The 13 Best Things to Do in the Meatpacking District

The Ultimate Guide for the Meatpacking District NYC

The Meatpacking District counts as one of New York’s hippest districts. While it started off as a very industrial area with many factories, designers, artists, and corporate headquarters have now taken over the district. Many of the old buildings have been transformed into fancy bars, popular nightclubs, stylish shops, and trendy restaurants.

That being said, you can be sure there are plenty of things to do in the Meatpacking District – whether it is seeing the district’s best attractions, eating at some great restaurants or visiting amazing rooftop bars.

Everything you need to do, see and eat in the Meatpacking District, I’ll tell you here in my ultimate guide!

By the way: you’ll find many more New York City spots in our Loving New York travel guides.

My TOP 5 Things to Do in the Meatpacking District

Top 5 Sights in the Meatpacking District

  • High Line Park: High Line Park is one of our favorite parks in New York! It’s the most unique park the city has to offer. Why? Because it’s an elevated park, built atop former railroad tracks.
  • Chelsea Market: Chelsea Market is one of the best spots to combine shopping and food. This market hall used to be a former Nabisco factory. Now the space is filled with more than 50 shops.
  • Gansevoort Market: A great alternative to Chelsea Market is Gansevoort Market, which we only discovered recently!
  • Whitney Museum: Located at the foot of High Line Park you will find Whitney Museum. The museum displays various collections of contemporary art, including masterpieces from artists like Andy Warhol and Edward Hopper.
  • Plunge Rooftop Bar and Lounge: It offers a fabulous 360-degree view, which you don’t get at too many viewing platforms. When we visited, we fell in love with the taste of their drinks.

Where is the Meatpacking District located?

The Meatpacking District is a very small neighborhood nestled between Chelsea (belongs to Midtown Manhattan) and the West Village (belongs to Downtown Manhattan). It spans just 3 blocks: the northern boundary is W 14th Street and the southern boundary is Gansevoort Street.

Meatpacking District NYC Map

How to Get to the Meatpacking District

  • Subway: Take lines A E from wherever you are to “14 Street / 8 Av” and you’ll be just a few steps away from the Meatpacking District!
  • Hop on Hop Off Bus: Stop 6 of the downtown loop of BIG BUS or stop 7 of the downtown loop of Gray Line Sightseeing. Here you find more about Hop on Hop off in NYC.

    My tip:
    the tickets for the buses are included in many of the New York City passes – which one is the best for you, you can see in my Pass Comparison for New York!
  • By Foot: The nicest way is to walk the High Line along the Hudson River all the way to its Southern end.

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The 13 Best Things to Do in the Meatpacking District NYC

Walking through the Meatpacking District you will instantly notice its unique appearance. What stands out most is the comparatively low industrial buildings made of clinker brick. Every once in a while you’ll stumble upon cobbled streets. Did you know that the Meatpacking District has the highest concentration of cobbled streets you will find in New York? Now you do! You will definitely notice a strong contrast to other parts of the city, such as Midtown Manhattan or Lower Manhattan.

  1. 01

    Visit the High Line Park

    Park in Meatpacking District
    Our Highlight
    High_Line_New_York_171012162730002_1600x960
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    There are few parks as unique as the High Line. The elevated freight rail line was repurposed as a public green space that opened in 2009 and now offers amazing views of the city, as well as a place to relax and unwind. Its plant life is based directly off what was growing there while it was abandoned, giving this park a unique and interesting atmosphere! The High Line stretches from The Meatpacking District all the way to Hudson Yards-34th Street.

  2. 02

    Ground Zero Museum Workshop: Hands-On 9/11 Tour

    Museum in Meatpacking District
    ground_zero_museum_workshop_tour_in_new_york_city_387515
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    The Ground Zero Museum Workshop is a child-friendly attraction for 9/11, has won several awards and is one of the best 25 museums in the USA.

