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A collection of colorful dumplings placed in a bamboo steamer with sauces off to the side.
Dim sum from Hutong.
Tanya Blum/Hutong

Where to Eat Well in Midtown East

Fine dining, fast-casual, and a great pub burger are all available in the neighborhood

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Dim sum from Hutong.
| Tanya Blum/Hutong

For many, the eastern stretches of Midtown were a place to commute to for work, or for the occasional business lunch or breakfast; it’s not known for being much of a culinary destination. But a strong roster of dining options do indeed exist in Midtown East, and have managed to survive despite the lack of office crowds during the pandemic. There are historical gems, like Le Grenouille’s celebrated haute French fare and the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant. Some of the city’s iconic steakhouses and burger joints exist here, too, as do excellent options for ramen and Sichuan dishes. Ahead, 21 places well worth a meal in Midtown East.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. El Rey del Sabor

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165 E 60th St
New York, NY 10065

Right behind Bloomingdales on the corner of 60th Street and Third Avenue lies this gem of a Mexican food cart. Come for the nourishing chicken tamales, chorizo tacos, flaky empanadas, and massive tortas teeming with pork carnitas and other seasoned meats. 

2. Hutong New York

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731 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10022
(212) 758-4800
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Midtown’s Hutong is distinct from many of the dim sum parlors that populate Chinatown and Sunset Park. For one, this Hong Kong-based chain is serving an impressive variety of dishes from Sichuan, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong, each with a modern twist. The yu xiang crispy pork mochi dumplings, for example, are dyed jet black, and Eater senior critic Robert Sietsema heartily recommends the roast Peking duck, served in half or whole portions. And as of last fall, a flaming duck option was added via special reservation. The Art Deco space is grand and quiet, with a glamorous walk-through wine cellar that the restaurant has nicknamed its “champagne runway.”

Three black oblong dumplings arranged on a golden ridged platter sitting on a black plate on a white background.
Yu xiang crispy pork mochi dumplings.
Tanya Blum/Hutong

3. Aquavit

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Read Review |
65 E 55th St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 307-7311
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The focus at this two-Michelin-starred spot is on local and sustainable ingredients, with an emphasis on seafood, but chef Emma Bengtsson’s Arctic Bird’s Nest — a stunningly realistic-looking creation incorporating a honey nest, chocolate twigs, freeze-dried raspberries, brownie dirt, and shredded halvah — is worth the trip on its own. Though it’s possible to splurge with the $275 chef’s tasting, several price points are available, including a $155 prix fixe and an a la carte bar menu. 

A colorful dessert of brownie dirt, raspberries and blueberries, shredded halvah, chocolate twigs, and a honey nest scattered on a white table.
Aquavit’s Arctic Bird’s Nest dessert.
Signe Birck/Aquavit

4. Land of Plenty

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204 E 58th St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 308-8788
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Excellent, sufficiently numbing and tingly tasting Sichuan food is the draw here. Highlights include Madame Song’s seafood noodles, poached rabbit, and crispy tofu with roast chile and cumin. It’s all served in a white-washed space that’s polished and trendy.

Diners eating and talking at tables with white tablecloths in a white-walled room at Land of Plenty.
Diners at Land of Plenty.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

5. Chola

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232 E 58th St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 688-4619
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Chola has been serving the Midtown East neighborhood for over 20 years, sending out affordable to-go lunches for office workers and nightly feasts of coastal Indian fare. Expect a sprawling, pan-regional menu of meat dishes, vegetarian fare, and vegan items, but notable seafood dishes include crab poriyal, Mumbai fish fry, and prawns koliwada.

6. La Grenouille

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3 E 52nd St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 752-1495
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A truly iconic stalwart of French haute cuisine, La Grenouille is Manhattan’s last remaining place to sample the fanciest of midcentury Gallic fare. It opened in 1962, and has been serving dover sole, whitefish quenelles, lobster raviolis, and the laborious classical French ilk ever since.

