16 Best Restaurants in Midtown East, New York City


$ | Midtown East Fodor's choice

If you're feeling peckish in this hurried neighborhood, slip into a favorite Manhattan café and bagel bakery that has been serving authentic family-style comfort since 1976. There's a selection of jumbo, kosher bagels onto which toppings are piled high, or choose from a variety of salads, sandwiches, and fresh-baked treats available all day.

Le Pavillon

$$$$ | Midtown East Fodor's choice

Set in the heart of Midtown, and located on the second floor of One Vanderbilt, a glassy new 67-story skyscraper that dwarfs the nearby Chrysler Building (views of which you can appreciate from the restaurant's massive windows), Le Pavillon is named for a French restaurant in 1940s Manhattan that first defined French cuisine in the United States and is itself redefining fine dining in Midtown Manhattan. Immediately hailed a culinary oasis, world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud’s newest restaurant is also a soothing oasis, with its understated, neutral interiors, 57-foot ceilings, grand views, and lush greenery and forest-like setting complete with 20-foot-tall olive trees. The menu is prix-fixe and focuses on locally-sourced vegetables and seafood. The Oysters Vanderbilt is named for the railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, who built Grand Central Terminal. À la carte menu items are available in the bar and lounge.


$$$ | Midtown East Fodor's choice

Tucked between Park and Madison on 50th Street, this deco-inspired brasserie is a pretty pastel setting for a business breakfast or postshopping lunch and a flirty and chic destination for dinner. The vibes are lavish and retro; think: Miami, Mrs. Maisel, and an ever-so-elegant cruise ship, with curved banquettes, multilevel dining areas, a curved marble bar with tall geometric back, brass accents, globe lights, soft pinks and blues, and altogether lots of visual drama. Once seated, the drama continues with an expertly manned Martini Cart and tableside visits for carving and flambéing (and subsequent oohing and aahing). By night, the elegant crowd is swaying to the music at the lively bar, teetering on the edge of dancing, and you'd want to join them if you weren't saving yourself for the decadent Bananas Foster.

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$$$$ | Midtown East

This Michelin-starred elegant and refined Scandinavian restaurant in the steady hands of Emma Bengtsson has prix-fixe options that include three- and five-course meals or an eight-course chef's tasting menu. The dishes may seem simple, but even familiar meats, seafood, and seasonal ingredients are gifted with fresh creativity here. Head to the sumptuous bar area to sample homemade aquavit. The elegant atmosphere features warm woods and modern Scandinavian design.

BLT Steak

$$$$ | Midtown East

Chef Laurent Tourondel may no longer be involved with his namesake steak house, but this classy space, decked out in beige with resin-top black tables, still draws crowds. The no-muss, no-fuss menu with a variety of steaks and other options is nonetheless large, and so are the portions of starters such as crab cakes with celery-infused mayonnaise and ruby tuna tartare with avocado and soy-lime dressing. A veal chop crusted with rosemary and Parmesan lends new depth to the meat. Sides and desserts, like a killer peanut-butter chocolate mousse with banana ice cream, are all superior.

106 E. 57th St., New York, NY, 10022-2601, USA
Known For
  • complimentary Gruyère cheese puffs
  • grilled lobster
  • reservations are essential
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch, Reservations essential

Crave Fishbar

$$$ | Midtown East

At NYC’s first 100% sustainable seafood restaurant, each item is ethically sourced—including wild-caught fish from unendangered stocks and all fish from aquaculture responsibly farmed—and seafood lovers can expect both a sustainable and memorable meal. A daily raw bar features a selection of East and West Coast oysters, with up to 20 varieties each night. The daily oyster happy hour offers a selection of oysters for $1.50--$2 from 4 to 6 pm. On weekends, choose between the award-winning 16-ingredient Bloody Mary, mimosa, or pilsner draft for the unlimited brunch.

Fig & Olive

$$$ | Midtown East

Both the cozy tables and the long, white-marble bar are great options at this bi-level Mediterranean spot with a loyal following. Lunch (and brunch on weekends) is an ideal time to partake of shared plates like mix-and-match crostini, cheeses, and meats—not to mention soups, salads, and panini; at night, the place becomes more see-and-be-seen.

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

$$$ | Midtown East

Deep in the belly of Grand Central Terminal, the vast, multiroom Oyster Bar has been a worthy seafood destination since 1913. Sit at the counter for the fried oyster po'boy or to slurp an astounding menu of fresh oysters before enjoying a steaming bowl of clam chowder, washed down with an ice-cold beer. This is also the place to experience the pleasure of fresh, unadorned seafood, such as lobster with drawn butter or grilled herring in season—generally better options than anything that sounds too complicated.

