The Big Apple vibrates with diversity, entertainment and experiences. This is also true when it comes to eating in New York. And so, throughout the city you will find everything from fast food places, gourmet, or the most sophisticated luxury, to fusions as traditional as unusual. That is Manhattan.
If your trip takes you to Rockefeller Center because you are going to climb to the Top of theRocky and you want to plan your gastronomic route through the area, here are some suggestions of places for all tastes and budgets.
By the way, if you go to Rockefeller Center at Christmas, be aware that many of these restaurants are very crowded, so consider making a reservation in advance.
1. Bill's Bar & Burger, one of the best burgers in Manhattan
At Bill's Bar & Burger you will be able to taste good American food: incredible burgers, dream shakes for fans of sweets, various fried foods and more than 80 types of beer. What better combination?
Bill's opened its doors in 2009 with a location in the Meatpacking District and was a hit with burger connoisseurs and New Yorkers in general. So a year later, they opened this restaurant in Rockefeller Center, which has already established itself among the best in the Big Apple.
The restaurant is very spacious, with capacity for 400 diners, has two floors, high and low tables and a very nice decoration. The waiters are super friendly and efficient, so it is an ideal place to recover energy from your walk.
- Where: 16 West 51st Street / 5th Avenue (Rockefeller Center)
- Hours: Every day from 11:30 am to 9:00 pm
- Average price per person: 25 € to 30 €.
- Recommended dish: The Bill's Burger and Fat Cat (CNN top 10 burger award)
- Ideal for: families, travelers, couples and even large groups
2. The best Bagels, another New York "must", at Black Seed Bagels
There is no New York without bagels, so I could not fail to recommend Black Seed Bagels. It is an excellent option and suitable for every meal of the day. Sweet or savory, this kind of bread, but shaped like a donut, is filled with countless ingredients that no palate can refuse.
At Black Seed Bagels, the bagels are artisanal and are made by Chef Dianna Daoheung, since 2014 when she opened her doors. They have their own style that mixes New York baking techniques with those of Montreal (another place where bagels are the star).
They have a very tempting variety of these bagels: sandwich-style, pizza-style and they even offer gluten-free options. A quick and tasty proposal for when you finish your walk through Rockefeller Center and the Top of the Rock.
- Where: 30 Rockefeller Plaza Concourse Level
- Hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 am - 3:00 pm / Saturday and Sunday 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
- Average price per person: 10 to 15 euros
- Recommended dish: Salmon Classic / Pastrami Reuben
- Ideal for: families, travelers, couples
3. Limani: Mediterranean flavors from Greece to Manhattan.
If you feel like taking a break from fast food and want to treat yourself to something different, Limani is a great option.
This restaurant will make you feel right in the middle of the Mediterranean. Seafood, fish, first class olive oil, organic vegetables and even capers from Santorini. All quality products, integrated in typical Greek dishes, that will make you forget for a moment that you are in Rockefeller Center.
Chef M. J. Alam is in charge of ensuring that diners enjoy the most authentic Mediterranean flavor, thanks to the use of regional and seasonal products that make his dishes unique.
With an elegant decor, a quiet atmosphere and served by a team that stands out for its friendliness, Limani offers a different proposal in the area and where you will surely eat very well.
- Where: 45 Rockefeller Plaza
- Hours: Monday to Thursday 12:00 - 23:00 h / Friday and Saturday 12:00 - 00:00 h /Sunday 15:00 - 22:00 h
- Average price per person: 50 €.
- Recommended dish: Octopus / Fava Puree
- Ideal for: couples, friends, business
4. Hama Japanese Cuisine if you are looking for good sushi near the Top of the Rock
If what you're missing is good sushi, you can also find it in Rockefeller Center. Hama Japanese Cuisine is perhaps one of the best in the city. As soon as you walk in you can see the chef preparing the sushi live and feel the Asian imprint that you will later taste in their dishes.
It is located in a basement and the decoration is sober so it is not the most remarkable thing. But the quality of the food, the raw material and the excellent service of the whole team will leave you wanting to repeat your visit to Hama Japanese Cuisine.
- Where: 11 West 51st Street Lower Level
- Hours: Monday to Friday: Lunch 11:45 am - 2:45 pm / Dinner: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm / Closed Saturday and Sunday
- Average price per person: 40
- Recommended dish: Sushi / Vegetable Tempura
- Ideal for: Couples, friends
5. Beatnic, the vegan and vegetarian option in Rockefeller Center
Avoiding running into a burger in New York City is a challenge. If vegetarian/vegan is your gastronomic genre and you're in search of a good restaurant that can accommodate you, Beatnic is your place.
This restaurant, which took over from By Chloe after the pandemic and changing its name but keeping its values, has managed to position itself strongly in the vegan sector. It offers a modern and relaxed atmosphere for a very creative menu based on burgers, sandwiches, salads and homemade baked goods.
Pure innovation in a menu that has nothing to envy to carnivores. Affordable prices, vegan values and a proposal in the best New York style, put Beatnic on the list of recommendations without hesitation.
