Woman getting out of a yellow New York City in cab in the Murray Hill neighborhood of New York City.

City Guide / New York City

New York City Neighborhood Guide: Murray Hill

By Ruthie Fierberg | Oct 25, 2021

If you’re thinking about moving to New York City, it can be hard to decide which of its many neighborhoods is the right fit for you. Murray Hill encompasses a tidy square on the east side from 42nd Street to 34th Street north to south, and the FDR to Fifth Avenue east to west. Because of its proximity to Midtown and the banking district, it’s home to a lot of young professionals and is a popular neighborhood for recent college graduates.

Being on the east side of NYC, the area is a bit more tranquil and out of the chaos of the heart of Midtown, and buildings are a bit lower than nearby skyscrapers. Murray Hill is a popular happy hour destination, and there is a lot of fantastic food in the area bordering Kips Bay and Koreatown. 

Thinking about moving to Murray Hill in NYC? Here’s our guide to the best restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, outdoor attractions, gyms, nightlife, and transportation in the area.

Best restaurants in the area

A New York staple (and kosher to boot!), the 2nd Avenue Deli is a must-visit. It doesn’t get better than their pastrami (or, if it does, only because of their corned beef), though you really can’t go wrong with whatever you choose. Sarge’s Delicatessen & Diner has been operating for 55 years and is a Jewish-style (but non-kosher) deli also known for their large-portion sandwiches and matzo ball soup. 

Kajitsu is the destination for Japanese shojin cuisine, a vegetarian style of cooking that originated in Zen Buddhism. Momosan is one of the best places in town for ramen—especially the pork belly ramen—and the constantly busy atmosphere of the noodle shop proves it. For traditional Shainghainese food from a cohort of Shanghaiers-turned-New Yorkers, hit up Little Alley—it’s the authentic Chinese comfort food you crave. 

If Mexican is what you’re after, Baby Bo’s Cantina is perfection, as is their guacamole. The thinnest of thin-crust pizza resides at Vezzo—be sure to try the Shroomtown topped with portobello, shitake, and button mushrooms and white truffle oil. 

A draft beer tavern meets Greek taverna at Ted’s Corner Tavern. The basic falafel and hummus is anything but, and the Aegean lasagna is both delicious and unique. 

Wine:30 sounds like the type of place that should be listed under nightlife, but their food is so good that we have to include it here! Try the crispy chicken breast, divine adobo braised short ribs, or the housemade ravioli. 

Splurge at Upland, which alters its menu with the seasons so their menu serves freshness and rich flavor. It’s tough to get a table at this NYC hotspot, so try a weekday lunch if you can sneak away from your desk.

Where to get groceries

The most convenient supermarkets are the family-owned New York Chain D’Agostino at 38th Street and Third Avenue or Gristedes on Second Avenue and 39th Street. If you venture a little south (technically outside of Murray Hill into Kips Bay), you’ll find Trader Joe’s at 30th and Third and Fairway Kips Bay 30th and Second. 

Uniquely, there is a fantastic Japanese grocery store that has been serving NYC for 104 years! Katagari Japanese Grocery is great for fresh seafood and sushi, prepared Japanese foods, Japanese premium beef, and other Japanese pantry staples.

Where to get coffee

Perk Kafe is idyllic and cozy and serves a variety of natural, gluten-free, and specialty drinks including matcha and cold brew. Local, independent, and dripping with friendliness, Lucid Cafe is a great spot to start the day. We recommend adding a dash of their homemade almond milk to your cup. Grab a coffee, tea, fresh juice, or smoothie at Delectica for ridiculously affordable prices. 

For the teatotalers among us, Ippodo Tea Co. brings the heart of Japanese tea to Manhattan. Originating in Kyoto (where they still operate today), Ippodo offers high-quality teas (people absolutely rave about their matcha) and a staff to guide you as you explore. 

Outdoor attractions

Murray Hill is a relatively small area of NYC, but you can stroll along the FDR for picturesque views of the East River or stop by St. Vartan Park or the Robert Moses Playground. Pre-pandemic, Rooftop Park was a great oasis in the neighborhood but is temporarily closed. Keep your eyes peeled for its reopening!

