Midtown on the East Side, from Fifth Avenue to the East River, from 42nd to 57th streets.
Grand Central Station with its high ceiling full of stars and the Campbell Apartment, the United Nations headquarters in Midtown overlooking the East River, the Chrysler Building shooting into the sky with its Art Deco glory — what part of New York City is more iconic than Midtown on the East Side?
Living in Midtown East
From the lofty, star-bedecked ceiling of Grand Central Station to the Art Deco grandeur of the Chrysler Building, Midtown East boasts more than its fair share of New York City icons. Yet there are also spots of serenity tucked between the photo-op architecture. Tree-lined streets and the close proximity of both Central Park and the East River create a timeless New York cityscape to enjoy. Many residents take advantage of tranquil riverside views from their Midtown East apartment rooftop decks. And with a central location not far from subway hubs like Times Square, you can get just about anywhere in Manhattan in under half an hour.
Midtown East real estate
Modern condos comprise some of the most desirable Midtown East real estate. These towering skyscrapers give residents bird’s-eye views over the city, with light-flooded floorplans. Loft layouts and oversized windows help contribute to this effect. High-end lifestyle features include parking and health clubs, along with unique touches like limestone baths in condos like 250 East 49th Street. In more traditional pre-war co-ops, you can expect foyers bedecked in marble and sizable bathtubs.
Apartment complex Tudor City is a hidden enclave near the United Nations Headquarters, on the southern reaches of Midtown East. Architect Fred F. French designed this bijou city-within-a-city in the mid-1920s. With four parks and ornate architecture, the development’s 11 buildings were expertly converted into co-ops in the mid-1980s. Many include fitness centers, rooftop decks and impressive lounge areas. These Midtown East apartments are still coveted for their secluded location and period features.
Midtown East history
For centuries, Lower Manhattan served as the center of New York’s economic life. Yet with the rebuilding of Grand Central in the 1920s, Midtown East became an important financial center for the city. This helped transform a sleepy residential and agricultural area into a new, thriving business district. Grand Central Terminal arrived in 1913, inspiring the regeneration of the blocks around it. Urban planners built Park Avenue over an old rail yard, with new skyscrapers spiraling up into the sky.
It was a new street of dreams for the city, framed by neoclassical architecture. New York’s moneyed elite migrated from their Fifth Avenue mansions over to these new apartment hotels, in what would become a glittering shopping district with the arrival of department stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue. Meanwhile, Midtown East also attracted new sleek advertising agencies, law firms and corporations. The area surrounding Grand Central Station is still a thriving hub of business, commerce and upscale dining today.
Midtown East restaurants
With so many offices located in the neighborhood, there’s often a lunchtime rush in Midtown East. Delis, pizza parlors and food carts are thick on the ground, particularly along the main avenues. Street vendors offer more than the standard hot dogs and pretzels here. A prime example is the innovative fusion cuisine at Yogi Korean BBQ Tacos, a food truck marrying the flavors of Greek and Korean food in perfect harmony. Uncle Gussy’s is another food cart hotspot, dishing up fresh Greek platters to the midday crowd.
For those who aren’t on the go, there are plenty of sit-down options including French bistros, Italian cafes and upscale Mediterranean restaurants like Fig & Olive. Here you can sample olive oil flights while seated among fragrant rosemary plants and potted olive trees. Grand Central Station is a foodie haven, home to a whopping 35 dining options plus its very own market. The Grand Central Market includes outposts from NYC staples like Eli Zabar’s Farm to Table, Murray’s Cheese and the Pescatore Seafood Company. And the station’s vintage Oyster Bar and Restaurant is legendary for its extensive wine list, not to mention 30 varieties of fresh oysters.
Midtown East attractions
Grand Central Terminal is a major transit hub for the city, but it’s also a worthy attraction for its Beaux-Arts splendor. Look up from the elegant Italian marble furnishings in the main concourse to view the vaulted ceiling. It’s adorned with painted constellations designed by French artist Paul César Helleu, and capped with a monumental sculpture depicting Greek figures Mercury, Hercules and Minerva. Docent-led or self-guided audio tours provide a fascinating look at this New York treasure.
The United Nations Headquarters is also positioned here along the East River. When you pass through the visitors’ gates, you’ll enter an international territory owned by the UN’s 193 Member States. Tours are available, and you can also visit a bookstore, gift shop and café. Exhibitions line the walls of the UN’s public spaces, showcasing of-the-moment topics like climate change and human rights.
Midtown East shopping
Midtown East is a premier shopping destination rife with renowned department stores and glamorous boutiques. Bergdorf Goodman, nestled in the corner near Central Park South, is a neighborhood staple for fashionable Midtown East residents. Madison Avenue is lined with both designer boutiques and high street retailers like Express. Fifth Avenue is another shopping hotspot. It hosts internationally famous names like Tiffany & Co., Saks Fifth Avenue and the Gucci flagship store.
Midtown East events
You won’t find flashy nightclubs here. Instead, low-key sports pubs and hotel lounges characterize Midtown East nightlife. There’s a full calendar of events on offer in these venues, such as live music nights at the Pig & Whistle Irish Pub. The magnificent setting of Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall is a popular location for museum, charity and social galas with its pink marble and golden chandeliers.
"Midtown East is home to some of the city's most iconic buildings, including Empire State, Chrysler, and the United Nations. The area feels like an international village with cross samples of the world's cuisine, and traditional businesses."
What's In The Area: Midtown East
Local tips and information for going out in the Midtown East from The Corcoran Group. Explore dining, shopping and nightlife.All Midtown East tips