NFT New York Inwood


Located on the northernmost tip of the island, the hilly neighborhood of Inwood has something for everyone. And at a moment when there are so few places left in Manhattan where you can get affordable housing and fit all your belongings in something bigger than a shoebox, the 'hood is a solid alternative for those considering abandoning the island for one of the outer boroughs.

West of Broadway offers views, pathways, quiet streets, and artsy cafes. Parking is tricky, but possible--worst-case scenario is parking in one of the many lots around the area, which are still an affordable option. Rents west of Broadway can be higher because of the aforementioned perks and because it's right next to Inwood Hill Park, which is arguably the best neighborhood resource. The grass might be greener on this side of Broadway, but the predominantly Dominican area east of Broadway has even cheaper housing alternatives. That, and you'll find the air is filled with free bachata, especially during the summer.See more.

Speaking of Inwood Hill Park, its 160 acres of greenspace stretch along the Hudson from Dyckman Street to the northern tip of the island. The park is home to last remaining natural forest in Manhattan, affording one the opportunity to brag about hiking through real woods without leaving the city. Take your kids (or nephews or nieces) to Emerson Playground on a sunny day, let your dog play with its kinfolk at Homer's Run or use one of several outdoor tennis courts. The Inwood Greenmarket happens rain or shine Saturdays at the foot of Inwood Hill Park.

That little house on the hill at 204th Street that looks out of place among the low-slung apartment buildings along Broadway is the Dyckman Farmhouse (c. 1784). Originally part of several hundred acres of farmland owned by a family with roots stretching back to New York's Dutch beginnings, today it's a stark visual reminder of just how much the city has evolved. On weekends say hello (or hola) to the seniors sitting on the benches by the farmhouse's garden.

The Henry Hudson Bridge connects Manhattan and The Bronx via a two-level, seven-lane structure. With thousands of vehicles crossing back and forth each day, drivers and passengers can take a minute to admire the lavish engineering efforts, views of the Hudson River and the Harlem Ship Canal below. And speaking of channels, channel your inner Rocky by climbing the West 215th Steps. All 111 of them (yep, we counted). On the way up note Park Terrace East to see a few rare species: Actual houses with driveways.

Well, if you refuse to take the 1 or A trains south for more exciting options, then dive into Piper's Kilt for a perfect pint of Guinness and a burger. Inwood Local has many brews on tap and a fun neighborhood feel. For some vino, hit up Corcho for a glass and some tapas.

Get brunch at Garden Cafe. Go calorie crazy at Elsa La Reina del Chicharron with the best pork rinds in town. Sushi lovers go to Mama Sushi and Italian aficionados go to Il Sole. Practice your Spanish at Mamajuana Cafe and be artsy at Indian Road Cafe.

Shopping isn't exactly Inwood's forte but El Nuevo Azteca does have a huge selection of typical/junk Mexican foods. Order a fresh-rolled cigar to go at Q Cigars, take that old couch for an upholstery makeover to The Victorian House or relieve your sweet tooth fix at Carrot Top Pastries.

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Getting Out in Inwood

By Joshua Cochran
A safe, affordable hood in Manhattan that still has a lively art scene and the oldest remaining farmhouse on the island? It's true: Inwood! Here, the living is slow, the ethnicities are varied (though predominantly Dominican) and the cliches of small-town America, to a degree greater than the rest of the borough, ring true. Inwood: Would you like to try it?

On Our Radar:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Posted By:  Jessica Solt
Photo:  Jessica Solt

Elsa La Reina Del Chicharron
Pork rind lovers: your search is over. As the restaurant that has proclaimed itself as the one that serves "The best chicharron (pork rind) in the world," they sure are surpassing their customers' expectations. The locale in 4892 Broadway was the very first one and it has been expanding it's name to other parts of New York and New Jersey. So in order to really appreciate this place you have to throw your health-conscious self out the window because for Elsa, flavor does come first. Each day they have a variety of Dominican plates to choose from at affordable prices. These include chicharron (obviously), pork chunks, white rice and beans, cod and eggplant, mondongo, baked chicken, sweet plantains, cassava omelet, fried steak and roast pork, to mention a few. You'll love it even if you can't roll your R's.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Posted By:  Jessica Solt
Photo:  Jessica Solt

