Arguably, one of the best reasons to visit New York City is the food. With so much diversity in such a compact city, you’re bound to find some unique, delicious, and once-in-a-lifetime restaurants.
As you wander around the Big Apple, you’re going to see more than enough restaurants to fill your time.
Whether you’re spending most of your day in Midtown or just passing through, finding a place to eat won’t be an issue. Check out 23 of the best restaurants Midtown has to offer.
1091 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022
Kurant is one of my all time favorite spots in Midtown. If you’re in the area you’ll definitely want to check them out for amazing food and their extensive wine list.
My go-to order is always the bacon mac and cheese to start. For the main I usually choose the braised short ribs or chicken alfredo if I’m craving amazing pasta.
La Grenouille Restaurant
3 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022
Located approximately two blocks from the famous Rockefeller Center, La Grenouille Restaurants has been a favorite in the area since 1962.
This timeless restaurant boasts beautiful floral arrangements throughout, giving it a fresh look and smell. The restaurant is elegant and mimics French royalty.
The food at La Grenouille Restaurant is upscale French cuisine. It’s the perfect place for a special occasion dinner or when you’re craving the flavors of France.
The pan-seared foie gras duck confit was my favorite. Whatever you order, you need to check out their cocktails and wine list.
The Modern in New York
9 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
The Modern is a fantastic restaurant inside the Museum of Modern Art. As the name may suggest, the decor is incredibly modern.
From the neutral color scheme to the minimalist furniture and decorations, it’s the perfect spot to grab lunch after the museum or when you need a break from seeing the city.
The Modern serves a combination of French and American cuisine. Unlike other restaurants where you’re handed a menu and expected to make your selection, you’ll pay a flat rate to enjoy the tastings of their excellent chef.
The format is small plates that are to be enjoyed by the entire table. It’s one of the best ways to experience something new with friends.
Empellon has several locations, but their location in Midtown is their flagship. Located on Madison Avenue near St. Patrick’s Cathedral, it’s a must-try restaurant while you’re in New York City.
When you arrive, you’re greeted by floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a beautiful view of the city, whether during the day or at night.
The menu at Empellon is American with Mexican influences served in an upscale environment. The chefs choose to use seasonal ingredients to ensure the freshest and most innovative dining experience possible.
The lunch prix fixe is the way to go. For a flat rate, you get an appetizer, main course, and tasty dessert.
254 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
There’s something about eating classic Italian food when you’re in New York City. Trattoria Trecolori is a locally owned and operated restaurant that started over 25 years ago.
With their success, they’ve moved into their newest location in Midtown. The atmosphere is warm, with white table clothes, brick walls, and wood accents.
I’m a sucker for delicious Italian food, and Trattoria Trecolori didn’t disappoint. I started my meal off with fritto misto, fried calamari, shrimp, peppers, and zucchini with marinara sauce.
After that, I moved on to their spaghetti alla carbonara. The best part of the meal is the staff knowing precisely what wine pairs well with each dish.
403 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036
From the outside, Bea looks pretty unassuming. Once you enter, you’re surrounded by brick walls, wood tables, and a bunch of twinkling lights.
It makes for the perfect cozy environment for brunch, lunch, or dinner. If you decide to stop in Bea for a meal, try to sit outside in their courtyard. It’s a beautiful spot to enjoy a cocktail and a bite to eat.
It’s hard for me to go out to eat without ordering a starter first. If you’re dining with friends or family, you can’t go wrong with the meat and cheese board to munch on while you decide what to order.
I went with Uncle Tommy’s pie. It’s their take on a Shepherd’s pie made with lamb and other delicious ingredients.
99 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022
THE GRILL is one of the most elegant Midtown restaurants. This chophouse replicates the image many of the midcentury New York restaurants people knew and loved back then.
When you walk into this restaurant, you will feel like a king or queen, and the staff always treat you as such.
Before I dug into my entree, I had to order a cup of their blue crab gumbo. It came highly recommended, and it didn’t disappoint.
To say I was impressed when my entree arrived would be an understatement. I ordered the Amish ham steak with pickled pineapple.
214 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022
If you’re wondering where to eat in Midtown that offers Mexican-Peruvian cuisine, look no further than Frida Midtown.
Frida is a gorgeous restaurant that is the perfect combination of casual but elegant. There’s plenty of greenery on the walls and subtle red tones throughout the restaurant, making it a gorgeous place to eat and drink.
Whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant, I always order guacamole for the table. This was the perfect starter to enjoy while I sipped on a margarita and waited for my main course to arrive.
They have a heavy selection of tacos, but my favorite was the salmon Baja-style tacos.
65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022
You’ll find a variety of cuisine throughout New York and in Chinatown. Something I never expected to find was Nordic cuisine.
