Best Value Restaurants in Midtown East, NYC
Great sips and value Bites in the Bloomingdales Midtown East neighborhood of Manhattan.
One of the most fashionable and luxurious neighborhoods in the city, the Midtown East area that is centered around Bloomingdale's department store has a wealth of interesting cafes, bars and restaurants for you to explore.
Scattered around the neighborhood are an array of interesting boutiques and small,hidden-away plazas and enclaves of green, tucked behind office buildings and luxury condo towers, where you can sit and relax for a spell.
Yes, this neighborhood's all about shopping and dining, but there is so much more to it, than meets the eye. After having brunch, why not take your family or date on a breath-taking ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram. you will enjoy spectacular views of the East Side and Queens as well as experience the thrill of being high up in the sky.
The Bar Room - Mid-Town East
This well-appointed, elegant bar has been adopted by both the after-work happy hour crowd, who are seeking to quench their thirst with delicious cocktails, as well as tired and hungry shoppers who just want to relax after a long afternoon's shopping spree at Bloomingdale's.
You'll be absolutely ecstatic to know that, at The Bar Room, happy hour is a seven days a week celebration. So, do plan your weekend accordingly.
Every day from 4 until 6 PM a very reasonable $10 will get you delectable and elevated bar bites like shrimp tacos, steamed pork buns and chicken liver mousse.
Their ten dollar happy hour drink specials include a really delicious glass of fruity Sangria and selected cocktails that run the gamut from a tasty Aperol Spritz and Dark and Stormy to their signature Bar Room Mule.
Majestic is the only word to describe the main dining room, which is topped off with an ornate skylight. Soft, comfortable banquettes rest easily against the dapper walls as they wind their way around the length of the room.
The spacious floor consists of a striking black and white checkerboard design. Please have those phones ready and don't be shy about snapping away. This is a one in a million type of atmosphere.
But, without any doubt, the main "selfie stage" here is the gorgeous and glistening mahogany bar. Rescued by The Bar Room's owners from the scrap heap, this showpiece
bar is over one hundred years old and has a great deal of New York nightlife history behind it.
The energy here is dynamic and all-encompassing. From the moment that you pass by the bar and enter the Skylight Room, you will get caught up in the flow!
Of course, starting your evening off here with a glass of wine, beer or a stylish and sophisticated cocktail or two, will also do a lot to boost your morale and get you into the swim of things.
The Three Martini Lunch is a drink that is as strong as the name suggests. The ingredients; Plymouth gin, Lillet Blanc and orange bitters are fairly simple but they do pack a punch.
The bar keeps doing a very nice Pisco Sour that features a pour of primo El Gobernador Pisco, lime juice, simple syrup and for texture, an egg white.
As far as choosing one of the best cocktails on the menu goes, there's no debate whatsoever, that The Afternoon Dilemma should be at the top of your list. Gin, grapefruit and lemon juice along with tonic water and a touch of Rosemary are mixed together to create a very refreshing elixir.
As we all know, liquor goes down much better when accompanied by good, solid food. And they've got some interesting dishes coming out of the kitchen.
Commence your good times with a snack of Bar Room fries that are covered in Truffle oil and Parmesan cheese or Brussels Sprouts that are dressed to the nines with sweet chili, lime juice and toasted peanuts.
Be forewarned; you won't find a typical pub or bar fare here. The closest that the kitchen gets to that is the Bar Room Burger which, with toppings including cheddar, caramelized onions, artisan pickles and a truffle aioli, has much to recommend it.
You won't miss the Shepherd's Pie much, though, when you have delicious entrees like a tender Berkshire pork chop, a herb roasted half chicken or Tuscan kale pesto pasta to choose from!
This establishment is the kind of place where you will want to linger awhile. They've made that decision quite easy for you with a nifty menu of after-dinner libations that include single malt scotch and fortified wines such as Port and Sherry.
Not to mention a short but enticing dessert menu. Does a lovely slice of classic creamy cheesecake with a sour cherry compote call your name?
What about a fresh-baked, warm brownie topped with a scoop of ice cream or a made from scratch roasted apple Empanada?
You see just why it will take a tremendous amount of willpower to tear yourself away from this welcoming watering hole.
