Post Overview: Restaurants Near Central Park
Every New York City itinerary includes a visit to Central Park, but oftentimes folks forget that all that walking will work up an appetite.
It doesn’t take long for hanger to brew and before you know it you’re left scrambling to find a place to eat before it boils over.
But fret not, you have a friend who visits the park daily (sometimes even twice a day), me! I’m going to share my jewel-case full of the best restaurants near Central Park with you.
Everything from my post-workout carb-reload to date night restaurants near Central Park are in this article, so I hope you find it useful.
But you know me, enough of the small talk! Let’s get to the good stuff.
Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +2 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.
Best Restaurants Near Central Park Table of Contents
- Layout of Central Park
- Restaurants Near Central Park
- Restaurants Near Central Park | Upper West Side
- Restaurants Near Central Park | Upper East Side
- Restaurants Near Central Park | Central Park South
- Quick Recap of The Best Food Near Central Park
- Where to Eat Near Central Park NYC (Helpful Map)
Layout of Central Park
There are so many fantastic restaurants near Central Park just waiting for you to swing by. But to make the most of your time and to fully understand where you want to go you need to understand the layout.
Let’s address the elephant in the room — Central Park is massive (842.6 acres, massive).
The West side of the park is where you’ll find the American Museum of Natural History, Strawberry Fields and Sheep Meadow. Where the East side is home to the MET Museum, the Loeb Boat House and the Wollman Rink.
Then there’s the North end that doesn’t get explored as much as it should and the South end that is home to the Central Park Zoo and leads to the famous Fifth Avenue. For the sake of keeping this guide (relatively) short, we’ll cover restaurants near Central Park to the West, East and South end.
All this to say, before you can decide where you want to eat near Central Park, you need to figure out what your reasoning for visiting is. Create a plan of what you want to see and then choose a restaurant based on what makes the most sense.
If at all helpful, here are 15 Iconic Things to Do in Central Park!
Restaurants Near Central Park
Restaurants Near Central Park | Upper West Side
Best UWS Bagels Shops Near Central Park
modern bread & bagels
Bagels are the easiest way to grab a quick bite before exploring Central Park. Heck you can even order your bagel to-go and enjoy it while walking aimlessly through the curved paths of the park.
Modern Bread & Bagel is one of the best restaurants near Central Park to load up on all your carb-needs. Not only are the bagels perfectly seasoned and incredibly soft — they’re also gluten-free!
Yup! The entire menu is gluten-free with many vegan options as well. But the best part is, even if you don’t have any dietary restrictions, you’ll love the bagels just the same. Grabbing bagels is also one of the best ways to save money if you’re looking for affordable restaurants near Central Park. A bagel with schemer goes for around $6 here.
Address: 472 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Zucker’s Bagels & Smoked Fish
One of the most conveniently located restaurants near Central Park is Zucker’s Bagels. Perched on the corner of 73rd St. and Columbus Ave. the bagel shop is less than a block away from Strawberry Fields, a popular destination when exploring Central Park.
The large menu leaves little room for disappointment. Standouts are the breakfast sandwiches, you can never go wrong with the classic bacon, egg and cheese.
Locals tip, if you want to eat like a true New Yorker order a BECSPK (bacon, egg, cheese, salt, pepper & ketchup). The quicker you say it the more points you get. 😉
Zucker’s also has an easy-to-use online mobile ordering system, so you can plan ahead and collect your bagels without the fuss of a line.
Address: 273 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023
Found on the corner of Broadway and West 80th, Zabar’s (pronounced zay-bar) is family run grocery store that feels like a true New York experience.
They have a vast selection of items to choose from — everything from smoked fish, a surprising assortment of cheeses and a delectable bakery, but the lox is where they shine.
The doughy bagel with the velvety smoked fish is simply irresistible. I love the taste of the bagels and consider Zabar’s one of the best restaurants near Central Park.
Address: 2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
Further Reading: Need more options? Here are 5 SATISFYING Bagels on the Upper West Side.
Best UWS Pizza Restaurants Near Central Park
Famed for being Frank Sinatra’s favorite pizza spot in NYC, Patsy’s is one of the best restaurants near Central Park. The iconic pizza shop has a grandfathered coal-oven that is tasked with churning out exceptional pies and has been since 1933.
