New York City is home to many of the nation’s most iconic landmarks. Still, several locals and tourists alike enjoy dedicating time to visiting Central Park as they walk through the Upper West and Upper East Sides. As the season’s change, so does the park’s landscape, making it the perfect backdrop for any commemorative photo.
Suppose you need a place to relax after walking through the Big Apple’s centerpiece park. If that’s the case, you can find plenty of restaurants offering a wide selection of dining options, including unique twists on classic favorites and international dishes. However, with so many to choose from, you might have trouble narrowing down the best places to eat near Central Park.
To help you simplify your search, I created a list of the best restaurants around Central Park offering the tastiest dishes and the richest experiences you shouldn’t miss out on during your visit. In my opinion, trying new foods is as adventurous as scaling the highest skyscrapers.
Best Restaurants Near Central Park
- The Loeb
- Storico Restaurant NY
- Tavern On the Green
- Dancing Crane Cafe
- Le Pain Quotidien
- Park Lane Hotel New York
- The Milling Room
- Café Sabarsky
- Nougatine at Jean-Georges
- Jacob’s Pickles
- Good Enough To Eat
- Osteria Cotta Winebar and Restaurant
- Jams NYC
- Porter House Bar and Grill
Park Drive North, E 72nd St, New York, NY 10021
First up on my list of the best restaurants around Central Park is The Loeb, located on Park Drive North, East 72nd Street. This restaurant has an excellent lakeside view of the park. It gives it a serene and comfortable atmosphere as you enjoy extravagant dishes made by Executive Chef John Greeley. You can also rent a rowboat or take a gondola ride across the lake.
I recommend trying their bacon-wrapped monkfish, honey mustard grilled chicken, or sauteed salmon. They also have an outdoor bar where you can sip cocktails by the lake and offer annual Thanksgiving courses for guests of all ages.
170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024
Next up, we have Storico Restaurant NY, located in the NY Historical Society building, overlooking Central Park West. The closest Central Park landmark you can walk to from it is The Triplets Bridge. This refined restaurant serves Italian-style dishes made with the freshest ingredients and traditional cooking methods. They also offer indoor and outdoor dining, an extensive wine list, and private event hosting services.
I recommend sampling their mushroom lasagna, bucatini, roasted turkey club, or market fish with crispy potatoes on the side. Storico’s best cocktails are their Cane Salato and Brezza Acido. They also serve the best apple pie dessert on the West Side.
W 67th St, New York, NY 10023
Do you prefer dining at a restaurant inside Central Park’s borders? If so, Tavern On The Green is the right place for you. It overlooks West 67th Street and is within walking distance to Runners Grove. It has a warm, elegant, and welcoming vibe, perfect for enjoying classic dishes for lunch or dinner.
In my opinion, their best dinner entrees are baked codfish, caramelized rack of lamb, organic Scottish salmon, and grilled lobster with sweet peat risotto. I recommend their Beau Monde Bloody Mary cocktail or Kiwi Strawberry Basil Fizz mocktail with any of their bar bites. They also offer Thanksgiving, brunch, and kid’s menus.
With locations on Central Park South, Park Avenue South, the Upper West Side, and Tribeca, Sarabeth’s is another place I recommend booking during your next trip to New York City. This restaurant has a refined and welcoming atmosphere, ideal for enjoying their all-day menu. The Central Park South location has three private dining rooms: Skylight, Garden, and Atrium.
I recommend their chicken pot pie, braised short rib, spinach, and goat cheese omelet, or seafood cobb salad. Additionally, every Monday, Sarabeth’s offers half-priced wine bottles after 5PM. In my opinion, their best cocktails are Watermelon High and Working Title. If that’s not your style, try one of their scotches.
240 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
Located on Central Park South, near the Museum of Arts and Design, Marea is your best option for high-end seafood and pasta. Executive Chef Molly Nickerson creates each dish with high-quality ingredients to ensure the best taste. Marea’s chic and modern setting is ideal for anyone looking for an authentic fine dining experience with a view of Central Park.
Their best pastas are bucatini, spaghetti, and ravioli doppi. I recommend starting with their grilled octopus and trying their seared langoustine, grilled lobster, or roasted duck breast with confit potatoes. Each dish tastes excellent with a Sleepy Hollow cocktail or Pompelmo. Finish your meal in style with their sweet panna cotta or tiramisu.
64th Street and 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Overlooking 64th Street and 5th Avenue, Dancing Crane Cafe is an excellent restaurant option to consider while exploring the Central Park Zoo. It’s a casual establishment where anyone can drop in and grab light fare and drinks to-go. They also offer indoor and outdoor seating to accommodate your dining preferences based on the time of day or weather conditions.
