Midtown with a 14YO
I am bringing my daughter to NY with me for a quick two-day visit. We will have time for a late dinner one night and three meals the next day. Besides telling her that she will have her first good bagel, I want to show her a bit of the fun of NY food. Any ideas for accessible places in a general area of E. 39th St to E. 49th around Park/Lex/Madison? Thanks!
If you expand just slightly south and east, you can also go to Koreatown, and starting about 10 blocks further south is Curry Hill, so keep that in mind. There's also Szechuan Gourmet on 39th between 5th and 6th, just west of your zone. But for a 2-day visit, you already have more than enough to choose from. Enjoy!
Midtown East gets a hard rap for not having great food. we live in the area and enjoy many excellent restaurants within walking distance of 39 and Lex.
Some that a 14 y/o would enjoy:
El Rio Grande's patio on the E 37 side in nice weather
Rare on Lex and E 37
Hane for sushi 3 Av and E38
Wild Edibles for a unique seafood experience.
Tokyo for old style Japanese
Scotty's Diner for a very good inexpensive breakfast (Avoid Blooms)
Penelope's down Lex for an unusual and creative breakfast experience. Sit at the counter if there is a line.
Grand Central Oyster bar for chowder and raw oysters. The rest of the menu is not memorable. Eat at the Oyster Bar
Black Shack burger for an excellent burger
Mapo Tofu and Hunan Manor for authentic Aisian. Phoenix Garden for "American style" Chinese.
Al Bustan for fantastic Middle Eastern
Rossini's on E 38 for old school red sauce Italian. Opera singers on Saturday evening and piano Sunday.
Zucker's makes a nice bagel but a walk over to Ess-A-Bagel will get you the best bagel in Manhattan
Pastrami Queen is a bit up town but they make a fabulous Pastrami "sammich." BUT, you really should make it down to Katz's for an excellent pastrami "sammich" and a memorable NYC experience.
Ethos Meze has very good Greek offerings
If you want to take a short walk down Lex:
DaCiro and Marcony for wonderful Italian
Le Parisien on E33 for French Bistro experience
Blue Smoke on E 27 for some wonderful BBQ
Pie Face on E 34 and Insomnia Cookies on 3 Av for some fun desserts
WHEW!! I am getting hungry now.
Previous Midtown East discussion:
I believe that there's a Zucker's near Grand Central now and within Grand Central, you have access to Ceci Cela croissants & Donut Plant donuts at Joe the Art of Coffee. There's also a Magnolia Bakery in GCT now as well.
Also take a look at Midtown Lunch's map. You may be able to hit up carts like the Egg-stravaganza truck, Halal Guys on 53rd and 6th, etc.
Are you looking for American food only? Do you have a budget in mind?
If you like Asian food you have quite a few options within or near East 39th to East 49th::
Mad for Chicken
Within 10 blocks north and south:
Are you really going to restrict yourself to arguably the ten most charmless, soulless blacks of Manhattan? Esp if this is a weekend; it is a business district. If it is a weekday, you will at least be able to access the street vendors and food trucks for lunches.
I guess you could have oysters at Grand Central Oyster Bar. That's about all I can think of that would "show her a bit of the fun of NY food". Do a Search for "grand central"
Bagels at Ess-a-Bagel push your ten block limit, but worth it.
Bouchon Bakery in Rock Plaza pushes it too.
I am not going to limit us to those blocks, but that is where we will spend a good bit of the short time we are there. We get in next Tuesday night, have a meeting near Rockefeller Center, then are on the way home on Thursday morning. So Wednesday night dinner is more open, but we will be around the area for a good part of Wednesday day, so I am trying to maximize the good food. Lunch carts are a good idea. I will say that the tone is part of what can discourage people from asking for help.