We ordered the original pie and were taken aback by the rich complexity of of three simple flavors (dough, sauce and cheese).
The crust was thin, as to be expected with a coal-fired oven, and the sauce to cheese ratio was executed perfectly. My favorite part was the flavor of the sauce, it’s so memorable. Patsy’s is a great restaurant near Central Park for folks wanting to picnic in the park. Ordering a pie and chowing down on a park bench has never been easier.
Address: 61 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023
Freddie & Peppers
A good ol’ reliable slice shop has made our list of best restaurants near Central Park, and for good reason. Freddie & Peppers has been around since 1978 and has served as a neighborhood staple for years.
As far as flavors go, the sky is the limit it seems. Along with classic toppings like pepperoni and cheese you can expect unique pairings like chicken tex-mex (bacon, salsa, jalapeño and cheese) or nacho. Pizzas can be purchased by the slice or in a full pie.
Friends with dietary restriction have not been forgotten here either! In fact, this is one of the few pizza restaurants near Central Park that offers gluten-free, dairy-free and whole wheat options.
Address: 303 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023
A true hole in the wall Upper West Side pizza joint, Pizza Pete’s has that authentic neighborhood feel that draws locals in like a magnet.
Located on Columbus Ave. between West 85th and 86th St. it’s one of the best restaurants near Central Park and the Museum of Natural History.
It looks like the pizzeria you’d see in a kid’s cartoon show set in New York City. This is thanks to the checkerboard tiles, red-painted accents and a menu above the counter that looks like it’s been there since the 70’s (with current prices, of course).
Pizza Pete’s is well known for their Sicilian slices, but you’ll be well served regardless of which pizza you order. My go-to is the margherita, while my wife prefers the buffalo pie.
Address: 528 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Further Reading: Need more options? Here are 15+ Great Pizza Spots On The Upper West Side (Worth Seeking Out).
Best UWS Cafes Near Central Park
Daily Provisions was opened by Danny Meyer, the mastermind behind Shake Shack (which has a cult-like following in NYC, mind). This is a personal favorite restaurant near Central Park if you’re looking for an unfussy, quick meal.
Lines are inevitable, but the staff works like a well-oiled machine to provide the best service. The cafe itself is adorable and the casual ambience is often a necessity when you have busy day or simply don’t want the whole charade of a sit-down restaurant.
This cafe is famous for crullers, no doubt, but the true star of the show is the great breakfast sandwich menu, which makes this one of the best brunch restaurants near Central Park. Two clear standouts are the BEC (bacon, egg and cheese) and the smoked salmon everything croissant.
Address: 375 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
If you find yourself in need of something sweet, one of the best pit-stops to make near Central Park is Magnolia Bakery.
Famous for their banana pudding (I’m talking world- famous), the second you step foot into this shop you’ll be tempted to try everything. The classic banana pudding is creamy, fresh and absolutely divine.
Magnolia Bakery also offers plenty of other options like cupcakes, cookies and tiny cheesecakes to name a few. It’s an easy place to swing by near Central Park for a treat and a cup of coffee and be on your way.
Further Reading: Sucker for some sweets? Us too! Here are 12 Delicious Upper West Side Bakeries.
Address: 200 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023
Ask any local about their favorite cafe in NYC and the honest ones will mention Maman. Offering a whimsical and charming vibe, this is one of the best restaurants near Central Park if you’re looking to catch up with an old friend.
Originally started as a French bakery and cafe in SoHo, Maman quickly became renown for perfectly executed baked goods. But what really put them on the map was Oprah listing their nutty chocolate chip cookie as one of her favorite things.
I never miss an opportunity to order the quiche, chocolate croissant and their famous macadamia nut cookie. Plus, the coffee is always great!
Address: 29 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
Further Reading: Need more options? Here are 10 Charming Upper West Side Cafes Guaranteed to Satisfy.
Best UWS Restaurants Near Central Park
Maison Pickle offers a quintessential American brunch on the Upper West Side. Expect enormous servings, beautiful presentation and a full array of adult beverages. Beloved by locals, no list of the best restaurants near Central Park would be complete without Maison Pickle.
