American Girl Place Café
609 Fifth Ave., Midtown
If you have an American Girl collector on your hands, then, well, this is the mothership. Besides the shop, there’s a hair salon (yep, a hair salon for dolls), a photo studio, and a café, where kids and their dolls can feast together on brunch, tea, lunch, or dinner. Seating times are strict, and reservations are required.
1073 Sixth Ave., Midtown
If you have a stationery or sticker addict on your hands, they’re going to freak. This Japanese mega-store facing Bryant Park is one of our favorite midtown oases, and a solid option for a quick sushi cafeteria-style lunch. There’s an entire floor dedicated to Japanese manga comic books, a solid selection of design books and international fashion magazines, but the basement is the main draw. There, aisle after aisle is stuffed with an incredible array of Japanese stationery goods—adorable pens, pencils, notebooks, and erasers to last a lifetime.
The Burger Joint
Le Parker Meridien, 119 W. 56th St., Midtown
Enter Midtown's Le Parker Meridien hotel to see the line looping through the lobby, leading to a black velvet curtain. There's a pretty epic burger joint on the other side. The line moves fast though, and once you're in, the menu is concise, written on the cardboard sign above the register. Order a burger (or grilled cheese) with "the works"—that's onions, relish, and the joint's own special sauce. With pen grafitti and old-school movie posters on the walls, and good classic rock on the stereo, it's a fun, kitschy experience through and through. They have a second stand-alone location in Greenwich Village.
768 Fifth Ave., Midtown
If you have an Eloise fan, look no further than this historic, Central Park adjacent hotel: After all, it has The Eloise Suite, who, of course, was a resident of The Plaza. Pink-and-white striped wallpaper, chintz wrapped chairs, chandeliers, and more all set a pretty great Eloise-worthy vibe. If it’s not available, worry not: The rest of the hotel is surprisingly friendly (there’s even a kid-centric concierge), and they also offer babysitting.
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