- Where: 1 Rockefeller Plaza
- Hours: daily 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
- Average price per person: 15
- Recommended dish: Hamburgers
- Ideal for: friends, travelers, couple, family
6. Del Frisco's Grille, where meat is the protagonist
An excellent option for meat lovers. Del Frisco's Grille has a modern menu that combines good food with an extensive offer of cocktails and drinks for a pleasant time. Have lunch with family, dinner with friends or enjoy a happy hour after a hard day's work (or why not, sightseeing!).
The atmosphere is cozy, spacious walls decorated with more than 700 bottles of wine, modern artwork and a large outdoor patio, give Del Frisco's Grille, that New York touch that makes it vibrate.
And its wood-fired oven is the one that allows the magic, the one that will leave you wanting to come back. Top quality steaks, wood-fired bread, salads and fresh seafood complete the most tempting menu in Rockefeller Center.
- Where: 50 Rockefeller Plaza
- Hours: Sundays: 12:00 - 21:00 h / Mondays: 11:00 - 21:00 h / Tuesday to Thursday: 11:00 - 22:00 h / Friday: 11:00 - 23:00 h / Saturday: 12:00 - 23:00 h
- Average price per person: 60 €
- Recommended dish: Filet Mignon
- Ideal for: couple, friends, family
7. Piccola Cucina, authentic Sicilian food with a New York flair
This restaurant has 100% Sicilian roots thanks to its Chef Philip Guardione and all his staff. The creativity combined with the diverse flavors and typical products of the region, make Piccola Cucina Uptown, one of the best Italian food options in New York.
It is about a 10-minute walk from Rockefeller Center, but it is worth it if you are looking for the best homemade pasta and quality.
The atmosphere is authentic, fresh, and that is expressed in the attention of the staff, attentive and professional, with the charisma that characterizes the Italians.
Inside the space is small, but cozy and also has an outdoor terrace, where you can spend a beautiful evening with Italian flavors.
- Where: 106 East 60th Street
- Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 11:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. / Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
- Average price per person: 30
- Recommended dish: Green tagliatelle with wild boar ragout /Tiramisu
- Ideal for: couple, friends
8. The Elgin, a pub with personality and delicious food
This bar, reminiscent of an authentic Irish pub, is everything that's right when it's time to enjoy a few beers after a long day of walking around Rockefeller Center.
It is the fulfilled dream of four friends who since childhood and despite the fact that life took them on different paths, kept the idea of starting a bar together. And that effort, work and passion is reflected in The Elgin.
A pleasant, modern, spacious inside and out. And with a very simple and tempting proposal, " low prices for wonderful food".
At The Elgin you can try anything from a sausage pizza to a French burger or fried chicken. All accompanied by a good craft beer, a rich wine, whiskey or their signature lemonade. All this is The Elgin, a place to relax, enjoy good atmosphere, good music and casual dining.
- Where: 64 West 48th Street
- Hours: Monday, Tuesday and Saturday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm / Wednesday and Thursday 11:00 am - 12:00 pm / Friday 11:00 am - 11:00 pm / Sunday 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
- Average price per person: 25 €.
- Recommended dish: The French Onion Soup Burger
- Ideal for: friends, family
9. Sweetgreen, healthy and fast food if you don't want to spend time eating
If you don't want to spend money on calories and what you are looking for is to eat healthy to renew your energy and continue your visit to Rockefeller Center, I recommend Sweetgreen. A place where you can eat tasty and cheap, without forgetting that it can also be healthy and with sustainable values.
Sweetgreen was founded in 2007, as a start-up by three friends who saw the opportunity to launch an enterprise in which quality does not sacrifice price.
A place where you can quickly make your own salad bowls to your liking and with fresh seasonal ingredients, all of which come from organic agriculture and communities that support this project with the same passion.
- Where: 30 Rockefeller Plaza
- Hours: Monday to Friday 10:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. / Saturday and Sunday: closed
- Average price per person: 10
- Recommended dish: any salad to your liking
- Ideal for: travelers, friends, family, couples
10. Magnolia Bakery, the famous cupcakes of Sex and the City
I couldn't leave Magnolia Bakery, one of Manhattan's (and the world's!) most famous bakeries, out of this list.
Its popularity has been consolidated over time thanks to its desserts and baked goods, which earned a place in the hearts of New Yorkers.
Mainly cupcakes with buttercream, cheesecake, handmade decorated cakes and banana pudding.
Today you can find them in several places in the city, but they still have the same seal and quality as the first day and that led them to be an icon of 10 TV & movie locations in New York City. So much so that you can buy a vanilla cupcake called "Carrie".
Useful information about Magnolia Bakery
- Where: 1240 Sixth Avenue
- Hours: daily from 09:00 - 21:00h
- Average price per person: 5
- Recommended dish: Banana pudding / Cupcakes
- Ideal for: travelers, friends, family, couples, everyone!