I recommend the Hot Honey Chicken n French Toast — you won’t be disappointed. The chicken is perfectly spiced and has a great kick without being overwhelmingly spicy. And yes, the dish pairs beautifully with a Bloody Mary, in case you were wondering.
The large portions ensured you’ll have leftovers the next day (and day after, for that matter). Not only is this one of the best restaurants near Central Park, it’s also enough food for two full meals! Hard not to love that.
Address: 2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
Mamoun’s Falafel was founded in 1972, long before there were Middle Eastern food carts lining Manhattan’s streets. Back then, this hole in the wall restaurant was one of a kind and helped introduce this popular dish to America.
For those who don’t know what a falafel is, it’s a deep fried ball made traditionally out of ground chickpeas with a soft center. Mamoun’s is unique in that it primarily uses parsley, which gives it a unique green color.
Mamoun’s is hands down one of the best restaurants near Central Park if you’re trying to save a buck.
Their signature sandwiches are some of the most popular cheap eats in New York City. For $6.50 New Yorkers can order the classic, which comes with falafel, hummus, lettuce, tomato, onions and tahini sauce wrapped in a pita bread pocket.
Mamoun’s is also a one of the most popular restaurants near Central Park for late night munchies. The UWS restaurant stays open as late as 3 AM.
Address: 508 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Speaking of cheap eats, another affordable restaurant near Central Park is the iconic Gray’s Papaya hotdog shop.
Few things are synonymous with the Big Apple but luckily hotdogs made the cut. The no frills, reliable shop has been churning out hotdogs since 1973. Whether you’re swinging by because you’re hungry, bored or broke — Gray’s will welcome you with open arms.
No need to break the bank when searching for restaurants near Central Park. You can feed the whole family at Gray’s Papaya for less than $5 a person!
Address: 2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
Charles Pan Fried Chicken
The story of how Charles Pan Fried Chicken became one of the best restaurants near Central Park is a loaded with hard-work over several decades, I’ll give you the quick run-down.
Charles Gabriel was born in in 1947 as one of 21 (yes, 21) kids in a family of sharecroppers. He learned to cook in his mother’s kitchen before moving to New York City at the age of 17.
Once in New York Charles started working at restaurants, learning and building a career through hard work and talent. In the 80’s Charles decided to start working for himself, setting up a table outside of his apartment building in Harlem and selling chicken to his neighbors.
The table turned into a food truck and eventually into brick and mortar locations (with the flagship in Harlem). From then on Charles Pan Fried Chicken has become the pinnacle of soul food in New York City.
Luckily they’ve expanded and opened one of the best restaurants near Central Park, bringing the juiciest, crispiest, most flavor-forward fried chicken to the quiet neighborhood.
The secret lies in how they fry the chicken – in a large cast iron pan, flipping each piece individually. It’s more arduous than using a deep-fryer, but the results are hard to argue with.
The sides are nothing to scoff at either, with mac & cheese, green beans and okra being some of the most popular options.
Address: 146 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023
I’m not the only one who thinks Jin Ramen is one of the best restaurants near Central Park, no no. In fact, the ramen house has on the Michelin Guide‘s radar for more than ten years! It has a Bib Gourmand rating, which is awarded to restaurants that provide a good value.
It’s not hard to see why it’s become so renowned, Jin Ramen uses homemade noodles and brews a broth that I’d drink by the cupful on a cold day. As one of the best restaurants near Central Park the joint provides a consistently satisfying meal that’ll have you saying “ahhhhh” after every bite.
The signature broth is the Tonkotsu, made from pork and is borderline addictive. I like mine with a little spice, just to keep things interested. 😉
Address: 462 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
If this is your first time visiting New York City, consider eating at Shake Shack one of the best things to do in NYC (it’s the standard NYC initiation, I don’t make the rules). Not only is this one of the best restaurants near Central Park, it’s a block away from the Natural Museum of History as well.
Stopping by for a burger is a no-brainer if your itinerary has you visiting the museum. I like to start my morning with a walk through the park, then exploring the museum and wrapping up my time in the UWS with a burger.
There is no debate between Shake Shack and In-N-Out burger, I don’t understand the comparison. The burgers and fries here are so much better. If you want to let your hair down, try a milkshake, they’re delicious …or so I hear. ?
