The Best Restaurants In Flatiron

Where outstanding Mexican meets borscht and fried chicken.
crowded lunch counter at S&P lunch

photo credit: David A Lee

Named for a wedge-shaped building that always seems to be hidden behind scaffolding, the Flatiron District is part of the restaurant-filled buffer zone between Midtown and Union Square. It’s a great place to plan a meal with someone who lives on the other side of the city, especially if you’re looking for a spot to celebrate a milestone or shoot horseradish vodka chased with a bowl of borscht. 


photo credit: Noah Devereaux



$$$$Perfect For:Date NightFine DiningFirst/Early in the Game DatesPrivate DiningSee And Be Seen
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The Mexican food scene in NYC has changed enormously since Cosme opened in 2014, but this place, from the same folks who run Atla, still feels fresh and new. Budget around $100 per person, and come by for some scallop tiradito, a chile relleno stuffed with blue crab, and al pastor-style dover sole. The stripped down room with spotlights above each table works great for an anniversary dinner, especially if you’re in the mood for margaritas. It’s no longer difficult to get a reservation, but the big platter of duck carnitas is as tender and magnificent as ever.

photo credit: Noah Devereaux



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Still busy, after all these years. Cote, a cross between a steakhouse and a Korean barbecue joint, remains impossible to get into (emailing is your best bet), and there’s a reason for that. The quality of the beef is fantastic, and the $74 prix fixe, while not cheap, is a great deal for what you get. Called the “Butcher’s Feast,” the set meal comes with banchan, egg soufflé, two different stews, four cuts of steak, soft serve, and more. In the context of a dark, clubby room with neon accents, it makes for a fun night out. Especially with a piña colada or magnum of Champagne on your table.

After they did fancy Korean BBQ in a room that could double as an EDM venue, the folks behind Cote apparently thought, “Let’s run it back, but with fried chicken.” And the plan worked out. Like its sister restaurant, Coqodaq offers a set meal, which costs $38 per person and comes with banchan, cold noodles, and two types of ultra crunchy, gluten-free fried chicken. It can be tough to snag a reservation for one of the big tables in the dining room lined with glowing arches, but there’s a long bar and a few high-tops for walk-ins. Waits are rough, but worth it.

Would you, perhaps, care for some sticky toffee pudding? How about a steak with beef fat fries? Or maybe some potted beef with a few yorkshire puddings on the side? At London import Hawksmoor, you can enjoy all of those things in a green leather booth beneath arched ceilings that wouldn’t feel out of place in a museum on the Thames. The filet is our cut of choice at this British steakhouse, but you should also try the charcoal-roasted lobster and dense creamed spinach. Just looking for drinks and dessert? The bar up front is perfect for that.

If you want to celebrate a special-occasion at a place where you don’t have to whisper or worry about sullying a pristine tablecloth, head to Jua. From the chef behind Moono and the group who brought you Ariari, Atoboy, and Her Name Is Han, this restaurant serves a seven-course, $140 prix fixe in a space with brick walls and scuffed concrete floors. Your meal will begin with a perfect bite of caviar and steak tartare wrapped in seaweed, then you might get some spot prawns served two ways, a smoky bowl of jook, or dry-aged duck with a modernist array of banchan.

Eiesenberg’s, a sandwich shop open since 1929, was a tough act to follow. Fortunately, S&P stayed true to the old-school spirit of its predecessor, offering an expansive menu of lunchtime staples in its pretty much unchanged, narrow, diner-like space. On weekend afternoons, folks line up to eat eggs with lox or a pastrami-topped burger on a swiveling stool up front, or on a vinyl banquette in the back. Keep in mind, the restaurant closes at 5pm.

A modern Indian restaurant, Sona is sleeker than it is formal, and tackles everything from Kolkata biryani to Goan fish curry. The menu occasionally leans in a fusiony direction (exhibit A: chicken tikka pizza), with standouts that include dal makhani, crispy rock shrimp koliwada, and a dosa filled with melted gruyere. Stop by the next time you want to feel slightly glamorous in a room with silk lamps and gold accents, and be sure to try one of the fancy gin and tonics.

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsBirthdays

Mari Vanna looks like something out of a Dickens novel, and has a devoted following among those who have strong feelings toward chicken kiev. The cluttered room is filled with ornate chandeliers, lace doilies, and black-and-white portraits, and the traditional Russian food is better than you’d expect from a place with a swing attached to its ceiling. You’re going to consume a lot of sour cream here—with your blinis, pelmeni, and borscht—and, ideally, you’ll take a shot or two of horseradish vodka.

Upland works for everything. Dinner, lunch, brunch—the American restaurant does it all, and has room for every single member of your book club or extended family. The huge space, with its dark green booths and jars of preserved lemons, looks like it fell out of a Williams Sonoma catalog, and the California-inspired dishes are both slightly boring and very reliable. Get a pizza, some pasta, or a branzino for two, or swing by during the day if you want to try the best burger in the neighborhood.

photo credit: Casey Giltner

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight Dinner

With its tiled floors, high ceilings, and tidy, cushioned booths Stretch looks like a slightly nicer version of your average pizza parlor. But this isn’t where you go for a plain cheese pie. The toppings here include zucchini, cream cheese, and dan dan chicken. Or, in the case of the El Cubano, ham, pickles, and mustard. The Old Town, accessorized with garlic cream, is a wonderful vegetarian option, and the crust on all the pies is perfectly chewy and crisp. 

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