavy gentrification. If you’re looking for a laid-back, offbeat, artistic haven in Manhattan, look no further.

The People

Alphabet City has an interesting and diverse population. The neighborhood was originally a haven for German, Polish, Hispanic, and Jewish immigrants. The neighborhood demographics are as follows:

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  • White: 50%
  • Black: 8.8%
  • Hispanic: 24.1%
  • Asian: 13.9%
  • Mixed: 2.1%
  • Other: 1.1%

Alphabet City Food

Argentinian food Alphabet City

Alphabet City has an exciting and creative food scene. Influenced by the convergence of cultures, the food is often a fusion of a few different cuisines. It’s no wonder that the food scene attracts attention from all over the city. Though the following are only a portion of the great restaurants in the neighborhood, be sure to check out any of these restaurants. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

  • Tuome – Tuome is a Michelin Star restaurant offering contemporary American cuisine with Asian influences from Chef Thomas Chen.
  • Thursday Kitchen – With Chef Kay’s South Korean background, French cuisine training, and an exceptional love for Spanish food, Thursday Kitchen offers a unique blend of international elements in ingredients and flavor in a tapas style fashion.
  • Buenos Aires – This restaurant brings a piece of Buenos Aires, Argentina to the city. Quality, authentic Argentine cuisine is served in a warm, cultural atmosphere. The restaurant also offers Argentine products, such as Yerba Mate.
  • ​Gnocco: Gnocco is a casual restaurant that specializes in authentic homemade Italian food made with fresh and imported ingredients, complemented by an extensive Italian wine list, selection of Italian beer, and a full bar. Named for the fried dough puffs sold with prosciutto and salami on the streets of Modena, Gnocco strives for Italian authenticity.
  • Root & Bone: Soul nurturing, conscientiously sourced, farm-fresh ingredients. A craftsman’s ethic coupled with artistic culinary thought. A tribute to the timeless recipes and traditions of rural America and the warm embrace of its hospitality.

The Vibe

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Alphabet City is one of the few truly authentic neighborhoods left in Manhattan. Though the neighborhood has certainly gentrified quite a bit, the neighborhood has maintained its bohemian, gritty, offbeat nature. The culture has German, Polish, Hispanic, and Jewish influences, that make it interesting and diverse. Students, artists, young professionals, and families all call the neighborhood home. For fans of broadway shows, the musical Rent  was based on this neighborhood.

The Setting

map of Alphabet City

Alphabet City is a subsection of the East Village neighborhood. The section’s southern border is along East Houston St. Avenue A defines the western border, and Avenue D defines the Eastern border. The northern border is along East 13th St east of Avenue C, and East 14th St west of Avenue C.

Alphabet City Attractions

BMX riders hitting jumps in Tomkins Sq Park

  • Nuyorican Poets Cafe: Over the last 40 years, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe has served as a home for groundbreaking works of poetry, music, theater and visual arts. A multicultural and multi-arts institution, the Cafe gives voice to a diverse group of rising poets, actors, filmmakers and musicians. The Cafe champions the use of poetry, jazz, theater, hip-hop and spoken word as means of social empowerment for minority and underprivileged artists.
  • Tompkins Square Park: This 10.5 acre public park has an interesting and storied past. Today, it’s a fantastic green space for the neighborhood’s eclectic residents to do some quality people-watching.
  • John V. Lindsay East River Park: This is one of the city’s best parks. Running along the waterfront on the East River, it has a plethora of sports complexes, and is fantastic for a scenic bike ride or jog.


arcade games alphabet city

Alphabet City offers some of the best nightlife in Manhattan. It is defined as being characteristically unpretentious and genuinely fun. No bouncers or lists, everyone is welcome.

  • Pouring Ribbons – Pouring Ribbons is a cocktail bar in Alphabet City that serves high quality, exciting craft cocktails, without the snob factor.
  • Empellón Al Pastor – Empellón Al Pastor is a bar located in the East Village on the corner of St. Marks and Avenue A, across the street from Tompkins Square Park. The menu consists of mash up bar snacks and tacos served in a hyper casual environment. Empellón Al Pastor’s drink menu focuses on margaritas, plus 18 beers on tap and a selection of cocktails.
  • Sophie’s: Sophie’s is one of the best dive bars in NYC. The atmosphere is very welcoming, and locals frequent the bar almost daily.
  • 7B Horseshoe Bar aka Vazacs – With it’s red brick exterior, castle-like doors on the corner, and large, multi-panned Tudor windows, one reviewer described it as a place that Model-T Fords could be pictured parked outside of.
  • Ace Bar – Ace Bar is great for a date night or night out with friends. The two large rooms are filled with all types of games, from pool to skee-ball. It’s nearly impossible to be bored here.

Moving to Alphabet City

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Metropolis Moving has gained the reputation of being one of New York City’s most courteous, careful, and friendly professional moving services. Get a quote today and you’ll be on your way to living the life you envision for yourself in Alphabet City.

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