No New York experience is complete without a trip to Central Park, the enormous and magical natural oasis in the center of Manhattan. Coined “New York City’s backyard,” Central Park is a whopping 843 acres with multiple lakes, playgrounds, fields, trails, gardens, and historic monuments.
You could spend multiple days just exploring Central Park, let alone the countless museums, buildings, and cultural attractions of the surrounding neighborhoods. No matter what time of year you go, Central Park is a stunning and essential attraction for tourists, young and old.
Whether you wish to walk, cycle, or scooter around Central Park, you’ll need a hearty meal to fuel your explorations. What better way to prepare for a walk around Central Park than a delicious brunch?
There are numerous excellent options to enjoy a lavish brunch around Central Park and even one inside the park itself. If you’re looking for where to get brunch around Central Park, you’ll find every dining experience imaginable, from high-end hotel buffets to Southern comfort gastropubs.
Below, I have compiled a list of restaurants that offer the best brunch in Central Park, so you can begin adding them to your New York itinerary.
1414 6th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Located one block from the historic Ritz Carlton Hotel and the southern Artist’s Gate entrance of Central Park, Jams is a light and airy restaurant specializing in Californian cuisine. All ingredients are fresh, seasonal, and colorfully plated. The interior of the restaurant is an industrial-chic masterpiece with walls formed by bricks laid in ornate patterns, solid wood bar and tables, countless potted and hanging plants, and wall-to-ceiling windows.
The menu changes seasonally according to produce availability, with most entrees including a fresh fruit cup. Along with a full cocktail bar to fulfill all bloody mary, mimosa, and Bellini needs, Jams is also a café with a full espresso menu. I had a delicious apple fritter while savoring my Americano, followed by a true California-style brunch staple, Avocado and Sprout toast with a perfectly poached egg on top.
509 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
Named for the owner and New York native, Jacob’s Pickles is a brewery and southern comfort food restaurant in the Upper West Side and a block from the American Museum of Natural History. Owner Jacob and his son run the business and source their produce from the community garden they erected next door with the help of the surrounding neighborhood.
Jacob’s restaurant sign says simply “Beer, Biscuits, and Pickles,” and they have every variety of each category. Not only do they have dozens of select American craft beers on tap, but their extensive menu of pickles includes every vegetable imaginable and even pickled eggs. Their incredibly rich biscuits are a must-try, whether you want a fried chicken and biscuit sandwich, biscuits and gravy, or just a piping hot biscuit with honey butter.
240 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
Marea is a Michelin-starred fine dining Italian restaurant located right in front of Central Park’s Columbus Circle in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. Meaning “tide” in Italian, Marea’s focus is coastal Italian dishes, so you can expect a seafood-centric menu. Along with a Michelin Star, Marea has also received a James Beard Award and accolades from Bon Appetit, the New York Times, Zagat, and many other noteworthy press outlets.
They serve a weekend lunch menu, so if you’re worried about sleeping through breakfast, Marea is happy to receive late sleepers. Because they are known for their seafood, I recommend trying their grilled octopus antipasti or their handmade spaghetti with Manila clam, calamari, leek, garlic, and pepperoncino.
W 67th St, New York, NY 10023
A Central Park institution, Tavern On the Green has been a beloved American fine dining restaurant since 1934. Current owners Caiola and David Salama have refurbished and updated the beautiful dining space to conserve the original appearance, and executive Chef Bill Peet puts a creative spin on the Tavern’s classic American menu.
Weekend brunch is a real treat at Tavern On the Green, with a beautifully curated menu that features the freshest and highest quality steak and fish. I recommend the roasted figs with goat cheese, honey, cured beef, and arugula to start. Their steak and eggs with sliced sirloin, fingerling potatoes, and au jus was spectacular.
Park Drive North, E 72nd St, New York, NY 10021
Located inside Central Park, looking over the Lake, The Loeb Boathouse Central Park has the best brunch with a view in New York. The serenity of the surrounding greenery replete with bird songs and paddle boaters combined with the original 19th-century Victorian-style boathouse in which the restaurant is located will transport you in time and space. You can rent a rowboat before or after your Sunday brunch at the Loeb Boathouse for the quintessential Central Park experience.
The beautiful lakeside view comes with an equally elegant menu of new American cuisine. If you’re looking for a sweet breakfast, I recommend their utterly decadent stuffed French toast with a blueberry mascarpone filling and dusted with lemon-scented sugar. For a savory meal, I recommend the Full Boathouse Breakfast, a take on the British fry-up, with fried eggs, sausage, bacon, baked beans, roasted tomato, mushrooms, and fried potatoes.
