Home to Grand Central Station, Midtown East is a neighborhood most all New Yorkers, tourists, and commuters alike will find themselves in at some point. Comprising the area from 59th Street to 42nd Street, and 6th Avenue over to the East River, there’s plenty to do, see, and eat when you do find yourself here. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite stops, perfect to while away the better part of a day, below*!
Grab Your Morning Coffee
There’s no shortage of coffee shops in the area, but we have a particular soft spot for Ground Central. Located on 52nd Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue, you’ll find they make a mean cuppa joe, have a fantastic selection of pastries (vegan chocolate chip scone and almond croissant, anyone?!), and have a warm and relaxed atmosphere conducive for meeting a friend, reading a book, or breaking out your laptop and staying a while. It feels like a little slice of Downtown-cool nestled in the heart of Midtown East, if you ask me.
Walk Around Grand Central Terminal
Now that you’ve been properly caffeinated, stroll on down to Grand Central Terminal. If you’re feeling like getting a dose of culture, you can grab an audio tour for $9 at specially marked “GCT Tour” windows on the Main Concourse anytime between 9am and 6pm. Or, just do a self guided stroll. Check out the food court, the boutiques, the specialty food shops, and the Transit Museum Gallery and Store. Pick up a few NYC-centric gifts for anyone on your “nice” list. And don’t forget to look up–the ceiling is really something special.
Indulge In Indian Food For Lunch
You surely have worked up an appetite by now, so walk a few blocks south on Lexington between 39th and 40th Streets and you’ll run smack into Nirvana, a restaurant serving up Indian culinary bliss. With Michelin-starred Peter Beck as the Executive Chef, it’s easy to see how! Whether you’re palate is leaning towards seafood inspired by India’s coastal regions, or Southern Indian delicacies of baby goat meat on the bone in a coconut curry, or one of their extensive selections of vegetarian dishes (I was quite a fan of the Srinagri Koftay, which is roasted beet and vegetable dumplings in tomato, fennel and ginger sauce–yum!), you really can’t go wrong here!
Get Your Dose Of Literary Culture At The Morgan Library
The Morgan Library and Museum, located a short walk down on Madison Avenue and 36th Street, is worth a stop just to see Pierpont Morgan’s magnificent room filled with books–not to mention the amazing rotation of literary events and exhibitions that are constantly on display. (We’ve waxed poetic about the Morgan before.) They have a lovely, light filled cafe where you can enjoy a coffee and dessert. Make sure you pop into the gift shop before leaving, as they have a lovely selection of postcards which someone in your circle would most likely be delighted to receive (bonus points for writing a quote from your favorite book!) If you happen to be passing by on a Friday evening, you can even pop in for free between 7pm and 9pm.
Grab A Drink In A Hidden Speakeasy
Head north a few blocks to 39th Street between Madison and Park Avenues, where you’ll find a hidden speakeasy inside The William Hotel, Raines Law Room at the William. Filled with candlelight, intimate couches encourage quiet conversation, and light switches that can be flipped on anytime your beverage needs a refill encourages a fun filled way to cap off your day in Midtown East. We spent Valentine’s Day here a few years ago and it remains one of our favorite quiet bars in the city.
Would love to know…do you have any favorite spots in Midtown East? Leave them in the comments so we can check them out!
(*with just a tiny wiggle room on the neighborhood boundaries, because walking is good for you!;-)