Daniel's Fruit-opia
When you mix fresh fruit, ice, milk, and sugar, good things are bound to happen. Example: Daniel's Fruit-opia is always packed with people of all ages. The reason? Well, this joint knows how to make a perfect shake. Ideal for an improvised breakfast if you're heading to the 1 Train on 207th Street, a midday snack packed with vitamins, or an evening post-dinner dessert. Customers have a bunch of fresh fruit to choose from: kiwi, papaya, strawberry, cantaloupe, pineapple--the list goes on and on--and you can add extras such as granola, nuts, or maybe even prunes. For a quick bite to make a meal, grab a fresh muffin or a Dominican pastelito, very popular around this area. Buen provecho.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Posted By:  Jessica Solt
Photo:  Jessica Solt

Planet Fitness
Ten bucks these days can buy you a sandwich on Wall Street. Or it can buy you a one-month membership to Planet Fitness in Inwood. If you're trying to get buff on a budget, this is the place to be. The facilities are spacious, it has a good selection of machines that will let you work out every muscle in your body, an entire cardio floor with a wide variety of TV channels, and a 30-minute circuit workout. Members can also use the tanning booths for an additional fee. The staff is friendly and is trained to help you use the machines, but since there are no studios, this is pretty much a "help yourself gym." Try to avoid peak hours as it can get a little crowded and stuffy. Luckily that's no problem, since this gym is open 24 hours. Nothing like doing some ab crunches at 3 am...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Posted By:  Jessica Solt
Photo:  Jessica Solt

El Nuevo Azteca
Mexicans love their junk food, because it's good! But aside from the variety of Barcel, Sabritas, Bimbo, and Marinela products, this is the place to get the ingredients to make authentic Mexican dishes: queso fresco in banana leaf, real mole, Mexican cream, corn for tamales, dry chiles, and just about anything you can think of that you might find in a local Mexican grocery shop. Oh! and If you don't feel like cooking they do have an extensive menu of yummies: chilaquiles, chiles rellenos, tortas, flautas, burritos, tostadas, guaraches, tacos... Are you salivating already?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Posted By:  Rob Tallia
Photo:  Rob Tallia

Dick Savitt Tennis Center
Trekking up to 218th Street in the dead of winter to play a tennis match may not be your idea of fun; fortunately, however, it's one of mine. The courts at Columbia's Dick Savitt Tennis Center are a "rubberized hard court" surface; they feel pretty cool. But the real surprise was the architecture of the Center itself, which I can at the moment only classify as "late '60s space-age public architecture." If anyone call tell us the actual architectural pedigree of this building, a free NYC guide is yours for the taking. In the meantime, I'll just have to wait for another USTA match to do some more "ground research."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Posted By:  Jena Tesse Fox
Photo:  Jena Tesse Fox

Piper's Kilt
The sign outside The Piper's Kilt advertises the "Best Hamburgers in Town." We don't know who gave the burgers that distinction, but few Inwoodites would argue with it. A throwback to the days when Inwood was the Irish hub of Manhattan, The Piper's Kilt is dark, oaky, and full of atmosphere. The locals wouldn't have it any other way. Sunday nights feature free Karaoke, Tuesdays they have trivia, and you can always catch your favorite sporting event on one of the many TVs scattered around the bar. And then there are the amazing burgers. Rich and juicy, they are grilled to order and prepared with any number of toppings. At The Piper's Kilt, it's all about the beer, the fresh food, and the friendly people who hang out here. Every neighborhood needs a place like this.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Posted By:  Jena Tesse Fox
Photo:  Jena Tesse Fox

La Estufa
A relative newcomer to Inwood, La Estufa features fresh, simple food that appeals to almost any palate or diet. Looking for low-carb? Try a skewer of chicken with a side of sautéed spinach. Craving comfort food? The penne with lamb ragout sauce is rich and filling with just a hint of spice. Best of all, very little on the menu is more than $15, and complete meals can be found for less than $10. The skewers of various grilled meats (a steal at $4.50) are the house specialty; a perfect on-the-go meal. A side of fresh sautéed spinach complements almost anything on the menu and proves that “healthy” doesn’t have to mean “bland.” Wraps, pastas, sandwiches and salads are also available, and the beverage list features several rare sodas (the extra-dry ginger ale is especially tasty). The restaurant's interior resembles a townhouse (it probably was at some point). Exposed brick walls give it a cozy and comfortable vibe, and most tables are designed for two. For an intimate and inexpensive date, La Estufa probably can't be beat north of 14th