A white plate with a hand spooning sauce on it, next to fish, green beans, and a half lemon placed on the dish.
Dover sole at La Grenouille.
Bill Addison/Eater NY

7. Casa Lever

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390 Park Ave
New York, NY 10022
(212) 888-2700
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This polished power lunch den is located inside the iconic Lever House building, built in 1951. It’s run by the same team as Sant Ambroeus, and both places serve chic Milanese fare. The menu is fancier at Casa Lever than Sant Ambroeus, and the walls here bear artwork by Damien Hirst for a particularly posh environment to eat bolognese, crudo, vitello tonnato, and saffron risotto with osso buco.

8. P.J. Clarke's

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915 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10022
(212) 317-1616
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The original outpost of the reliable bar with a signature, standout burger is housed in Midtown East. It’s one of the city’s finest patties; in fact, the cheeseburger at P.J. Clarke’s was once dubbed the “Cadillac of burgers” by Nat King Cole circa the 1950s. The bet seats are at the bar, where counter workers will bring you a half-dozen raw oysters or clams to pair with your ice cold martini.

A picture-perfect burger, topped with lettuce, tomato, and bacon on a bun, sits on a plate next to french fries.
A picture-perfect burger from P.J. Clarke’s.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

9. The Grill

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99 E 52nd St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 254-3000
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Major Food Group’s takeover of the landmark Four Seasons space remains a citywide destination for expensive a la carte fine dining — all in the form of a throwback chophouse. In the stunning midcentury room, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, patrons gather for Dover sole, red meat, and martinis. Among the signature items are littleneck clams with Tabasco relish, avocado crab Louis, seafood gumbo, honey mustard duckling, ham steaks with pickled pineapple, and prime ribs carved tableside with deviled bones.

A high-ceilinged room with sun streaming in over a large, empty dining room with tables draped in white tablecloths.
Inside the Grill.
Gary He/Eater NY

10. Grand Sichuan Eastern

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1049 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10022
(212) 355-5855
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This Second Avenue staple remains a fantastically reliable institution for quality Sichuan fare. Expect all the usual players: tender and spicy cumin lamb, silky mapo tofu, meaty dan dan, tingly Sichuan cold noodles, slippery mung bean noodles with chile sauce, and gelatinous beef tendon.  

11. Urbanspace at 570 Lex

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General Electric Building, 570 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10022
(917) 388-9564
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Food hall brand Urbanspace’s location on Lexington has several good stall options. Stop by for a quick meal of Italian heroes from Cappone’s, a cappuccino and an egg sandwich from Little Collins, or a selection of bao from Bao by Kaya.

In the center of the photo, two people talk as they walk up the stairs of a two-level shopping mall. On the lower level, people move about.
The entrance to Urbanspace.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

12. Totto Ramen Midtown East

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248 E 52nd St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 421-0052
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This beloved Midtown West ramen joint expanded east in 2014, serving its signature tori paitan chicken broth bowls. The building is a veritable slice of ramen-slurping paradise; above the east side outpost of Totto lies Hide-Chan Ramen. But it’s not a competition between two noodle-slinging spots. They’re actually both owned by the same man, Bobby Munekata. Both Totto Ramen and Hide-Chan serve up nicely firm noodles; Hide-Chan, however, specializes in tonkotsu (pork bone) broth.

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13. Ole & Steen

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518 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10017
(929) 209-1544
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Danish import Ole & Steen occupies a fairly large outpost in Midtown East, with ample table space set up for lunch breaks and coffee stops. The baked goods run the gamut from flaky croissants and cinnamon swirls to fancy fruit tarts and cakes. For those looking for heartier fare, a robust breakfast and lunch menu includes turkey sausage breakfast rolls and a packed roast beef sandwich with mango chutney and horseradish mayo. 

