Eating in Midtown New York: The foodies are returning to Midtown! In recent years, far-flung locations of Brooklyn and Queens have garnered the interest of the food elite of New York City. Not to mention, real New Yorkers cringe at the thought of spending time in this area typically designated for tourists and commuters. However, thanks to a single restaurant, proudly perched on Madison Avenue, the food snobs have united in their glorious return to the glitz and glamour of Midtown Manhattan.
11 Madison Park is the best restaurant in America. This is not an overstatement; it was actually named the best restaurant in the country in 2014 and currently sits as #5 internationally in the company of (the infamous) Nomo of Copenhagen and El Cellar in Spain. However, 11 Madison Park is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the world-renowned chefs sprinkled across Madison Ave and beyond. Eating in midtown New York is truly the Hollywood Walk of Fame equivalent for chefs and restaurateurs.
The excellent news for travellers looking to spend a day eating in Midtown New York, is that you can experience some of the world’s best food at a variety of price points. The selection of internationally celebrated chefs in the neighborhood include David Chang and Christina Tosi (2015’s Best Pastry Chef internationally) of Momofuku restaurant group, Thomas Keller, Danny Meyer and countless others. To maximize your culinary experience, we’ve created the perfect quick eating itinerary for a Chic Foodie experience.
Head to The Shop for a Cup o’ Joe (or a spot of tea). As ultra big chain-brand cafes flood Midtown, we suggest awakening your senses and sensibility here with nationally beloved coffee from roasters ‘Café Grumpy’ and farm-to-table cuisine with one of the best views in Midtown. Situated on the first floor of Andaz 5th Ave Hotel, The Shop showcases the ‘finest purveyors of fine foods in New York City’ while overlooking the iconic New York Public Library — which is a great jumping-off point for exploring. We love such dishes as Pop’s Skillet Scramble and the Lemon Soufflé Pancakes.
For lunch, you should head to Má Pêche. It’s the fourth restaurant from David Chang of Momofuku, located in the Chambers Hotel. David is a world famous chef, television personality, and author. He has restaurants all over the globe, from Sydney to Toronto and 2 Michelin stars to his name. At Má Pêche, you can find an Asian infused menu with highlights being his signature pork dishes and sophisticated take on rice noodles. One your way out, you can grab a sweet treat from Christina Tosi at Milk Bar. As mentioned earlier, Christina Tosi is the best pastry chef in the country and notably the first female judge to join Master Chef. The two most popular items are definitely the crack pie and the cereal milk ice cream. Both are well worthwhile, but for something lighter and quicker, we love all her cookie options, especially Blueberry and Cream.
It’s almost 5 pm and we encourage you to head to Chef Danny Meyer’s The Modern and occupy space at the bar called Bar Room. Here you can experience some well-priced light bites and amazing cocktails. Danny is somewhat of a New York City legend. With over 26 James Beard awards to his name and a New York Times best selling author, Danny serves happy food like stuffed potatoes and fried Oysters in an atmosphere as exciting and energetic as the art that fills the MoMa next door. Cocktails are playfully named, like the ‘One-Way Ticket’ (Bourbon, Dandelion-Bergamot Tea, Lemon, Brown Rice Sugar) and ‘Buzzword’ (Honeyed Gin, Chartreuse, Lime, Vanilla, Licorice, Rhubarb Bitters). Be sure to save room for wine at dinner.
11 Madison Park is worth the money — we promise you. At close to $300 per person, we don’t make that statement lightly. This is more than a meal, the tasting menu lasts nearly 3 hours with over a dozen courses carefully chosen by Swiss Chef Daniel Humm each day. Interactive elements in the food’s presentation create a symbiotic relationship between the kitchen and the diners. The restaurant itself has been around for nearly a decade and has garnered consistent accolades from food critics and accumulated many awards. Humm has been described as a risk-taker, frequently changing the menu and the format of the restaurant and keeping critical foodies on their toes. But it is his most recent menu transformation that has earned himself a place on the international stage. In collaboration with Will Guidara, restaurateur and hotelier (of the wildly popular NoMad Hotel), they threw out the ‘a la carte’ menu option all together in order to focus on creating a very specific journey for the guest. A journey that ties into local elements and themes of New York City has been welcomed with mixed reviews, but it is the food that is the star of the show and will exceed your every expectation.
Thomas Keller is one of America’s most famous chefs and the man behind the infamous French Laundry. He also has quite a sweet tooth, which you can experience at Bouchon Bakery at Rockefeller Center. Some of the most popular items include; TKO (Thomas Keller Oreo), The Giant Macaroon, and The Dulce de Leche Éclair
Tip: we suggest picking up one of his earth shattering confections in the afternoon to be consumed back at your hotel later in the evening.