Address: 366 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Further Reading: Need more options? Here are 20 Tasty Restaurants on the Upper West Side (Worth the Trek).
Restaurants Near Central Park | Upper East Side
Best UES Bagel Shops Near Central Park
Originally founded in 1916, Orwashers is one of the longest running bagel shops in the Upper East Side (and they recently branched out with a second bakery in the Upper West Side).
Serving New Yorkers for more than 105 years, their success can be attributed to traditional baking methods that have been perfected over time.
So it’s no surprise that they’re considered one of the best places to eat near Central Park. While their sourdough bagels are absolutely divine, the jelly-filled donuts are not to be overlooked!
Address: 308 E 78th St, New York, NY 10075
Sable’s Smoked Fish
If you’re a fan of smoked fish, Sable’s makes some of the best lox bagels in the Upper East Side. Locals compare this spot to the popular Upper West Side shop Zabar’s, which has been a NYC staple since 1934.
Comparing the two makes sense since the owners of Sable’s (Danny and Kenny Sze) managed the appetizer department at Zabar’s for over a decade. They were able to learn the ins-and-outs of the bagel business as well as where to get the best smoked fish in New York City.
The smoked fish is always fresh and swinging by for a bagel is a must if you’re looking for the best places to eat near Central Park.
Address: 1330 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10075
With three location sprinkled around the neighborhood, it won’t be difficult finding a spot to eat near Central Park.
The convenience and efficiency of this bagel shop is impressive and the ingredients always taste fresh. I’m partial to the classic everything bagel with scallion cream cheese & nova lox, and the one from Tal Bagels was everything I hoped it would be.
The bagel itself is sizable, ideal for sharing and they weren’t shy with the salmon or schmear. As for the dough, it’s perfectly chewy in the interior with a crunchy exterior, full of flavor from the everything seasoning.
This Upper East Side bagel joint is laid-back with plenty of seating so you can sit and really savor what a good NYC bagel should taste like or take it to-go and enjoy it in the park.
Further Reading: Need more options? Here are 12 Tasty Upper East Side Bagels (Well Worth the Wake Up Call).
Address: 1228 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10028, 333 East 86th St #1, New York, NY 10028 & 1324 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10128
Best UES Pizza Restaurants Near Central Park
Sometimes all you need for a feast is a greasy slice of cheese pizza along with a soda. If you can relate to this, may I suggest Famous Famiglia Pizzeria?
I’ll be honest, there isn’t any one thing that makes this one of the best pizza restaurants near Central Park. It’s a combination of the family-business vibe, the convenient location with a great, neighborhood feel and the simple yet flavor-filled pies that makes the joint memorable.
Not to mention you’ll be hard pressed to find better value pizza in the Upper East Side. And no, I don’t mean dollar pizza, but I’m not mad paying $3 for a cheese slice when it tastes like this
Address: 1248 Lexington Ave #2012, New York, NY 10028
Emmy Squared Pizza
Emmy Squared looks like a modern, trendy restaurant rather than a hole in the wall Upper East Side pizza joint. They specialize in Detroit style pizza, which is square and with a thick crust, and extremely satisfying if I do say so myself.
This isn’t the place to come if you’re after a quick slice. Emmy Squared is one of the best sit-down restaurants near Central Park.
The vodka sauce pizza is downright delicious (and will put your napkin to good-use) but no matter which pie you choose you’ll be in good hands.
Getting a table at Emmy usually isn’t an impossible task, but if you’re planning to visit on the weekend I’d still encourage reservations. The last thing you want is to miss out on one of the best restaurants near Central Park due to poor planning. 😉
Address: 1426 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028, United States
Quite possibly the king of thin crust, Oath Pizza churns out some of the best pizza on the Upper East Side.
Now I fully understand thin crust isn’t for everyone and Oath Pizza does offer a thick crust; however, for those who enjoy a crunchy crust…run!
This UES pizza joint uses sustainably sourced ingredients and is influenced by the seasons. Offering a handful of personalized thin crust pizzas, Oath hand-stretches and grills the dough in avocado oil.
The pizzeria is located a few blocks from the zoo making it a easy stopping point for folks looking for the best restaurants near Central Park.