Location and Hours
117 East 60th Street
New York, NY 10022
Sunday and Monday 11 AM to 1 AM
Tuesday to Saturday 11 AM to 3 AM
Anassa Taverna - Mid-Town East
In Greek, the word anassa is loosely translated to mean,"a breath of fresh air". It is a very appropriate name for this warm and stylish restaurant, where great food and hospitality that comes from the heart are Anassa's calling cards.
Before making your reservation here, please put aside any preconceived notions you may have about what constitutes a quote/unquote Greek restaurant. You won't find any of the cookie-cutter My Big Fat Greek Wedding stereotypes here.
Anassa's kitchen does stay true to tradition. But being authentic doesn't mean that you have to be boring. Here, old recipes are jazzed up with creative modern touches.
An elegant and trend-setting interpretation of a Greek taverna, Anassa takes their guests on a culinary and cultural journey. It's a delicious and scenic ride that you will not soon forget.
All roads lead to the quaint, cobblestone neighborhood of Plaka, a place where the Ya-Yas in every home know how to prepare Moussaka, grape leaves, Gigante Lima beans in tomato sauce as well as fish and meat dishes that will make your mouth water.
In fact, many native Greek tourists and business travelers who have had the pleasure of dining here feel that Anassa rivals anything that they have back home. Now that is the ultimate compliment!
When you enter the restaurant prepare to be whimsically greeted by traditional Greek worry beads and the evil eye. It's all in the spirit of good fun!
The overall decor theme is rustic, but with a touch of luxe and more than a hint of style. Anassa is the kind of place where a Greek shipping magnate would feel right at home entertaining business associates or family.
Before sitting down to dinner, unwind from your busy day by having a drink at the stunning marble bar.
Three wonderful cocktails come to mind that you will enjoy. Mediterranean Nights are comprised of Stoli blueberry, fresh muddled berries and a sprig of mint.
The Anassatini, their signature sip, is made with Tanqueray gin, elderflower liqueur, grapefruit and lime juice.
Prosecco grabs the spotlight in the Orange Sparkler, whose other tasty ingredients include Aperol, blood orange liqueur and fresh-squeezed orange juice.
After you have toasted your love and the upcoming weekend, it's on to dinner in the spectacular main dining area!
Exposed brick walls hold shelves filled with old wine bottles, vases and pottery. Wooden beams run the length of the ceiling while a soft glow is provided by candle-lit lanterns. Lush planters of flowers and greenery are scattered among the polished wood tables and intimate banquettes.
Ya-Ya's favorite soup, Avgolemono is always on the menu. The egg, tender chunks of chicken and the aromatic lemon scent makes this one of the best soups that you'll ever have.
When you come to Anassa with friends and family, be sure to order a selection of Meze, (small plates) for the table. Try a bit of this and a little of that.
Everyone loves the Anassa chips, which are paper thin slices of eggplant and zucchini, lightly fried and served with Tzatziki sauce. Right up there, in terms of popularity, is the Shrimp Saganaki. The addicting taste of meaty, succulent shrimp is accented by a blend of sauteed tomatoes, garlic and mild feta cheese.
Add a few spinach and leek pies together with a plate of seasoned meatballs and grilled Halloumi cheese and you've got yourself a bountiful feast that will satisfy the appetites of everyone at your table.
One of their best-selling entrees is the wild striped bass. As picturesque and different as it is delectable, the fish is seasoned with EVOO, capers and lemon and then wrapped in parchment paper. It is served with an array of rainbow vegetables.
Every day, you can expect different specials including Lamb Shank with lemon potatoes, seafood risotto Greek-style and Dolmades, which is cabbage stuffed with rice, herbs and ground beef inside of a to die for egg and lemon sauce.
If your busy schedule won't permit a vacation in Greece then do the next best thing and spend a few transformational hours at Anassa!
Location and Hours
200 East 60th Street
New York, NY 10022
Monday to Friday 11:30 AM to 3:45 PM
Sunday and Monday 4 PM to 10:30 PM
Tuesday to Thursday 4 PM to 11 PM
Friday and Saturday 4 PM to 11:30 PM
Saturday and Sunday 11:30 AM to 3:45 PM
Bloomingdale's - Midtown East
Wait just a minute you may exclaim; what's a fancy department store like Bloomingdale's doing in an article about great places to eat and drink on the East Side?
