The Best Restaurants and Bars Near Rockefeller Center

Whether you're visiting during the holidays, or anytime
November 16, 2017
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by Zagat Staff

There's certainly no dearth of dining establishments on the blocks surrounding Rockefeller Center, but the area is also loaded with mediocre tourist traps. Here are some safe bets for dining during the holiday season, or anytime.

Xi'an Famous Foods
Chinese · West 40s · $
Food 4.2 · Decor 2.8 · Service 3.4

Fans of “banging” hand-pulled noodles discover “fiery” “nirvana” at this “burgeoning” Western Chinese chain also famed for cumin-lamb burgers so “insanely good” that they have their own “cult following” ; “zero decor” and “cramped” seating are offset by ultra- “cheap” tabs.
The Little Beet
Fast Food · West 50s · $
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.3 · Service 3.7

“Healthy foodies” hit up these “boffo” Americans, which supply “extremely fresh” , gluten-free, veggie-friendly fare in a “quick-service cafeteria format” ; granted, “the line can be hellish at lunch” , but “your cells will thank you.”
The Modern
New American · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

“Reliably superb” French–New American cuisine “as modern as the art” is the deal at Danny Meyer’s “effortlessly chic” eatery inside MoMA, where the “tranquil” dining room boasts “lovely” sculpture garden views and service is “impeccable” ( “refreshing” no-tipping policy notwithstanding); such “high-end sophistication” is unsurprisingly “pricey” , but the “more casual” front bar area is “easier on the wallet.”
db Bistro Moderne
French · West 40s · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

“Still a favorite” in the Theater District, Daniel Boulud’s “energetic bistro” delivers a “top-drawer” French menu led by that “irresistible” foie gras–stuffed burger in a “sleek” setting; “assured service” that’s “mindful” of curtain time further helps justify the “hefty” price tag.
Bouchon Bakery
Bakery · West 40s · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.8

You can “treat yourself” to “quality” bites at Thomas Keller’s French-inspired bakery/take-out counters, where the “distinctive” macarons, “first-rate pastries” , “mouthwatering breads” and sandwiches are “worth the guilt” ; they can be “frenetic” and “costly” , but the Time Warner Center original’s “wonderful view” of Columbus Circle is “certainly an added value.”
Sen Sakana
Japanese · West 40s · $$$

Nikkei cuisine, a melding of Japanese and Peruvian cooking, is the focus of this upscale Midtowner whose menu runs from ceviche to robata-grilled skewers to sushi (with an omakase option), along with an array of large and small plates. Designed with light woods, clean lines and a splash of aqua underlighting, the space has group-friendly areas including a private room.
Má Pêche
New American · West 50s · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

It’s “all about sharing” at David Chang’s “innovative” New American in Midtown’s Chambers Hotel, where “flavor-packed” plates for the table join “clever” “twists on dim sum” (just “flag down a trolley” ); “blah” decor may detract, but “the food more than makes up for it.”
Le Bernardin
Seafood · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.9 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.9

Prepare to dine on “a higher plane” at this “dazzling” Midtown “star” where Eric Ripert’s “world-class” tasting menus highlight “transcendent” French seafood, earning it No. 1 Food honors in NYC for the eighth year in a row; a “deep” wine list, “exemplary” staff and “soigné” surrounds further justify the “sky-high” tabs, so for a “dream-come-true” meal, this is “as good as it gets.”
Oceana
Seafood · West 40s · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

“First-class” fish is the hook at this “fancy” Rock Center seafood spot, whose “huge” , “civilized” space includes a “lively” bar and a “pleasant” patio, all overseen by an “aim-to-please” crew; “expense-account” –ready prices have many reserving it for “entertaining clients” , though the pre-theater prix fixes are a comparative “bargain.”
Bar SixtyFive at Rainbow Room
Cocktail Bar · West 50s · $$$$

On the 65th floor of 30 Rock, this cocktail bar adjoining the Rainbow Room offers unbelievable views, particularly of the Empire State Building. The classic and creative drinks also have tip-top spirits (and prices), plus a few seasonal twists to go with terrace seating in the summer.