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Welcome to the Manhattan Catering SceneIt’s hard to think of cinematic Manhattan moments and not immediately drool over the Manhattan restaurant scene. “Saturday Night Fever” immediately conjures an inexhaustible pizza craving. “Sex and the City” swirls up sweet thoughts of cupcakes and cosmos. And while Harry and Sally may have met in Chicago, their love affair could only have blossomed after hundreds of meals in the Big Apple.

Yes, Manhattan is the food heart that keeps the five boroughs pumping. It does so with passion, history, and international flair. With so many delicious options at the ready, here are a few Manhattan catering standbys, trendy hotspots, and dishes to watch out for.


Diners and Delis

Manhattan catering diners are special gems. As The New York Times notes, they deliver treasure troves of heart and history. And, of course, that comes alongside bagels, matzo ball soup, and sandwiches. But these days, rising rents make is making it harder on diners that serve up affordable fare. This makes it even more important to find a trusty diner worthy of regular reordering.

Diners and delis particularly dominate the Manhattan restaurant scene’s Upper West Side. Since 1949, Fischer Brothers & Leslie Kosher Meat & Poultry Catering has sliced up the finest glatt kosher meats. Their traditional Jewish dishes including latkes, kugel, and gelfite fish sit alongside a wide range of salads, soups, and (of course) platters with everything you need to build the quintessential New York deli sandwich. Moving uptown a few blocks, 82 Café has been dishing up oversized pancakes, massive turkey clubs, and other no-frills diner food since 1993. And a fave for Columbia students, the Manchester Diner brings old-school Greek diner hospitality by way of massive salads, spinach pie, corned beef on rye, and fried apps. Across the park, Gracie’s on Second keeps the UES satiated, and Mile End has Bond Street bonded tight. And so, Manhattan catering diners hold up their pastrami sandwiches in hopes to hear: “I’ll have what she’s having.”

French cuisine

Rise of French Cuisine

French cuisine is trending nationwide. But it started nowhere else than of course Manhattan. And Manhattan catering restaurants deliver that certain “je ne sais quoi.”

Crepes & Delices delivers sweet and savory crepes with recipes that let fresh, organic ingredients shine. It’s sure to add a little “ooh-la-la” to any weekday meal. Mille-Feuille’s breakfast spread includes viennoiseries (classic French pastries) like pains au chocolat, and quiche that pairs perfectly with light salads and fresh fruit. Or, skip straight to patisserie indulgence with assorted petits fours, lemon tarts, and praline mille-feuille. The namesake “thousand-leaf” layer is as refined as refined pastry could ever hope to be. Meanwhile at Macaron Parlour, wife-and-husband team Christina Ha and Simon Tung’s romance first bloomed over their love for the French macaron, and so today they share that passion with you. Simon’s playful demeanor and Christina’s respect for pastry discipline combine into meringue cookie sandwiches in bold sweet and savory options. Rosemary & Olive Oil, Cheetos, S’Mores, and Red Velvet combos prove Manhattan catering chefs aren’t afraid to have fun.

stack chicken and waffles

Uptown Explosion

Conde Naste Traveler calls Harlem “New York’s Best Food Neighborhood” for good reason. Alongside Manhattan catering standbys, more incredible new restaurants hit this corner of the Manhattan restaurant scene every day.

For sinfully delicious soul food, drool over the menu of Soulfully Good. They’re Warm & Cozy is just that. It includes BBQ chicken, pulled pork with buttery sweet rolls, four cheese baked macaroni, mixed greens, tomato and cucumber salad, broccoli slaw, cornbread, and peach cobbler — everything you need for a soul food feast. Meanwhile, at Freda’s Caribbean & Soul Cuisine, the jerk chicken can’t be beat. And for chicken that comes fried, barbecued, and in the most scrumptious of tiny wings, Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too, Mama’s Grill & Fried Chicken, and Harlem BBQ have your cravings covered.

If you’re looking for more upscale Harlem decadence, two local favorites sing with Harlem love. Minton’s dishes live music and comfort food late into the night. But their top-chef entrees like Afro-Asian-American gumbo, braised pork shank with coconut stone-ground grits, and macaroni and cheese with ham inspire daytime dancing, too. And the mother-daughter duo behind Lady Lexis believes no compromise can’t be met when their signature bread pudding or pecan pie sits on the table.

Yes, Manhattan catering trends deliver the goods with grace, grit, and a little something extra, no matter the cuisine or neighborhood.

Are you craving some of these top Manhattan catering trends? Start your search here to find the right caterer for you.

Key Takeaways
  • Diners and delis deliver Manhattan’s old-school ambiance with matzo ball soup.
  • The nationally-trending French cuisine started in Manhattan, and nowhere does it better.
  • Harlem is the hottest neighborhood in the Manhattan restaurant scene right now.

Are you craving some of these top Manhattan catering trends? Find the right caterer.

Start your search here

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Written by:

Jacqueline Raposo

Jacqueline Raposo is a food writer and podcast producer based out of New York City. She has written features and columns for clients including Saveur magazine, Plate magazine, Tasting Table, Serious Eats, and The Village Voice, and produced audio stories for Heritage Radio Network and Live from Prince Street. When not reporting about or eating food, you can find her in Riverside Park with her dog, Mitra, working off the prosciutto.

Posted in: Trends in FoodNeed to Know

Tagged with: Caterer Network, Catering, Chicken, Deli, New York, NY, Sandwiches, Treats