21 Best Restaurants in Midtown NYC for 2023

Last Updated on December 19, 2022 | 0 Comments
Here are the best restaurants in Midtown NYC for your enjoyment.

Are you on the hunt for a great restaurant in Midtown NYC? With an overwhelming variety of restaurants to choose from in almost every conceivable type of cuisine, Midtown is a foodie’s dream neighborhood. Whether you’re looking for an elegant date night destination or a more casual food truck or taco stand, there is no shortage of restaurants at different price points and levels of formality.

Home to New York institutions like Broadway, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station and Times Square, Midtown is truly the heart of the city that never sleeps. So whether you’re headed to the theater or museum-hopping, this guide to restaurants in Midtown NYC will point you to the 21 best spots for enjoying your time in the heart of the city.

 

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Find the Best Restaurants in Midtown NYC

With hundreds of restaurants in Midtown alone, it can be tough to plan your meals across all the different boroughs of New York. Food tours in NYC can be a great way to explore the local food scene with help from an expert guide. Your guide will show you the best of the best as you explore all that NYC has to offer.

21 Best Restaurants in Midtown NYC

1. Le Bernardin

For a taste of classic luxury, you can’t go wrong with Le Bernardin, an elegant restaurant in Midtown NYC known for serving delicious, high-quality seafood paired with a lengthy wine list and classic cocktails.

The Vibe 

This Midtown restaurant is everything you would expect of a fine dining establishment — soft music, low lighting and impeccable service. Their prix fixe menu is well-known by NYC foodies, offering you a selection of dishes to create your own four-course meal. Le Bernardin is the perfect place for an upscale date night in NYC

What to Order 

Try their classic tuna with foie gras, which has been a staple at the restaurant for years. Be sure to ask their knowledgeable sommeliers to share their best wine recommendations. 

Le Bernardin | 155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019 | $$$$

Le Bernardine is one of the best restaurants in Midtown NYC.
via Le Bernardine

2. Sushi Yasuda

Sushi Yasuda is a well-respected sushi restaurant in Midtown NYC that has recently earned a Michelin star. Established in 1999, they feature a menu that is updated seasonally with new dishes. 

The Vibe 

Sushi Yasuda offers a minimalist atmosphere that lets the sushi shine. Each dish is beautifully presented, giving you the chance to visually enjoy your meal before you partake. 

What to Order 

Though the menu does change seasonally, there are some best NYC sushi classics on the menu, like yellowtail sashimi.  

Sushi Yasuda | 204 E. 43rd St., New York, NY 10017 | $$$$

3. Gabriel Kreuther

Named after its award-winning founding chef, Gabriel Kreuther is an excellent spot for French cuisine in NYC. The restaurant and lounge are also paired with a shop where you can purchase chocolate and cookbooks — a great souvenir of your time in NYC.

The Vibe

For a fine-dining experience, check out the restaurant side of the establishment, or, for a more casual night, spend your time in the lounge enjoying a cocktail or glass of French wine. Either way, you’ll feel pampered by the excellent staff and immaculate presentation of each dish.

What to Order 

Known for fresh takes on classic Alsatian dishes, try one of the most famous dishes like the truffled liverwurst or foie gras terrine.

Gabriel Kreuther | 41 W. 42nd St., New York, NY 10036 | $$$$

Foie Gras Terrine & Country Pâté with Apricot Jam, Gewurztraminer Gelée and House-made Rye Bread
via Gabriel Kreuther

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4. Marea

For Italian seafood that can only be described as upscale and gourmet, Marea is the best restaurant in Midtown NYC. 

The Vibe

A meal at this Midtown restaurant is certainly a luxurious experience, but the atmosphere at this warm and inviting restaurant is anything but stuffy. Dishes are served with flair and personable service, making this one of the best places to eat in NYC.

What to Order 

Try an entrée like their fusilli with red-wine braised octopus and bone marrow for a new twist on an Italian seafood classic. 

Marea | 240 Central Park S., New York, NY 10019 | $$$$

5. Hutong 

Hutong takes Northern Chinese food to the next level with their traditional dishes that are often served with a spicy flair drawn from the flavors of the Sichuan province.

The Vibe 

This Midtown restaurant boasts elegant, 1920s art deco-inspired interiors that only elevate your dining experience.

What to Order 

For an extra special occasion, book a flaming duck reservation and try their flaming Peking duck, which is offered only at limited times during the week. The duck is dried for 36 hours and roasted for 40 minutes before it is set on fire at your table and carved up by the Hutong staff. It is certainly one of the most unique things to do in NYC.

Hutong | 731 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10022 | $$$$

a chef preparing a flaming duck at a table
via Hutong

6. Empellón

For New Yorkers who are already a fan of the downtown restaurants Al Pastor and Taquería, why not try Alex Stupak’s flagship Midtown restaurant that elevates traditional dishes into something unique?

The Vibe

Empellón is known for open dining spaces and artistic interiors. With tortillas made by hand on the premises, you’re sure to enjoy the freshest take on American cuisine with Mexican influences at this Midtown restaurant in NYC.