  3. 03

    High Line, Chelsea & Meatpacking Tour

    Walking Tour in Chelsea
    Our Highlight
    tour_high_line_chelsea_171012162730006
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    Go on a fun adventure in New York’s only park above street level- the Highline. Experience the Chelsea neighborhood from a whole new vantage point and find out more about the history of the famous Meatpacking District including how it developed into one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world.

  4. 04

    Go (Food) Shopping at the Chelsea Market

    Food Market in Meatpacking District
    Our Highlight
    180302110359002_Chelsea_Market_Meatpacking_District_NYC
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    The first address for the gourmets among you, is the Chelsea Market. The building that was once a biscuit factory and the place where the famous Oreo biscuits were invented. Today you will find bakeries, wine merchants, greengrocers, a fish shop, sushi bars, a butcher’s shop with steak restaurant and much more.

  5. 05

    Little Island: Visit New Yorks's Newest Park

    Other Attraction in Meatpacking District
    Little Island New York
    Photo credit Michael Grimm
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    Not far from the Meatpacking District and the High Line, Little Island is one of the newest attractions in New York and is something very special: a park on 132 beautiful tulip-shaped concrete stilts in the Hudson River!

  6. 06

    Get artsy at the Whitney Museum

    Museum in Meatpacking District
    whitney_museum_170314171556002
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    Newly opened in 2015, the Whitney Museum in New York shines in a whole new light. The Whitney Museum has one of the most spectacular collections of contemporary art that focuses on American art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Rauschenberg are just a few of the names whose paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and installations are part of the exhibits at the Whitney Museum. More than 21,000 works of art are permanently showcased here. The museum is located in The Meatpacking District in Manhattan.

  7. 07

    Take Photos of the Famous Sky Bridge at W 15th Street

    Building in Chelsea
    things_to_do_in_the_meatpacking_district_171012162730002_1600px_1600x960
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    A popular photo spot is the Sky Bridge at 15th Street, which is only one block away from the Meatpacking District. You can see it best from the High Line!

  8. 08

    Enjoy good company at Brass Monkey NYC

    Bar in Meatpacking District
    Brass_Monkey_NYC_9_171010203815017_1600x800
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    The Meatpacking District is known for its chic clubs, expensive cocktails and bars such as the Brass Monkey NYC.  Many of these locations are very exclusive and are unfortunately closed to tourists and visitors alike. If you want to get a taste of the Meatpacking District’s nightlife, Brass Monkey is definitely a spot to try.

    The Brass Monkey NYC, which is very popular with locals, opened in the summer of 2004 in the Meatpacking District and is considered as one of the hotspots in the area. The bar welcomes you to a relaxed atmosphere decorated with wood, copper and long tables where you can simply chat with others. Spread over 2 floors, there are 3 bars and a huge selection of beer. On the rooftop, there is a beer garden with amazing views of the Hudson River and New Jersey.

  9. 09

    Visit the Gansevoort Market

    Food Market in Meatpacking District
    Gansevort_Market_180426120632007
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    A great alternative to Chelsea Market is Gansevoort Market, which we only discovered recently! It is generally not as crowded as Chelsea Market and hosts about 27 shops, including a bakery, a beer hall, a waffle shop, and a cheese counter. It is smaller and feels a little more local than Chelsea Market, as you won’t see as many tourists in here.

  10. 10

    Enjoy breath-taking views from The Top of the Standard

    Rooftop Bar in Meatpacking District
    Top_Of_The_Standard_Rooftop_Bar_New_York
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    The Top of the Standard is the rooftop bar of the hotel The Standard High Line – here you can sit relaxed outside and look at the Hudson River and also towards Uptown. If the door keepers don’t let you in: just go to the Boom Boom Room located IN the hotel.

  11. 11

    Old Homestead Steakhouse: Have a steak at one of New Yorks Best Steak Restaurants

    Steak Restaurant in Meatpacking District
    Old Homestead Steakhouse
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    The restaurant operators have a wonderful attitude towards their core business: they clearly live and communicate their love of beef and traditions. For the Old Homestead Steakhouse only the meat of the highest category “Prime aged USDA” is eligible for the steaks. The Steakhouse, which was opened in 1868, is still located on exactly the same property!