Aquavit is another upscale restaurant in Park Avenue Tower that serves seasonal menu options based on Nordic tradition. The restaurant is beautiful with white table cloths, wood accents, and shades of blue throughout.
Aquavit doesn’t have your traditional menu. They serve a tasting menu for a flat rate. When you visit, you’ll be able to sample their fluke and cucumber, scallop and leek, halibut and trout roe, beef and black garlic, and more.
My favorite part of this experience was the wine pairings they offered with each tasting.
41 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036
Gabriel Kreuther is an award-winning chef who brought his vision to life in his New York restaurant. This colorful restaurant is located directly across from Bryant Park and near Grand Central.
If you’re a budding chef, you can purchase chef Gabriel Kreuther’s cookbook before you leave.
The cuisine at this restaurant combines the spirit of New York and Alsace. They offer lunch and dinner services a la carte, or you can have either at a fixed rate.
I couldn’t get enough of the miso-marinated prime strip steak. Even though I almost stuffed myself silly with that entree, I had to save room for the chocolate caramel flan.
211 43rd St B1, New York, NY 10017
Sakagura is a restaurant that celebrates the delicious taste of sake. They have an extensive selection you can choose to try, and they all pair wonderfully with their dishes.
The atmosphere is intimate and showcases the beauty of Asian culture. I loved how dim the lighting was because it made everything feel quieter and as if I was one of the only people in the restaurant.
At Sakagura, you can order from a limited a la carte menu, or you can choose their Shuuka prix fixe menu.
I opted for the prix fixe because it’s a preselected five-course selection of the chef’s favorite dishes. If you decide to do this, you’ll want to check out their optional sake pairing.
123 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019
I usually avoid restaurants you can eat at in other cities when I travel, but I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention Ocean Prime.
This five-star restaurant is in the heart of New York City, surrounded by museums and other popular tourist attractions. It’s the perfect spot to have a fancy dinner after a day of exploring the concrete jungle.
The menu is an excellent combination of seafood, steak, and other dishes. Their sushi menu was rather impressive, but I only tried the ocean roll so that I could sample some of their other food.
It was a difficult decision, but I ordered the Chilean sea bass with whipped potatoes and champagne truffle sauce.
La Pecora Bianca Midtown
If you’re looking for a casual, all-day eatery that services authentic Italian cuisine, you need to check out La Pecora Bianca.
The chefs here bring Italian food back to its roots by preparing everything based on tradition.
Plus, almost all their pasta is made by hand every day. La Pecora Bianca is such a hit that they have four locations in New York City.
They serve lunch and dinner daily, but if you’re in the mood for brunch, you can visit them on the weekends.
Some of my favorite dishes I tried when I visited were the Cacio e Pepe fritters, their classic spaghetti, and their tiramisu for dessert.
Sea Fire Grill
158 E 48th St Between 3rd and, Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10017
Sea Fire Grill comes from the creators of Benjamin Steakhouse. With the successful execution of their steakhouse, they decided to dabble in the world of seafood.
This elegant restaurant has tall walls, some lined with their impressive selection of wine, white table cloths, and beautiful light fixtures.
Sea Fire Grill focuses on executing every dish the exact same way every time. They believe that consistency is key to cooking the perfect meal.
Their contemporary American menu offers some of the best seafood in New York City. Their raw bar menu is impressive, as well as their selection of caviar.
I was in the mood for lobster, so I had to try the Maine lobster.
Something I love about New York is that there’s something for everyone. Just Salad is by far one of the best plant-based restaurants I’ve encountered in Midtown.
This casual eatery focuses on sustainability for the planet while offering patrons a delicious selection of salads.
Don’t worry if you’re not in the mood for a salad. Just Salad offers soups, smoothies, warm bowls, and more. All their salad dressings are made in-house daily to ensure freshness.
They have staples on their menu, but they also offer a seasonal menu based on fresh ingredients. I loved their strawberry banana smoothie and their classic California cobb salad.
120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020
If you’re looking for the perfect restaurant to dine at before seeing a show on Broadway, you need to try Oceana.
You’ll find Oceana minutes from Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and several of the famous Broadway stages. This classy joint has been a favorite among visitors and locals for 30 years.
Oceana is primarily a seafood restaurant, but they have a little something for everyone. I love that you can order from their raw bar or whole fish if you choose.
If you want an appetizer, you need to try their tuna tartare. Sometimes seafood isn’t what you’re in the mood for, and that’s okay. Their short ribs are the perfect option.
The Smith first opened in 2007 in the East Village before expanding to several other locations, including Midtown.
When you dine at The Smith, you’ll feel comfortable, welcomed, and like you belong. If you want to eat here, something to keep in mind is that it’s one of the top ten most reserved restaurants on OpenTable.
