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Any visitor to New York City can pick up a guidebook or search online to find the Big Apple’s most iconic eateries and bars, but what about Manhattan’s hidden gems—the lesser-known dining hotspots where locals go to enjoy exceptional food, cocktails, or pastry? We’re shining a light on hidden restaurant gems and sharing some insider wisdom to help you make the most of your stay at Club Quarters Hotels in NYC. We unearthed a variety of offerings native residents love, from Asian fusion and authentic Japanese food, to celebrated French and Mexican cuisine, American pastry, and more. These beloved establishments run the gamut from elegant and sophisticated to quirky and quaint. Read along as we suss out our top ten picks:

Up Thai Restaurant: Hidden Gem Restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side

1. Up Thai

Fresh Thai food hits the spot, especially prepared using ingredients sourced from trusted farmers and suppliers. This is the M.O. at Up Thai, a hidden gem on Manhattan’s Upper East Side where the staff change up the offerings according to what’s fresh and in-season at the moment. One spin through their gallery and you’ll crave the colorful Thai cuisine on a varied menu that includes seasonal favorites, soups, salads, noodles, rice, apps, and creative cocktails. Bonus: If you feel like being a homebody, Up Thai delivers. Get there from The Jewel Club Quarters Hotel in about 20 minutes by car or subway.

Location: 1411 2nd Ave. #1, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side

Phone: 212.256.1199

Hours: M-Th, 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., F, 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Sat., noon-11:30 p.m., Sun., noon-10:30 p.m.

Midtown Manhattan’s Hidden Restaurant Gems

2. The Campbell

Whether your travels took you through Grand Central Station or you arrived another way, The Campbell is worth a visit to one of the city’s most noteworthy examples of Beaux-Arts architecture. Located inside the southwest corner of Grand Central Terminal, this top NY establishment is divided into three areas, each with a distinctive ambience: The Campbell Bar, The Campbell Palm Court, and The Campbell Terrace. Go for the wine and spirits—the food menu is limited chiefly to nibbles and the most basic light fare. The Campbell features live jazz every Saturday from 7:30 until 10:30 p.m.; enjoy the music while you sip a glass of Basil Hayden or Laphroaig. This sophisticated threesome of venues is an easy five-minute walk from CQ Hotel Grand Central.

Location: 15 Vanderbilt Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets

Phone: 917.209.3440

Hours: M-Sun., 3 p.m.-midnight. The kitchen closes at 11 p.m. and is closed all day Sunday.

Dress Code: No baseball caps, sweatpants, hoodies, shorts, or flip flops inside The Campbell Bar.

3. Chez Josephine

Step back into Paris circa 1930s and enjoy “le Jazz Hot with soul.” This is the promise at Chez Josephine, a tribute to the eponymous entertainer, Josephine Baker. It’s the perfect setting for sophisticated late-night dinner and drinks after you take in a Broadway show. Enjoy a menu of French-American cuisine and live piano music nightly in an intimate setting appointed with elegant details. Get there from the Times Square CQ Hotel in about 5 minutes by car, or 15 minutes by subway or on foot.

Location: 414 West 42nd Street

Phone: 212.594,1925

Hours: M-F, noon until midnight, Sat. & Sun., 11:30 a.m. until midnight.

Hidden Gem Eateries in Downtown / Lower Manhattan

4. Tiny’s & The Bar Upstairs

The names alone should be enough to lure you inside this pair of establishments tucked discreetly away in TriBeCa, and located closest to our CQ Hotel at the World Trade Center. Tiny’s serves an eclectic selection of modern comfort foods (think crispy chicken waffle sandwich) and desserts, along with on-trend offerings (citrus ceviche) for the ambitious palate. Upstairs, you’ll find inventive libations on the cocktail menu and a generous selection of beer and wine inside this deliciously cozy neighborhood bar. Get there from CQ World Trade Center in 8 minutes by car, about 10 minutes by subway, or in 15 minutes on foot.

Location: Inside an historic townhouse painted pink, at 135 West Broadway

Phone: 212.374.1135

Hours: Dinner, 5-10 p.m. M/T, 5–10:30 p.m. W-F, 5-11 p.m. Sat. Lunch & Brunch, 12-3:30 p.m. W-F, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. & Sun.

NOTE: Tiny’s is closed for renovations Wednesday through Friday during the month of September.

close up of three craft cocktails at a nyc hidden gem restaurant

 

5. L’Appart

Michelin Star Chef Nicolas “Nico” Abello and staff create what L’Appart bills as a “bespoke” experience for the guests, who can expect French cuisine personalized for individual tastes. The offerings change according to seasonality and availability, and L’Appart also features a tasting menu option for the gastronome who would prefer a sample of everything. Enjoy multiple courses in a thoughtfully crafted meal or order à la carte while the oenophile peruses a spectacular wine list. Make this hidden gem the highlight of your visit – get there from our CQ Hotel at the World Trade Center on foot or by car within five minutes.

Location: 225 Liberty Street; enter through the main entrance at Le District French Market, or through the outdoor entrance at L’Appart

Phone: 212.981.8577

Hours: T–Sat., for dinner service

6. Cafe Cluny (Greenwich Village)

Now open for breakfast, Cafe Cluny is a hidden gem in Greenwich Village that offers a varied menu all day long. Visit for lunch, dinner or weekend brunch, or drop in for dessert and cocktails in the evening. Choose from a menu that offers a little something for everyone, from roast chicken and New York strip steak, to soup, sandwiches, and lighter fare. Make reservations on OpenTable or by phone.

