Upper West Side Neighborhood Guide

The Upper West Side offers visitors a chance to see how Manhattanites live

Grand stair @ Lincoln center The Grand Stair at Lincoln center with Avery Fish hall (home of the New York Philharmonic) in the background.
••• Wilson Rivera @wilsonrivera flickr.com Creative Commons License

Itinerary: One Day on the West Side

Primarily a residential neighborhood, the Upper West Side can serve as a great home base for visitors to New York City, and is certainly worth exploring if you have time. Hotels on the Upper West Side often offer a better value than in many other areas and also provide visitors an escape from the chaos of Midtown and other tourist-heavy areas. It is a convenient location for exploring Central Park, as well as the American Museum of Natural History, and the many subways and buses make it easy to explore other areas of the city.

It is a great neighborhood for shopping (especially at gourmet stores, like Zabar's and Fairway), and the brownstone lined blocks and luxury apartment buildings make the neighborhood well worth strolling around. Some of the famous residents of the Upper West Side have included Babe Ruth, Humphrey Bogart, and Dorothy Parker. Today, many celebrities live in apartments and homes throughout the area, particularly in the buildings lining Central Park West.

Upper West Side Map

Upper West Side Subways:

  • A, B, C, D runs along Central Park West
    - 59th Street/Columbus Circle
    - 72nd Street
    - 81st Street/Museum of Natural History
    - 86th Street
    - 96th Street
    - 103 Street
    - Cathedral Pkwy/110th Street
  • 1 runs along Broadway
    - 66th Street/Lincoln Center
    - 72nd Street(2,3 also available)
    - 79th Street
    - 86th Street
    - 96th Street(2,3 also available)
    - 103 Street
    - 110th Street

Upper West Side Neighborhood Boundaries

  • between 59th & 125th Street
  • from Hudson River (Riverside Park) to Central Park West

Upper West Side Architecture

  • Elegant pre-war buildings line Broadway, Central Park West, Riverside Drive, and West End Avenue. One of the most famous is The Dakota, where John Lennon was shot, and Yoko Ono still lives.
  • Many residential streets lined with brownstones, many of which are designated as landmark buildings.

    Upper West Side Restaurants

    • Alice's Tea Cup - tea and lunches, kid-friendly
    • Bar Boulud - French bistro/wine bar from Daniel Boulud
    • Barney Greengrass - breakfast or lunch, iconic NYC restaurant
    • Boulud Sud - refined Mediterranean cuisine from Daniel Boulud
    • Calle Ocho - creative Latin fare
    • Carmine's - family-style Italian
    • Rosa Mexicano - modern Mexican
    • Shake Shack - quick, but high-quality burgers and shakes
    • Shun Lee West - upscale Chinese cuisine

    Upper West Side Attractions

    Upper West Side Shopping

    • Zabars
    • Fairway Market
    • The Shops at Columbus Circle