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North America > United States of America > Mid-Atlantic > New York (state) > Metro New York > New York City > Manhattan > Manhattan/Gramercy Flatiron

Gramercy Flatiron

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In the shadow of the skyscrapers of Midtown sit some of Manhattan's most colorful and vibrant neighborhoods. Busy Flatiron is one of the borough's most active shopping and entertainment districts, situated between Union Square and Madison Square Park, two of the most popular meeting places for Manhattanites. Just to the east is quiet Gramercy, a residential neighborhood centered around the park of the same name and holding some of the most pleasant streets in Manhattan. North of Madison Square Park, the bustle of Midtown spills over into this historic neighborhood, filled with shops and grand old buildings.

Understand[edit]

This area derives its name from two New York landmarks - the Gramercy Park and the Flatiron Building. The loosely-defined "Flatiron District" extends east from 6th Avenue and north of Union Square, centering on the famed Flatiron Building on 23rd Street. Tranquil, exclusive Gramercy Park is open only to immediate area residents, though the old brownstones surrounding the park and on Irving Place are some of Manhattan's most attractive streetscapes. Union Square was completely revitalized in the 1990s and is now one of the city's premier shopping, dining and entertainment districts. Toward the north is Kips Bay, an affluent residential neighborhood. There's also a sub-neighborhood comprising approximately 26th-29th Sts. on and around Lexington Av., which is nicknamed "Curry Hill," due to the agglomeration of Indian stores and restaurants there.

Get in[edit]

Map of Manhattan/Gramercy Flatiron

You can get in via many different subway lines. The 6 line runs under Park Avenue, stopping at 28th St., 23rd St., and 14th St./Union Square, with the 4 and 5 stopping at Union Square as well. The R and W lines run under Broadway, stopping at 28th St., 23rd St., and 14th St./Union Square, with the N and Q also stopping at Union Square. The F and M lines run under 6th Avenue, stopping at 14th St. and 23rd St. The L train runs under 14th St., stopping at 1st Av., 3rd Av., Union Square, and 6th Av. Additionally, PATH trains to Hoboken and Jersey City, New Jersey stop at 14th and 23rd Sts. on 6th Avenue. There are plenty of local buses, but they can be slow, especially on crosstown routes and on Park Av. South. Time allowing, walking is highly recommended.

See[edit]

Landmarks[edit]

Empire State Building viewed from below
  • 1 Empire State Building, 350 5th Ave (at 34th St; Subway:  B  D  F  M  N  Q  R  W  to 34th St), +1 212 736-3100. Daily 8AM-2AM. A legend from the moment it was finished in 1931, the Empire State Building was easily the tallest building not just in New York, but the entire world for many years before being overtaken by another New York landmark - the twin towers of the World Trade Center. With the destruction of those two buildings, the Empire State Building was once again the tallest building in the city, but that lasted less than eleven years. But even though it's no longer the tallest, it remains iconic and one of the city's biggest tourist attractions. Expect long lines, and a lot of them - you'll have to wait in line to pass through a security checkpoint, wait in line to get tickets, wait in line for the elevators, and then make your way through the crowd on the outdoor observation deck on the 86th floor. One way to deal with the lines is to buy an express line ticket, which will bring you to the front of any line, but it will more than double the cost of your ticket. Another option is to visit very early in the day or late in the evening, when the lines will be considerably shorter. Despite the long lines and inevitable tourist kitsch, the views are excellent and the experience of being outdoors on top of New York City is a great one. Note that hawkers outside the building may try to tell you there is a very long line inside and that they can get you tickets to cut the line for some exorbitant price; before believing them, go inside and check the actual wait time which is clearly written on the electronic boards. $32 adults, $29 seniors (62+), $26 children (6-12), free for military in full uniform/children under 6 (tickets to 102nd floor observatory are $20 extra; express line tickets also sold). Empire State Building on Wikipedia Empire State Building (Q9188) on Wikidata
  • 2 New York Public Library, 455 5th Ave (between 40th and 42nd Sts), +1 212 340-0833. M,Th-Sa 11AM-6PM, Tu-W 11AM-7:30PM, closed Su. The main branch of the New York Public Library (officially the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building), this is the grand structure flanked by lions on both sides of the entrance. Inside you'll see impressive architecture, long hallways, and beautifully designed reading rooms. Free. New York Public Library Main Branch on Wikipedia New York Public Library Main Branch (Q7013887) on Wikidata

