Brand New Food Court Alert: UrbanSpace Vanderbilt Opens In Midtown
Midtown workers who love good places to eat, rejoice! The folks at UrbanSpace, who organize and maintain some of NYC’s best seasonal “food courts” (from the holiday markets at Union Square and Columbus Circle to Madison Square Eats and the Garment District Market just below Times Square) have finally opened their permanent, indoor, huge and glorious UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, and it is something of Midtown East food miracle. Seriously, I spent many years working in that area (this was a while ago), and you can get tired in a hurry of both the lunch and after-work quick-bite spots available around Grand Central. But now, in one fell swoop, you’ve got more than 20 different options, many of which are legitimate “best of” contenders in their category, spread out in a smartly designed, 12,000 square-feet space right in the heart of the neighborhood. Here’s the whole, wonderful scoop….
Welcome To UrbanSpace Vanderbilt
Everywhere you turn here there’s a can’t-miss option for a meal (lunch AND dinner), a snack, or a mid-afternoon sweet treat (this is actually pretty dangerous for anyone–me–who needs to be careful about daytime calories). For example, there’s a full-fledged Roberta’s Pizza stand at UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, firing up about a half dozen of their signature pies, including the legendary Bee Sting. Dan Delaney, who runs one of the best BBQ joints in town over in Williamsburg, here dives headfirst into the increasingly competitive fried chicken game, and if the two crisp, juicy, nicely-seasoned legs I ate during opening week are any indication of what’s to come (Delaney hasn’t been able to secure his preferred suppliers yet), Delaney Chicken is going to make a lot of people happy. The mad sandwich geniuses of No. 7 Sub are in the house, with a terrific-looking menu of all-vegetarian offerings, called No. 7 Veggie. Takumi Taco is serving a Spicy Tuna number that I’m getting next time I’m there; the bad boys and girls at Mayhem and Stout will rock your world with their Bahn Mi; and anything with noodles from Hiong Kong Street Cart is always a good idea.
Sweets And Treats At UrbanSpace Vanderbilt
As far as sweets go, UrbanSpace Vanderbilt features my absolute favorite bakery in New York City, the phenomenal Ovenly, which sits right up front and, while the brilliant young women who run things can only offer a limited number of their heavenly creations, many of their greatest hits will rotate in and out. Get there early to snag a slice of Brooklyn Blackout Cake. Also up front is an A.B. Biagi ice cream cart, purveyors of the some of the best gelato in town; and an instantly-popular outpost of Dough, whose big, beautiful, usually-iced doughnuts will solve all of your problems, at least for ten minutes or so. All of the above is just a fraction of the food on the UrbanSpace Vanderbilt menu, and even though the space is designed to encourage pedestrian flow even while offering comfortable places to sit, the market, as you can imagine, is getting slammed at prime lunch hours. If you can, come around 11:00, or 3:00, to check it out, or after work (it’s open until 9:00), because it hasn’t yet been taken over by all the commuters heading home via Grand Central.
To Learn More About UrbanSpace Vanderbilt
UrbanSpace Vanderbilt is located at the corner of 45th Street and Vanderbilt Avenue, just north of Grand Central Terminal, and is open on weekdays from 6:30 a.m. (Dough for breakfast alert!) to 9:00 p.m., and on weekends from 9:00 to 5:00.