"Midtown" tends to elicit images of selfie-stick-carrying tourists, overly packed Times Square and Penn Station, and mediocre dining and drinking options. While this isn't where we actively choose to hang out (ever), we find ourselves in this part of town from time to time, and here are some buried gems:
- La Bonne Soupe: one of my go-to French restaurants in the city.
- Gazala's Place: Druze cuisine in a tiny BYOB on 9th Ave.
- Ippudo Westside: an uptown outpost serving up bomb ramen.
- Untamed Sandwiches: a sandwich joint focused on items highlighting braised meats, though there are veggie options too.
- Aldo Sohm Wine Bar: a swanky yet comfortable wine bar by Le Bernardin sommelier Eric Ripert.
- Casellula: self-appointed "cheese and wine café," but a much smaller and cozier ambiance than the above. Both the wine and cheese selections are fab.
- The Pony Bar: a casual address for craft beer lovahs.
- Little Collins: to relax with a coffee and a bite to eat.
- Culture Espresso: skip the nearby Bryant Park Starbucks and opt for a cortado here.
- Rain Africa: this place is a little oasis steps from Rockefeller Center, selling natural skin and body products.
- Hell's Kitchen Flea Market: every Saturday and Sunday on 39th between 9th and 10th Avenues.
- Housing Works Thrift Shop: affordable, perfect for an afternoon of thrifting.
- Museum of Sex: I first visited with my mother and younger sister, which I might not particularly recommend. But the museum is great.
- MoMA: the city's modern art museum. Well known and the rep is merited.
Have a reliable recommendation or sweet spot to share? Go crazy in the comments section.