"Character-rich Old World neighborhood in trendy Downtown"
At first glance, East 18th Street seems to have it all. It's far north enough to avoid the raucous antics of the NYU students largely populating the ever-less-edgy East Village, but it's still only a stone's throw from Union Square, one of the city's most pleasant commercial meccas - with an annual Christmas bazaar, a farmers' market, and plenty of record and used-book stores dotting the side streets in the area. Part of East 18th Street constitutes Stuyvesant Town, the sometimes controversial rent-controlled development by the river, but more charming are the streets west of First Avenue, which combine unobtrusive modern buildings with tenement-style brownstownes, and are lined with plenty of leafy green trees, lending the street a more relaxed character than some others nearby. This family-friendly area has more nightlife near Union Square, with low-key venues like the Old Town Bar and Restaurant sharing space with posher Blue Water Grill and Union Square Cafe. Further east you'll find affordable "local" places like Pete's Tavern and the Sunburst Espresso Bar. This combination of trendy and laid-back makes East 18th Street an ideal place for families.
- Near Union Square
"Lots of Drinks, food and history"
There's a lot to do for a day excursion on 18th and the neighborhood is quite nice. The street starts at 5th Ave and there is Rosa Mexicana (decent but lively Mexican) and The Old Town Bar and Tavern which has been around forever. It used to be the secret drinking place for Tammany Hall. There are really pretty, old apartments on 18th between Park and Irving and a couple of tiny restaurants that are very quaint. It's a very elegant city block and worth walking down. Pete's Tavern is at the corner of 18th and Irving and it is, perhaps, the oldest drinking establishment in the city serving liquor back as far as 1852. O. Henry wrote most of his famous stories in this place in booth number 2. It's been in a number of films and commercials so you'll probably find the interior to be quite familiar. Herman Melville used to live across the street at 152. There's a really interesting building on 18th just a block east that has an inordinate number of gargoyles on it. It's so weird.
There are a number of writers and wealthy people from history who lived in this area. The brownstones are beautiful and worth seeing. Just stop your travels before you hit Stuy Town -- that area is horribly ugly.
- Families with kids
"Stuyvesant Town Kills the Mood, best enjoyed heading west"
The title says it all. East 18th is a great street to walk down if you're heading west. Sidewalks aren't terribly wide closer to Stuyvesant Town, and once you hit first avenue, things aren't as nice, especially in the winter months. Home to a bike shop and a good sushi place on Irving place, half a block from where they intersect. Safe to bike or drive on as traffic speeds aren't high, but not the ideal Street for heading west on a bike or in a car.
"Eclectic and well maintained"
East 18th street is an eclectic neighborhood with variety of different food options and weekend activities. A quick drink, a full meal or a simple late night snack is easy to come by all along the street. Closer to the far east end things get a bit quieter while closer to midtown the nightlife is alive and well.
"After Dinner Drinks and Fun"
East 18th street is filled with wonderful delights. Firstly, I think this neighborhood is hip and filled with life, and is perfect for any kind of person. Secondly, There are great restaurants and bars all over the place. You should try Japonais Restaurant, a Japanese-French fusion bistro, Los Dos Molinos, which boats the best Mexican food in the city, and Pete’s Tavern for after dinner drinks and cheap deals on domestic lager throughout the week. Lastly, I just really like this area, in that it isn’t as pretentious as other parts of the city and is really the nesting ground for all kinds of people.
East 18th street is close to the following metro station: L at 14th , and is accessible to many buses. Foot traffic is heavy and it is a good neighborhood for young people.