Aside from some people who live deep in Bushwick and pride themselves on “avoiding Times Square like the plague” (while probably getting the actual, non-figurative plague in their decrepit studio apartments), most New Yorkers and visitors to the city find themselves in Midtown from time to time. Whether you’re taking your grandparents to see Wicked, hitting up a show at MoMA, catching a bus at Port Authority, or, you know, actually working in the neighborhood, it’s crucial to have some go-to restaurants and bars to call upon in times of need.
Yes, the area is strewn with overpriced tourist traps and soul-sucking after-work spots full of tie-loosening bozos. But it’s also home to some truly great eating and drinking experiences, from revered temples of fine-dining to under-the-radar izakayas and—believe it or not—a handful of bars that actually don’t suck. You just have to know where to look. To help you out, we’ve compiled a handy list of our favorite spots, both new and old, that you can find around the Theater District, Radio City, and all the other landmarks of the unavoidable ‘hood. Enter here to unlock the best of Midtown.