This trio of neighborhoods between Midtown and the East Village are quieter and more residential than most other parts of Manhattan. Murray Hill, Gramercy, and Kip’s Bay are places to see historic architecture, dine, and shop. There aren’t as many museums in this part of the city, but don’t miss the stunning Morgan Library and Museum.
I grouped Murray Hill, Gramercy, and Kip’s Bay together because they are beside each other and you can easily tackle this list of things to do in a day or two.
What to do in Murray Hill:
Morgan Library and Museum
Pierpont Morgan’s former residence is now a library and museum. The successful banker, and father of J.P. Morgan, amassed one of the greatest collections of art, manuscripts, and books. After his death, J.P. Morgan gave the library to the public. Today, there is a small museum in a building connected to the library where you can learn about the history of the Morgan family and see rotating special exhibit focusing on art and literature.
The collection holds three Gutenberg bibles, the world’s most important collection of cylindrical seals, and handwritten sheet music written by Mozart.
This small side street off of 36th Street is one of Manhattan’s smallest historic districts. The street is lined with townhomes built around the time of the Civil War in the Early Romanesque Revival Style. Cole Porter used to live in one of these townhomes.
The courtyard is gated, but it is worth peaking inside.
Wander through the Murray Hill Historic District
The section of Murray Hill including 34th Street to 39th Street between Madison and Third Avenue was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. The buildings in this district were mostly constructed between 1853 and the 1920s, and features row homes in Italianate and Second Empire styles. It’s so pristine that you feel like you are on a movie set.
An old school Jewish deli that is open 24/7. It’s famous for its matzo ball soup and giant sandwiches.
What to do in Gramercy:
This German restaurant is famous for their excessive amount of Christmas decorations, which they leave up from the end of November through May.
Friend of a Farmer
My sister loves this American farm to table spot on Irving place that is decorated to look like a Vermont farmhouse.
Sex and the City fans will recognize this bar as the place where Miranda proposes to Steve over beers. The spot claims to be NYC’s oldest continuously operating bar. They serve brunch, lunch, and dinner.
My favorite New York City bagel can be found at Ess-a-bagel.
The first location of this cult-favorite pizza place is on the southern border of Gramercy. It’s my favorite pizza in the world, I just can’t resist the giant slices topped with chunks of artichoke, cheese, and a creamy sauce.
A fine dining restaurant known for their pastas.
A low-key bar with great music and a manicurist. There is a Chicago location too.
What to do in Kip’s Bay:
A darling little restaurant that is known for it’s brunch, which is served daily.
This is the place to start your exploration of this section of the city.
Dover Street Market
Diagonally across the street from Penelope you will find the Dover Street Market. It’s eight floors of high end, straight off the runway fashion.
This massive sculpture by artist Donald Lipski is outside the NYU Langone Hospital and features a dalmatian balancing a full-sized New York City cab on its nose.
2nd Ave Deli
Recently featured on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, this Jewish deli has been around since 1954.
Visit the 69th Street Armory
This large historic building on Lexington was built by the U.S. Army’s 69th Regiment and has become a venue for events like the Winter Antiques Show.
Church of the Transfiguration / Little Church Around the Corner
A Neo-Gothic church built in 1849, the church itself is set back from the street making space for a beautiful garden where New Yorker gather to eat lunch or relax.
Have you been to this part of Manhattan? If you have any recommendations please share them in the comments!