First settled by Germans and Czechs in the 1840s, Yorkville still retains some of its ethnic flavor, notably the German meat market Schaller Weber, the Heidelberg Restaurant and the Hungarian Meat Market -- businesses that blend seamlessly with the neighborhood's newer and more prevalent mom-and-pop establishments, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and big-brand chains lining 86th Street.
Popular among young families, professionals and recent college graduates, Yorkville offers a casual and quiet lifestyle, an affordable alternative to higher-profile neighborhoods throughout Manhattan. This may change, though, as construction nears completion on the Second Avenue subway line, making the area more easily accessible.
For most of its history, the neighborhood's prestigious high-end apartment buildings have been clustered in the area south of 86th Street closest to the park. These include 10 Gracie Square, a 15-floor coop overlooking Carl Schurz Park, and 120 East End Avenue, a limestone palazzo building erected by Vincent Astor.
For dining, Yorkville is known for its predominately casual, neighborhood restaurants on Second and Third avenues. In contrast, 86th Street near Lexington and Third avenues serves as a major commercial hub, with stores such as Barnes & Noble and Best Buy, as well as a movie theater and national chain restaurants.