Location: 284 West 12th Street

Phone: 212.255.6900, or book delivery on ODEON

Hours: M-F, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat. and Sun., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

A Hidden Restaurant Gem Beckons in Brooklyn: Karasu

7. Karasu 

If you’re after a well-kept secret in Brooklyn—and you’re up for a colorful gastronomic adventure—make Karasu your dining destination across the East River. It’s not just about Japanese cuisine, but also about the culture; dishes served here are meant to be shared and reflect the washoku philosophy of balance of a meal—in colors, flavors, and textures. Expect traditional Japanese fare and inventive takes on classic cocktails, along with favorite Japanese spirits. Karasu is closest to the CQ Hotel at the World Trade Center; arrive in about 20 minutes by car or 30 minutes by subway. Please note: The kitchen closes 30 minutes prior to the restaurant’s closing time.

Location: 166 Dekalb Avenue, Fort Greene Brooklyn; enter through Walter’s

Contact: [email protected] or book reservations online through RESY.

Hours: M, W, Th, Sun., 5-10:30 p.m., F-Sat., 5-11:30 p.m.

NYC Hidden Gem Restaurants With Multiple Locations

8. La Esquina

“Sort of like Studio 54 with chipotle instead of cocaine,” quipped one NY Times writer of La Esquina. Self-billed as “an authentic Mexican brasserie, cantina, cafe and taqueria,” La Esquina comes as a trio of hidden restaurant gems in New York City, one on the Upper East Side, another near Rockefeller Center, and the third in Lower Manhattan. When you’re hungry for something satisfying stat, this quirky venue won’t disappoint. You know it’s good when it draws a fashionable, artsy crowd every day of the week. For a speakeasy-style experience, head down into the brasserie at 114 Kenmare for what La Esquina affectionately calls its “tavern in a cavern” and enjoy food and libation in a setting where funky and elegant collide. Travel to 114 Kenmare from the CQ Hotel at the World Trade Center in about 20 minutes by car or subway, or to 200 West 55th Street from The CQ Jewel Hotel in about 5 minutes by car or 10 minutes on foot.

Location: 114 Kenmare Street (downtown)

Phone: 646.613.7100

Hours: 7 days, noon until 2 a.m. 

 

Location: 200 West 55th Street (midtown)

Phone: 646.613.7100

Hours: 7 days, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

 

Location: 1402 2nd Avenue, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side

Phone: 646.613.7100

Hours: Sun-Th., 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., F-Sat., 11 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

9. Buttercup Bake Shop

Satisfy your sugar craving from morning ‘til night at Buttercup Bake Shop, an NYC hidden bakery gem where some suggest the banana pudding outdoes the signature confection at another noteworthy establishment on Bleeker Street – also founded by Buttercup owner Jennifer Appel. This celebrity-endorsed confectionery offers old-fashioned American desserts finished with 100% buttercream frosting, among a varied menu that includes small bites, breakfast pastries, and take-home cakes and pies. Buttercup Midtown East is closest to CQ Grand Central (get there in 10 minutes on foot), but three additional storefronts offer dessert lovers options throughout the city, including Midtown, Greenwich Village, and Downtown.

Location: 167 Madison Avenue, Midtown

Phone: 212.350.4144

Hours: M-Th, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., F, 9 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

 

Location: 61 E. 8th Street, Greenwich Village

Phone: 212.350.4144

Hours: M-Th, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., F, 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

 

Location: 973 2nd Avenue, Midtown East

Phone: 212.350.4144

Hours: M-Th, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., F, 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

 

Location: 200 Broadway, Downtown

Phone: 212.350.4144

Hours: M-Th, 9 a.m.-10 p.m., F, 9 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. and Sun., CLOSED

close up of cupcakes at a top nyc bakery - one of new york's hidden gem restaurants

Bonus: Hidden Sushi Gem on Manhattan’s Upper West Side

10. Sushi Yasaka

When your NYC travel plans include tickets to a performance at Lincoln Center, Sushi Yasaka makes an ideal pre-curtain option for lunch or dinner. This hidden gem on the Upper West Side offers traditional sushi and sashimi à la carte prepared lovingly with fresh ingredients, along with traditional Japanese maki, teriyaki, and steak. Lincoln Center is just a ten-minute walk from Sushi Yasaka.

 

Location: 251 West 72nd Street

Phone: 212.496.8460

Hours: M-Th, noon until 2:30 p.m. for lunch, 5:15-10 p.m. for dinner; F-Sat., noon until 2:30 p.m. for lunch, 5:15-10:30 p.m. for dinner; Sun., noon until 2:30 p.m. for lunch, 5:15-9:45 p.m. for dinner

Book your stay at one of four Club Quarters Hotels in NYC, and enjoy everything this bustling city has to offer, from its celebrated icons to establishments off the beaten path. Enjoy special offers, including discounted rates for longer stays, 10% off when you reserve a Suite or Superior room, and other attractive perks. While visiting, keep your eyes peeled for more of the best-kept culinary secrets that New York has to offer.

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