Local gyms and workout spots

Fitness center chains like Equinox, New York Sports Club, and Orangetheory (on the more expensive end) and Crunch and Blink (on the no-frills end) all have locations in this part of NYC. Get a full-body workout that boosts aerobic endurance and muscular strength in 45 minutes with rowing classes at Row House

Though the big-box gyms offer personal training sessions, David Janik Fitnesses exclusively offers personal training workouts and additional services (this is concierge fitness). 

Find personal training, small group training, and kids classes at WRKNYC. Go out-of-the-box with the trampoline-based fitness studio Carve It Fitness & Wellness. Suited for all levels, a “rebounding” class works every muscle in your body in a low-impact style.

Nightlife

This New York City neighborhood is home of the happy hour—wander into any restaurant, and you’ll find thirsty New Yorkers winding down after a day’s work. The Flying Cock is a more traditional Murray Hill bar, but if you want a quieter vibe, try a cocktail at the renowned Raines Law Room at the William. For a rustic and classic vibe, try Cask Bar.

Just outside the bounds of Murray Hill in Kips Bay, try Albion, which features about 30 rotating beers on tap, wine, liquor, and a charming outdoor patio. You’ll also love the rooftop or cozy booths at Tavern29, along with drafts from one of their 34 tap lines from local and small-batch breweries. 

Outside of bars and lounges, VR World is North America’s largest immersive entertainment venue and offers over 50 VR experiences ranging in gaming, art, and more. (This is a great spot for a memorable and out-of-the-ordinary first date.) Venture just outside the neighborhood to Koreatown, and you’ll find the best karaoke spots in Manhattan. 

Things to do

The most prominent attraction in Murray Hill is The Morgan Library and Museum, which houses the collection of books and artwork from J.P. Morgan. You’ll find three Gutenberg Bibles and handwritten sheet music by Mozart. 

Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America hosts artwork and performances from Scandinavian nations and events celebrating Scandinavian culture as an educational and communal center. 

Wander through the Sniffen Court Historic District (a small block off 36th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues) to marvel at the preserved carriage houses built around the time of the Civil War. For more architectural beauty, stop by the Chanin Building to gaze at the art deco style. 

Dog-lovers, rejoice! Murray Hill is home to the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, which is devoted to dog artwork, the history of dog breeds, cameos of dogs in cinema, and more. 

While strolling in St. Vartan Park, you might wish to pop into St. Vartan Cathedral to appreciate the Armenian church’s beauty.

Don’t miss Grand Central Terminal (though we recommend avoiding rush hour). Visit the shops and the market, but be sure to marvel at the painted celestial ceiling and the famous Booth Clock. Finally, this neighborhood is home to the United Nations Headquarters. Currently, the visitor’s center is closed to the public due to COVID-19, but you can still view the grounds and take a virtual tour on your phone. 

Transportation

A monthly Metrocard ($127 for 30 days) is the best bang for your buck and works for subways and buses throughout New York City. It’s rare to have a car in NYC—particularly in Manhattan. Grand Central Terminal spans 42nd Street to 45th Street at Park Avenue and you can catch a Metro North train out of the city. The 4/5/6 train runs along Lexington Avenue through the neighborhood. 

To commute across Manhattan, use the shuttle train at Grand Central or take a cross-town bus.

Land a great apartment in Murray Hill

If you like the idea of moving to an apartment in Murray Hill in New York City, Landing offers fully furnished apartments with flexible lease terms, concierge services, seamless transfers, and all the amenities you need to start living in your new home. Browse our available apartments in Murray Hill, or contact us to learn more about how a Landing membership works.

Still looking for the right NYC neighborhood for you? Browse our other New York City neighborhood guides here!

blog-cta-city-new-york-city

About the author

Ruthie Fierberg

Ruthie Fierberg is an independent arts journalist, editor, moderator, on-camera host, producer, and theatrical consultant based in New York City. She is the creator and host of the podcast Why We Theater on the Broadway Podcast Network, which digs into the onstage works we love to create the offstage change we need. Find more at ruthiefierberg.com and follow her IG: @ruthiefierceberg / Twitter: @RuthiesATrain.