Monday, March 10, 2008

Posted By:  Jena Tesse Fox
Photo:  Jena Tesse Fox

Grandpa's Brick Oven Pizza
The debate over which neighborhood restaurant sells the best slice of genuine New York pizza may tear apart other communities, but in Inwood, there's only Grandpa's. Small, intimate and featuring a brick oven that makes flawless crusts, Grandpa's harkens back to the days of the neighborhood hangouts, where the man behind the counter knew the regulars' names and favorite slices. The pizza here features a firm but thin crust and a zesty sauce that nicely compliments the melted mozzarella. (Yes, I just said "zesty." Deal with it.) The standard toppings are available, as are the standard alternatives (sausage rolls, Sicilian pies, etc.). Grandpa's isn't trying to reinvent the wheel, and if your taste in pizza is more exotic, you'll probably prefer Two Boots downtown. An informal dining room is available, and families can always be seen chatting in every language as they devour a fresh pie. Naturally, Grandpa's delivers, and even recently started accepting credit cards. A Papa John's recently opened just down the street, but true Inwoodites know where to go for the best and freshest pizza in town.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Posted By:  Jena Tesse Fox
Photo:  Jena Tesse Fox

The first major cries of "Gentrification!" struck Inwood when Guadalupe opened on 207th Street last year. Awkwardly situated in between dollar stores and across the street from a McDonalds, this dark and cavernous eatery serves elegant and tasty Mexican fare at surprisingly affordable prices. Forget greasy Tex-Mex: Guadalupe’s menu features fresh ingredients and intense flavors that demand savoring. This is an ideal place to meet up with friends, enjoy a leisurely meal, and revisit a cuisine you thought had been beaten into the ground by tacky fast-food joints. Tuesdays and Wednesdays feature live jazz and mariachi music, respectively. On the weekends, the $14 brunch includes coffee and a complimentary drink. The frozen tamarind margarita is a house specialty, and smoky-sweet spice pairs well with tequila. From 5:00 until 8:00 on weekdays, the bar offers a 2-for-1 happy hour special and $6 snacks. In addition to the numerous flavored margaritas, the extensive bar features other popular south-of-the-border concoctions and several original drinks as well.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Posted By:  Janet Potter

Garden Café
The closest thing Inwood has to a corner bistro is this humble American restaurant, hidden in plain sight next to a church. The narrow front dining room opens up at the rear into a gorgeous outdoor terrace that is enclosed and warm in the winter and open and airy in summer. If the menu isn't as exciting as those of some downtown joints, the food itself is. The restaurant's ingredients are fresh and wholesome, and just about everything is prepared from scratch. This means that the rich hollandaise sauce served at brunch has a strong lemon flavor that makes Eggs Benedict or Florentine seem gourmet. (Indeed, judging from the crowds, brunch at Garden Café is a weekend ritual for Inwoodites.) The salads are crisp, the Buffalo wings have a smoky orange flavor, and the cheesecake is rich and intense. Garden Café is worth a trip up from midtown—after all, where else in the city can you get an enormous home-style brunch for less than $10?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Posted By:  Janet Potter

Moroccan food in Inwood sounds about as likely as... well, Dominican food in Marrakech. But for those willing to lower their arched eyebrows and suffer a subway ride to the top of Manhattan, Park Terrace Bistro is one of the great hidden gems of this city. Combining exotic cuisine with a friendly atmosphere, PTB was the first gourmet restaurant in Inwood (some would say that it still is). The bistro has been managed by local husband-and-wife team Karim Bouskou and Natalie Weiss since its opening in 2005. Bouskou, who hails from Casablanca, imports many ingredients from his homeland and is the restaurant's head chef. Weiss can frequently be found behind the bar, supervising the extensive wine selection and chatting happily with the customers. They know the regulars on a first-name basis, and newcomers are quickly made to feel at home. In addition, the restaurant's menu changes regularly, and there is always something new to try. Any of the tagine dishes are a safe bet for beginners, and there are plenty more exotic recipes for the more adventurous. The vegetarian cigars or the Mediterranean platter are excellent appetizers or tapas. As Bouskou explains, Park Terrace Bistro is designed for friends and families to gather and talk while enjoying a good meal.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Posted By:  Rachel Greenwald
Photo:  Rachel Greenwald