Glad that you asked! Founded back in 1861 by Joseph and Lyman Bloomingdale, this world-famous department store has become something of an icon on Manhattan's 59th street.
Over the years, Bloomingdale's has re-invented itself to keep pace with the changing times.
Forever known for their trend-setting women's fashion and menswear, Bloomingdale's also carries a wide selection of jewelry, perfume and accessories as well as luxury furniture and boutique bedding brands.
More recently, the store has added personal shopping services, spa treatments and a bridal registry.
However, one of the best-kept secrets at Bloomingdale's is that they have always had above average food to eat at the various cafes and coffee shops that the store has hosted throughout the decades. Shoppers actually look forward to having a bite to eat in them.
After you read more about these inviting cafes and bakeries you'll know exactly why they are so popular.
Flip - Bloomingdale's Midtown East
Tucked neatly away in a quiet corner of the store, Flip has gained quite a reputation for its signature Mac and Cheese and an incredible selection of Pat LaFrieda blend burgers. If you're really, really hungry from a day of shopping until you drop, then Flip is the place where you want to be.
Located on the lower level near the sprawling men's department, Flip has a hip cafe ambiance.
The decor can be described as being chic yet minimalist, with the odd splash of color here and there. Flip would not be out of place inside the Museum of Modern Art.
Even though the name of the game here is burgers, they've got considerably more to offer. Think salads, appetizers like fried artichoke hearts and soft pretzel bites with Brooklyn Lager cheese sauce and artisan grilled cheese.
Speaking of which, an outstanding grilled cheese option is TheCaprese,, which has thick slices of fresh Mozzarella, roasted tomatoes and pesto sandwiched between a couple of slices of organic country bread.
They've also got a grilled Croque Monsieur that contains a ton of melted Gruyere cheese ,Canadian bacon and a roasted garlic aioli.
Both sandwiches are sided up with old-time crinkle-cut fries. You know that you love 'em.
Those crinkle-cuts bring back memories of childhood at the local neighborhood coffee shop.
You can wash Flip's delicious, meaty and juicy burgers down with an inviting selection of local craft beers and cocktails.
Artisan butcher Pat LaFrieda and his team have outdone themselves with some mighty tasty blends.
The signature Flip Burger is composed of a sweet brisket blend and topped with fried onions and real American cheese. No processed junk here. Served on a warm martin's potato roll, the Flip Burger comes with skinny fries.
Goat cheese, roasted tomatoes and baby arugula top up the Designer Burger which comes on an organic onion and sage brioche roll. Cilantro mayo, which is liberally spread across the bun, takes some of the bite off of the tangy goat cheese.
The Shroomy Burger combines a beef and brisket blend with diced Portobello mushrooms for a flavor that is totally unique. The burger is crowned with a nice slice of Swiss cheese and truffle butter.
At most restaurants, burger fans tend to avoid the turkey option because, healthy though this burger may be, it usually tends to be a little bland. Not so at Flip. Toppings that include Pepper jack cheese, Pico De Gallo, Jalapenos and cilantro crema make this anything but a boring turkey burger.
And just to up the wow factor, this mound of tasty ground turkey is served with ancho chile and salt dusted sweet potato fries.
Location and Hours
1000 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Monday to Sunday 11 AM to 7 PM
Forty Carrots - Bloomingdale's Midtown East
The amazing Forty Carrots brand first introduced frozen yogurt to New York City back in the 1970's. Their low-fat Fro-Yo was a novel taste treat, unlike anything that had been on the market before. Forty Carrots won over the city's ice-cream fans with a menu of delicious flavors and exotic toppings.
More than forty years later, the brand is still going strong and their frozen yogurt is better than ever. And now, the Forty Carrots menu has expanded to include a wide variety of soups, salads, wraps and entrees.
Located on the fourth floor at Bloomingdale's, Forty Carrots has a welcoming, way cool lunch counter ambiance. The cafe is bright and vibrant and there's more than enough room to move around. The emphasis is on better for you breakfast and lunch choices.
