With so many restaurants and bars to choose from it can be a whirlwind of planning and making reservations before you even reach Manhattan. Many popular restaurants are booked up 2-5 weeks in advance so for those who like to plan I advise you to start 2-3 months before your departure date to New York if you have a special restaurant in mind (perhaps even further in advance if you’re traveling during a holiday).
For those who don’t enjoy deciding where you’re going to dine far in advance and want to keep schedules open I would recommend you hit the Grand Central Station Oyster Bar during your visit which is conveniently located in Grand Central Station (a place you should visit anyways). After you’ve checked out this iconic hub of transportation, film location and historic meeting ground with gorgeous art and architecture, as well as taking classic pics of the famed clock, head down to the lower level to the food court where you can find the 100+ year old Oyster Bar. At the food court you’ll find gelato, cafes, and my favourite, freshly shucked oysters and seafood. No reservations necessary!
I enjoyed the oysters Rockefeller, a huge platter of Eastern raw oysters on ice, and glass of chablis all within a glowing room of gold lighting and reflective tiled arched ceilings (by architect Rafael Guastavino).
Don’t be frightened by the potentially long line up and busy dinning room. The line up goes fast and people are in and out to catch a train or continue on their way to the next bucket list landmark. But you should take your time, relax and order a few more oysters or a dessert to celebrate the fact that you’re in New York.
More New York
Per Se: A Foodie’s Costly Pilgrimage
Tenement Museum Food Tour
30 Rockefeller Murals by Josep Maria Sert
Searching for Classic NY Pizza: Grimaldi’s Pizza
Olive Oil Tasting at Eataly
An Italian Theme Park for Foodies