We know, we know: another day, another gourmet, small-bite food hall. Such is the lot of super-spoiled New Yorkers who like to eat well — or even eat. Still, UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, which debuted last week in a cavernous, renovated space nestled next to Grand Central Terminal is worth knowing about, for both its smack-dab-in-the-middle-of-everything location and its impressive array of freshly-made, affordable and delicious options that will please even the most finicky of eaters, whether they’re four or 40 years old.
photo: Liz Clayman/UrbanSpace
All Aboard UrbanSpace Vanderbilt
UrbanSpace Vanderbilt is the latest venture — and first NYC brick-and-mortar location — of parent company UrbanSpace, which is responsible for other food and retail markets around town such as Mad. Sq. Eats, Dekalb Market, the Union Square Holiday Market and Broadway Bites. (It also operates several similar spots in the UK.)
The massive food hall is located in one of the old waiting rooms of the New York Central Building, which is tucked into the space between the Park Avenue auto viaduct and a covered pedestrian passageway. (It’s a stone’s throw from Grand Central.) The 1929 space now features industrial steel roadway beams, remnants of terrazzo floors, soaring ceilings and double-height windows. There’s also a ton of space to sit, at the perimeter of the space or in a central seating area with lots of tables.
photo: Ethan Covey/UrbanSpace
UrbanSpace has assembled a group of more than 20 chefs and restaurants from Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens for its newest foodie market. Similar to other food halls in the city, UrbanSpace Vanderbilt imports many premier food purveyors from farther-flung areas of the city, so you can sample famed Roberta’s pizza from Bushwick, Mimi’s Hummus of Ditmas Park or Queens’ Sips & Bites’ gourmet toasts right on on 45th Street.
Options include both gourmet fast/comfort food like fried chicken from Delaney Chicken, Roberta’s pizza and burgers by Bar Suzette, as well as a wide range of international cuisine (Thai from Bangkok B.A.R, Mexican from La Palapa Tacos, and noodles by Hong Kong Street Cart) and super-healthy vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options (veggie burgers by No. 7 Veggie and Power Bowls by Two Tablespoons). Also: desserts such as gelato by A.B. Biagi, cookies and cake from Ovenly, doughnuts by DOUGH — and lots of beer and wine are available. (Vendor Mayhem and Stout will even sell you a growler.)
How is it & how much?
It’s fair to say that everything we sampled at the preview event (which was, um, a lot) was delicious, from old standbys to more adventurous fare to the sweets. UrbanSpace is promising that everything will be made fresh on site by vendors, as well as rotating menus to ensure variety and seasonal choices.
The food is probably not the cheapest you could find in the area, but it’s pretty close, and it would be hard to beat the market for freshness, convenience and quality. Yes, you’ll pay $17 for a lobster roll from the Red Hook Lobster pound, but like the amazing $5 spicy tuna taco from Takumi Taco, most bites are less than 10 bucks.
230 Park Ave (at Vanderbilt and 45th St.)
Have you visited UrbanSpace Vanderbilt yet? What did you try? Tell us in the comments below!