The Flatiron District contains three great examples of classic New York skyscrapers, all within a few blocks of one another:

  • 3 Flatiron Building, 23rd St (Broadway and 5th Ave; Subway:  R  W  to 23rd St). An iconic building, considered the oldest remaining skyscraper in Manhattan, the Flatiron was completed in 1902. 285 ft (87 m) tall. Flatiron Building on Wikipedia Flatiron Building (Q220728) on Wikidata
The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower (right) and North Building (left) as seen from West 24th Street just off of Fifth Avenue
  • 4 Metropolitan Life Insurance Building, 24th St and Madison Ave. A lovely building with a tall clock tower just across Madison Ave from Madison Square Park. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower on Wikipedia Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower (Q652452) on Wikidata
  • 5 International Toy Center, 200 5th Av. (between 23rd and 25th Sts). Actually two buildings connected by a pedestrian bridge, this complex was long a hub for toy manufacturers. Toy Center on Wikipedia Toy Center (Q7830506) on Wikidata

Museums and galleries[edit]

  • 6 Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, 28 East 20th St, +1 212 260-1616. Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM, closed Federal holidays. A designated National Historic Site, Roosevelt lived at this site from his birth in 1858 until the age of 14 years. The building is not the original - that was demolished in 1916 - but a reconstruction erected by admirers only three years later in 1919 after Roosevelt's death, and subsequently furnished with many of the original fittings and memorabilia of the 26th US President by Roosevelt's wife and sisters. $3 adults, children under 16 free, guided tours available. Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site on Wikipedia Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site (Q904191) on Wikidata
  • 7 Museum of Sex, 233 Fifth Ave (at 27th Street), +1 212 689-6337. Su-F 11AM-6:30PM, Sa 11AM-8PM. $14.50. Museum of Sex on Wikipedia Museum of Sex (Q1322466) on Wikidata

Parks and gardens[edit]

  • 8 Union Square (Subway:  4  5  6  L  N  Q  R  to 14th St-Union Sq). An important and historic intersection in New York City, situated where Broadway and the Bowery came together in the early 19th century. Union Square Park (3.5 acres) is known for its impressive equestrian statue of George Washington, erected to Henry Kirke Brown's design in 1856. In April 1861, soon after the fall of Fort Sumter, Union Square was the site of a patriotic rally that is thought to have been the largest public gathering in North America up to that time. A newer addition, added in 1986, is a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the southwest corner of the park. Union Square is also known for its Greenmarket and also its history as a focus for political demonstrations, most recently protests of the 2004 Republican National Convention. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Union Square became a primary public gathering point for mourners and those seeking information about missing loved ones. People created spontaneous memorials in Union Square, and the square was the setting for vigils held to honor the victims of the attacks. Union Square, Manhattan on Wikipedia Union Square (Q110007) on Wikidata
  • 9 Madison Square Park (between 5th and Madison Avs. from 23rd to 26th Sts; Subway:  R  W  to 23rd St). A lovely small park which offers beautiful views of the Flatiron, Metropolitan Life Insurance, International Toy Center, and Empire State Buildings. There is also a popular Shake Shack kiosk that serves burgers and shakes in the southern end of the park. Madison Square on Wikipedia Madison Square and Madison Square Park (Q110000) on Wikidata
  • 10 Gramercy Park. A private park open only to immediate area residents and guests at hotels on the perimeter who have access to keys to the gate. Gramercy Park on Wikipedia Gramercy Park (Q1191972) on Wikidata
Bryant Park, with the Public Library in the background
  • 11 Bryant Park, Main Library, 42nd St and 6th Ave (Subway:  B  D  F  M  to 42nd St,  7  to 5th Av), +1 212 768-4242, fax: +1 212 719-3499, e-mail: . Located behind the Main Library, this shady park is an excellent spot to relax and get some good views of the surrounding skyscrapers. The park has free wireless internet, a children's carousel, several food and drink kiosks, and seasonal shows such as Fashion Week. Bryant Park on Wikipedia Bryant Park (Q995174) on Wikidata