911 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Located two blocks from Central Park’s Columbus Circle, Petrossian Boutique & Café is another long-standing Midtown haunt specializing in caviar and French fare. The Petrossian is both a deli and a café. Guests can, therefore, enjoy a delicious espresso and delectable meal with friends in a comfortable setting or pick-up world-class caviar, nibbles, and gifts to go before heading into the park for a picnic on a nice day.
The Petrossian’s knowledgeable staff will guide you through the menu’s various caviar selections for a one-of-a-kind tasting. They also have an incredible selection of smoked fish, which you can try on a blini platter or added to one of their beautiful seasonal salads.
40 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
Located in Central Park South, within walking distance to the Plaza Hotel, Carnegie Hall, and the MoMA, Sarabeth’s is a fine-dining American restaurant known for its incredible brunches. Owner and founder Sarabeth Levine opened Sarabeth’s as a simple bakery where she sold pastries and fruit preserves in the early 80’s to city-wide acclaim that launched her humble bakery into the four-location, award-winning restaurant empire it is today.
Sarabeth’s weekend brunch menu has refined versions of comfort food favorites like the “adult grilled cheese”, with pretzel bread, three cheeses, house-made pickles, and tomato soup. Paying homage to Sarabeth’s bakery beginnings, I recommend a dough-centric menu item like their fluffy buttermilk pancakes or waffles, or a savory popover.
36 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
Park Room is a new American eatery located inside the beautiful Park Lane Hotel with incredible panoramic views of Central Park and the surrounding Midtown East neighborhood. Park Room is a part of a multi-concept, multi-restaurant program within the hotel from visionary restaurateur Scott Sartiano. Park Room is a popular spot for hotel guests, business breakfasts, and tourists looking for a high-end breakfast to fuel the day’s itinerary.
Park Room’s extensive menu offers breakfast seven days a week and an amended weekend brunch menu, with all the classic American favorites like eggs benedict, corned beef hash, and pancakes. You can opt for a brunch buffet as well.
1590 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028
Located in the Upper East Side, a short walk from The Lake in Central Park, The Penrose is a friendly local bar and gastropub inspired by old American and Cork cuisine and tradition. Its warm, industrial-chic wood and brick interior, bustling atmosphere, and friendly service combined with delicious food and drink have earned The Penrose numerous accolades from The New York Times, the New Yorker, New York Magazine, and many more.
Both Thrillest and Culture Trip cite The Penrose as having the best brunch in New York. Their eclectic brunch menu has creative appetizers and entrees that run the gamut of regional favorites, not to mention their expertly crafted brunch cocktails. I recommend starting with the shareable blueberry French toast sticks. Their fried green tomato BLT with smoked bacon, red leaf lettuce, cornmeal crusted tomatoes and basil aioli on Pullman bread is incredible.
If you have children, there’s no better place for a magical family brunch than Alice’s Tea Cup, a restaurant inspired by Alice in Wonderland and the British tradition of tea time. Sisters and owners Haley and Lauren Fox created Alice’s Tea Cup to fulfill every customer’s timeless dreams of being a member of the mad hatter’s tea party.
They have hundreds of tea flavors to choose from along with a scrumptious selection of scones, tea sandwiches, and sweets. You can choose a tea package for couples or groups that includes unlimited tea and unlimited helpings of select scones, sandwiches.
520 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Located in the Upper West Side, one block from Central Park’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, Good Enough To Eat is a casual, family and budget-friendly eatery specializing in home-cooked American comfort food. Founder and Owner Carrie Levine opened Good Enough To Eat in 1981 with the intention of serving hearty, old-fashioned American food using the farm-to-table approach.
The brunch menu has an extensive selection of pancakes, French toasts, waffles, egg scrambles and omelets, and specialty selections like corned beef hash, burgers, and breakfast sandwiches. I recommend the banana walnut pancakes, or for a super decadent rendition, the Peter Paul Pancakes with Belgian chocolate and toasted coconut.
Central Park is one of New York’s most magical attractions, with the surrounding neighborhoods housing other noteworthy landmarks and museums. Consequently, there are numerous excellent options for brunch around Central Park to fuel a day of sightseeing and meandering through city streets and park trails.
I guarantee that all the restaurants on my list of the best brunch in Central Park are sure to satisfy your cravings and create a unique experience that will become a highlight of your New York trip. If you’re looking for more Central Park eats, check out my list of the best restaurants around Central Park.