Shoppers here just love the $18 Bunched Lunch offer. Hey, you're spending more than enough throughout the store, so why not take advantage of a great deal for lunch?
Enjoy a small signature cup of frozen yogurt plus two of the following items; soup, a green salad, a half sandwich or a 16 ounce fresh squeezed juice. And you just know that carrot juice has to be first and foremost among your options.
Get your salad groove on in the carrot Patch section of the menu. It's going to be hard to choose between the mango chicken salad, classic tuna , chicken Caesar or the fabulous Salade d' Anjou with Bibb lettuce, Anjou pears, Pomegranate and blue cheese.
The kitchen here, though, does what is probably, the very best chopped salad in the city. Here's a list of the ingredients... field greens, avocado, grilled chicken, roasted red and yellow peppers, Swiss cheese, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans. What makes this salad so special, aside from the variety of veggies, is the out of this galaxy grilled onion balsamic vinaigrette.
Entrees come under the menu umbrella of Forty Carrots Fashions. These delectable dishes range from an astounding crab and avocado duet, pasta with grilled veggies and a great veggie burger to a bowl of salmon and wheat berries.
Don't sleep on the turkey sandwich. It is loaded with thick slices of hand-carved turkey and comes with a side of carrot-raisin salad.
During the AM, you can grab a cup of their smooth but rich coffee together with a three-egg omelet or a fresh baked muffin, including, what else, but carrot, among many other varieties.
Location and Hours
1000 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 7:30 PM
Sunday 11 AM to 6 PM
Magnolia Bakery - Bloomingdale's Midtown East
The hit series Sex and The City turned what was a quaint little West Village bake shop into a worldwide phenomenon. The rich, decadent cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery were, after all, Carrie and Miranda's favorite guilty pleasure. Viewers from as far afield as Asia and Europe wanted to know what all the fuss was about and where they could get their hands on such luscious treats.
But, in all fairness, local residents and foodies from across town began lining up to get their hands on a Magnolia Bakery cupcake, pie slice or cookie long before that infamous episode when The Sex and the City ladies visited the shop.
Located on the ground floor of Bloomingdale's on 59th street, Magnolia Bakery has its' own entrance. Walk right in, from inside the store or sidewalk, and get an energy boost from one of their chocolate brownie bars or celebrated cupcakes.
The atmosphere is nice and the decor is vintage cute. The only drawback is that there are not very many seating options. But you can always sit by their picture window and people watch while you take a break from your hectic New York day. A delicious piece of cake or pie just seems to do wonders for a person's outlook, no matter what kind of day they are having.
Breakfast is fresh from the oven every morning. Start your day the right way with a cup of java and one of their muffins like coffee crumb, banana, Cappuccino, blueberry or poppy seed with lemon glaze.
When the conversation turns to Magnolia's celebrated cupcakes, the topics for discussion and tasting are almost endless.
Sure, you can't go wrong with either the anything but basic vanilla or chocolate with buttercream filling cupcake. Feeling a bit feisty and adventurous? Then top your cupcake with some hand-colored sprinkles!
The red velvet cupcake is just sinful enough without being cloyingly sweet. The German chocolate cake variety and Peanut butter and jelly option have received rave reviews from satisfied customers.
But, the pastry chefs here love to experiment and they are coming up with new cupcakes all the time.
One of their newest hits is the Hummingbird, which consists of banana and pineapple cake with a sweet cream cheese icing and toasted pecans.
The Truffle is comprised of rich devil's food cake and a filling of white chocolate. The cupcake is covered in chocolate ganache.
Cool off with one of the bakeries' Ice-Box pies. Available whole or by the slice, flavors include Blueberry Jamboree, Snickers and chocolate pudding. You will want to try them all.
Every day, there are up to a dozen cookie options available to tempt you. You name it, they've got it, from chocolate chunk and coconut macaroon to oatmeal raisin.
Remember the old-school Whoopie Pie cookie? Well, the bakers here have put their own spin on this classic piece of Americana. A smooth and luscious maple flavored cream cheese is sandwiched between two brown sugar cookies to make for an awesome treat.
