The number one pokemon everyone in NYC is looking for is undoubtedly Pikachu. Second place goes to Charizard, but I happen to know where to find both of them along with the other starter pokemon as well. In fact, I even got an exclusive interview with Nick Johnson, the Pokemon master who managed to catch em all.
Here's a comprehensive guide map to find the best rare pokemon in New York City:
The Pokemon Go craze has hit New York City hard, and with good reason. There’s a pokestop on practically every block, just check your map, even in Brooklyn and Queens. Better yet, I’ve discovered on my own quest to “catch ‘em all” that the game treats each New York City neighborhood on the map as if it’s a different town, meaning you can find lots of different types of pokemon just a short walk apart from each other.
To find them all, I got an exclusive quick interview with Pokemon Go Master, Nick Johnson, a Brooklyn resident and the first person to catch all 142 pokemon available in the United States.
"The best spots are Brooklyn Bridge Park for rare water and grass pokemon, Battery park has water pokemon, magikarp, and the elusive dratini. Grand army plaza near central park will have huge crowds of people but you'll be catching pikachus for days, plus all 3 starter pokemon spawn here. You can also find rare water pokemon including omanyte and kabuto.
The super rare pokemon like Snorlax and Dragonite tend to spawn later at night. Who knows? You might just catch the occasional Justin Bieber spawn. If you see a rare pokemon on your radar, the best way to get to it is to jump in an uber."
You can use these insider tips to be a Pokemon pro too, since you can literally find every Pokemon ever, right here in New York City. Below, I've mapped out great places in the city to visit, while catching the rare and legendaries.
My pokemon obsession has made me search far and wide (okay, maybe just Brooklyn and Manhattan), but I’ll go over where to find all the best pokemon while taking in the glorious sights that New York has to offer. You can even find them on the subway!
Pikachu & Charizard at the Museum of Natural History
Let’s start with that cute pokemon mascot and fan favorite, Pikachu.
Keep in mind, this little guy is considered a rare, so you’re not likely to find it if you’re under level 12. The higher your level, the better your odds. You can also restart the app to refresh the pokemon that appear near you.
There are a couple of great spots for finding Pikachu, but one of the most exciting for those new to the city, is the Museum of Natural History. Connect to the free wifi and walk around the museum to your heart’s content. There are plenty of pokestops which refresh every 5 mins, and most of them will have lure modules installed the whole day. Charmanders, which eventually evolve into Charizard appear in abundance, along with the fossil types, such as Aerodactyl, Kabuto, and Omanyte. Pikachu are less common, so take your time.
Here is awesome Team Mystic Decal for your phone or Laptop, and there are also Team Instinct and Team Valor.
Zapdos at Union Square Park
You’ll need to be at least 20 for this one to appear, and even then it’s rare. If you don’t find it, there’s still plenty of other awesome pokemon in the area, such as Taurus, Scyther, Goldeen, Staryu, Squirtle, Koffing, Horsea, Exeggcute, Bellsprout and Poliwhirl. The lure modules on the map here are usually activated all day long, so there’s plenty of pokemon to catch, and the app’s server won’t crash anywhere near as bad as in Central Park.
There’s also a phenomenal souvenir shop nearby that specializes in handcrafted and artist made gifts and souvenirs all of which are New York City inspired. You can check them out HERE.
If you walk up to the Flat Iron Building, just an 8 minute walk away, you’ll come across Eevee and Clefariy in addition to one of the Big Apple’s most unique architecture.
Dragon Types at Battery Park
As you might’ve guessed, this pokemon type appears next to the ocean. Of course, you can find Magikarp everywhere and evolve it, but who really wants to take the time to catch over 100 of those useless things when you can catch a powerful Gyrados in just one go?
Dratini appear here in abundance, and less commonly you’ll find the evolved forms, meaning Drangonair, Drangonite, and Gyrados. While you’re there be sure to drink in the view of the Statue of Liberty and check out the amazing art works. There are 20 in all and almost all of them happen to be pokestops to make your life easier.
“In their hometown, Newark, Del., Mr. Cann [a Pokemon Go player] said, a trainer might find 25 Pokémon. In Manhattan, he spotted one every block.” - New York Times
Bulbasaur and Squirtle in the East Village
This Manhattan neighborhood is not only incredibly trendy, but also home to several water and grass type pokemon, particularly squirtle and bulbasaur. They’re not terribly common, but even lower level users should be able to stumble across one after about a half hour or so. For those who are higher level, you might even find the already evolved forms, Wartortle and Ivysaur.
While on the hunt, take a stroll down St. Marks Place and try some of the tasty restaurant hotspots in Little Tokyo.
“I think Pokémon Go is giving a better tourist experience—you’re outside, but now you’re seeing more stuff.” - Mac World
Fire and Electric type in the Diamond District
There’s a lot of things to do and pokemon to catch in this part of the city. You can catch Growlithe, Ponyta, Magmar, Voltorb, Magnemite, Vulpix, Electabuzz and even Pikachu! Head south a couple blocks to Bryant Park where you can find Abra, Clefairy, Jigglypuff and Squirtle. Towards Times Square you’ll come across some ground types, like Rhyhorn, Geodude, Cubone and Sandshrew, plus others including Meowth, Mankey, Tentacool, Psyduck, Ekans, Oddish, and Gastly. Yep, this area is loaded!
Need a break from catching all those pokemon? Cool off inside the nearby Playstation Theater or check out one of the many Off-Broadway shows.
For interesting gifts, you can check out this list article for best New York City Gifts HERE.
Fighting Pokemon type in Korea Town (K-Town)
This location is near Herald Square so there’s a lot to do here, but best of all, you can catch those rare fighting types! Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee, Machop, Machoke, sometimes Machamp, and Mankey all appear here in addition to Jigglypuff, Abra, and Meowth.
If you’re unfamiliar with Korean food, now would be a great time to try it out. The Paris Baguette and Kyochon Chicken chains are both New Yorker and Korean approved!
Looking for a great Trophy to take home to celebrate your awesome Pokedex? Catch your very own Pikachu. Visit the NYC store that carries them HERE.
While you are in NYC looking for unique pokemon, grab a unique and one of a kind gifts as well. Hand crafted and made by NYC craftsmen and artists.