Exploring New York: Midtown Manhattan

New to New York? Here’s Where to Go in Midtown Manhattan

You’re working in one of the most exciting cities in the world — New York. The city seems to offer an almost endless supply of things to do, and it may seem pretty overwhelming at first. Considering you’ll likely be spending a lot of time in Manhattan, finding where to go in the area is a good place to start. We’ve compiled a list of great places to get food, drinks, or just sightsee, all within Manhattan .

 

Food

When it comes to food, the city never disappoints. From Ethiopian to artisanal gefiltefish, if you’re in the mood for something extremely specific, you’ll find it in New York. If you need to grab something on your lunch hour though, here’s some great places you should visit for a nosh:

 

Ess-a-Bagel on 50th and 3rd

Besides pizza, there is nothing more quintessentially New York than a good bagel. Usually served with a schmear (cream cheese), they’re a staple you can find just about anywhere in the city and New Yorkers are passionate about them. Everyone seems to have a favorite bagel place, and many love Ess-a-Bagel — known for serving the jumbo-sized kosher delicacy.   

 

Pampano Taqueria on 50th and 3rd

For a quick bite to eat during a short lunch break, tacos are the answer! They’re only open for the lunch hour, but offer authentic dishes that are offered fast, fresh, and super delicious. If you’re hoping for a late-breakfast dish, they have a great selection of breakfast tacos and burritos to satisfy your brunch craving.

 

Urbanspace on 51st and Lex  

If you’re undecided about what to eat for lunch, Urbanspace is the place for you. A food-hall-meets-food-court space, you can pick from over 16 different food stands. Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, NorCal, Israeli — if you can’t find something here to eat that you love, you’re not looking hard enough!

 

Chipotle on 52nd and Lex

Seeing as there is so much variety for food options in the city (many of which are local independently-owned businesses), we always advocate for stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something new. If you’re looking for a bit of comfort food from your favorite chain — there’s no judgement here. Chipotle needs no introduction.

 

Coffee

You need fuel for the hustle. If caffeine is that such fuel, you’re spoiled for choice. Seattleites may be known as the coffee masters of the world, but New Yorkers may be just as opinionated about their choice of brew.

Blue Bottle Coffee on 42nd and Park

It’s described as hip and gourmet — and it doesn’t disappoint. Blue Bottle is somewhat new to the coffee scene, but they serve more than just quality coffee. Pastries and other upscale coffee treats can be found at this spot.

 

Partners Coffee on 45th and Vanderbilt

Known for their espresso, Partners Coffee is passionate about quality beans. They have different blends named after NYC neighborhoods like Brooklyn and Flatiron.

 

Irving Farm on 50th and Lex

Serving up great coffee and café-style food, Irving has been roasting coffee for 20 years. With several locations through the city, it’s first spot opened in Gramercy Park on Irving Place — which is where it gets its name.

 

Starbucks on 49th and Madison

We couldn’t not mention Starbucks. Especially considering there seems to be one on nearly every block in Manhattan. If local brews aren’t your thing, you can find your beloved Starbucks almost anywhere.

 

Bars

Happy hour is alive and well in NYC. New Yorkers have the longest work hours in the county and for many, relaxing with co-workers after work with a glass of wine or pint of beer is how they like to end their day. Of course, you should always drink responsibly — but that goes without saying.

 

Lea Wine bar on 46th and Park  

A great wine selection and a selection of tapas and sushi — who doesn’t love that?

 

Connolly’s Pub on 47th and Madison

Connolly’s has three locations throughout the city and serves up the typical Irish-American style food. The beer selection is of course the main feature with Irish beer and cider staples galore.

 

Upstairs on 50th and Lex

You can get amazing views on this rooftop bar and lounge year-round. On the more expensive side, Upstairs gives you something great to look at while you unwind — the NYC skyline.

 

Bookmarks on 41st and Madison

If you’re a bookworm, you’re going to fall in love with Bookmarks — a rooftop lounge atop the iconic Library Hotel. It’s intimate, swanky, and the cocktails are literary-inspired. If you decide to get a bite to eat, you can head down to Madison & Vine — the hotel’s signature bistro.

 

Sites

Manhattan is home to some of NYC’s most famous places. If you’ve got friends or family visiting you from out of town, these are great sites to visit when showing them where you work.

 

St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 41st and 5th

One of NYC’s greatest examples of Neo-Gothic architecture, St. Pat’s is an internationally-known and a popular destination for tourists who visit the city. It’s been host to weddings and funerals of some of America’s best-known celebrities.

 

Bryant Park on 42nd and 5th

An oasis in the city, Bryant Park is the beautiful green space located behind the main branch of the New York Public library.

 

New York Public Library (NYPL) on 42nd and 5th

You’ve seen this building before — it seems to make its way into almost every movie that takes place in NYC. The Schwarzman building is NYPL’s main branch and both inside and out, it seems almost palace like.  It draws millions of visitors from around the world — whether they are tourists, researchers, students, or academics. It’s well worth taking a stroll inside (and grab a library card while you’re at it!)

 

United Nations Headquarters on 42nd and United Nations Plaza

A huge complex of international diplomacy, the UN building is both important to international peace, but also a picture-perfect example of mid-century architecture. Tours are available of the interior, but even if you just stroll the complex from the street, you’ll be amazed at its size and beauty. 

Kim Hill