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Exploring NYC's Iconic Upper East Side

New York City’s Upper East Side has a reputation for all things refined, but it’s also a community made for embracing a slower pace in the heart of Manhattan, where culture and couture collide. When you’re staying for business or pleasure at the 5th & 55th Residence Club’s exclusive collection of luxury rentals, this upscale neighborhood becomes your own.

Stay where Central Park is your local playground, Michelin-starred restaurants line the streets, and some of the world’s finest collections of history and art await steps away. 

This is your guide to the Upper East Side.

Museums & Nearby Art Galleries in NYC 

The Upper East Side’s artistic spirit has been nurtured for generations, resulting in a dazzling array of museums and galleries. As you explore, you’ll find a wealth of artistic and historical treasures, including several private homes-turned-museums in mansions that once belonged to prominent figures from the city’s past.

Explore Museum Mile’s Masterpieces

The aptly named Museum Mile is a 1.2-mile tree-lined stretch of Fifth Avenue and a cultural corridor home to an exceptional ensemble of world-renowned museums, art galleries, and cultural gems. 

You could spend an entire weekend roaming the halls of institutions like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Cooper Hewitt — the only museum in the country devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. But if you only have an hour or two, the Museum of the City of New York and El Museo del Barrio are must-visits.

Upper East Side Art Galleries

Along the very same stretch of Fifth Avenue, you’ll discover intimate spaces and grand galleries that showcase a broad spectrum of artistic expression. Find yourself face-to-face with masterpieces from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century at Frick Collection. Explore exhibits dedicated entirely to 19th-century German and Austrian art and design at Neue Galerie. Or, discover modern, surrealist, and post-war art in the museum-quality exhibitions of Di Donna Galleries.

Upper East Side Delis, Desserts, and Delights

On the Upper East Side, you’ll find yourself perfectly situated to partake in some of NYC’s most delicious traditions. From famed New York delis to sugar-coated delights, you can count on the Upper East Side to elevate eating into an art form.

A Slice of NYC: The Classic Deli Sandwich

Pastrami on rye, corned beef, bagel and lox  — deli sandwiches are integral to New York City’s cultural and culinary identity. In the 1800s, Jewish immigrants introduced these sandwiches to the city heavily influenced by Eastern European flavors and techniques — and served them in their delicatessens, known as “delis” for short. The Upper East Side is home to many notable, local-approved delis where you can take a bite of this quintessential NYC experience.

Pastrami Queen has been deli royalty since 1956, serving — among other secret family recipes — enormous hand-carved pastrami sandwiches. Find German and Northern European sausages, charcuterie, and deli meats at the family-owned Schaller & Weber. Or, stop by 2nd Avenue Deli, a New York institution, for deli classics or cocktails at 2nd Floor, their intimate upstairs bar.

Find a Sweet Escape

Explore the city’s sweet side from your private abode, where you’ll be steps from the best Upper East Side bakeries, candy shops, and doughy delicacies.

Follow the smell of fresh-from-the-oven goodness to Levain Bakery, the creators of the city’s most famous cookies. Crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle, they bake beloved signature flavors and special seasonal batches. Orwashers — founded in 1916 as a small storefront on the Upper East Side by Hungarian immigrant Abraham Orwasher — has been delighting generations of New Yorkers with classics like rye bread, pumpernickel, bagels, rugelach, babka, and black & white cookies.Sometimes, staying in is the best part of getting away — especially when where you stay feels more like home than a hotel. Make it a movie night with a stop at Dylan’s Candy Bar. Like a museum of confections, Dylan’s offers the largest selection of candy and candy-related gifts from around the world.

Clink Glasses With a Classic NYC Cocktail

From Manhattans and martinis, many classic cocktails trace their roots back to the Big Apple. And we know all the best places to pair with your drink of choice. Tour and tipple your way through the Upper East Side’s intimate speakeasies, historical cocktail bars, and laid-back lounges, where you’ll savor the city’s spirit in every sip.

New York City Lounges Abound

Disguised as a locksmith and shoe repair shop, Keys & Heels is a stylish speakeasy where mood lighting, bistro tables, and glittering disco balls set the scene for sipping classic cocktails and, occasionally, an intimate magic show. Bring a light appetite for a modest menu of lounge bites.

No place feels more appropriate to dress up and down a Martini like Bemelmans Bar in The Carlyle, a beloved Upper East Side bar since 1947. Its walls are adorned with whimsical, masterpiece murals by Ludwig Bemelmans (the creator of the classic Madeline children’s books), and the service is nothing short of spectacular. Expect live entertainment, especially live jazz.

There’s even a legendary bar in the building — the King Cole Bar at The St. Regis. To say this destination established in 1932 is history-rich would be an understatement. Not only is it said to be the birthplace of The Bloody Mary, but its bar seats were often occupied by the likes of Salvador Dalí, Marilyn Monroe, and John Lennon. Pull up a stool at its magnificent mahogany bar for a top-shelf cocktail in a regal ambiance.

Iconic Upper East Side Restaurants

The Upper East Side has long been synonymous with sophisticated dining. Its reputation as a refined culinary destination dates back decades, thanks to legendary establishments like Elaine’s Restaurant and its star-studded guest list. While hot spots have come and gone, some things never change. Discover a constellation of nearby Michelin-starred and fine-dining restaurants.

Discover a Star-Studded Dining Scene

Set in a posh duplex townhouse, Jojo by Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened its doors in 1991 but feels as fresh as ever. Its warm, modern interior matches its farm-to-table menu, which makes masterful use of local and organic ingredients to create elevated plates.

Like a portal to a Japanese refuge, Sushi Noz is a Michelin-starred marvel by Chef Nozomu Abe, serving Edomae-style sushi in two ultra-intimate spaces: its eight-seat Hinoki Counter and its six-seat Ash Room. This is an omakase-style restaurant, meaning the chef curates a tasting menu consisting of five to six small plates, plus a selection of seasonal nigiri. Every detail within its interior was sourced from Japan, including its 200-year-old Hinoki counter centerpiece — Chef Abe’s cutting board and stage.Two-star rated by the

Michelin Guide, Daniel has spent a spectacular three decades as a flagship Upper East Side dining room. Here, you’ll have the choice of the four-course seasonal prix-fixe or seven-course tasting menus starring modern, refined European cuisine. And to pair? Daniel is also renowned for its world-class wine cellar, featuring vintages from Rhône and Burgundy, plus the finest Champagne you could imagine. Some would say to save it for a special occasion, but we say every day is worth celebrating.

Your Luxury NYC Rental Awaits

Find a place to call home for as long as you’d like. Stay steps from the wonders and landmarks of New York City’s Upper East Side at the 5th & 55th Residence Club — one of the city’s most prestigious addresses in the flagship St. Regis® New York. Discover this property’s luxurious amenities and check residence availability here.