Dance Crane Cafe offers several meal combos for midday meals. I recommend their chicken strips, hamburger, or pizza. Several of their options come with a side of fries and a drink of your choice. They also offer free refills for specific sodas.
With locations on 6th Avenue, West 55th Street, and Broadway Columbus Circle, Le Pain Quotidien prioritizes serving delicious and organic dishes. Many of their menu items are also gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly. It has a relaxed and sophisticated vibe, perfect for enjoying a meal before stopping by Central Park. They also offer catering services for any location.
I recommend their smoked salmon tartine, vegetable quiche, chile sin carne, or granola parfait. My favorite organic drinks are mint lemonade, turmeric latte, spiced apple cider, and Belgian hot chocolate. If you want to treat yourself for dessert, try their mixed berry tart or organic coconut chia pudding.
36 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
If you’re looking for the best restaurants around Central Park with a posh and modern yet classic atmosphere, Park Lane Hotel New York is another option you should consider. Overlooking Central Park South and West 59th Street, this location has a breathtaking panoramic view of the park as you indulge in their high-quality breakfast and lunch options.
I recommend their buttermilk pancakes, eggs benedict, chicken wings, or chicken BLT. Also, try their New York vanilla bean cheesecake, lemon raspberry tart, or ice cream & sorbet if you want a sweet treat. Be sure to stop by during their Saturday and Sunday brunch from 11:30AM to 2PM.
446 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
I consider The Milling Room one of the best restaurants around Central Park because of its large dining space. Located on Columbus Avenue, this Upper West Side restaurant has a luxurious modern ambiance, tavern-style bar, and open skylight ideal for enjoying American dishes with an Italian influence. Many also use the space for film, TV, and photoshoots.
I recommend their mouth-watering Kurobuta Pork Chop, Dorade alla Caponata, Pescatore Pasta, or Ricotta Gnocchi with a side of grilled eggplant. In addition, they host happy hour every Wednesday through Sunday from 4:30PM to 6PM, so be sure to try their Señor Ruby, Blackberry Crush, or Oompa Loompa cocktails.
1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
Nestled in the Neue Galerie NY, Café Sabersky is your go-to destination for authentic Austrian cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Christopher Engel. With its wooden fixtures and classy period objects, this upscale eatery is considered one of the best restaurants around Central Park for fine dining. It also has a grand piano for live music performances and private events at the museum.
I recommend their Goulash Soup with Potatoes, Viennese Beef Goulash with Fresh Herbed Spätzle, South Tyrolean Cheese Dumpling, or Organic Chicken Paprika with Spätzle. My favorite drinks are their Gurkenlimonade and Blood Orange. If you want to try their Viennese dessert, order their apple strudel.
1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023
Are you having trouble finding a casual yet upscale French Restaurant overlooking Central Park? Then, consider visiting Nougatine at Jean-Georges, located on Central Park West. With its brown and cream furniture and walls, you’re bound to feel classy as you eat seasonal specialties and get a grand view of the park’s skyline from their outdoor terrace.
My favorite dinner options are their Roasted Maine Lobster, Veal Milanese, 28-Day Dry-Aged Ribeye for Two, and Rigatoni with Meatballs. Visit their bar to try their Lychee-Raspberry Bellini cocktail or sparkling wines. They also serve outstanding cherry pie and roasted corn souffle for dessert.
509 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
Another restaurant that stands out is Jacob’s Pickles, located on Amsterdam Avenue, blocks away from Central Park. This modern rustic establishment serves quality Southern food, craft beer and cocktails, and shareable pickles. It also received recognition from several outlets, including The New York Times, Manhattan Digest, and Gothamist.
In my opinion, you should start with their fried pickles or deviled eggs and order their Hot Chicken Biscuit Sandwich, Catfish Tacos, Southern BLT, or Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese. They also have a wide selection of whiskey and cellared beer. I recommend their Rosemary Vodka Lemonade or Dirty Aphrodite cocktails. Finally, don’t miss out on their creamy fried Oreo dessert.
483 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Located on Columbus Avenue, a block away from Central Park, Bellini offers its patrons pasta and pizza made in-house. They also source their ingredients from trusted partners, ensuring their Italian dishes’ flavors exceed expectations. In addition, it has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere for anyone passing through the West Side.