Pro Tip: This UES pizza joint also offers a rewards program. Sign up here before visiting!
Address: 1142 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10065
Further Reading: Need more options? Here are 15 Exciting Pizza Spots on The Upper East Side (You’ll Thoroughly Enjoy!).
Best UES Cafes Near Central Park
Ralph’s Coffee in the Upper East Side is clad with opulence and gives off a very charming retro vibe. This is one of the most popular cafes near Central Park, as evidenced by the long lines.
But it’s not hard to see why both locals and visitors enjoy this cafe so much. Between the elegant decor and knock-out coffee (suing La Colombe beans), you’ll feel like a million bucks. There’s a handful of outdoor tables to lounge at, but don’t expect to find any open seats easily because they fill up.
Feel free to order a delicious baked good to accompany your coffee and spend a few slow moments watching the world go by. This is one of the best places to get coffee near Central Park since it’s a short five minute walk away.
Address: 888 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021
Bluestone Lane is always full of people and the lively chatter that accompanies large groups. Having to wait in line is practically guaranteed during the weekends, but the colorful Aussie brunch menu is worth the wait. Their coffee is half the draw, which is why I consider this one of the best restaurants near Central Park.
I typically come here once a week after I wrap up at The Met (here’s 20 epic art pieces you can’t afford to miss). My husband and I have made a museum visit our Sunday tradition and never pass up the opportunity to brunch at Bluestone Lane.
Address: 1085 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128
Breads Bakery is not only one of the best bakeries near Central Park, but in all of New York City. With four locations, this bakery has grown like wildfire mostly thanks to their award-winning chocolate babka.
If you’re not familiar with babka (I wasn’t before moving to NYC) it’s a traditional Jewish bread/pastry made from yeast dough and garnished with cinnamon or chocolate. The end result is an airy layered loaf chock-full of nutella and chocolate chips.
The thing could launch a thousand ships, it’s beyond delicious. But the chocolate babka isn’t the only thing this UES bakery has mastered, quite the contrary. Anything you order at Breads is bound to impress, especially the croissants and seasonal delights. Every baked good is executed to perfection and I swing by weekly to get my fill.
Address: 1294 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021
Further Reading: Need more suggestions? Here are 8+ Satisfying Cafes in the Upper East Side.
Best UES Restaurants Near Central Park
JG Melon has been around since 1972 and has become not only one of the best restaurants near Central Park, but one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City.
Think perfectly juicy and flavorful patties sandwiched between buttery buns, it simply doesn’t get better than this. The fries are worth an order and the decor alone warrants a visit.
The interior is tightly packed and full of watermelon-themed paintings and posters, which offer a great distraction as you fight off the hunger intensified by the delicious smells of burgers being delivered to tables around you.
It’s a cash-only establishment frequented by prominent New Yorkers, like former mayor Michael Bloomberg who calls these the best hamburgers in the world.
But apparently he’s not the only one, Gigi Hadid and Bobby Flay have also shared similar sentiments. With all the (well deserved) fanfare it’s safe to call JG Melon one of the most famous restaurants near Central Park.
Address: 1291 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021
luke’s Lobster roll
Opened in NYC in 2009, Luke’s Lobster is a family owned business bringing Maine style lobster rolls to the masses. It didn’t take long for the small shack to expand, now operating in ten states and being responsible for one of the best restaurants near Central Park.
I know seafood can be pricey, but believe me the premium is worth it. By owning their own seafood purchasing business Luke’s Lobster is able to buy directly from trusted fishermen and you can taste the quality with every bite.
The quality leaves little room to wonder why Luke’s Lobster is one of the best restaurants near Central Park.
The nationally recognized lobster rolls are the star of the show, but the menu has a few other options. There’s also crab and shrimp rolls, as well as lobster mac & cheese and an amazing clam chowder.
Address: 242 E 81st St, New York, NY 10028
Xi’an Famous Foods
Named after Xi’an, one of the easternmost cities in China (and last stop on the Silk Road!) Xi’an Famous Foods is not only one of the best restaurants near Central Park, it’s one of the most affordable.
Traditional noodle-centric meals are made from family recipes with the motto, “if it’s not spicy it’s not as good”.
