Why Should You Eat at UrbanSpace Vanderbilt?

Among other reasons, you work in Midtown and can’t afford to eat at Michael Jordan’s steakhouse every day.

urban space vanderbilt

The new food hall has 21 different food and drink vendors. Photo courtesy of UrbanSpace Vanderbilt.

Midtown just got another upscale food court, a nice place for the power-suit crowd to while away their lunch hour. It’s called UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, and it’s helmed by the same people who run Broadway Bites, Mad. Sq. Eats and a slew of markets in London (one is called Spitalfields, which does not sound fancy to me).

Wednesday night was the UrbanSpace sneak peek at the corner of 45th and Vanderbilt, a chance for journalists and food world glitterati to sample food until they feel nauseous. Or at least that’s what I did. How can you pass by a slice of brick oven pizza, a brisket taco, a cider donut, spinach noodles in spicy peanut sauce, a gigantic fried chicken drumstick?

All this to say, you have options, many many options. Twenty-one, to be exact. Pizza from Roberta’s. Dough donuts. Fancy tinned fish via Maiden Lane. Rolls from Red Hook Lobster Pound. AsiaDog dogs. I encourage you to show more moderation than I did.

I attended with a friend, who was well-fed but puzzled. “All these options are great, but I can’t imagine ever making this place a destination,” she said. Fair point, this. If you want to eat dinner at Roberta’s, you’re probably going to eat dinner at Roberta’s. UrbanSpace, housed in a former transit terminal building, is a handsome space, and the exposed-beam, farm table aesthetic serves it well. Still, you can dress it up real pretty, but it’s a food court.

Here are some reasons you might want to eat there:

  • Train delay at Grand Central Station
  • You work in the area, and can’t afford to eat at Michael Jordan’s steakhouse every day
  • You are meeting friends who live on train lines that converge at Midtown
  • You are meeting finicky friends who can never agree on a place to eat
  • You want to try Delaney Chicken
  • The original locations for some of these vendors can have long waits — you hate to wait

There are probably other reasons that I am not considering. Truth is, I enjoy this kind of option-heavy dining. Even when choosing between Taco Bell and Sbarro’s at the Holyoke Mall, I still was very into it. It drives me a little batty to think I’m not ordering the very best option (FOMO) but that uncertainty is part of the thrill.

Side suggestion: I’ve also tried Gotham West Market and Berg’n semi-recently. They both employ the same top-shelf, multi-vendor approach — it’s a treat.

UrbanSpace Vanderbilt officially opened to the public at 6:30 this morning. Get it!

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Jesse Hirsch

Formerly the print editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan, Jesse Hirsch now works as the New York editor for GOOD magazine.