I recommend their Prosciutto Pizza, Chicken Alfredo, Shrimp Sicilian Pesto, or Gnocchi al Gorgonzola. I also suggest starting with their Eggplant Parmigiana, Grilled Baby Octopus, or Sicilian Meatballs. Don’t forget to complete your meal with a side of truffle fries or rosemary potatoes. They also offer delivery and takeout for people with tight schedules.
520 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Nestled on Columbus Avenue, Good Enough To Eat is one of the best restaurants around Central Park that serves American comfort food made with locally sourced ingredients and scratch-made bread and desserts. Unlike the other entries on this list, this casual restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and brunch, offering other options instead of steak and seafood.
I recommend their Wall Street Omelet, Bacon Waffle, House Reuben Sandwich, or Farmhouse Breakfast with a milkshake. You can also try their Build-A-Burger after 11AM. Ask your server about their dessert if you want to take them to-go. My favorite seasonal options are their sweet potato maple and pumpkin pies.
513 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Are you in the mood for Italian cuisine? If so, Osteria Cotta Winebar and Restaurant, found on Columbus Avenue and West 85th Street, offers excellent pasta, small plates, and pizza made in their imported wood-burning oven. It has a rustic and cozy vibe with four main dining areas: its main bar, upstairs dining room, upstairs living room, and outdoor cafe.
In my opinion, their best fare is their wood-fired rosemary wings, Rucola pizza, Chicken Milanese, and house-made pappardelle. They also host a happy hour from 4PM to 6PM Monday through Thursday and 3PM to 5PM on Fridays. I recommend their Passion Fruit Pisco Sour or High Tea cocktails when visiting their bar.
154 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
Located in the JW Marriott Essex House, on West 59th Street and Central Park South, this sleek and modern offers a scenic view and delectable upmarket American dishes and bar specialties. It has a casual yet upscale atmosphere for anyone interested in fresh takes on classic cocktails and French-style cooking.
I recommend starting with their popcorn shrimp or acorn squash before ordering their Brisket Burger, Pasta Bolognese, Atlantic Salmon, or Roasted Chicken Breast. If you happen to be in the city during Valentine’s Day, they have a special menu offering Key Lime Mousse or Hazelnut Chocolate Cake as a dessert.
1414 6th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Nestled in 1 Hotel Central Park, overlooking 6th Avenue, Jams NYC is another option for people looking for restaurants near Central Park specializing in Californian fare. Its stylish yet rustic appearance helps guests relax before walking to Central Park’s lake. Chef Jonathan Waxman uses locally sourced ingredients to create amazing seasonal dishes.
In my opinion, their best dinner options are Grilled Magret Duck Breast, Red Pepper Pancakes, Union Square Market Stir-Fry, and Wood-Roasted Swordfish. In addition, I recommend sampling their Caffe en Jalisco, Grapefruit Daiquiri, Drunken Monk, or Smitten Kitten cocktails. You also stop by for brunch on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday between 10AM and 4PM.
485 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Don’t know where to eat near Central Park while exploring the west side? Cilantro, located on Columbus Avenue, is a great place where you can find Mexican and Southwestern dishes at any time of the day. This casual restaurant serves its dishes with large margaritas to balance their bold and unique flavors. You can also order meals to-go or enjoy them on their patio space.
I recommend trying their Paella Valenciana, Tequila Marinated Shrimp Fajitas, Molcajete Azteca, or Southwestern Tuna Steak. Their best cocktails are Pineapple Paloma Mezcalita and Cadillac Margarita. Stop by on the weekends for brunch from 11AM to 4PM.
10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019
Last but not least is Porter House Bar and Grill, located on Columbus Circle, near the New York Institute of Technology. This upscale steakhouse offers seasonally inspired dishes prepared by chef and owner Michael Lomonaco. They have an extensive wine list and two dining rooms reserved for sophisticated private events.
I recommend starting with their oysters or shrimp cocktail and ordering their risotto, butter-poached lobster, dry-aged prime porterhouse, or beef burger. My go-to cocktails are Hemingway Daiquiri, Watermelon Refresher, Fernet About It, and New York Sour. Don’t forget to try their NY State Apple Crostata or artisan cheeses with a coffee and tea cocktail!
As you can see, many Central Park restaurants offer excellent dining options for people following specific diets or looking for new international dishes to sample. Hopefully, this list helped you narrow the best places to go as you walk through the city and take in the sights.
Don’t have time for a full course meal? Then, check out this article about where to find the best pizza in Times Square.
Did I leave out a restaurant you like? Please leave a comment and tell me about your favorites and their best dishes so I can check them out!
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