Do[edit]

  • 1 People’s Improv Theater, 123 E 24th St, +1 212 563-7488. Dedicated to the instruction, performance and development of original comedy. Wednesdays are free!
  • 2 Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Pl (between 15th and 16th St), +1 212 777-6800. A popular concert venue that regularly hosts rock and hip-hop concerts as well as the occasional comedy show. Irving Plaza on Wikipedia Irving Plaza (Q3154621) on Wikidata
  • 3 Gramercy Theatre, 127 East 23rd Street (at Lexington Ave), +1 212 614-6932. An old theater that now serves as a small rock concert venue. Gramercy Theatre on Wikipedia Gramercy Theatre (Q5593640) on Wikidata

Buy[edit]

The landmark clock keeping time for passersby outside of 200 5th Ave
  • 1 ABC Carpet & Home, 888 Broadway (at 19th St). A sprawling NYC department store occupying two landmark buildings, it is considered by many to be an iconic institution in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. Its offerings include furniture, rugs, lighting, accessories and more.
  • 2 Eataly, 200 5th Ave (corner of 23 St.). This is a branch of an Italian shopping center, which styles itself as a place to "savor high quality traditional Italian food products and beverages along with local produce and artisanal products." Many different products are for sale, including not only produce but cheese, wine, olive oil, and sweets, and there are also several places to eat hot food. Anyone who enjoys shopping or window-shopping for food-related products is likely to enjoy walking through.
  • 3 Kalustyan's, 123 Lexington Av., +1 212 685-3451, fax: +1 212 683-8458. M-Sa 10AM-8PM, Su/Holiday 11AM-7PM. Probably the most complete source for Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and South Asian foodstuffs in Manhattan, though some of the spices and such cost more than you'd pay at the smaller Dual in the East Village. While you're there, make sure to go upstairs and get some mujadara. Some of the other prepared products are just OK, but the mujadara is great. Eat in or take out.
  • 4 Paragon Sports, 867 Broadway (at 18th St.), +1 212 255-8889, toll-free: +1-800-961-3030, e-mail: . Monday-Friday: 10AM - 8:30PM; Saturday 10AM - 8PM; Sunday: 11AM - 7PM. This is generally considered one of the better sporting goods stores in Manhattan. It's pretty large and has a lot of equipment you might want for your next trip. It pays to check whether anything is on sale. For example, there are often some good sales on hiking boots. The sales staff is generally helpful and will work with you to help you find what you want. They often recommend items they themselves use, and not the most expensive items.
Union Square

Eat[edit]

Koreatown

In the low 30s near Herald Square is Koreatown, an emerging Little Korea of BBQ restaurants and Asian markets centered on 32nd St. between 5th Avenue and Broadway.

