The Best Things to Eat Near Rockefeller Center

By Clay Williams  |  December 18, 2013
Credit: Clay Williams

'Tis the season to be spending time around Rockefeller Center, and whether you're going for a lap on the skating rink or taking in the Rockettes, chances are that your holiday activities in Midtown won't be compete without a snack. The problem: this tourist-laden area of the city isn't exactly known for its culinary scene. Don't worry though, we've cased the blocks surrounding the famous tree to find some edibles that will bring you as much joy as the season itself. Click through the below to feast your eyes on the food porn, and head on up to stuff your face before the New Year's Eve crowds descend on the area. 

  • Credit: Clay Williams

    Kati Rolls Biryani Cart

    There's no shortage of curry carts selling South Asian food in this part of midtown, but Biryani Cart is among the best. Besides the namesake dish of chicken and rice, Kati Rolls are among the most popular options. Fluffy, buttery flatbreads are stuffed with chicken curry, masala or tikka in what could be called Indian tacos.

    Biryani Cart, SW corner, 46th Street and 6th Avenue.

  • Credit: Clay Williams

    Pork Roast at Cafe Cello

    It may look like a generic deli, but Cafe Cello's menu includes an amazing Latin roast pork. Be sure to ask for some of the crackly pork skin. Um, can we have this instead of the usual pot roast at Christmas dinner? 

    48 West 46th St.; 212-764-8600

  • Credit: Clay Williams

    Hot Buttered Rum at Rum House 

    After standing out in the cold and pushing through the crowds, you'll probably need a drink, and a warm one at that. Head across Times Square (sorry, more crowds) to thaw out with a hot buttered rum.

    228 West 47th St.; 646-490-6924

  • Credit: Clay Williams

    Pork Cutlets at Katsu-Hama

    Katsu, breaded, fried cutlets of pork or chicken, served with a pile of shredded cabbage is the specialty of the house in this Japanese restaurant slightly off the beaten path. Have it with a bowl of miso soup to warm your bones.

    45 W 55th St.; 212-541-7145

  • Credit: Clay Wiliams

    Snacks at Bryant Park Holiday Market

    For the last few years, the holidays have brought a bustling market to Bryant Park selling knickknacks and gifts for friends and family along with a wide variety of foods including stands selling savory grits, Turkish meat-filled pastries, churros and desserts.

    Bonus: Bryant Park has its own ice skating rink that's free to the public.

  • Credit: Clay Williams

    Skewers at Sake Bar Hagi

    This downstairs sake bar and izakaya sells skewers of all kinds ranging from bacon-wrapped asparagus to beef tongue. Wash it down with a giant bottle of Japanese beer or a hot sake.

    152 W 49th St.; 212-764-8549

  • Credit: Clay Williams

    Vietnamese Sandwich at Hing Won

    This Chinese counter spot may not look like anything special, but just as you walk in the door, there's a stand selling Vietnamese sandwiches. Roast pork or duck jammed into a baguette with cucumber, carrots and daikon pickles totally hit the spot.

    48 W 48th St.; 212-719-1451

  • Clam Chowder at Luke's Lobster Truck

    Have a thick, creamy cup of New England Clam Chowder or transport yourself back to summer time with a lobster roll at this Maine-themed food truck. It parks on 46th and Park Avenue on Wednesdays and Fridays during lunch hours.