Travel

Midtown Specialty

Specialty neighborhood
Balade Your Way
144 W. 37th St., Midtown
The first thing that makes this fast-casual Midtown spot stand out is the beautiful space—the tiny sliver of a restaurant is sleek and modern, with a dark wood bar and a concrete checkout counter. From the service counter in the back, you can combine a selection of Middle Eastern appetizers and mains (which you'll eat over rice), combining elements like chicken shawarma, hummus, za'atar flatbread, lamb keba, and more. It's a refreshing alternative to the make-your-own-salad daily lunch grind.
Midtown
Bien Cuit
89 E 42nd St., Midtown
One of Cobble Hill’s favorite artisanal bakeries, Bien Cuit recently opened shop in Manhattan’s Grand Central Market. Husband and wife Zachary Golper and Kate Wheatcroft offer the same hits they do in Brooklyn, including the apple cardamom Danish (puréed apple, vanilla pastry cream, cardamom-almond streusel) and the orange, coriander and olive oil pound cake, made with fresh orange juice and ground coriander. After you’ve picked up a few baguettes to save for later, stroll around the market, stop by Murray’s Cheese and Spices and Tease (an Italian-American specialty spice shop), and remind yourself that yes, in fact, you are in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world.
Midtown
Bouchon Bakery
Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle, 3rd Floor, Midtown
If you're hoping to experience some of Thomas Keller's Napa magic but don’t have the time or the budget for a full meal in Yountville, this isn't a bad choice, as you can get all the baked goods for which he's famous (it's perfect for breakfast on the go). There are outposts in New York (Columbus Circle and Rockefeller Plaza), LA (Beverly Hills) and Vegas (The Venetian). Don't leave without a big box of the famous macarons.
Midtown
Culture 36
247 W. 36th St., Garment District
The Garment District isn’t exactly known for a stellar specialty coffee scene, so the fact that there are two excellent ones a mere block from each other is pretty great. Culture Espresso is the original, but it’s snug, which means you might have to wait for a seat. The newer and significantly bigger Culture 36 is ideal for getting stuff done, if you don’t mind the semi-loud music. Both locations brew Heart Coffee Roasters coffee and serve their famous house-baked chocolate chip cookies (they sell out fast so come on the earlier side).
Midtown
Culture Espresso
72 W. 38th St., Midtown
The Garment District isn’t exactly known for a stellar specialty coffee scene, so the fact that there are two excellent ones a mere block from each other is pretty great. Culture Espresso is the original, but it’s snug, which means you might have to wait for a seat. The newer and significantly bigger Culture 36 is ideal for getting stuff done, if you don’t mind the semi-loud music. Both locations brew Heart Coffee Roasters coffee and serve their famous house-baked chocolate chip cookies (they sell out fast so come on the earlier side).
Midtown
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