  • 1 Ai Fiori, on the 2nd floor of the Langham Place Hotel, 400 5th Av. between 36th and 37th Sts. (By subway:  B  D  F  M  N  Q  R  W  to 34th St/Herald Sq), +1 212 613-8660. Breakfast Daily 7-10:30AM (limited menu in bar/lounge only Sa-Su); Lunch Daily 11:45AM-2:30PM (limited menu in bar/lounge only Sa-Su); Dinner Su-Th 5:30-9:30PM, F-Sa 5-10:30PM; Bar menu Su-Th 5:30-11:30PM, F-Sa 5PM-midnight. This Ligurian restaurant has delicious cocktails (the fiori d'arancia, made with Old Forester bourbon, is absolutely delightful) and equally fine food, made with the freshest, highest-quality ingredients and with some kind of pleasant surprise in every dish. And unlike most other New York restaurants, it has plenty of space between tables. It is expensive but worth the money. The room is large, so while reservations are recommended, this is one upscale restaurant where it's usually possible to reserve at short notice. Around $125/person for dinner, including drinks, tax, and tip.
  • 2 Bryant Park Grill, 25 West 40th St (in Bryant Park), +1-212-840-6500, e-mail: . 11:30AM-11PM daily. New American food in elegant dining room behind the public library, with a view over the park. $30 for mains.
  • 3 Celsius, Bryant Park, +1 212-792-9603. Indoor and outdoor seating in the winter overlooking the skating rink. Good food and service, a little pricey but reasonably for the location (open seasonally).
  • 4 Cho Dang Gol, 55 W 35th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), +1 212 695-8222, fax: +1 212 695-3797, e-mail: . A slightly upscale Korean restaurant that specializes in dishes made with artisanal tofu, several varieties of which are made on premises. Lunch is cheaper (~$20) and more informal. Expect to pay about $30 for dinner.
  • Delegates Dining Room, 1 United Nations Plaza (Follow the procedures to enter the United Nations complex.), +1 917 367-3314. 11:30am to 2:30pm. Located on the 4th floor of the UN General Assembly, this high-class dining hall lets you eat alongside delegates, ambassadors, and celebrities at the heart of international politics. The menu changes every day, providing a unique international buffet every day as you sit with a gorgeous view of the East River. Reservations should be made at least 24 hours in advance. Do note that with security concerns, you'll be escorted to and from the dining room. Dress attire is business casual. The buffet costs $34.99.
  • 5 Don's Bogam, 17 East 32nd St (between 5th and Madison Avs.), +1 212 683-2200. noon-midnight every day. Pleasant restaurant with real decor and ambiance, specializing in Korean barbecue - especially meat marinated in hot sauce - among other things. Don's Bogam and Madangsui (see listing below) are widely considered to be the best Korean BBQ specialists in Manhattan. BBQ $25.95-29.95/portion; comes with generous and excellent banchan (complimentary side dishes).
  • 6 Han Bat, 53 W 35th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), +1 212 629-5588. Han Bat has the feel of a Korean diner, though with some surprisingly nice decor. Their forte is Hyaemul Dolsot Bibimbap (rice cooked in a stone pot with mixed seafood, herbs, Korean hot sauce, etc.). Some of their other dishes are very salty. Expect to pay around $20 for a hearty meal including 6 banchan (side dishes provided to diners for no additional charge).
  • 7 Havana NY, 27 W 38th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), +1 212 944-0990. Well-priced Cuban casual restaurant & bar for lunch and dinner. They serve a variety of daily specials, including Plantain Soup and Suckling Roast Pork.
  • 8 Kang Suh, 1250 Broadway (actually on W. 32 St. just east of Broadway), +1 212 564-6845. A Korean restaurant with a large menu. You are best advised to order from the regular menu and avoid the lunch specials, which are not as good. There are special banquet rooms for large parties (reserve those in advance), and excellent service is provided.
  • 9 Keens Steakhouse, 72 W 36th St, +1 212 947-3636, fax: +1 212 714-1103, e-mail: . M-F 11:45AM-10:30PM, Sa 5PM-10:30PM, Su 5PM-9PM. A New York chophouse with excellent steaks and great bar for pre & post dinner drinks or just drinks. Fine dining in comfortable surroundings. Founded in 1885, the restaurant has an interesting ceiling covered in 90,000 clay pipes which the customers used to smoke after dinner. Pipes were left at establishments, as they were too brittle to transport!
