The Flatiron District in NYC: What to Do
The Flatiron District District in NYC has always been and always will be one of my fav areas of New York City. It is quiet (by NYC standards) and the vibe is something that I have always enjoyed. It certainly helps that there are also amazing restaurants (as you know, we are huge foodies here at The Sophisticato) and great boutiques to shop in! One of the major downsides to always being in Manhattan is the fact that it can be hard to always truly enjoy the city - I am always running from here to there and all around and never really have a chance to actually stop and smell the roses (so to speak). My friend Lindsey's cousin Danielle came up from Florida for a couple of weeks to visit, so this was the perfect chance to actually enjoy what Manhattan has to offer. Now for what exactly you should be doing while in the Flatiron District.
There are three specific spots that I HIGHLY recommend going to if you ever have the chance to head down to the Flatiron District: Madison Square Park, Eataly, and the Flatiron Building. In addition, there are certainly quaint streets that are perfect picture opportunities along with some street art (i.e.: graffiti), but I would rather you "get lost" and really explore the ins and outs in this beautiful area of Manhattan.
Flatiron district in nyc: Madison Square Park
Madison Square Park can be found at 5th Avenue and 23rd Street - right in the heart of the Flatiron District. While this park is certainly not as grand as Central Park, there are characteristics that make it a solid runner-up. Not only does this park have statues commemorating figures like Chester Alan Arthur and James Madison, but there is also a beautiful fountain that actually has a backdrop of none other than the Flatiron Building. There are small cafès to nosh on while sitting at one of the many tables or you can dive straight into the Shake Shack that Madison Square Park boasts. If you are just looking to relax for the day, the park offers free wi-fi so you can bring your laptop or tablet to enjoy. There are always different types events going on from flea markets to art shows to musical performances - so definitely check before you go so you can plan accordingly!
Flatiron district in nyc: The Flatiron Building
The Flatiron Building was never meant to become a landmark - it was designed by a Chicago architect to fit in the wedge-shaped area that is in between 5th Avenue and Broadway - the shape was almost a requirement in order to fit in that location. The building was originally called the Fuller Building due to the fact that it was intended to be offices for the George A. Fuller Company (a construction firm in Chicago). Its dramatic look has brought tourists and locals, alike, to photograph the building and, in turn, make it a symbol of the Flatiron District. The building has not always been occupied with offices - after the Fuller Company left there were periods of time when the building was essentially empty - but due to its growing popularity, it has been filled with publishing offices since the late 1990's. Although you cannot go inside, this building will be a landmark for time to come and I definitely recommend taking time to bask in its beauty. If you want to take it a step further, I found this great article of some secrets that you probably don't know about the Flatiron Building.
Flatiron district in nyc: Eataly
Now comes for my favorite part of this article: Eataly. Located right across from Madison Square Park, Eataly covers a full city block of the Flatiron District and it is equivalent to part of Italy breaking off and coming to this very area. Within Eataly, you will find cafès, restaurants, markets, and beyond - all with super fresh ingredients to please the healthiest of eaters. There are five restaurants nestled inside Eataly - in addition to a rooftop restaurant called Sabbia (translates to sand). During my recent visit to Eataly, I was not super hungry so we ate at La Piazza (which, you guessed, is modeled to look like a typical "square" in Italy). Here we had many choices of light bites, but I chose a meat & cheese platter with five different types of artisanal cheeses and some prosciutto, salami, mortadella, and more! To quench my thirst I sipped on a Lurisa Gazzosa (a delicious sparkling lemon beverage). In addition to many places to feast at Eataly, there is also a wine shop & gelateria - I highly recommend tasting the gelato - my all-time favorite gelato is the stracciatella flavor and the folks at Eataly do not disappoint!
If you would like to bring some of Eataly home with you, you can browse through its abundant market and find fresh pasta, produce, sauce, and so much more. Everything that is inside Eataly can also be found in its Italian counterparts - so you know that you are getting true Italian food!! If you have the time, I also recommend making time to take a cooking class at Eataly - you will be able to take Eataly home with you forever that way! Enjoy some pics below of Eataly to hold you over until you can make it there.
There is so much more to see and do in the Flatiron District, but these three things can definitely take you a half a day, if not longer. Yes, the Flatiron Building is not a long term site to look at, but you can definitely grab some food from a cafè in Madison Square Park and leisurely eat/walk around. Next head over to Eataly and dive into Italy like you have never done before be sure to treat yourself to dinner, buy a bottle of wine, and never look back
Looking for more to do in NYC? Check out our hot list!