What to Order

Try the fish tempura tacos as your entrée, and don’t miss the famous avocado parfait for dessert. The parfait, which is shaped like a real avocado, is one of the most Instagrammable items on the menu.

Empellón | 510 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022 | $$$

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7. Yakitori Totto

Yakitori Totto specializes in keeping Japanese traditions alive. Best known for its delicious traditional chicken dishes, this Midtown restaurant in NYC was also one of Anthony Bourdain’s top NYC restaurants

The Vibe

You’ll feel transported to the heart of Tokyo when you step inside this cozy but upscale Midtown restaurant in NYC. 

What to Order 

Try the hishito tsukune, chicken meatballs stuffed with shishito peppers. Though shishito peppers aren’t normally considered spicy, sometimes guests get a “lucky” pepper with a little more heat than normal.

Yakitori Totto | 251 W. 55th St., Fl. 2, New York, NY 10019 | $$

an array of skewered meats and vegetables
via Yakitori Totto

8. La Grenouille 

Famous for French cuisine served in a Gilded Age atmosphere, La Grenouille is a go-to spot for delicious food and an Old World environment. This Midtown restaurant in NYC will really satisfy your craving for French delicacies.

The Vibe

Floral arrangements and opulent decorations will send you back in time as you indulge in classic French favorites at this Midtown restaurant in NYC.

What to Order 

Opt for the Dover sole and be transported to fin-de-siècle Europe as you enjoy this traditional fish dish served with lemon and hollandaise. 

La Grenouille | 3 E. 52nd St., New York, NY 10022 | $$$$

9. Aquavit 

For a restaurant that combines traditional excellence with a modern take on Nordic cuisine, try Midtown’s two-Michelin-star staple, Aquavit.

The Vibe 

Beautifully understated interiors pair perfectly with the clean flavors of the Nordic cuisine, and no trip to this restaurant in Midtown NYC is complete without a taste of their namesake: house aquavit in a wide variety of flavors. Try an individual glass or a flight of three.

What to Order

Try the chef’s tasting menus for a glimpse of everything, and be sure to order the Arctic bird’s nest for dessert, a stunningly realistic bird’s nest of crumbled brownie, dark chocolate twigs, honey, raspberries and white chocolate “eggs.”

Aquavit | 65 E. 55th St., New York, NY 10022 | $$$$

Aquavit is one of the best restaurants in Midtown NYC.
via Aquavit

10. The Modern

One of the best indoor activities in NYC is exploring all of the city’s great museums. After your trip to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), stop in at The Modern, the museum’s restaurant in Midtown NYC, for a deliciously-executed meal. 

The Vibe

This Midtown restaurant’s minimalist décor and space overlooking the museum’s sculpture garden is the perfect place to reflect on all the artwork you’ve just witnessed. Enjoy one of their three spaces: the bar room, the restaurant itself or the kitchen table, which gets you front and center as you watch your food being prepared. 

What to Order

Try the Long Island duck breast paired with a signature cocktail. Also look out for their seasonal menus, which are updated often.

The Modern | 9 W. 53rd St., New York, NY 10019 | $$$$

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11. Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant

This iconic restaurant in Midtown NYC has been open since 1913 and features a raw bar and restaurant with a style that can only be described as classic New York. 

The Vibe 

Housed in a subterranean space at Grand Central station, the iconic art deco style of the Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant is unmatched. With arched ceilings and glamor at every turn, this Midtown staple will become one of your favorite things to do in NYC.

What to Order 

Partake in the classic NYC raw bar experience by ordering fresh, expertly shucked oysters with a martini or a glass of Champagne. 

Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant | 89 E. 42nd St. Lower Level, New York, NY 10017 | $$$

Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant is one of the most famous restaurants in Midtown NYC.
via Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant

12. The Grill

Located in what used to be The Four Seasons, The Grill gives diners the chance to enjoy old-fashioned chophouse meals in style.

The Vibe 

The breathtaking midcentury décor at this Midtown restaurant, which features high ceilings and beautiful windows, adds even more elegance to The Grill’s menu of elevated classics. 

What to Order 

Try the famous prime rib with a slice of silky smooth lemon chiffon cake for dessert. 

The Grill | 99 E. 52nd St., New York, NY 10022 | $$$$

13. Casa Lever

Casa Lever is well known for serving Northern Italian dishes. You can often find New Yorkers stopping in for breakfast or a quick lunch throughout the afternoon.

The Vibe 

An intimate but upscale feel is a hallmark of Casa Lever, where traditional Italian cuisine is blended with the modern and elegant interior of this restaurant in Midtown NYC. 

What to Order 

Stop in for a delicious Italian breakfast, or, for a quick lunchtime bite, try the grilled cheese sandwich. If you’re dining in the evening, the carbonara pasta and a glass of Italian wine are a can’t-miss meal. 

Casa Lever | 390 Park Ave., New York, NY 10022 | $$$

the colorful, modern interior of an NYC restaurant
via Casa Lever

14. Halal Guys

Halal Guys’ claim to fame is their Middle Eastern and Mediterranean plates and platters. This affordable and delicious food stand will quickly become one of your favorite NYC foods.