  • 10 Madangsui, 35 W 35th St (between 5th and 6th Aves), +1 212 564-9333. Serves great Korean barbecue accompanied by a generous (8 dishes) and delectable banchan (complimentary side dishes), plus a bowl of dwenjang jigae (soupy stew made with fermented bean paste).
  • 11 Seoul Garden, 34 W. 32nd St., 2nd floor (between Broadway and 5th Av.), +1 212 736-9002. Another Korean restaurant with a substantial menu and some people's favorite.
  • 12 2nd Ave Deli, 162 E 33rd St. (between Lexington and 3rd Avs.), +1 212 689-9075. This famous kosher delicatessen, which used to be on 2nd Av. and 10th St., reopened at its new location a few years ago. The place is a real throwback, which really feels like an old-school Jewish deli. The menu is more extensive than old-school delis were, however, and includes what used to be considered "appetizing" (i.e., pareve - neither meat nor milk) foods. Try their tongue, corned beef, pastrami, and kasha varnishkes, and enjoy their freebies of artisanal cole slaw, pickles, and gribenes (chicken fat cracklings). The food may be bad for the heart, but it's good for the soul.
  • 13 11 Madison Park, 11 Madison Av. (at 24 St.), +1 212 889-0905. Has one of the most beautiful rooms of any restaurant in New York. Long well-liked for its upscale American cuisine and helpful service, it has in the last few years been graced with a new chef who has been getting rave reviews from many quarters. Call ahead for reservations.
  • 14 Blue Water Grill, 31 Union Square West (at 16th St), +1 212 675-9500. Su 10:30AM-10PM, M 11:30AM-10PM, Tu - Th 11:30AM-11PM, F Sa 11:30AM-12AM. Quality seafood and sushi in the dining room, an outdoor café in Union Square and a jazz room with live music daily. $10 - $45.
  • 15 Blue Smoke, 116 E. 27th St. (at Park Av. South), +1 212 447-6058. Danny Meyer's barbecue restaurant. This is also an important venue for live jazz. Reservations recommended.
  • 16 Casa Mono, 52 Irving Pl, +1 212 253-2773. A delightful Spanish wine bar and restaurant by Mario Batali. The food is smashing.
  • 17 Dos Caminos, 373 Park Avenue South (between 26th and 27th Streets), +1 212 294-1000. Su-Tu 11:30AM-10PM, W-Th 11:30AM-11PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-12AM. One of four up-market Mexican restaurants in Manhattan by the same name and under the same ownership (the other's are in SoHo, Chelsea, Midtown East) Sticky, saucy ribs and guacamole to die for.
  • 18 Gramercy Tavern, 42 E. 20 St. (between Broadway and Park Av.), +1 212 477-0777. Thought of as Danny Meyer's flagship restaurant, serves upscale American food at higher prices than 11 Madison Park. Expect to pay over $100/person for dinner in the main dining room. The actual Tavern is more informal and more moderately priced. Gramercy Tavern is known as one of the more difficult reservations to obtain in Manhattan.
  • 19 Live Bait, 14 E 23rd St (where Madison ends, near 5th and Broadway). Great and cheap oysters, clams and other seafood, raw and cooked as well as southern fare like jambalaya. Not afraid of the tabasco here. One of the few places in town that serves Abita Springs beer from Louisiana.
  • 20 Penelope, 159 Lexington Ave (at East 30th Street), +1 212 481-3800. Cafe/restaurant/bakery with a cozy, inviting atmosphere. Homestyle food and casual but friendly service. Inexpensive. Wine and beer served. Long lines for weekend brunch.
  • 21 Saravanaas Bhavan, 81 Lexington Ave, +1 212 679-0204. Excellent South Indian food at good prices. This is a vegetarian kosher restaurant and a branch of one in Chennai (Madras), India. Expect to wait a half hour or so on weekends.
  • 22 Shake Shack, Madison Square Park (Subway:  N  R ), +1 212 889-6600. Awesome roadside food stand in Madison Square Park serving hot dogs, burgers, frozen custard, beer, and wine. Though reputed for their burgers, they also serve what is widely regarded as the best Chicago-style hot dog in New York.
  • 23 Union Square Café, 21 East 16th St, +1 212 243-4020. Lunch M-Sa 12PM-2:15PM; dinner Su-Th 6PM-10:15PM, F-Sa 6PM-11:15PM. One of New York's best-loved restaurants, serving great American and Italian cuisine with flair and crisp style. Osso buco, tuna burgers, roast vegetables and corn pudding are fine examples of the dishes created using the best local and seasonal produce from the Café's neighbor, the Union Square Farmers' Market. Mains in excess of $30 average. Reservations recommended.
  • 24 Vatan, 409 Third Ave (at 29th Street), +1 212 689-5666. A prix-fixe vegetarian Indian restaurant with wonderful food. The decor is a little hokey, but the food makes it worthwhile.
Flatiron Building by night