  12. 12

    High Street on Hudson: Start your day at one of my favorite lunch spots

    Café in Meatpacking District
    High-Street-on-Hudson-NYC-190624094710005
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    The Meatpacking District is one of my favorite neighborhoods in New York – not only because of the many highlights such as the High Line, the Whitney Museum and the rooftop bars nearby. Here you will also find many great restaurants and cafes – the High Street in Hudson NYC is one of them.

  13. 13

    Plunge Rooftop Bar & Lounge

    Rooftop Bar in Meatpacking District
    Plunge_Rooftop_Bar_New_York
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    Plunge Rooftop Bar and Lounge is located on top of the popular Gansevoort Hotel. It offers a fabulous 360-degree view, which you don’t get at too many viewing platforms. When we visited, we fell in love with the taste of their drinks. The combination of spectacular views and delicious cocktails helped the Plunge be one of the 43 best rooftop bars in New York and therefore needed to be included in the best things to do in the Meatpacking District New York.

Best Attractions in the Meatpacking District NYC

Many of New York’s major New York attractions are located in and around this part of Manhattan so make sure to add them to you travel itinerary:

  1. High_Line_New_York_171012162730002_1600x960

    01 High Line

    There are few parks as unique as the High Line. The elevated freight rail line was repurposed as a public green space that opened in 2009 and now offers amazing views of the city, as well as a place to relax and unwind. Its plant life is based directly off what was growing there while it was abandoned, giving this park a unique and interesting atmosphere! The High Line stretches from The Meatpacking District all the way to Hudson Yards-34th Street.

  2. ground_zero_museum_workshop_tour_in_new_york_city_387515

    02 Ground Zero Museum Workshop: Hands-On 9/11 Tour

    The Ground Zero Museum Workshop is a child-friendly attraction for 9/11, has won several awards and is one of the best 25 museums in the USA.

  3. Museum

    03 Makeup Museum

    The Makeup Museum is a critical institution for the cultural landscape in New York because makeup has a 10,000-year history. There is so much that the Makeup Museum wants and has to explore. The 1950s is a perfect time period for the Makeup Museum to start within the debut exhibition because the 1950s is the birth of the modern cosmetics industry

  4. Little Island New York
    Photo credit Michael Grimm

    04 Pier 54 - Little Island

    Not far from the Meatpacking District and the High Line, Little Island is one of the newest attractions in New York and is something very special: a park on 132 beautiful tulip-shaped concrete stilts in the Hudson River!

  5. whitney_museum_170314171556002

    05 Whitney Museum

    Newly opened in 2015, the Whitney Museum in New York shines in a whole new light. The Whitney Museum has one of the most spectacular collections of contemporary art that focuses on American art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Rauschenberg are just a few of the names whose paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and installations are part of the exhibits at the Whitney Museum. More than 21,000 works of art are permanently showcased here. The museum is located in The Meatpacking District in Manhattan.

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Many of the attractions and tours of the Meatpacking District and the surrounding neighborhoods are included in one of the New York City passes. So you can easily and quickly save up to 70% – how does it work?

You can see that in my ultimate 👉  New York Pass comparison, here you can see my personal 👉  New York Pass Reviews after more than 20 visits to New York and our free New York Pass Advisor answers the question: “Which New York Pass is the best?

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Best Guided Tours in the Meatpacking District

There are a lot of very popular tours where New York guides show you the best parts and the history of the meatpacking District and the surrounding neighborhoods:

These are the most popular walking tours that we can recommend to you:

  1. Best_Walking_Tour_NYC_High_Line_and_Chelsea_Small_Group_Tour

    01 High Line and Chelsea Small Group Tour

    This is the most popular walking tour along the High Line, starting in the Meatpacking District at the Whitney Museum, running through Chelsea and ending at Hudson Yards. The High Line is my personal favorite park in NYC and always worth a visit. I find the High Line and Chelsea Small Group Tour really exciting because you get told the history and significance to New York. Your guide will tell you many secrets that the High Line, the Chelsea Market and the Meatpacking District has to offer.