Danish sweet rolls are spectacular.
Danish pastries from Ole & Steen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

14. Ophelia Lounge NYC

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3 Mitchell Pl 26th floor
New York, NY 10017
(212) 980-4796
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Excellent views, accompanied by fancy cocktails, are the main attractions at this swishy cocktail lounge, located in a space with rich history. Perched on the 26th floor of the Beekman Tower, the rooftop bar has sweeping views of the East River, with outside space as well as an enclosed patio area. Drinks like the Ophelia’s Ascension (bourbon and Jamaican pepper-infused mezcal) are accompanied by snacks like steak tartare or hamachi crudo. The digs were once frequented by Frank Sinatra, and, before that, served as a residence for young professional women formerly in sororities circa the 1920s.

15. Aburiya Kinnosuke

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213 E 45th St
New York, NY 10017
(212) 867-5454
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This Japanese robata grill, set in an intimate, dark-wooded space, offers an array of proteins to choose from, including beef tongue and pork belly. There’s also a smaller range of seafood, offered raw in a sashimi assortment, or grilled, including miso black cod and mackerel. Sides to round out a carnivorous feast (or surf-and-turf, depending on the order) here include edamame, stir-fried vegetables, and tamagoyaki omelets.

16. Grand Central Oyster Bar

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89 E 42nd St
New York, NY 10017
(212) 490-6650
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The iconic seafood destination, which reopened last September after a pandemic hiatus, is nestled under soaring, beautifully arched and tiled ceilings in a subterranean space inside Grand Central Terminal. The environs, complete with massive U-shaped counter seating perfect for dining solo, are so special that the restaurant nabbed the Design Icon Award at at the James Beard Awards in 2017. In addition to ordering up a platter of raw bivalves, don’t miss the epic oyster pan roast. All of the seafood goes down smoothly with a stiff martini.  

A long underground bar with backed bar stools is set up under an arching tunneled ceiling with yellow glowing lights. Grand Central Oyster Bar

17. Overlook

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225 E 44th St
New York, NY 10017
(212) 682-7266
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Overlook — a sports bar often populated by Chicago Bears, Cubs, or Islanders fans when a game is on — serves a particularly great burger, plus tasty wings. The pleasantly divey space is covered with a surprising treasure trove of cartoons on a huge wall, and the place was dubbed “the Sistine Chapel of cartooning” by The New York Times. Check the website for a rotating cast of food and drink specials on weeknights.  

18. Sakagura

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211 E 43rd St, B1
New York, NY 10017
(212) 953-7253
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Tucked in a cool subterranean space below a Midtown office building, Sakagura serves up Japanese small plates, along with over 200 sakes. It’s been around since 1996, and touts itself a pioneer of sake selection and education in NYC, with events and tastings regularly offered. Sakagura was largely prix fixe during the pandemic, but more extensive izakaya-style a la carte offerings have since returned. Among the offerings are raw fluke with ponzu, dashi egg omelets, housemade cold soba, and stone grilled A5 wagyu.  

19. Sushi Yasuda

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204 E 43rd St
New York, NY 10017
(212) 972-1001
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This celebrated sushi spot is one of the city’s finest. Chef Naomichi Yasuda opened the place in 1999 and was known for creating a detail-oriented, quite traditional, and personalized sushi experience; he left in 2011, but his namesake restaurant has maintained the same level of quality since and, in fact, it now boasts a Michelin star.  

20. Sarge’s Delicatessen & Diner

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548 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10016
(212) 679-0442
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For over 50 years, Jewish deli and diner Sarge’s has been cranking out towering pastrami sandwiches, pints of belly-warming matzoh ball soup, and a host of classic diner plates on its 200-plus item menu. It’s a comfortable spot to slide into a faded brown booth and unwind during off hours, but be prepared to throw some elbows at the counter to get in an order during the lunch rush.