The Vibe 

Great for lunch or a late-night snack after a night on the town, Halal Guys serves up Middle Eastern and Mediterranean favorites in their casual food stand environment. 

What to Order 

Try the traditional gyro sandwich or falafel platter for a delicious lunch or dinner option.

Halal Guys | W. 53rd St. and Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10019 | $

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15. Blue Willow

Blue Willow is a Midtown restaurant in NYC that offers the best of East and West. Their tasty Sichuan and Hunan dishes will keep you coming back for more classic Chinese food. With indoor and outdoor seating and delivery options available, this is a great option for casual tourists or busy New Yorkers on the go.

The Vibe 

A retro-style 1920s atmosphere transports you to China for Hunan cuisine and Asian-inspired cocktails. 

What to Order 

Try the mapo tofu for a vegan take on traditional Sichuan flavors. 

Blue Willow | 40 W. 56th St., New York, NY 10019 | $$

an array of Chines dishes including ma po tofu.
via Blue Willow

16. Los Tacos No. 1

The Midtown location of this taco chain is sure to be a winning choice after a night out in NYC. It’s also a more affordable option in a neighborhood full of upscale restaurants in the area.

The Vibe 

The fun, casual atmosphere of Los Tacos No.1 offers a different scene from some of the more elegant fine-dining establishments in Midtown, but you won’t miss out on the delicious food options. Their menu is simply flavor-packed from top to bottom.

What to Order 

Try the classic carne asada tacos with salsa from their unique salsa bar. 

Los Tacos No. 1 | 229 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 10036 | $

17. Molyvos

Molyvos, a newly relocated and expanded Greek restaurant in Midtown NYC, features one of the largest and most carefully cultivated wine cellars in the country. 

The Vibe 

The hospitable atmosphere of this Midtown restaurant will make you feel like you are on the island of Lesvos, the inspirational home of many of this restaurant’s popular menu items and flavor profiles. The warm service and inviting décor make Molyvos a great place for a birthday dinner in NYC. Be sure you try some of the Greek wine from their expansive wine cellar.

What to Order 

Start with an appetizer of hummus before moving on to an entrée of Molyvos Moussaka, a spiced lamb and beef dish with potato, eggplant, peppers and yogurt béchamel. 

Molyvos | 402 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 10036 | $$$

Molyvos is one of the most delightful restaurants in Midtown NYC.
via Molyvos

18. Indian Accent

Indian Accent boasts traditional Indian cuisine with a progressive spin. The New York location offers some unique dishes as well as staples that can be found on the menus at their London and New Delhi locations.

The Vibe 

The minimalist décor inside Indian Accent lets the food do all the talking. With a sleek, modern bar and upscale feel, you’ll want to visit this Midtown restaurant in NYC again and again.

What to Order 

Try the ghee roast lamb with roti, which is a staple dish at all three Indian Accent locations around the world. 

Indian Accent | 123 W. 56th St., New York, NY 10019 | $$$$

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19. La Grande Boucherie

This art nouveau-inspired French restaurant in Midtown NYC spans an entire city block and offers dining space for up to 400 guests. Stop in for brunch, lunch or dinner and enjoy their traditional French dishes. 

The Vibe 

La Grande Boucherie is a restaurant in Midtown NYC whose guiding focus is the joy of life, known in French as the philosophy of joie de vivre. The interior of the restaurant definitely fits the bill, with classic French brasserie styling, high ceilings and lots of natural light.

What to Order 

For brunch, try the eggs Benedict or opt for more French classics at lunch or dinner like the French onion soup or steak tartare.

La Grande Boucherie | 145 W. 53rd St., New York, NY 10019 | $$$

La Grande Boucherie is a breathtaking restaurant in Midtown NYC.
via La Grande Boucherie

20. Monkey Bar

This storied restaurant in Midtown NYC has been open since the 1930s, and despite ownership changes, its charm has stayed the same.

The Vibe 

With a sunken dining room filled with large round booths and a tavern area for walk-in diners, Monkey Bar offers classic dishes, steakhouse favorites and an expansive drink menu. You’ll love the pictures of celebrities from the Jazz Age that adorn the walls in this traditional bar. 

What to Order 

Enjoy the tavern environment with a plate of pork chops or with one of their featured martinis.

Monkey Bar | 60 E. 54th St., New York, NY 10022 | $$$

21. Keens Steakhouse

A true NYC institution, Keens Steakhouse features everything you’d expect in a classic steakhouse: dark wood paneling, a collection of clay pipes and lush interior decorations.

The Vibe 

If you’re hoping to find a steakhouse straight out of the pages of “The Great Gatsby,” this Midtown restaurant is the place for you. Their long history in the neighborhood and classic American dishes make them one of the best restaurants in Midtown NYC.

What to Order 

Try the mutton chop to complete your journey back to a 1920s-era chophouse. 

Keens Steakhouse | 72 W. 36th St., New York, NY 10018 | $$$$

a mutton chop and vegetables
via Keens Steakhouse

These 21 spots are perfect for your time exploring the best restaurants in Midtown NYC. No matter your style of cuisine, Midtown has something to offer. From French food to Chinese, Japanese or even Scandinavian options, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your palate in Midtown. 

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