    For me personally, this tour is one of the best walking tours in NYC ever, because you see a lot of the old and the new New York City. That’s what makes this district so interesting for me!

  2. tour_high_line_chelsea_171012162730006

    02 High Line, Chelsea & Meatpacking Tour

    Go on a fun adventure in New York’s only park above street level- the Highline. Experience the Chelsea neighborhood from a whole new vantage point and find out more about the history of the famous Meatpacking District including how it developed into one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world.

  3. High_Line_New_York_171012162730006

    03 Friends of the High Line Walking Tours

    The High Line Park takes you along the old tracks of the elevated railway to the Meatpacking District. Thanks to the initiative “Friends of the High Line” the park exists at all, because originally the construction was supposed to be torn down. And the best thing? They offer free tours!

  4. kulinarische_tour_durch_west_village_in_new_york_in_new_york_city_150035_2

    04 New York West Village Food Tour

    Go on one of the famous Food on Foot Tours. During the 3-hour tour, you will discover many great little restaurants and bakeries. A total of 6 of them are on your program on this walking tour, which is one of the most popular in the West Village. For foodies this tour is a must!

If guided tours interest you, be sure to check out the Best Walking Tours NYC!

Best Restaurants in the Meatpacking District NYC

The Meatpacking District is known for Chelsea and Gansevoort Market, but you’ll also discover that it offers a large variety of restaurants. One of our favorite Meatpacking District restaurants is Dos Toros!

  1. bagatelle_nyc_171010203815002

    01 Bagatelle NYC

    The Bagatelle NYC is a French-Mediterranean restaurant with nightclub character

  2. Bubbys_New_York_

    02 Bubby’s High Line

    Bubby’s restaurant and bar is a stylish and modern spot with excellent food and great local beers. Bubby’s is a great place to grab some comfort food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

  3. Dos_Caminos

    03 Dos Caminos

    Dos Casminos is especially known for its spicy guacamole and the very good sangria. The charm that the restaurant exudes in each of the 5 locations is absolutely authentic Mexican and provides a successful change after a long working day or a strenuous sightseeing day.

  4. Restaurant_Fig_Olive_New_York_06_1600x960

    04 Fig & Olive

    Fig & Olive is an upscale restaurant serving seasonal Mediterranean fare. We discovered the restaurant at the end of 2016 during our tour of the Meatpacking District and are still very excited about it (see the Meatpacking District Insider Guide). Very close to The Standard High Line Hotel at the end of High Line Park, it is located in one of the old “warehouse” buildings that are so typical for the district.

  5. Old Homestead Steakhouse

    05 Old Homestead Steakhouse

    The restaurant operators have a wonderful attitude towards their core business: they clearly live and communicate their love of beef and traditions. For the Old Homestead Steakhouse only the meat of the highest category “Prime aged USDA” is eligible for the steaks. The Steakhouse, which was opened in 1868, is still located on exactly the same property!

Looking for more recommendations? We’ve got you covered! Here you find the complete list of the Best Restaurants in Meatpacking District NYC.

Best Bars in the Meatpacking District NYC

Meatpacking District bars are one of the fanciest in New York. As described, many buildings have been transformed into nightlife hubs, which means you’ll have plenty of bars to choose from. The district’s vicinity to Midtown Manhattan also makes it a perfect area to enjoy one of the many rooftop bars.

  1. Employees_only_Bar_New_York_11

    01 Employees Only

    A bar where you can dive into the 20s and 30s of New York. The Speakeasy Bar was voted into the TOP 20 of the best bars in the world – the drinks are of the finest. Attention, the entrance is a bit hidden: you’ll find it next to the neon “Psychic” sign.

