Nestled between East Harlem and East 79th Street, Yorkville is a neighborhood within the Upper East Side that boasts a rich history of immigration and still has bustling mom-and-pop shops.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, the neighborhood was largely populated by German immigrants, though it also drew significant numbers of people from Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Lebanon and Ireland.
Area shops and restaurants -- such as Glaser's Bake Shop and Schiller's Stube -- still reflect that history, and a number of longtime churches still grace its streets.
The area has remained largely separated because of its lack of subway access -- until the Second Avenue subway debuted in early 2017. We've rounded up some of the must-do activities and good dining options in the neighborhood that's never been easier to travel to.
Take the Second Avenue Subway
Prior to the launch of the Second Avenue subway line, getting to Manhattan's Yorkville neighborhood required some work, including walking two avenue blocks. Now, the line is open and each Q train station (Lexington Avenue / 63rd Street, 72nd Street / Second Avenue, 86th Street / Second, 96th Street / Second) boasts artwork from renowned artists, including Chuck Close, above.
Grab a hearty breakfast at Mellow Yellow Coffee & Vibes
Check out Yorkville's Mellow Yellow cafe on 90th Street and First Avenue. The eatery, which reflects the immigrant residents from Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Lebanon and Ireland who moved there in the last century, offers muffins and coffee but also has a menu featuring flavors form the East. One of those dishes is Shakshuka: an Israeli brunch dish with poached eggs, olives and Moroccan tomato sauce served in a skillet.
Tour Gracie Mansion
Gracie Mansion is another Yorkville highlight. New York City mayors have started and ended their days here since 1942. Walking through Carl Shurz Park, you'll see a piece of architectural history that has been in the neighborhood since 1799. The yellow mansion with green shutters on East End Avenue and 88th Street is gated, but it's open for guided tours on Tuesdays. Admission is free but reservations are required.
Stroll along the East River Esplanade
After strolling past Gracie Mansion, take a walk along the esplanade, which runs adjacent to Carl Schurz Park from East 90th to 83rd streets and is part of the Bobby Wagner Walk Course. You'll have views of Roosevelt Island and Queens.
Buy a brat at Schaller's Stube
Yorkville's 80-year-old butcher shop Schaller & Weber on Second Avenue and 86th Street opened a sidewalk sausage bar two years ago that boasts German fare. The Stube offers wursts, $6 German beers on tap, soft pretzels, potato salad and fried chicken, among other menu options. Walk up to the window and order a Saigon Special, pictured, a spicy bauernwurst topped with daikon-carrot slaw, cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro and Sriracha aioli for $10.
Stop in Glaser's Bake Shop for a sweet pick-me-up
Glaser's Bake Shop at Second Avenue and 87th Street offers traditional German food. The cash-only German bakery founded in 1902 still has the original white tile flooring and apothecary-style wood cabinets. The eatery offers treats including Bavarian almond cookies, brownies, eclairs and spiced German cookies like Lebkuchen and Pfefferneusse for the holidays. Herb Glaser, pictured, is a third-generation baker who runs the shop with his family.
Stop in EarthworksNYC for locally made art
The Earthworks pottery studio on First Avenue and 89th Street offers locally made art, and holds seasonal 10-week classes for beginners through advanced artists. Owner Sara Patterson says there's been a studio at that location for about 30 years and it's become a haven for people who want to exercise their creativity.
Pet the feline resident of Logos Book Store
Logos Bookstore, on York Avenue and 84th Street, is a purveyor of Christian literature. The small shop, opened in 1975, offers a variety of titles, including many children's and spiritual books, and a resident cat, Boo Boo. Its owner, Harris Healy, regularly hosts book discussions, readings and studies.
Fill your belly at The Penrose
The Penrose bar, on Second Avenue and 82nd Street, offers dinner and plenty of drinks. Menu options -- ranging from $5 to about $14 -- include a PLT (pancetta, lettuce and tomato) and macaroni and cheese, which you can pair with an IPA or custom beverage. There's even a small late-night menu for dining after midnight.
End your day with a pint at Ryan's Daughter
Ryan's Daughter, on East 85th Street and First Avenue, has been open since 1979, but the bar itself has around since around Prohibition. The wooden bar offers 13 beers on tap and free chips. The place is lively, with football and free wings on Sundays, trivia nights on Mondays and live jazz on Thursdays. Mick Mellamphy, pictured left, and Jim Gerding are the bar's co-owners.