Midtown East is where you’ll see iconic pictures of New York City come to life. Streets bustle with people, Art Deco skyscrapers tower overhead, and high-end storefronts are on every corner. Each block offers something new to explore, from Michelin-starred restaurants to top NYC attractions. It’s an area of great convenience — and not just for travelers.
Home to Grand Central Terminal, this Midtown East neighborhood is a desirable spot for many companies to call home. Pfizer, Bloomberg, and Capital One all have corporate headquarters here, though that’s not to say the area isn’t welcoming to residents as well. In fact, the approximately 1-square mile neighborhood is home to about 66,000 people.
East of Third Avenue, you’ll find neighborhoods like Sutton Place, touting historic townhouses and luxury high-rises that have been home to heirs, heiresses, and celebrities including Marilyn Monroe. The micro-neighborhood of Turtle Bay, whose past residents include Katherine Hepburn and E.B. White, is just to the south, and here homeowners can enjoy charming brownstones accented by coveted gardens. The area is also home to iconic (and frequently overlooked) attractions, including what is arguably the world’s most famous subway grate where Marilyn Monroe was photographed during the filming of “The Seven Year Itch », located just down the block from The Benjamin.
Due to the area’s high concentration of businesses and homes, the atmosphere in the evening isn’t the constant party you might experience downtown. The vibe is more subtle, relaxed, and refined, offering no shortage of restaurants and bars to experience after the sun goes down.
If you’re looking for an exceptional meal or cocktail, you won’t have to go far to find it in Midtown East. The lineup of restaurants and bars cater to your every craving — Japanese, French, American, Italian — it’s all within a few blocks. Love a restaurant with hype? Head to La Grenouille, an award-winning French restaurant, and get ready to be transported back to 1950s Paris. Or, if you’re looking for a more low-key experience, try Alidoro for a hefty Italian-style sandwich.
When it comes to bars in Midtown East, the roster is no less diverse. With cozy spots like SNAFU Bar & Lounge, elegant rooftop bars such as Upstairs at the Kimberly, and an array of casual pubs including Cornerstone Tavern — you’ll have no trouble finding the atmosphere you’re looking for.
Looking to spend some time outside? Midtown East’s green spaces encourage both visitors and residents alike for outdoor yoga, picnics, or just a cup of coffee.
The largest (and most well-known) of the neighborhood’s parks is Bryant Park, located between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Home to the longest expanse of grass in Manhattan south of Central Park, Bryant Park is an easy pick for many of Manhattan’s events and boasts amenities like Le Carrousel.
Smaller parks punctuate the area as well, the most notable among them being Greenacre Park on East 51st Street (visualize lots of shade on a warm summer day or the perfect spot for a hand-warming cup of tea on a cold one). Afterward, consider venturing a few blocks away to Paley Park on 53rd Street, home to a waterfall that spans the entire length of the park’s back wall.
When it comes to attractions, you’ll never run out of things to do in Midtown East. Interested in the arts? Don’t miss works by famous artists such as Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, and Pablo Picasso at the Museum of Modern Art (affectionately called the MoMA). But there’s more to explore than artists you’ve already heard of. With a collection of more than 150,000 works, you’re sure to discover something new.
In the mood for some architecture? The area doesn’t disappoint. Stunning Art Deco buildings, like the beloved Chrysler Building, tower overhead and seek to be explored. And then there’s Rockefeller Center, one of the greatest projects from the Great Depression era, stopping passersby with Lee Lawrie’s iconic Atlas statue.
Midtown East is also where you’ll find one the most impressive (and admired) train stations in the world: Grand Central Terminal. Located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue, it’s massive marble staircase, four-faced clock, and celestial ceiling have greeted travelers since 1913. In the 1970s, the beloved building was at risk of being torn down, but preservationists and architect enthusiasts, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, saved it from destruction.
Over on 50th Street and Fifth Avenue you’ll find a bit of the Old World nestled between sleek skyscrapers: St. Patrick’s Cathedral. An elaborate Neo-Gothic structure, St. Patricks’ Cathedral took some time to build (nearly twenty years), and serves as the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.
If you’re looking for world-class shopping, Midtown East has you covered from head to toe. Few places in the world rival the stores on Madison and Fifth Avenues with their lineup of luxury shops, including the flagship stores of distinguished brands such as Louis Vuitton, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barney’s. Fine jewelry lovers won’t be disappointed either. The flagship store of Tiffany & Co on 5th and 57th St is a must-see, offering an array of glamorous diamonds, china, silver, pendants and much more. It’s also home to the Blue Box Cafe, where you can indulge in your very own breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Beyond designer styles and jewelry, Midtown East has plenty of other shops to explore too. For eye-catching displays of sleek furniture and modern home decor, head to CB2 on 58th and 3rd. Or if you’re a lover of gourmet foods, try the Ideal Cheese Shop (which completely lives up to its name) on 1st and 52nd, where you’ll discover an astonishing 250 cheeses from 17 countries including Croatia, Germany, and beyond.
Whatever it is you seek in Midtown East, it can likely be found within the space of a few blocks. And when you’re done hitting the town, be sure to relax and recharge in our residential-style hotel in the heart of NYC.
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