Inwood Greenmarket
Sometimes, when you live in Bronx, you forget that you don’t have to go to Manhattan to enjoy New York City snobbery. For example, we New Yorkers may be part a huge city with a bunch of disease-ridden rodents, foul, and insects, but we’re cool enough to attract local farmers. We’re so cool that these local farmers are willing to put aside their suspicions that all city-goers who are willing to put up with disease-ridden rodents, foul, and insects—especially those who bring their dogs to doggie spas and cafes—couldn’t possibly appreciate fresh produce. But West Bronx residents deserve to be snobby, in spite of the borough’s reputation. Here in the West Bronx, there are two farmers markets in close proximity: one at the Bronx Botanical Gardens, and the other in Inwood. And yes, Inwood is technically Manhattan, but no one below 125th knows anything about the neighborhood, and the demographics are about the same as the West Bronx, so it might as well be the West Bronx. You can expect that some of the farmers at these farmers markets will look at you askance, just like downtown. That should make you proud, because you are now officially as cool as the shoppers in Union Square…and you have more parkland.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Posted By:  Becky Dalzell
Photo:  Becky Dalzell

Dyckman Farmhouse Museum
There’s a C-Town Supermarket across the street and the A train a few blocks away. Yet looking down on the cacophonous street is the Dyckman Farmhouse, a reminder that Uptown Manhattan once existed for agriculture rather than commuting. The cozy stone and clapboard house, with wide porches and low ceilings, was built on the Dykman family’s 250-acre farm in 1784. In the lush back garden is a log military hut used by Revolutionary War soldiers, and behind it austere brick high-rises. With the lot so tightly hemmed in by the modern city, it’s hard to envision cattle or buggies walking by, or even the texture of the soil below the concrete. Yet this quiet little house, and others like it, founded our roaring city, and perhaps visiting it is to say a sort of thank-you.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Posted By:  Joshua Cochran
Photo:  Joshua Cochran

Grandpa's Brick Oven Pizza
Go figure. Another pizza place to write about? What can possibly be so different about this pizza place than any of the 17,248 others within a five mile radius? Well let me just say that’s quite a snotty attitude you have. Grandpa’s Pizza isn’t a grease hole that gives you a slice of pizza that tastes like newspaper pulp with waxy cheese-substitute barely covering the ketchup. No way, and not here. At Grandpa’s, it’s about one thing-the crust. It’s amazing and crisp on the bottom and has just the right thickness. Then there’s the service. OK so that’s two things, but the people at Grandpa’s are always friendly and go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Then there is the restaurant itself, with plenty of tables and a nice view of Broadway. OK, so Grandpa’s is about three things now, but you get the point. All your traditional favorites plus killer salads and sandwiches. Try a slice of “Grandpa’s Sicilian” to get your fill.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Posted By:  Joshua Cochran
Photo:  Joshua Cochran

Keenan's Bar
There’s no better hipster doofus magnet than the faux dive bar. You see them everywhere in the trendy nabes, where they attempt bar dive status with poor sound systems, imported bar stench and sometimes even going so far as hiring out of work actors as ‘regulars’ to make small talk at the end of the bar. No such thing at Keenan’s Piano Lounge. This is the real deal. The bar is centralized and oval-shaped, which is really helpful when ordering another round because no matter where you are, the bar is nearby. There’s one pool table with an assortment of crooked sticks, and several televisions of varying reception for your entertainment needs, though only viewable in your periphery. The regulars are regulars, and the smell is real. Come on Monday nights for open mic, which starts at 8 pm. And even though it’s called Keenan’s Piano Lounge, there’s no piano. Come to think of it, it’s not really much of a lounge either."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Posted By:  Joshua Cochran
Photo:  Joshua Cochran

As we’re ever-on the lookout for authentic Mexican food, we might have found the best yet at Tacos Puebla, located at 207th Manhattan’s most famous neighborhood: Inwood. Family-owned and operated, Tacos Puebla is humble in size and appearance, but the food has a well-deserved ego. And yes, they sell tacos. Lots of tacos…and they’re all $2 each. Carne asada to die for, chicken marinated and succulent, and all the tacos are topped with cilantro and onions. Lettuce, tomato, and salsas are on the side. The salsa is fantastic, by the way, from mild to the very-nearly-dangerous. For openers on your first visit, you might try the quesadilla. For $5, it’s huge and comes with tons of guacamole and sour cream—plenty to share. Then move on to an enchilada, or maybe a bowl of albondigas, or perhaps a huarache or two. Only then should you go for a few tacos. A really good taco is like making love—you don’t want to just dive in there all

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