Brooklyn Bridge and View of Manhattan

What’s the best borough in New York City? Each of New York’s five boroughs has something different to offer. That’s why we teamed up with Matt Coneybeare, founder, publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of Viewing NYC—a site that features videos and photos of the art, comedy, culture, food, history, and events of New York City—to rank the boroughs in terms of homes, entertainment, dining, culture, and more! See how Matt ranks the boroughs and his explanations for the rankings below!

Best Borough for Renting a Home

Aerial view of Queens, NY
Photo by Lars Plougmann
  1. Queens
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Manhattan
  4. The Bronx
  5. Staten Island

“You could rent a big home in most parts of Queens for about half of the cost of a Brooklyn or Manhattan home. Get a big back yard and interesting neighbors! Most neighborhoods in Queens are pretty safe, and if you’re lucky, you can get a place with parking.”

Best Borough for Owning a Home

Home in Staten Island, NY
Photo by Štěpán Roh
  1. Staten Island
  2. The Bronx
  3. Queens
  4. Brooklyn
  5. Manhattan

“You’ll definitely get the most bang for your buck by purchasing a home on Staten Island. Because you are so separated from the city’s subway and public transit, the average home price on Staten Island is much lower than the other four boroughs, especially as you get farther away from St. George and the Ferry.”

Best Borough for Safe Neighborhoods

staten-island
Photo by H.L.I.T.
  1. Staten Island
  2. Manhattan
  3. Queens
  4. Brooklyn
  5. The Bronx

“Staten Island houses a very large percentage of NYPD and FDNY personnel. Would-be criminals have to think about the risks involved when a burgled house could belong to a firefighter or a mugging victim could be an off-duty officer.”

Best Borough for Commuting

Subway in Manhattan, NY
Photo by m01229
  1. Manhattan
  2. Brooklyn
  3. The Bronx
  4. Queens
  5. Staten Island

“ALL subway lines (except the G) go through Manhattan, making it the clear winner for commuting. You can get most places in the city within half an hour. Trying to get from Brooklyn to Queens often takes longer than a trip from Manhattan to the airport. Brooklyn and Queens are huge, and while many parts are well covered by the subway, some isolated areas like Red Hook and Bayside will take forever to get to and from. The Bronx benefits from the lines that extend up from Manhattan, and bus coverage is pretty good.”

Best Borough for Employment Opportunities

Man standing in Brooklyn, NY
Photo by Nicolás Boullosa
  1. Brooklyn
  2. Manhattan
  3. Queens
  4. The Bronx
  5. Staten Island

“Manhattan is still the commercial center of NYC, but rapid growth in Brooklyn, especially in the tech sector, has launched a ton of new employment opportunities for smaller, agile companies that have a hard time setting up shop in Manhattan. Thus, Brooklyn is a great place to look for an interesting job with tons of growth and upward mobility options.”

Best Borough for Green Space

Entrance to Van Cortlandt Park in The Bronx
Photo by Shannon McGee
  1. The Bronx
  2. Queens
  3. Staten Island
  4. Brooklyn
  5. Manhattan

“The Bronx simply has the most park area in the entire city. You could spend several days exploring the nooks and crannies of The Bronx, Van Cortland, and Pelham Bay parks, and you should! They’re beautiful and full of interesting things. Queens has the major parks you know about (Flushing-Meadows and Alley Pond Parks), but it also has tons of cemetery space open to the public.”

Best Borough for Friendliest People

Raking Leaves in Briarwood Neighborhood in Queens
Photo by John Gillespie
  1. Queens
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Manhattan
  4. The Bronx
  5. Staten Island

“Of course, this is all anecdotal. There’s no way to quantify “niceness,” but I’ve found that people in Queens are the nicest and most open to friendly communication than other boroughs. Because it’s a borough with such diverse culture, my guess is that the constant exposure to new and interesting people and ways of life helps people be more open to listening and communicating with their neighbors.”

Best Borough for Arts, Culture, & Entertainment

Entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Photo by Mike Steele
  1. Manhattan
  2. Brooklyn
  3. The Bronx
  4. Queens
  5. Staten Island

“For your traditional arts like museums, ballet, and theatre, you can’t beat Manhattan. Even the smallest museums on Museum Mile blow other boroughs’ collections out of the water. If you’re looking for some more offbeat art and culture, you have to head to where the working artists are, and that’s currently in Brooklyn.”

Best Borough for Dining & Nightlife

Kitchen of Per Se in Manhattan, NY
Photo by Brandon Muramatsu
  1. Manhattan
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Queens
  4. The Bronx
  5. Staten Island

“Manhattan has the highest number of Michelin-rated restaurants, highest-rated Zagat restaurants, most popular nightclubs, and trendiest bakeries than any other borough. Brooklyn is getting more now that there’s more money in the gentrified neighborhoods like Dumbo, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Bushwick. Queens also has some hotspots near Long Island City, but you’ll have far more options on your night out in Manhattan. Of course, if we’re talking about cheap eats from just about every culture, you can’t beat Jackson Heights in Queens.”

Best Borough for Cost of Living

Aerial view of Staten Island
Photo by Chris Sampson
  1. Staten Island
  2. The Bronx
  3. Queens
  4. Manhattan
  5. Brooklyn

“The reality in NYC is that the farther you live away from interesting things, the cheaper things get. The closer you are to the major highways, the cheaper things get. This makes Staten Island a prime contender for having the best cost of living.”

Best Borough for College Students

Columbia University in New York City
Photo by Mike Steele
  1. Manhattan
  2. The Bronx
  3. Brooklyn
  4. Queens
  5. Staten Island

“Manhattan has more major universities than other boroughs. It seems that every block in Lower Manhattan has an NYU building, and north of the park you can’t turn the corner without hitting something Columbia. Businesses have taken full advantage of this, offering great coffee shops, lower-cost food options, and fun bars all around these areas.”

Best Borough for Young Professionals

Young woman in New York City
Photo by heipei
  1. Manhattan
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Queens
  4. The Bronx
  5. Staten Island

“You still can’t beat Manhattan and Brooklyn for yuppies. Sure, you may have to live in a 300-square-foot studio with four roommates to make it work, but you want to have a minimal commute time and tons of options for going out, making these two boroughs the place to be.”

Best Borough for Families

Pool at Astoria Park in Queens, NY
Photo by Global Jet
  1. Queens
  2. Staten Island
  3. The Bronx
  4. Brooklyn
  5. Manhattan

“Queens has some of the cheapest home rental prices, some of the nicest people, and the most diverse culture, all of which point to a great place to raise kids. Access to the museums and theatre in Manhattan isn’t too far, and you’re surrounded with some of the best food in the city. Best of all, you don’t usually have to deal with things like 4 a.m. drunks and SantaCon running up and down your blocks.”

Best Borough for Retirees

House in Staten Island, NY
Photo by Henning Klokkeråsen
  1. Staten Island
  2. Queens
  3. The Bronx
  4. Brooklyn
  5. Manhattan

“You’re a retiree. You want to own your home, you want to have a car, and you don’t need the thrills that the newest bars or restaurants bring. You like it quiet and safe. Staten Island is the place to be.”

Best Borough for Singles

Bar in Brooklyn, NY
Photo by Nat Welch
  1. Brooklyn
  2. Manhattan
  3. Queens
  4. The Bronx
  5. Staten Island

“Brooklyn is the place to be to meet people. So many singles move to the city and settle in Brooklyn, and the low-key vibes make dating chill in almost every neighborhood.”

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Which NYC borough appeals to you? Tell us in the comments!

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