21. Pio Pio

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210 E 34th St
New York, NY 10016
(212) 481-0034
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The Pio Pio chain is one of the city’s most reliable spots for solid, affordable rotisserie chicken and assorted Peruvian fare. Key menu items include the spicy ceviche, empanadas de pollo, lomo saltado (filet mignon sauteed with soy sauce), arroz chaufa (Peruvian-style Chinese fried rice), and of course the succulent and tender chicken, paired with fries and a garlicky green sauce.  

1. El Rey del Sabor

165 E 60th St, New York, NY 10065

Right behind Bloomingdales on the corner of 60th Street and Third Avenue lies this gem of a Mexican food cart. Come for the nourishing chicken tamales, chorizo tacos, flaky empanadas, and massive tortas teeming with pork carnitas and other seasoned meats. 

165 E 60th St
New York, NY 10065

2. Hutong New York

731 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022
Three black oblong dumplings arranged on a golden ridged platter sitting on a black plate on a white background.
Yu xiang crispy pork mochi dumplings.
Tanya Blum/Hutong

Midtown’s Hutong is distinct from many of the dim sum parlors that populate Chinatown and Sunset Park. For one, this Hong Kong-based chain is serving an impressive variety of dishes from Sichuan, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong, each with a modern twist. The yu xiang crispy pork mochi dumplings, for example, are dyed jet black, and Eater senior critic Robert Sietsema heartily recommends the roast Peking duck, served in half or whole portions. And as of last fall, a flaming duck option was added via special reservation. The Art Deco space is grand and quiet, with a glamorous walk-through wine cellar that the restaurant has nicknamed its “champagne runway.”

731 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10022

3. Aquavit

65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022
Read Review |
A colorful dessert of brownie dirt, raspberries and blueberries, shredded halvah, chocolate twigs, and a honey nest scattered on a white table.
Aquavit’s Arctic Bird’s Nest dessert.
Signe Birck/Aquavit

The focus at this two-Michelin-starred spot is on local and sustainable ingredients, with an emphasis on seafood, but chef Emma Bengtsson’s Arctic Bird’s Nest — a stunningly realistic-looking creation incorporating a honey nest, chocolate twigs, freeze-dried raspberries, brownie dirt, and shredded halvah — is worth the trip on its own. Though it’s possible to splurge with the $275 chef’s tasting, several price points are available, including a $155 prix fixe and an a la carte bar menu. 

65 E 55th St
New York, NY 10022

4. Land of Plenty

204 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022
Diners eating and talking at tables with white tablecloths in a white-walled room at Land of Plenty.
Diners at Land of Plenty.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Excellent, sufficiently numbing and tingly tasting Sichuan food is the draw here. Highlights include Madame Song’s seafood noodles, poached rabbit, and crispy tofu with roast chile and cumin. It’s all served in a white-washed space that’s polished and trendy.

204 E 58th St
New York, NY 10022

5. Chola

232 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022

Chola has been serving the Midtown East neighborhood for over 20 years, sending out affordable to-go lunches for office workers and nightly feasts of coastal Indian fare. Expect a sprawling, pan-regional menu of meat dishes, vegetarian fare, and vegan items, but notable seafood dishes include crab poriyal, Mumbai fish fry, and prawns koliwada.

232 E 58th St
New York, NY 10022

6. La Grenouille

3 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022
A white plate with a hand spooning sauce on it, next to fish, green beans, and a half lemon placed on the dish.
Dover sole at La Grenouille.
Bill Addison/Eater NY

A truly iconic stalwart of French haute cuisine, La Grenouille is Manhattan’s last remaining place to sample the fanciest of midcentury Gallic fare. It opened in 1962, and has been serving dover sole, whitefish quenelles, lobster raviolis, and the laborious classical French ilk ever since.

