SCBWI Midwinter Conference Survival Guide: Food

I’ve got tips for things you’ll need at the conference (including how to save your battery life), but what you really need is food–without going outside.

Top Food Choices Without a Coat

The Hyatt is connected to Grand Central Terminal, a jewel of a building and now something of a food mall, which means that your closest option is filled with choices. Below are what I eat when I’m there during the work week.

How to get there

From the hotel lobby escalator, go around to the right and go through the glass doors. Take a right and go through another set of doors and you will be in the Lexington Passage. The Marketplace is the next passage over (there is a secret entrace across and slightly to the right, otherwise walk to the left and at the crossroads (42nd Street Passage), take a right and enter through the doors behind the escalator. Take the escalator to go to the level lower food hall.

You can also get a map here.


Yogurt parfait, Murray’s Cheese Shop, Marketplace
You can’t believe how good this is. You seriously cannot. Apricot or black cherry are my faves. I will probably eat this twice.

Cheese from Murray’s, onion pocket from Zaro’s Bread Basket, Marketplace
Simple pleasures. If you don’t like onion, get some bread from Eli’s (see below).

Salads from Dishes at Home, Marketplace
I can’t tell you what they’ve got, but there are usually 8-12 choices, all delicious.

Anything from Eli’s, Marketplace
It will not be cheap, but it will be worth it. They have a fruit-oriented stand at the entrance from Grand Central; head to the far end (by the exit to Lexington Avenue) for bread, pastry (chocolate sour cream coffee cake! Babka muffins! Chocolate babka muffins!!) and lunch salads, etc.

Combination special from Café Spice, Lower Concourse Food Hall
My favorite dairy-free vegetarian/vegan option. Spicy and non-spicy options avaialable.

Soup, with or without Sandwich, Hale & Hearty, Lower Concourse Food Hall
Reliable, if not necessarily outstanding. Vegetarian options daily.

Mendy’s, Lower Concourse Food Hall


There are bagels, coffee and tea/hot water every morning, but I usually go for one of the following.

Balthazar croissants or scones from Dishes, Lower Concourse Food Hall (center)
They don’t have almond every day. Keep trying.

Pastry, Financier, 42nd Street Passage
Good tea, good coffee. And financiers.

Cucina and Co., Met Life Building (take the escalators across from the clock in the main concourse)
Hot breakfast available, as well as takeout, etc.

Pershing Square, right across 42nd Street via the 42nd Street Passage
Close. Fine. Hot breakfast available. I eat here if I want waffles.


Eli’s, Marketplace
As noted above, everything they have is pretty wow.

Dishes, Lower Level Food Hall
Great cookies. I vote for the oatmeal-hazelnut-chocolate chip.

Junior’s, Lower Level Food Hall and street level, behind the Vanderbilt Avenue stairs
Classic New York cheesecake

Zaro’s, Lower Level Food Hall and street level, behind the Vanderbilt Avenue stairs
Get a black-and-white cookie, another NY classic

Financier, 42nd Street Passage
French pastry

What about…

I think Magnolia and Shake Shack are over-rated. (If you must know, both are in the Lower Level Food Hall).

Have a great conference!


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