Most New Yorkers like to boast about the little-known nooks and crannies in the city, as inside knowledge is a point of pride among those that live here. One thing those in-the-know might not know is that a hidden gem exists in one of New York’s most exclusive, prestigious neighborhoods.
Sutton Place is a well-manicured, quiet enclave filled with captivating brownstones and pre-war buildings that has attracted high-profile residents including Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, Freddie Mercury, Joan Crawford, and Sigourney Weaver. Its small stretch of streets dotted with trees and grand townhouses are just illustrations of what makes it special. We put together a helpful guide highlighting how the upscale, peaceful atmosphere of this enchanting area makes the haste and hurry of Manhattan feel miles away.
Where to Play
Easy access to cultural institutions, exercise and comfortable conveniences make this sophisticated neighborhood the optimal location to explore.
In close parallel to the neighborhood’s own quiet charm, this yoga studio dubs themselves “a very non-New York studio that happens to be located in New York.” The studio’s friendly vibe and welcoming of walk-ins makes it a rare gem in a city filled with overpriced and stuffy options. The most unique perk: rooftop yoga during the summer.
Sutton East Tennis Club
Tennis is a rapidly growing sport, but the challenges of finding a court in the city can be daunting. From drills and cardio to youth programs, Sutton East provides various ways to stay in shape or simply relieve some New York stress. Even better, this club is a rare wonder in that it doesn’t require a membership. During the excitement of the US Open, the club is also a great place to spot top players practicing prior to their matches across the river.
While New Yorkers feel they know all about this 145-year historical fashion institution, most would be surprised to learn that the home of the iconic Little Brown Bag has more to offer than shopping. The store is a behemoth, so you can avoid getting lost with the Bloomingdale’s app, which has maps, in-store restaurant information, and exclusive access to offers and store events. If you want to keep your hands free to further explore the neighborhood, you can ask the cashier to have your items shipped home (with a minimum purchase). You can also visit the first-floor Visitor Service area to arrange purchase of metro cards, theater tickets and even restaurant reservations. Yes, they do that too.
Sutton Place Park
Though Central Park isn’t far, unobstructed views of the East River from a park with fresh, open breezes can be too good to resist. You can access Sutton Place Park via a stairway the runs down to the water, almost completely camouflaged behind a chain of townhomes. At the bottom, visitors are greeted by a wild boar statue modeled after an Italian Renaissance sculpture, then the park gives way to the expansive promenade overlooking the East River.
Where to Eat
Sutton Place has had the reputation of being strictly residential, with the same ole’ pubs and little to no authentic dining options. That notion has changed with a new wave of delightful bistros, wine bars and distinct eateries.
Formerly known as Uncorked Wine Bar, this stylish and charming spot is nestled between 1st and 2nd avenues on 59th street. Both casual and intimate, the low-lit atmosphere and creative cocktails draw inspiration from the Prohibition era and forge a speakeasy vibe.
Ethos Gallery 51
Sutton Place has an abundance of Greek dining spots, specializing in everything from fresh Mediterranean fish to more traditional fare. There are many things that make this Grecian bistro stand out, including delectable food, breezy outdoor seating, warm service and complimentary dessert. Be sure to check out the restaurant’s sister spot, Pathos Café, down the street, offering locally sourced, organic ingredients within a delightful menu.
Jubilee is an authentic French bistro that occupies an elegant townhouse, touted by locals as a “quick trip to Paris”. UN employees and Sutton Place locals love the classic fare and pleasant ambiance that affords easy conversation. The eatery is always busy due to its loyal customers and generous portions, so expect a wait even with a reservation.
The owners of Sasabune Express candidly tout their philosophy of “no spicy tuna, no California roll” elegant fare. Chef Nobi Kusuhara believes sushi is an art, and this notion is clearly evident through the choice of menu – the meal selections are decided on the guests’ behalf (known as Omakase). Sushi options originate from Alaska, Long Island, Japan, Spain and South America, ensuring a varied and memorable dining experience.
This New York vegetarian restaurant retains devoted patrons due to an offering of unrivaled delights like their tasty Truffled Avocado Toast. A creative menu includes creative concoctions like smoothies, green juice and healthy bites that are a great stop after a run or dropping the dog off before work. Be sure to try the flavorful chocolate mousse made from avocado.
Where to Live
Sometimes referred to as Little London due to the pre-war townhouses that mirror London’s Belgravia neighborhood, Sutton Place’s brick facades and quiet streets provide a respite from the bustle of the city. The enclave’s notable architecture lends itself to sophisticated living.