Midtown Lunch, Revisited

UrbanSpace Vanderbilt is seriously upping Midtown's restaurant game

Poor Midtown East. Its restaurant game has always been lame—especially at lunchtime. Yes, yes, there are some exceptions, but they're mostly chains, street meat carts and generic delis. Thankfully, the neighborhood's getting 20—20!—new dining options this week, including the likes of Bushwick pizza king Roberta's and brisket master Daniel Delaney's fried chicken, concept Delaney Chicken. The additions come courtesy of UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, a new food hall next to Grand Central from the team behind Mad. Sq. Eats and several other roving food markets.

For those not craving pizza or chicken, the Vanderbilt Market is also home to Toby's Estate, which starts serving coffee bright and early to commuters; an outpost of doughnut queen Fany Gerson's Dough; Red Hook Lobster Pound; Greenpoint's inventive bakery Ovenly; perhaps the city's best hummus maker, Mimi's Hummus; and many others. All seating is communal, so it's easy to mix and match orders with friends and coworkers. And when 5 p.m. rolls around, there's booze to be found at spots like Maiden Lane. Most of the market is in place, but there's still one big thing to come. For now, the large upstairs space is closed off, but organizers promise that it will host some rockin' events down the line.

UrbanSpace isn't alone in the NYC brick-and-mortar market world these days, as it seems like they're popping up everywhere. Gotham West has been open for almost two years and a number of other projects are in the works. Some have worried that there might be some market fatigue from diners, but for Midtowners, this new one will be a welcome arrival.