By John Friia

While Midtown East is largely a corporate area, there are many places to eat, drink and explore. Midtown East stretches from 5th Avenue to the East River, with 42nd Street as its southern border and 59th Street as its northern border. If you find yourself in the neighborhood exploring, be sure to visit these spots.

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To Eat: Atwood
986 Second Ave.
New York, NY 10022
(212) 371-2233

There are many restaurants and cuisines in Midtown East, but if you are looking for some comfort food in a relaxing environment, head to Atwood. Located on Second Avenue, the restaurant serves classic American dishes with a twist from Executive Chef Bradley Warner. From the exposed brick to the reclaimed wood and steampunk touches, Atwood brings an old New York feel to present day. Whether you stop by for a brunch date or an after work dinner, you can enjoy some of the restaurant’s signature dishes, including the Hot Honey Roasted Chicken with smashed crispy potatoes, scallions, bacon and peppers or the Pistachio Cesar with chilled poached eggs. A visit to Atwood is not complete without ordering something sweet—opt for the Golden Raisin Walnut Bread Pudding with maple caramel and pumpkin gelato.

To Explore: Bauman Rare Books
535 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10022
(212) 751-0011

Once visitors walk through the doors of Bauman Rare Books on Madison Avenue, they are transported to a book lover’s paradise. With more than 4,000 rare books and documents, the New York location displays Americana, children books, signed editions and musical books. According to Bauman Rare Books, books are labeled rare when they are important, desirable and scarce, which means it just doesn’t have to be old. Among the vast collection are unpublished autographed letters from Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, a signed copy from Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince and Other Tales from 1888. Some of the items are available for purchase, but come with a high price tag.

To Drink: The Campbell
15 Vanderbilt Ave.
New York, NY 10017
(212) 297-1781

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Besides being known as one of the busiest transportation hubs in the country, Grand Central Terminal is home to The Campbell. The historical bar reopened in May 2017 and is operated by the Gerber Group. Paying tribute to the space’s past, The Campbell was once the office of the railroad executive John Campbell and features a grand fireplace and an expansive bar. The intimate lounge makes visitors travel to a bygone era with classic libations, including The Stackhouse Sour with bourbon, fresh lemon and simple syrup. Also try their Mule cocktails, including Moscow with vodka, Irish with whiskey or Stormy with rum. The space makes it the quintessential spot in Midtown East for happy hour or even a date.

To Relax: Metamorphosis Day Spa
127 East 56th St.
New York, NY 10022
(212) 751-6051

A visit to New York can be stressful, but visitors can destress at Metamorphosis Day Spa. The quaint Manhattan oasis offers massages, facials, waxing and body treatments to make visitors leave the spa feeling rejuvenated. Among the various spa packages available, you can sign up for The Metamorphosis Revitalizing Spa Package with a 25-minute Swedish massage, European Facial and their Sweet Escape Body Scrub. This package gives you a quick look at some of the services they can experience at the day spa. Other packages that are available is the 2-hour Stress Relief Package with a full body and scalp massage and a hydrating facial.

To Stay: The Kimberly Hotel
145 East 50th St.
New York, NY 10022
(212) 755-0400

After spending the day exploring Midtown East, unwind at The Kimberly Hotel. Nestled on East 50th Street, the hotel brings refined elegance with a European touch to the neighborhood. Each room boasts views of the concrete jungle and have ultra-plush beds that make a stay in the city comfortable. With attentive service and astute to the fine details, a visit to The Kimberly Hotel feel like an extension of one’s home. Also enjoy a meal at Bistango, an Italian restaurant near the lobby or Empire Steak House, which is home to a former opera house. One aspect of the hotel people enjoy is the rooftop lounge. Upstairs at The Kimberly offers sweeping views of the Chrysler Building and Rockefeller Center, as well as specialty cocktails and tapas dishes. One cocktail that will replenish anyone’s energy from the warmer weather is the Electrolyte made with vodka, watermelon and fresh pineapple. This refreshing cocktail is the perfect drink to sip while gazing out into the city.

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John Friia is a freelance journalist and native New Yorker writing about food, drinks and lifestyle. You can follow his adventures on Instagram.