After a day of holiday shopping, it's a relief to duck into a welcoming spot where you can put down those packages, rest your exhausted limbs, and savor the festive atmosphere. Here are some of our favorite restaurants within a short walk of the city's top shopping areas.Read More
Where to Eat While Holiday Shopping in Manhattan
13 great choices for lunch or cocktails while shopping in Midtown.
1. Alfredo 100
Dining on Fettuccine Alfredo with a gold fork and spoon, and then finishing your meal with a Bianco Natale (Amaretto, crème de cacao, cream ,and nutmeg) or Nutty Ginger Man (Bailey’s and Frangelico topped with ginger) should put you in a holiday mood. If pasta is not your thing, try osso buco, branzino, or a veal chop in balsamic reduction.
2. The Bar Room
Whether you sidle up to the 125-year-old mahogany bar for a frothy Snow Globe cocktail inspired by Bloomingdale's window up the block, or sit in the back dining room, this classic American bistro owned by Steve Tzolis and Nicola Kotsoni (Il Cantinori/Peryali/Bar Six) is a perfect place to settle in. Chef Aaron Phillips, who served as sous chef at Le Bernardin, has a menu that includes a breakfast of French toast with apples and bacon, and dinner options of roast chicken; slow braised short rib with red wine reduction and mashed potato; and mac and cheese with prosciutto and sage.
3. Bill's Bar & Burger
If you’re looking for a quicker meal or one geared to families, this sprawling bi-level restaurant is a good bet. The menu includes many burger varieties, like spicy jalapeno, mushroom & Swiss, turkey, veggie, and the “Fat Cat” with caramelized onions and American cheese, served on an English muffin. Kids love pumpkin milkshakes with gingerbread cookies, and “Campfire’’ shakes with toasted marshmallows.
Also Featured in:
4. Blu on Park
New York, NY 10022
Opened earlier this month, the steakhouse that occupies three stories of a brownstone half a block from Bloomingdale's is an elegant retreat after a hectic day, but don’t come in your leggings or sneakers. A doorman welcomes you upon arrival, and the main floor has gilded exposed bricks and a clubby lounge feel. Choose from six different steaks, five seafood options and a vegan dish with roast oyster mushrooms, spinach, and sesame seared tofu.
You don’t even have to step outside Barney’s to dine at this popular restaurant on the store’s 9th floor. Chef Mark Straussman’s chicken soup and chopped salad are legendary. During holiday time, he offers up snowball chocolate cupcakes covered with marshmallow frosting and shredded coconut as an homage to the store’s ice sculpture windows.
There are lots of cozy corners at Marc Murphy’s vast Midtown restaurant, which is open from breakfast through late night. Small plates include oysters; crispy chicken liver toast with chili onion jam; roasted pork belly with tamarind, apples, and radish salad; and a warm grain salad with cauliflower, capers, gouda, and oregano vinaigrette. Larger entrees include pan-roasted scallops with turnips and carrots; and whole wheat rigatoni with duck bolognese and smoked ricotta. Wine comes by the quartino as well as the glass.
7. La Pecora Bianca
New York, NY 10010
Whether you pop in for espresso and a snack in the afternoon or dinner after hitting the Herald Square stores, the vibe here is welcoming, and the Italian-inspired local fare is fresh and perfectly prepared. Don’t miss the signature whole-roasted golden enoki mushroom; charred pears with sheep’s milk ricotta; whole wheat spaghetti pomodoro; and the wild striped bass with romesco.
A huge lit-up evergreen sits in front of this classic Greek spot that is draped with seasonal lights. In addition to favorites like whole grilled fish and lamb chops, there are more creative offerings such as short rib Yiouvetsi, duck moussaka, Alaskan king crab linguini, and lobster orzotto. Save room for lavender mousse, or a Greek yogurt brownie.
9. Ocean Prime
New York, NY 10019
A block from Rockefeller Center, this new steak and seafood outpost sits on the bones of the former Ben Benson's, and was designed by ICrave, the company responsible for JetBlue’s groundbreaking Terminal 5. Illuminated wine walls, wreaths, and a Christmas tree give a festive ambience, and dishes like white truffle caviar deviled eggs or the smoking shellfish tower add to the celebratory spirit. Try a holiday Pom Sparkler cocktail with Champagne, grenadine, lemon juice, and Chinese bitters.
10. Rotisserie Georgette
Whole roasted goose with port and gooseberry jus, and whole roasted capon with foie gras and black truffle are the standout Christmas dishes at this inviting room midway between Bergdorf's and Barney’s. Steel columns sheathed in magnolia garlands and sparkling holiday lights, along with magnums of Ruinart rose Champagne offered by the glass, amp up the atmosphere.
Situated between Barney’s and Bloomingdale's, this longtime favorite has something for everyone, from creative pizzas and over ten salads, to lobster carpaccio and steak. During Christmas week, there is a separate room set up just to hold shopping bags, and diners receive complimentary Panetonne at the end of the meal.
For a bird’s eye view of the illuminated city, there is no better choice than this lounge perched on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. While taking in the dazzling atmosphere, down Gigacup oysters, spicy tuna tacos, or prime Wagyu sliders, along with holiday cocktails such as the Smoking Bishop — mulled wine with claret, cinnamon, clove, allspice, mace, and orange.
13. The Palm Court at The Plaza
New York, NY 10019
Geoffrey Zakarian has updated Eloise’s legendary room in The Plaza Hotel with the help of master architectThierry Despont. Tea is a holiday themed “sugar and spice service’’ this month, and a new grand bar in the center of the room has spruced up cocktail time. The menu includes caramelized butternut squash and local apple soup with pickled mustard seeds and Madras curry; charred octopus; mini Reuben sandwiches; and an artisanal salumi platter. For an elegant touch, martinis are mixed tableside.