Travel

Midtown Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Union Square Cafe
101 E. 19th St., Midtown
The iconic Union Square Cafe moved from its namesake location to the corner of 19th and Park two years ago. The new space has all the charm of the original—subtle furnishings, great art, and the best service in New York City—but with more room, and more importantly, more barstools. This is one of those Danny Meyer establishments you can always rely on for a solid, even excellent, supper. A plate of Bibb and red oak leaf lettuces with a mustardy vinaigrette fools us into a healthy start every time. Following with those perfect knuckles of ricotta gnocchi in tomato sauce and ending with the banana tart is an order we rarely deviate from. Even people who hate bananas love this tart, improved only by the accompaniment of a glass of Sauternes. Trust.
Ferris
44 W. 29th St., Midtown
Ferris is the sleek, atmospheric restaurant that occupies the subterranean level of the Made Hotel; even if you’re a guest of the hotel, it’s worth making a reservation in advance. You’re in for a doozy of flavors, textures, and cultural mashups—it’s effing incredible. Start with the Melon de Caraibe, a cocktail of honeydew, rum, mint, and egg whites, plus bread and butter (it doesn’t come with dinner, you have to order it, and the luscious, fresh-out-of-the-oven sunflower-caraway is worth it). Sit in one of the pillowy nooks near the window and exult in dishes like charred broccolini in a creamy yogurt-cashew emulsion, broth-bathed hake (flaky, delicate, a tidal wave of flavor), and cardamom-coriander Szechuan-style duck with a side of fermented sour cherry relish to remind you of all that is right in the world.
P.J. Clarke’s
915 Third Ave., Midtown
The P.J. Clarke’s on 55th Street and Third Avenue—it’s been there since the 1880’s—is one of those classic NYC institutions where everyone who grew up on their burgers can think of nothing better. That sensibility translates to the downtown outpost, which seems to play particularly well with bankers who are thrilled to have a burger and a beer to wrap up the day. The Lincoln Square location is a hit with kids walking home from Central Park.
Dig Inn
40 W. 55 St., Midtown
Dig Inn’s philosophy is “farm to counter,” which means that they serve sustainably sourced, usually local food in a casual setting and in a price range that makes it a reasonable option for everyday lunch. The salads and the market plates are easy to take back to the office (or home for dinner), and the menu changes with the seasons, so you won't ever be bored with the offerings. There are locations in Morningside Heights, Union Square, Tribeca, and in Midtown on 52nd, Madison, and 55th, in Lower Manhattan on Pine, Liberty, and Broad St., in Nomad, and off Madison Square Park.
Brooklyn Diner
155 W. 43rd St., Times Square
Considering the neon-covered exterior and old-school name, the atmosphere inside Brooklyn Diner is surprisingly fancy—after all, it's helmed by the award-winning Chef de Oliveira. That said, classic meals are definitely the standouts: The chicken soup, macaroni & cheese, and giant lunch salads are reliably great, and you’ll have to arrive early in the day if you want to have the chicken pot pie (they almost always run out). Expect a short wait if you forget to make a reservation. There are two locations in Midtown, on 57th and 43rd.
Dig Inn
275 Madison Ave., Midtown
Dig Inn’s philosophy is “farm to counter,” which means that they serve sustainably sourced, usually local food in a casual setting and in a price range that makes it a reasonable option for everyday lunch. The salads and the market plates are easy to take back to the office (or home for dinner), and the menu changes with the seasons, so you won't ever be bored with the offerings. There are locations in Morningside Heights, Union Square, Tribeca, and in Midtown on 52nd, Madison, and 55th, in Lower Manhattan on Pine, Liberty, and Broad St., in Nomad, and off Madison Square Park.
Brooklyn Diner
212 W. 57th St., Midtown
Considering the neon-covered exterior and old-school name, the atmosphere inside Brooklyn Diner is surprisingly fancy—after all, it's helmed by the award-winning Chef de Oliveira. That said, classic meals are definitely the standouts: The chicken soup, macaroni & cheese, and giant lunch salads are reliably great, and you’ll have to arrive early in the day if you want to have the chicken pot pie (they almost always run out). Expect a short wait if you forget to make a reservation. There are two locations in Midtown, on 57th and 43rd.
You may also like