3 E 52nd St
New York, NY 10022

7. Casa Lever

390 Park Ave, New York, NY 10022

This polished power lunch den is located inside the iconic Lever House building, built in 1951. It’s run by the same team as Sant Ambroeus, and both places serve chic Milanese fare. The menu is fancier at Casa Lever than Sant Ambroeus, and the walls here bear artwork by Damien Hirst for a particularly posh environment to eat bolognese, crudo, vitello tonnato, and saffron risotto with osso buco.

390 Park Ave
New York, NY 10022

8. P.J. Clarke's

915 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022
A picture-perfect burger, topped with lettuce, tomato, and bacon on a bun, sits on a plate next to french fries.
A picture-perfect burger from P.J. Clarke’s.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

The original outpost of the reliable bar with a signature, standout burger is housed in Midtown East. It’s one of the city’s finest patties; in fact, the cheeseburger at P.J. Clarke’s was once dubbed the “Cadillac of burgers” by Nat King Cole circa the 1950s. The bet seats are at the bar, where counter workers will bring you a half-dozen raw oysters or clams to pair with your ice cold martini.

915 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10022

9. The Grill

99 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022
A high-ceilinged room with sun streaming in over a large, empty dining room with tables draped in white tablecloths.
Inside the Grill.
Gary He/Eater NY

Major Food Group’s takeover of the landmark Four Seasons space remains a citywide destination for expensive a la carte fine dining — all in the form of a throwback chophouse. In the stunning midcentury room, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, patrons gather for Dover sole, red meat, and martinis. Among the signature items are littleneck clams with Tabasco relish, avocado crab Louis, seafood gumbo, honey mustard duckling, ham steaks with pickled pineapple, and prime ribs carved tableside with deviled bones.

99 E 52nd St
New York, NY 10022

10. Grand Sichuan Eastern

1049 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022

This Second Avenue staple remains a fantastically reliable institution for quality Sichuan fare. Expect all the usual players: tender and spicy cumin lamb, silky mapo tofu, meaty dan dan, tingly Sichuan cold noodles, slippery mung bean noodles with chile sauce, and gelatinous beef tendon.  

1049 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10022

11. Urbanspace at 570 Lex

General Electric Building, 570 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022
In the center of the photo, two people talk as they walk up the stairs of a two-level shopping mall. On the lower level, people move about.
The entrance to Urbanspace.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Food hall brand Urbanspace’s location on Lexington has several good stall options. Stop by for a quick meal of Italian heroes from Cappone’s, a cappuccino and an egg sandwich from Little Collins, or a selection of bao from Bao by Kaya.

General Electric Building, 570 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10022

12. Totto Ramen Midtown East

248 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022

This beloved Midtown West ramen joint expanded east in 2014, serving its signature tori paitan chicken broth bowls. The building is a veritable slice of ramen-slurping paradise; above the east side outpost of Totto lies Hide-Chan Ramen. But it’s not a competition between two noodle-slinging spots. They’re actually both owned by the same man, Bobby Munekata. Both Totto Ramen and Hide-Chan serve up nicely firm noodles; Hide-Chan, however, specializes in tonkotsu (pork bone) broth.

248 E 52nd St
New York, NY 10022

13. Ole & Steen

518 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10017
Danish sweet rolls are spectacular.
Danish pastries from Ole & Steen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Danish import Ole & Steen occupies a fairly large outpost in Midtown East, with ample table space set up for lunch breaks and coffee stops. The baked goods run the gamut from flaky croissants and cinnamon swirls to fancy fruit tarts and cakes. For those looking for heartier fare, a robust breakfast and lunch menu includes turkey sausage breakfast rolls and a packed roast beef sandwich with mango chutney and horseradish mayo. 

518 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10017

14. Ophelia Lounge NYC

3 Mitchell Pl 26th floor, New York, NY 10017

Excellent views, accompanied by fancy cocktails, are the main attractions at this swishy cocktail lounge, located in a space with rich history. Perched on the 26th floor of the Beekman Tower, the rooftop bar has sweeping views of the East River, with outside space as well as an enclosed patio area. Drinks like the Ophelia’s Ascension (bourbon and Jamaican pepper-infused mezcal) are accompanied by snacks like steak tartare or hamachi crudo. The digs were once frequented by Frank Sinatra, and, before that, served as a residence for young professional women formerly in sororities circa the 1920s.