At Magnolia, they have become almost as famous for their banana pudding as for their baked goods. You will revel in every last morsel of fresh slices of banana, creamy pudding and vanilla wafers. enjoy one on the spot and take a cup home to enhance your late-night TV binge series watching.
If you work in the area, please do whatever it takes to make Magnolia at Bloomies your go-to coffee or lunch break spot. A visit here, even for a few minutes will power you up for the rest of the day.
Location and Hours
1000 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Monday to Friday 7 AM to 9 PM
Saturday and Sunday 8 AM to 8 PM
Amali - Midtown East
Amali's vibrant menu and casual yet stylish ambiance are inspired by the Mediterranean way of life. The culinary concept is farm to table Mediterranean home cooking.
There's nothing pretentious going on in the kitchen here. They are interested in turning out good, solid food rather than dazzling the food critics with all sorts of fancy magic tricks.
Yet, resounding acclaim, from the city's foodie crowd, has managed to come Amali's way. New Yorkers are savvy when it comes to picking and choosing a place to spend their hard-earned dollars. Eateries that lack a solid foundation in the kitchen just don't last long.
Proprietors Steve Tzolis and Nicola Kotsoni are extremely particular about sourcing their ingredients.
They work with a selected few, very reliable farmers and purveyors. To make the partner list at Amali, you have to be very good at what you're doing and practice environmentally sound farming.
But, leave it to Steve and Nicola to take things one step further. Almost all of the fish that you eat at Amali comes from a boat that they have an interest in. The boat and its' crew fish the waters off Montauk and Long Island Sound. You cannot get more authentic than that.
Creating the proper atmosphere, where guests can feel comfortable, is also important to the owners.
The Sopra Room is a huge magnet that draws customers in from throughout the city. Situated on the restaurants' second floor, this inviting and warm dining space was once a loft apartment. The room still retains a very home-like feel to it.
A small kitchen, with a "breakfast" island in the middle of the room, provides a space where guests can watch the chef at work. Picture windows overlook the bustling streets below.
On the main floor, the Skylight room, which adjoins the central dining area, has an 18-foot high glass roof that lets in a ton of natural sunlight.
Capable of accommodating up to forty guests for private parties and corporate meetings, this welcoming space resembles the dining room of a villa on the Italian coast.
And, let's not forget about the cozy Fireplace Room. Rustic and quaint, it offers the perfect setting for a romantic date.
Amali's tempting menu celebrates all that is good about Greek, Italian and Spanish cuisine.
Their appetizers are a melange' of small plates, ranging from antipasto and meze to tapas.
Unless you've been to the South of Italy, you have probably never had chickpea and cauliflower croquettes before with a Calabrian agrodolce chili dip. You won't be able to get enough of this one of a kind dip.
The delicious Octopus a la Plancha is as good as any that you would enjoy at a tapas bar in Spain. At Amali, they serve the octopus with potatoes, roasted peppers.jalapenos and black olives.
A dish of creamy local Burrata is accompanied by celery root and juicy strawberries. Another appetizer that is great for sharing is the spicy Tirokafteri dip. A touch of chili provides just the right amount of kick to this dish of whipped feta and red peppers. just tear off a piece of the warm, perfectly charred pita bread, dip and enjoy.
If you're in the mood for pasta, then order either the Tagliatelle Bolognese or the fiery spaghetti a la Chitarra. Both dishes are true blue Italian all the way.
The entrees are a nice mix of vegetable, meat and fish dishes. The Cascun Farms Chicken Under a Brick has a nice Italian touch with a side of eggplant caponata.
Day Boat scallops are accompanied by English peas and crispy pancetta.
But, perhaps, the standout offering here, (among so many great dishes), is the roasted wild mushrooms with creamy polenta, seasonal greens and a poached egg.
Sweet endings include a never, ever dry Semolina cake with blueberry Mascarpone frosting and a chocolate torte that is topped with candied walnuts and vanilla gelato.
Location and Hours
115 East 60th Street
New York, NY 10022
Monday to Friday 12 PM to 2:30 PM
Monday to Saturday 5:30 PM to 10 PM
Sunday 5:30 PM to 9 PM
Saturday and Sunday...............11:30 AM to 3 PM
Serendipity 3 - Mid-Town East
One cannot write an article that looks at restaurants and cafes in the Bloomingdale's neighborhood without including the most iconic one of them all, Serendipity 3.