They offer lunch, dinner, and brunch services on the weekends. I dined for brunch, and I couldn’t get enough of their delicious bloody Mary’s.
It was the perfect drink to pair with their steak and eggs. I love that when you order steak and eggs, you get to choose what cut of steak you want. I opted for the filet mignon, but you can select NY strip or ribeye.
One of the most outstanding restaurants in Midtown is Hillstone. This upscale restaurant has dark fixtures that provide a more intimate setting than some other restaurants in the city.
When you arrive, you’ll notice that they prefer to seat smaller groups rather than larger parties. This allowed for a more personal dining experience.
Since 1997, Hillstone has been serving patrons delicious sushi, seafood, and American cuisine. They have a unique combination of American and Asian cuisine.
Their Thai noodle salad is a great starter, but you can’t go wrong with the campfire barbecue ribs for an entree.
54 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019
Il Corso opened in 1993 when two Italian women came from the South of Italy to New York. They wanted to share their love of Italian cuisine and tradition with the people of New York and the millions that come to visit every year.
The restaurant seems small and unassuming from the outside, but you’re in for a real treat when you dine here.
They’re open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. The menu boasts an extensive selection of kinds of pasta, antipasti, and of course, wine.
I couldn’t avoid ordering a glass of wine to go with my meal, and it was a great choice. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu, but I loved the fettuccine alla bolognese.
Parker & Quinn
64 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018
You’ll find this New York staple in the Refinery Hotel. Parker & Quinn is the epitome of elegance. They offer the appeal you want in a New York City restaurant while having global appeal too.
Locals love to dine here, and visitors adore this intimate but welcoming restaurant.
Parker & Quinn is open every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They serve classic American cuisine with an upscale twist.
When I dined here with friends, we shared the smash burger sliders before ordering our entrees. I chose the classic mac and cheese, and it didn’t disappoint.
214 E 49th St, New York, NY 10017
Barolo East is one of the most beautiful restaurants in Midtown, in my opinion. When you walk in, you’ll be surrounded by natural brick walls, wooden accents, and twinkly lights.
Their main bar is large, and the shelves reach from the floor all the way to the ceiling.
You’ll find dozens of Italian restaurants throughout New York, but for the best Northern Italian cuisine, you need to try Barolo East.
They have their all-year menus, but they offer a small seasonal menu that changes quarterly. My favorite dish was the spaghetti al Frutti di mare. It’s a variety of seafood in a red sauce.
204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017
Sushi Yasuda has been one of the best sushi restaurants in New York since its opening in 1999. Something that has kept bringing people to this restaurant throughout the years is their commitment to sushi tradition.
They advise you not to oversaturate your sushi in soy sauce or another ingredient because it can take away from the fish’s natural flavor.
The sole focus of Sushi Yasuda is sushi. They only prepare the freshest and tastiest fish, rice, and other ingredients.
They have a selection of fish dishes, but you can’t eat here without trying the sushi. The chirashi is a selection of their finest sashimi on a bed of white rice. It’s delicious.
Totto Ramen East
248 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022
Totto Ramen East needs to be on your list of restaurants to try if you love ramen. This casual restaurant is one of the tastiest and more affordable options in the Big Apple.
It’s set in the heart of Midtown, minutes from the East River.
The menu has a vast selection of ramen recipes to choose from. The chicken paitan is a popular choice.
It’s their original straight noodles, chicken paitan soup, topped with green onions, nori, and your choice of pork or chicken. I love that you can make any dish as spicy as you like.
Grand Central Oyster Bar
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
Last but not least is Grand Central Oyster Bar. Conveniently located in the lower level of Grand Central Station, this restaurant is one of the most unique places to eat in New York. It’s clear you’re in the lower level of the train station, but it’s decorated beautifully.
They have one of the largest oyster selections you’ll find. They have oysters Rockefeller, fried oysters, and much more. They have more than just oysters, though. I loved the duck herring and the jumbo shrimp cocktail.
Best Restaurants in Midtown NYC
- La Grenouille Restaurant
- The Modern in New York
- Trattoria Trecolori
- THE GRILL
- Frida Midtown
- Gabriel Kreuther
- Ocean Prime
- La Pecora Bianca Midtown
- Sea Fire Grill
- Just Salad
- The Smith
- Il Corso
- Parker & Quinn
- Barolo East
- Sushi Yasuda
- Totto Ramen East
- Grand Central Oyster Bar
Whether you’re in the mood for Chinese, Italian, classic American, or something else, there’s plenty of places to eat in Midtown.
You can’t leave New York without enjoying a melty piece of pizza. If you’re searching for the best place, be sure to take a look at some of the best pizza spots in the city.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!