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The Most Exciting Things to Do and See Around Union Square, New York

The Most Exciting Things to Do and See Around Union Square, New York

Picture of Jinny Kim
Updated: 9 February 2017
As one of the liveliest areas in New York City, Union Square is always filled with energy and excitement. From landmarks to shopping, to dining, here are our top 10 things to do and see around Union Square.

Union Square Park

From farmers markets, art vendors, live dance performances, and people playing chess games, there’s always something going on at Union Square Park. If you want to take a stroll or spend your afternoon reading a book or just people watching, this is the perfect place to go. The streets surrounding Union Square have some of the top-rated restaurants, bars, and cafés in the city. Conveniently located, it is also a popular meeting spot and cultural mecca as it brings together many different types of people from all walks of life.

Union Square Park, E 14th St & Broadway, New York, NY, USA

Union Square Greenmarket

The Union Square Greenmarket is the largest open-air food market in NYC. From fresh fruits and vegetables to meats, award-winning cheeses, specialty breads, honey, jams and local wine, they offer a wide variety of fresh produce from New York and New Jersey. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s fun to just take a stroll, listen to music, and try some free samples. We’d recommend you go early if you want the best possible selection or go late to get end-of-day bargains.

Union Square Greenmarket, 1 Union Sq W, New York, NY, USA

The Flatiron Building

As an iconic landmark in NYC, the Flatiron Building is beautifully constructed with decorative details and an innovative shape. Presiding over the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, this iconic building has appeared numerous times in movies and television. Grab a burger and fries at Shake Shack at Madison Square Park and head over to the Flatiron Building to enjoy the beautiful view and take some photographs.

Flatiron Building, 175 5th Ave, New York, NY, USA

ABC Kitchen

ABC Kitchen has everything that a great restaurant should have – decor, ambiance, service and delicious food. With quaint chandeliers and rustic white furniture, ABC has a romantic countryside feel, created partly by its exposed wood beam ceilings. Try the roasted carrots and avocado salad, crab toast, black sea bass and salted caramel sundae with caramel popcorn, but there really is no wrong choice at ABC Kitchen.

ABC Kitchen, 35 E 18th St, New York, NY, USA 10003 +1 212 475 5829

The Strand Bookstore | © The Strand Bookstore
The Strand Bookstore | © The Strand Bookstore

The Strand Bookstore

With a huge selection and helpful staff, The Strand Bookstore has new, used, and some of the rarest books curated carefully enough that you see the best of everything. Any bookworm will easily get lost in this bookstore for hours. It is probably everything you could ask for in a bookstore – floors of books organized by genre, category and author, numerous new releases and various in-store events. Even if you’re not a bookworm, you’re bound to have a great time at The Strand.

The Strand Bookstore, 828 Broadway, New York, NY, USA 10003 +1 212 473 1452

Eleven Madison Park

Committed to utilizing the freshest ingredients, Eleven Madison Park is a high-end restaurant that will take you on an elaborate culinary journey. The restaurant focuses on the agricultural bounty of New York State. Food is not only delicious, unique and beautiful, but also playful. From the greeting at the door to a wide variety of cocktails at the bar and a gift bag at the end of the night, everything at this restaurant is first class.

Eleven Madison Park, 11 Madison Ave, New York, NY, USA 10010 +1 212 889 0905

Irving Plaza

Irving Plaza is a 1,025-person music venue in the Union Square neighborhood. Unlike the other big venues in the city, the front row at Irving isn’t too far from the stage. With great acoustics and a number of bars scattered throughout the plaza, the venue allows visitors to enjoy their favorite bands and maximize their experience.

Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Pl, New York, NY, USA 10003 +1 212 777 6800

The Grey Dog’s Coffee

The Grey Dog’s Coffee is not your typical food joint. At The Grey Dog’s Coffee, you wait in line, order, and get an assigned bandana. Then they find your table with your food. This cute and hip place offers a variety of unique food and drink options. From brunch to tea, they have a little bit of everything. We’d recommend this place if you are looking for a good quick bite during the work week.

The Grey Dog’s Coffee, 90 University Pl, New York, NY, USA ,+1 212 414 4739


Resembling a bustling market in northern Italy, Eataly is an Italian rialto, consisting of various restaurants, food and beverage counters, charcuterie and a full bakery. You can get fresh produce as well as prepared foods. Try the salami and cheese platter with a glass of white wine. If you want dessert, try the crêpe at The Nutella Bar.

Eataly, 200 5th Ave, New York, NY, USA 10010 +1 212 229 2560