Open since 1954, Serendipity 3 just seems to get better with age. This colorful restaurant, which combines a general store and boutique with an out of this world menu of delicious entrees and desserts, is for children of all ages.
The decor is eccentric in a very endearing manner, with Tiffany lampshades set against whitewashed walls. The three floors are furnished with couches, tables and chairs that are straight out of Alice in Wonderland or an Oscar Wilde novel.
Located inside a brownstone, on a relatively sedate street, just steps from Bloomingdale's, Serendipity 3 is all about having fun.
One enters through a boutique that contains everything from colorful vintage knick-knacks and women's handbags and blouses to souvenir Serendipity 3 coffee mugs, cookie jars and 18-ounce canisters of their famous frozen hot chocolate mix.
The restaurant was founded by three roommates who shared a tiny apartment in Little Italy.
Calvin Holt, Patch Carradine and Stephen Bruce were young actors, dancers and fashion designers who had aspirations to make it big in New York. But, they also were tossing around the idea of opening a place unlike anything the city had ever seen before; a boutique and hip coffee and dessert cafe blended into one!
It was Patch who found the word that would turn their fortunes and establish a brand that would come to be loved around the world.
One fateful day, while doing the NY Times crossword puzzle, Patch came across the word Serendipity.
The word was invented by eighteenth-century bon vivant and wordsmith Sir Horace Walpole. According to Serendipity 3's website, serendipity is the art of making happy discoveries or finding the unexpectedly pleasant by chance or sagacity.
Pooling their entire savings of $300, the three roommates placed a down payment on the basement of a brownstone on the East Side. And, the rest is history!
Today, an older but still charismatic and debonair Stephen Bruce still owns Serendipity 3.
He can be seen greeting everyone from celebrities like Bill Clinton and Selena Gomez to awestruck tourists and local families who have stopped in for brunch or a dessert fix!
There are some serious eats to be had here. this food ain't fooling around. From day one, Stephen employed talented chefs who knew exactly what they were doing.
All Casserole dishes are served with a plentiful and healthy Serendip salad. You can indulge in a fabulous chicken pot pie, a savory shepherd's pie or ultra-creamy mac and cheese complete with a potato chip crust.
Entrees de la Maison include country-style meatloaf and mashed potatoes, lemon chicken with asparagus and chicken char-char, which is slices of juicy charbroiled chicken breast served open-faced on garlic rye bread with a mound of greens.
Come hungry and enjoy their famous foot long hot dogs with all the traditional fixings.
The menu also has a couple of delicious sandwiches that you really should check out. The cleverly named A Summer Bries consists of smoked turkey piled high together with sliced apples, alfalfa sprouts and melted brie cheese. It's served on raisin pumpernickel bread.
The Catcher In The Rye is a B.L.T. on steroids with fresh sliced chicken and melted Muenster cheese on rye toast.
And now, let's get to the portion of Serendipity 3's menu that you've been waiting for with baited breath; their larger than life desserts.
Many people come here and literally make a meal out of their gigantic ice cream and frozen confections. That's a great idea, especially on a hot Summer's day.
Their incredible frozen hot chocolate comes in flavors such as peanut butter, salted caramel, mint and white chocolate.
A huge goblet of frozen Espresso or Mochaccino is also available.
Thbananana split literally cannot be handled by just one person. It's the ideal date dessert for two to share.
They have half a dozen varieties of sundaes to choose from. Most come with three scoops of ice cream, so when we say every dessert here is HUGE, we mean it!
A generous slice of Southern pecan pie forms the base of the Insanity Sundae. The pie is topped with butter pecan ice cream, hot fudge, a maple-walnut compote and house-made whipped cream.
As the Beatles once sang it's " Strawberry Fields Forever". You'll get right into the spirit of the song when you have Serendipity's fruit filled sundae which is named after the Lennon and McCartney hit.
A creamy slice of cheesecake is topped with strawberry ice cream, whipped cream and strawberry preserves.
Location and Hours
225 East 60th Street
New York, NY 10022
Monday to Sunday 10 AM to 1 AM
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