Cool Places to Eat & Drink When You’re Stuck in Midtown East

Midtown East is an unfortunate and desolate food vacuum. I work in the area and when I have to plan a meeting over coffee, lunch or happy hour, I get stressed out trying to find a restaurant or café. Luckily, I have discovered some actual cool spots in the area, and they’ve become my go-to’s.

Here’s what to look for when you’re struggling in the food desert that is Midtown East.

Woops! Bakery (2nd ave between 60th and 61st)

Prime coffee date material over here. I’ve only been in the one on 2nd avenue, but it looks like there is one on 3rd ave as well. With white tiled floors and tables, the place is very cute, airy, bright and serves up a good cup o’Joe. (I don’t think I’ve ever said “Cup of Joe” out loud.)

Photo courtesy of Woops! Bakery

What to order:

  • Coffee (duh)
  • Also one of those giant, warm cookies. I tried the dark chocolate cookie and almost died it was so delish.
Photo courtesy of Woops! Bakery

Pullman Kitchen (2nd ave between 50th and 51st)

My all-around go-to. Whenever I have a business lunch meeting, or just want to meet a friend for dinner, this is the coolest place to eat in the area, and I am their Number 1 Fan. It gives off hipstery vibes, but in a good way, and their food is impressive. Sometimes in Midtown East, you just have to settle for a decent restaurant, but in this case, you feel like you stumbled upon something really special. Pats on the back to you.

Pullman Tots
Photo courtesy of Pullman Kitchen

What to order:

  • The Buffalo tots – buffalo chicken and bleu cheese draped over TOTS. It’s unbelievable, maybe one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.
  • The Pullman Classic – a rustic, crispy grilled cheese for adults. Get it with waffle fries, not  a salad, because you can.
  • The Green Lantern – a massive burger with smoked gouda, basil mayo, caramelized onions and avocado. It’s just not fair how good this is.
Photo courtesy of Pullman Kitchen

The Jeffrey (60th street between 1st and 2nd ave)

This is the cool happy hour spot you need. Discounted drinks from 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., and then late night deals from 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.) The squeeze down the tiny hallway to the bar is worth it for the chill vibes, artisanal cocktails and outdoor back patio. Who knew this place was here? I guess me, for a while.

Photo courtesy of The Jeffrey

What to order:

  • Sriracha peas make a good snack, plus they are DELICIOUS. 
  • Charcuterie plate: Self-explanatory goodness.
  • “That Good Green” cocktail: cucumber basil infused Spring 44 Gin, Gunpowder Green Tea Honey, Green chartreuse and lemon.
Photo courtesy of The Jeffrey

Good luck with finding anything cooler in Midtown East.

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