New York City has its tourist and residential neighborhoods. Manhattan's Upper West Side is a bit of both. The neighborhood has its share of performance venues, parks, museums, churches and cathedrals; but its ornate residential buildings and gourmet food markets are also integral. New York City visitors like to try out its eclectic selection of restaurants, but shopping at a West Side food market provides an equally tasty experience. Choose a hotel with a kitchen, and live like a local.
Upper West Side Food Markets
Most Upper West Side food markets are located along Broadway. Fairway, on 74th and Broadway, has its own brand of coffee and olive oil, a bakery and a gourmet cheese counter. H&H Bagels, on Broadway and 80th Street, often appears in movies -- one is “You've Got Mail" -- and television shows, such as "Seinfeld" and "Sex in the City." The bagels bake on-site, so they are often fresh out of the oven. Get your bagel toppings at Zabar's, also located on 80th Street and Broadway. Zabar's, which opened in 1934, is an Upper West Side institution. This multi-level foodie’s paradise boasts a fish counter, numerous types of caviar, prepared foods and an endless selection of spreads and dressings. If you need fresh vegetables, don't bother waiting on line at generic supermarkets. Independent fresh fruit and vegetable stands are scattered throughout the West Side. A hotel with a kitchen lets you shop for food, store it in the refrigerator and save money on eating out.
Former Single-Room Occupancy Hotels
Manhattan's upper West Side was once the poorer section of the city. Aspiring artists and performers, students and welfare recipients occupied single-room occupancy hotels, called SROs, where they shared a bathroom with other tenants. Gentrification, which began in the 1980s, eliminated most of the SROs and converted them to regular hotels. Since permanent residents once occupied the rooms, many units have kitchens or kitchenettes. The Hotel Beacon, located on Broadway and 75th Street, is an example. The hotel attaches to the Beacon Theater, a major concert venue. All of its standard rooms and suites feature a kitchenette with stove, refrigerator and microwave. The Central Park Hotel, located on 73rd Street between Broadway and West End Avenue, was once an SRO called the Commander. The 560-square-foot rooms now feature kitchenettes with sink, two-burner stove, microwave, refrigerator, toaster, coffeemaker, dishes, utensils and cookware.
Near Zabar's and H&H Bagels
The Riverside Tower Hotel, located on 80th Street and Riverside Drive, is two blocks from Zabar's and H&H Bagels and across the street from Riverside Park. The hotel is housed in one of the many pre-war buildings that dot the area, but its rooms feature a modern yet functional decor. Rooms have microwaves and refrigerators. Dishes and utensils are available at no extra charge.
Near Central Park
Central Park House is an 83rd Street apartment-style hotel, located one-half block from Central Park nd in close proximity to the Museum of Natural History and the Planetarium. Its 750-square-foot one-bedroom rooms boast Italian furniture and modern, Italian-style kitchens, where you can store your food and prepare a Central Park picnic. Brightly colored fabrics and modern furniture embellish the hotel rooms.
The Lucerne, on 79th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, offers elegant rooms with Victorian-style decor, marble baths and upscale bath products. While its standard rooms do not have kitchens, the multi-room suites have kitchenettes with refrigerator and microwave. Fine china adds a touch of class. The Milburn, on 76th Street between West End and Broadway, is an all-suite hotel with kitchenettes featuring sink, microwave, refrigerator, dishes and utensils. The room decor blends classical chandeliers and ruffled fabrics with flat-screen TV and modern lighting fixtures.