Midtown New York: Where to Chow Down
For a long time, Midtown New York wasn’t exactly known as a mecca for foodies, but nothing could be further from the truth. The area is filled with tons of awesome restaurants that can fit any budget and taste.
It seems kind of unfair now, but for the longest time, eating out in Midtown New York was, for the most part, viewed as some sort of a joke by foodies, food snobs, and basically every New Yorker on the island. It’s true; mention that you were having dinner somewhere in the vicinity of Midtown, and people would barely have been able to conceal their disdain, with images of theme restaurants and 24-hour diners dancing through their heads. It was like saying, “Hey! I’m gonna eat in New York City! And later? The Empire State Building!” No one did it.
In spite of boasting quite a few standout eating spots, Midtown New York just wasn’t automatically thought of as a fine dining destination. What a difference a decade or two makes. Today, Midtown is known as a go-to destination for people who know food.
Rewind to the Empire State Building; it is an amazing building to visit. The views are spectacular, and even the hardest New Yorker with the hardest heart would turn into a sentimental mess taking in the view. If you want a dining experience that matches the view and is really, really, really good — like Michelin Guide good — walk three blocks away to the boutique Hotel Chandler and prepare to enjoy dining nirvana as you sit down to eat at the hotel’s restaurant, Juni.
Romantic, elegant, beautiful, friendly, and offering delicious food made from the freshest ingredients are the order of the day for Chef Shaun Hergatt. The menu here is traditional American gourmet and offers tempting treats like Atlantic salmon with green onion soubise and yogurt cotta and Elysian Fields lamb with rhubarb and wild onions. If you’re not sure what to get, go with the tasting menu. Guests love that the service is friendly and welcoming in spite of the quiet elegance and high prices.
12 East 31st Street, New York, NY
Winner of three Michelin Guide stars as well as the 19th spot on the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Le Bernardin was born in Paris in the early 1970s before opening in NYC. It’s been feeding celebrities, dignitaries, and couples celebrating their anniversaries since 1986. A recent renovation changed the vibe somewhat in order to attract a younger crowd, but those improvements didn’t take away any of that classic magic. This classic, ultra-chic seafood restaurant is the place to go when you know you want the night to be magical. The staff is the kind that dreams are made of: brilliant, knowledgeable, and friendly, expertly weaving their way through the restaurant as if on wings. The prix-fixe dinner menu, usually a deal at other restaurants, is $140 here, while the lunch prix-fixe is $80. Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Heck, yes.
155 West 51st Street, New York, NY
Image Source: Flickr/Jason Lam
If you don’t want to shell out the big bucks for a meal, but you still want to eat well, hop onto the city’s seemingly never-ending ramen craze and stop by the fabulous Totto Ramen. Instagram-worthy pics of the hot bowls of steaming, spicy noodles are par for the course here. Regulars come from miles around for the slurp-worthy Paitan Ramen, an irresistibly heady bowl of goodness featuring homemade noodles, scallions, char siu pork, nori, and onions, all steeped in a chicken and soy-based soup. Mix in some rayu, the hot Thai oil, for that perfect fiery kick.
366 West 52nd Street, New York, NY
Main Image Source: Flickr/Arnold Gatilao