42nd St. and Vanderbilt Ave., New York, NY, 10017, USA
Known For
  • all things oyster
  • gleaming, tiled subterranean space
  • menu changes daily based on what's fresh at Fulton Fish Market
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed weekends


$$$ | Midtown East

The restaurant's contemporary, upscale update on Greek dining presents Mediterranean flavors in an airy setting whose white tablecloths and walls evoke Greece. Greek hospitality dates back thousands of years, and is on display here with a knowledgeable and accommodating waitstaff and excellent service. Each dish is prepared with intention, from items on the raw bar to mains such as the lobster pasta and baby lamb chops; the gelato is a perfectly refreshing dessert. In warmer months, request a table in the expansive outdoor garden. 

55 E. 54th St., New York, NY, 10022, USA
Known For
  • Greek wines
  • good raw bar
  • outdoor garden for seasonal dining
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch weekends

P. J. Clarke's

$$ | Midtown East

The east-side institution has been dispensing great burgers and beer since 1884. Despite renovations and several owners over the years, the original location (there are offshoots in Lincoln Square and Battery Park City) maintains the beveled-glass and scuffed-wood look of an old-time saloon, and the veteran bartenders and loyal patrons are as much a part of the decor as the light fixtures. More civilized at lunchtime, the bar area heaves with an after-work mob on weekday evenings. Pull up a stool for superlative bar food, like ahi tuna tacos and the signature burger smothered in creamy béarnaise. Heartier mains include chicken pot pie and short rib stew.

Shun Lee Palace

$$$ | Midtown East

If you want inexpensive Cantonese food without pretension, head to Chinatown; if you prefer to be pampered, then come to this place, which has been serving classic Chinese fare since 1971 in an elegant space done in red and gold. Supposedly, the dish orange beef was first made here, and indeed, it's worth a sample, but there's so much more. Beijing panfried dumplings make a good starter, and rack of lamb Sichuan-style, grilled with scallions and garlic, is a popular entrée. Beijing duck, served table-side with thin pancakes, is a signature dish here for good reason.

155 E. 55th St., New York, NY, 10022-4038, USA
Known For
  • upscale Chinese food
  • Sichuan-style rack of lamb
  • Beijing duck
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch Sat.

Smith & Wollensky

$$$$ | Midtown East

Open since 1977 in its iconic green-and-white corner building, Smith & Wollensky enjoys an elite-but-unpretentious reputation as one of the city’s best steak houses. The 26-ounce prime rib is its specialty, but equally good are the Colorado lamb chops, filet mignon, and veal chop; there's also an excellent seafood selection. Don’t miss its classic steak-house sides like hash browns and creamed spinach. The wood-paneled walls and jacketed servers add to the vintage air and make this a perfect restaurant for a special occasion.

Sparks Steak House

$$$$ | Midtown East

Brace yourself to spend indulgently at this famed steak house, where the dining rooms are festooned with pricey magnums of wines and have walls lined with pictures and tables draped in white linens. Although tasty, fresh seafood is given more than fair play on the menu—and the extra-thick lamb and veal chops are noteworthy—Sparks is really about dry-aged steak. Classic sides of hash browns, creamed spinach, sautéed mushrooms, and grilled onions are all you need to complete the experience, and maybe a martini.

210 E. 46th St., New York, NY, 10017, USA
Known For
  • notably long wine list
  • reservations essential
  • the spot where, in 1985, members of the Gambino crime family were gunned down
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch Sat., Reservations essential

Sushi Yasuda

$$$ | Midtown East

Founded by a team led by namesake chef Naomichi Yasuda, and now helmed by chef Tetsuaki Otomo (known as Tomo), this restaurant has a sleek bamboo-lined interior that is as elegant as the food. Here you'll find sushi so fresh and delicate it melts in your mouth, as well as fish flown in daily from Japan and the creamiest sea urchin. The fine selection of sake and beer complements the lovely food. Try to sit at the bar, which was handcrafted by Yasuda from imported Japanese materials.

204 E. 43rd St., New York, NY, 10017, USA
Known For
  • attractive bar
  • some special appetizers change daily
  • good selection of sake and beer
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch Sat.

The Grill

$$$$ | Midtown East

Dining at this sceney, upscale eatery in the sharp, clean-lined Philip Johnson interior of the Seagram Building will transport you to the age of mid-century Mad Men. But the food is even more thrilling—chefs Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone (Dirty French, Parm, Carbone) took over in 2017 and created an instant classic, one that both updates the American menu and relies on the space's rich history. Pheasant is sprinkled with black truffles; lamb chops have a hint of curry oil; prime rib is carved tableside. Eating here is like taking a bite into sophisticated Big Apple history; those with a craving to splurge should keep this spot on their list.

99 E. 52nd St., New York, NY, 10022, USA
Known For
  • steak and anchovy tartare
  • prime-rib trolley service
  • landmarked interior
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch Sat., Reservations essential

Urbanspace Vanderbilt

$ | Midtown East

The market-style food hall, one of four such options in Manhattan, is just north of Grand Central, making it a convenient place to readily satisfy multiple tastes at once. There's a rotating selection of more than 20 artisanal food vendors, so you can get a full meal, snacks, desserts, drinks, and more, and then grab a seat at individual or communal tables. Takeout is another option.