We all cherish classic Manhattan moments—a walk in Central Park, seeing the Jackson Pollocks at the Museum of Modern Art, a pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Delicatessen. But the reason we love New York City is its constant hatching of new scenes. The latest neighborhood to be colonized is the northern frontier of the Chelsea Arts district, between 10th and 11th avenues, where more warehouses are being transformed into galleries and cacophonous nightclubs, and where the Hôtel Americano, the first U.S. outpost of the splashy Mexican hotel chain Grupo Habita, recently materialized. Right down the street is the just opened second section of the High Line, an innovative landscaped strip of elevated public space designed in part by Dilpler Scofidio & Renfro. On nearby blocks you’ll find buildings by Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, and Shigeru Ban, as well as marquee galleries such as Pace and Gagosian. Even now, this is the rare Manhattan neighborhood that has too few places to eat and drink. But you can snack on pintxos and sip zurracapote, a Basque variation of sangria, at tapas bar Txikito. Or head to Co., whose wood-fired pizzas are an update on another Gotham icon: the classic New York slice.
New York City Affordable Tip: Chinatown comes to Chelsea at local favorite Grand Sichuan, where the authentic food—soup dumplings; green beans with minced pork; spicy beef with green peppers—outshines the garish lighting and curt waitresses. 229 Ninth Ave.; 212/620-5200; dinner for two $40.
New York City Family Tip: Tucked under the High Line at West 16th Street is Chelsea Market, a food-court-on-steroids with plenty of kid-friendly enticements: an indoor waterfall, children’s readings at Posman Books, and five specialty bakeries.
New York City: World’s Best Scorecard
No. 4 city overall
No. 1 city in United States + Canada
Ritz-Carlton Central Park 92.83
Crosby Street Hotel 92.53
The Peninsula 90.63
Four Seasons Hotel 90.37
The Plaza 89.96
St. Regis 89.61
Trump SoHo 89.33
Hôtel Plaza Athénée 89.17
Mandarin Oriental 89.06
Trump International Hotel & Tower 89.04
The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel 88.90
Central Park 212/310-6600; centralparknyc.org.
Co. 230 Ninth Ave.; 212/243-1105; co-pane.com; dinner for two $55.
Gagosian Gallery 555 W. 24th St.; 212/741-1111; gagosian.com.
High Line West Side, from Gansevoort St. to W. 30th St.; 212/206-9922; thehighline.org.
Hôtel Americano 518 W. 27th St.; 212/216-0000; hotel-americano.com; doubles from $325.
Katz’s Delicatessen 205 E. Houston St.; 212/254-2246; katzsdelicatessen.com; lunch for two $25.
Museum of Modern Art 11 W. 53 St.; 212/708-9400; moma.org.
Pace Gallery 545 W. 22nd St. and other locations; 212/989-4258; thepacegallery.com.
Txikito 240 Ninth Ave.; 212/242-4730; txikitonyc.com; dinner for two $94.