3 Mitchell Pl 26th floor
New York, NY 10017

15. Aburiya Kinnosuke

213 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017

This Japanese robata grill, set in an intimate, dark-wooded space, offers an array of proteins to choose from, including beef tongue and pork belly. There’s also a smaller range of seafood, offered raw in a sashimi assortment, or grilled, including miso black cod and mackerel. Sides to round out a carnivorous feast (or surf-and-turf, depending on the order) here include edamame, stir-fried vegetables, and tamagoyaki omelets.

213 E 45th St
New York, NY 10017

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16. Grand Central Oyster Bar

89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
A long underground bar with backed bar stools is set up under an arching tunneled ceiling with yellow glowing lights. Grand Central Oyster Bar

The iconic seafood destination, which reopened last September after a pandemic hiatus, is nestled under soaring, beautifully arched and tiled ceilings in a subterranean space inside Grand Central Terminal. The environs, complete with massive U-shaped counter seating perfect for dining solo, are so special that the restaurant nabbed the Design Icon Award at at the James Beard Awards in 2017. In addition to ordering up a platter of raw bivalves, don’t miss the epic oyster pan roast. All of the seafood goes down smoothly with a stiff martini.  

89 E 42nd St
New York, NY 10017

17. Overlook

225 E 44th St, New York, NY 10017

Overlook — a sports bar often populated by Chicago Bears, Cubs, or Islanders fans when a game is on — serves a particularly great burger, plus tasty wings. The pleasantly divey space is covered with a surprising treasure trove of cartoons on a huge wall, and the place was dubbed “the Sistine Chapel of cartooning” by The New York Times. Check the website for a rotating cast of food and drink specials on weeknights.  

225 E 44th St
New York, NY 10017

18. Sakagura

211 E 43rd St, B1, New York, NY 10017

Tucked in a cool subterranean space below a Midtown office building, Sakagura serves up Japanese small plates, along with over 200 sakes. It’s been around since 1996, and touts itself a pioneer of sake selection and education in NYC, with events and tastings regularly offered. Sakagura was largely prix fixe during the pandemic, but more extensive izakaya-style a la carte offerings have since returned. Among the offerings are raw fluke with ponzu, dashi egg omelets, housemade cold soba, and stone grilled A5 wagyu.  

211 E 43rd St, B1
New York, NY 10017

19. Sushi Yasuda

204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

This celebrated sushi spot is one of the city’s finest. Chef Naomichi Yasuda opened the place in 1999 and was known for creating a detail-oriented, quite traditional, and personalized sushi experience; he left in 2011, but his namesake restaurant has maintained the same level of quality since and, in fact, it now boasts a Michelin star.  

204 E 43rd St
New York, NY 10017

20. Sarge’s Delicatessen & Diner

548 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

For over 50 years, Jewish deli and diner Sarge’s has been cranking out towering pastrami sandwiches, pints of belly-warming matzoh ball soup, and a host of classic diner plates on its 200-plus item menu. It’s a comfortable spot to slide into a faded brown booth and unwind during off hours, but be prepared to throw some elbows at the counter to get in an order during the lunch rush.

548 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10016

21. Pio Pio

210 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016

The Pio Pio chain is one of the city’s most reliable spots for solid, affordable rotisserie chicken and assorted Peruvian fare. Key menu items include the spicy ceviche, empanadas de pollo, lomo saltado (filet mignon sauteed with soy sauce), arroz chaufa (Peruvian-style Chinese fried rice), and of course the succulent and tender chicken, paired with fries and a garlicky green sauce.  

210 E 34th St
New York, NY 10016

Related Maps