Drink[edit]

  • 1 Ginger Man, 11 E 36th St, +1 212 532-3740, fax: +1 212 532-3490. Sister bar to the Volcano (below). Larger bar with a broad selection of drinks that also serves bar food and snacks. Also an after-work crowd, this bar is also popular with your average Joes. Good place for groups.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

  • 4 Hotel Deauville, 103 East 29th St, +12126-830-990. Check-out: 12PM. Good price for the location. Family-run business, with friendly staff. Around $140.
  • 5 Hotel 31, 120 East 31st St. Twenty-four hour concierge, daily maid service, cable T.V., telephone and helpful multilingual staff.
  • 6 The MAve Hotel, 62 Madison Avenue (at 27th Street), +1 212-532-7373. Comfortable, stylish place. This space was originally built in 1902 but still feels modern with vibrant murals on the walls and sleek bamboo floors. Offers a complimentary breakfast. Occasionally, Groupon has deals for this hotel. $170 and up depending on the season.
  • 7 Hotel 373 Fifth Avenue, 373 5th Ave (at 35th St), +1-212-213-3388, e-mail: .

Splurge[edit]

  • 8 Hotel Giraffe, 365 Park Avenue South, +1 212 685-7700. Free high speed Wi-fi and complimentary refreshments in the Grande Lobby 24 hours a day including breakfast in the mornings and wine and cheese receptions in the evenings except for Sunday nights.
  • 9 Hotel Chandler, 12 East 31st St, +1 212 889-6363. Deluxe rooms on the edge of Koreatown. In-room high-speed internet. Health club, sauna and day spa. $250–500, though ask for deals.
The Inn at Irving Place
  • 10 Inn at Irving Place, 56 Irving Pl, +1 212 533-4600. Near Gramercy Park, the inn, built in 1834, consists of two landmark townhouses.
  • 11 Avalon Hotel, 16 E 32nd St, +1 212 299-7000. Boutique hotel with roomy suites, close to the Empire State Building. $200-$350.
  • 12 Hotel Metro, 45 W 35th St. Newly renovated guestrooms, complimentary continental breakfast or afternoon snack in the Metro Grill restaurant.
  • 13 Hampton Inn Manhattan 35th Street/Empire State Building, 59 West 35th St, +1 212-564-3688, fax: +1 212-564-3799. A business-style hotel with modern and clean rooms. $200-$350.
  • 14 Bryant Park Hotel, W 40th St (between 5th and 6th Aves, on Bryant Park). Distinctive black brick and gold trim building. Amenities include deep soaking tubs, cashmere blankets, Pipino toiletries, Tibetan rugs in rooms. $245+.

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

Routes through Gramercy Flatiron
BronxMidtown  N NYCS-bull-trans-4.svgNYCS-bull-trans-5.svgNYCS-bull-trans-6.svg S  East VillageFinancial District
Long Island City, QueensMidtown  N NYCS-bull-trans-F.svgNYCS-bull-trans-M.svg S  Greenwich VillageDowntown Brooklyn
Theater DistrictMidtown  N NYCS-bull-trans-N.svgNYCS-bull-trans-Q.svgNYCS-bull-trans-R.svgNYCS-bull-trans-W.svg S  Greenwich VillageDowntown Brooklyn
ENDChelsea/Greenwich Village  W NYCS-bull-trans-L.svg E  Williamsburg, BrooklynEast Brooklyn



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Flatiron District
This district travel guide to Gramercy Flatiron is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.