  2. b_on_top_rooftop_bar_191110095458008

    02 B. On Top

    B. On Top is a small rooftop bar in the Meatpacking District, where you can end the day in a very relaxed way.

  3. Brass_Monkey_NYC_9_171010203815017_1600x800

    03 Brass Monkey NYC

    The Meatpacking District is known for its chic clubs, expensive cocktails and bars such as the Brass Monkey NYC.  Many of these locations are very exclusive and are unfortunately closed to tourists and visitors alike. If you want to get a taste of the Meatpacking District’s nightlife, Brass Monkey is definitely a spot to try.

    The Brass Monkey NYC, which is very popular with locals, opened in the summer of 2004 in the Meatpacking District and is considered as one of the hotspots in the area. The bar welcomes you to a relaxed atmosphere decorated with wood, copper and long tables where you can simply chat with others. Spread over 2 floors, there are 3 bars and a huge selection of beer. On the rooftop, there is a beer garden with amazing views of the Hudson River and New Jersey.

  4. CATCH_Roof_New_York_Meatpacking_District_03

    04 Catch Roof

    The Catch Roof is the destination of many real locals to eat or drink cocktails here. The rooftop bar offers a sensational view of the old new Manhattan and has a great lounge. The restaurant is very stylish and there are areas that are great for a romantic dinner.

  5. Plunge_Rooftop_Bar_New_York

    05 Plunge Rooftop Bar & Lounge

    One of the top addresses is the ultra-stylish Hotel Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District. And the highlight is the “Plunge Rooftop Bar & Lounge”, which is located on the roof of the hotel. Lots of glass, typical lounge look, relaxed music and lots of pretty people: the location is easily in New York’s top 3 when it comes to high celebrity density and designer photo shoots.

Looking for more recommendations? We’ve got you covered! Here you find the

Shopping in the Meatpacking District

Shopping in the Meatpacking District New York is known by many due to its appearance in the famous show Sex and the City. You will find luxury brands like Diane von Fürstenberg (874 Washington St), Hugo Boss (401 W 14th St), Levi’s (414 W 14th St), Asics (420 W 14th St / currently closed for reconstruction) and Tory Burch (38-40 Little W 12th St) – all located conveniently close to Chelsea Market and Gansevoort Market. As you may imagine, these are shops for those who seriously like to splurge on shopping! You will, however, also find cute little shops inside of Chelsea Market. Our favorite one is Artists & Fleas. There you can find a great selection of jewelry, maps, bags, clothing, and other cool items – at affordable prices!

Best Hotels in the Meatpacking District NYC

If you are looking for a hotel that is close to Midtown or you’re interested in being close to a wild nightlife, then you should go to a hotel in the Meatpacking District. Especially the Gansevoort Hotel is very popular among travelers.

  1. 190305154734001_Big_Gansevoort_Hotel_Pool_NYC

    01 Gansevoort Hotel Meatpacking District

    5 Stars | The owners of the Gansevoort hotels place great emphasis on design, which you will immediately notice. Its location in the Meatpacking District puts you right in the middle of everything: the High Line, great restaurants and bars are in the immediate vicinity (the Meatpacking District is one of my favorite parts of the city). It also has a large pool from where you can look out over the rooftops of the city. It feels so luxurious! 

  2. 170830141836019_The_Standard_Hotel_High_Line_1600x800

    02 The Standard Hotel High Line

    4 Stars | The Standard Hotel on the High Line is one of the most popular hotels in all of NYC. Celebrities and tourists alike love to spend their NYC visit here. The location is ideal for shopping and exploring the Meatpacking District.

Recommended article: The 7 Best Hotels in the Meatpacking District NYC and the Best Hotels in Manhattan.

Neighborhoods Nearby

Once you are done exploring the Meatpacking District, it’s time to head to nearby neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has a unique vibe.

Neighborhoods that are similar to the Meatpacking District

If you enjoyed the Meatpacking District, then it’s worth visiting the following neighborhoods below.

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About the author
Steffen

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On this blog, I want to share everything I have learned and discovered, so you can have the best time in the greatest city in the world. By the way: Did you like my article? Then think about becoming a supporter of us on Patreon!

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