Now the food won’t make your tongue go numb (unless you want it to) but bear in mind the house made chili oil is what adds the kick, but it’s also what packs the flavor. Most dishes have a customizable spiciness level so you’re fully in control.
The best selling B1 pork burger and B2 spicy cumin lamb burger are both under $7 and make Xi’an Famous Foods one of the best cheap-eat restaurants near Central Park.
My favorite dish is the A2 Liang-Pi, which is a stir-fried noodle dish with scallions, bean sprouts, cilantro, cucumbers and spongy cubes of house made gluten and is *chef’s kiss*
Address: 328 E 78th St, New York, NY 10075
A Spanish restaurant and tapas (appetizers) bar, Boqueria is one of the best Upper East Side restaurants near Central Park for date-night. The space is warm and inviting and the food is reminiscent of a classy Barcelona restaurant.
The tapas are tasty and made with fresh, seasonal ingredients so you’ll find yourself wanting to try all of them. Plus, Boqueria has one of the best seafood paellas I’ve ever had (rice, monkfish, squid, shrimp, clams, mussels).
And trust me when I say the Nutella churros at Boqueria are one of the best desserts in New York City.
Address: 1460 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10075
If you’re heading to Central Park from the Upper East Side do yourself a favor and stop by Milano Market for a sandwich.
Opened by an Italian family in 1982, the deli makes generously thick sandwiches from fresh ingredients. You can grab one to go and enjoy it on a park bench enjoying bliss with every bite.
But surprisingly, Milano’s heavyweight menu item isn’t even a sandwich. Their chicken ceasar wrap has social media wrapped around its (metaphorical) finger, with many locals touting it as the best in NYC.
Address: 1582 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10128
Cafe d’Alsace hails from a region that’s been part of both part of Germany and France, so the cuisine is a mixture of both cultures. Third generation chef Philippe Roussel really works some magic in the kitchen and capitalizes on both countries’ flavors.
As one of the most popular restaurants near Central Park the ambience never disappoints. Locals fill the space with jovial chatter which makes the one of the best places to have drinks with friends.
For brunch you can’t afford to miss the crepe souffle, which is topped with a tasty passion fruit sauce and makes Cafe d’Alsace one of the best brunch restaurants near Central Park.
If you visit for happy hour you will find $7 beer, $10 wine, and $12 cocktails perfect for a little afternoon fun. And if you work up an appetite stay for dinner and enjoy the European cuisine.
Address: 1703 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10128
Further Reading: Need more options? Here are 15 Unbelievable Restaurants on the Upper East Side (That’ll Make Your Mouth Water).
Restaurants Near Central Park | Central Park South
Sarabeth’s first opened up shop in 1983 in the Upper East Side, quickly garnering favor with the locals. You’ll be hard pressed to find a list of the best restaurants near Central Park that doesn’t feature Sarabeth’s.
Over the last few years Sarabeth’s has cemented itself as one of the best brunch spots in all of New York City. The homestyle cooking is hearty and wholesome making it hard to leave even after you’ve finished your meal.
The menu is full of breakfast classics and the only trouble you’ll have is choosing what to order. The smoked salmon benedict tops any other brunch spot in the neighborhood, and the lemon & riccotta pancakes are fluffy and moist.
And as one of the larger restaurants near Central Park, Sarabeth’s is always ready to host you and your friends. There’s no need to shy away whether you’re with a group or just a partner.
Address: 40 Central Park S Located in: 40 West 59th
One of the best restaurants for brunch near Central Park is Carnegie Diner & Cafe because it was a spot created for the people. The atmosphere is cozy and feels home-y and the red booths add to the old school diner charm.
The restaurant is the kind of place where there is food for all different kinds of hunger and needs. The menu is extensive and while all the dishes are tasty, I personally think Carnegie Diner & Cafe has perfected breakfast plates.
If you pop out of the park onto West 59th Street, the diner is a short two minute walk away. And since it’s conveniently located at the southern most end of the park, it’s a natural stopping point after you’ve concluded your walk through the park.
Address: 205 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019
There’s no shortage of great treats to be had in New York City, especially when it’s chilly out and thankfully calories don’t count on vacation or so I’m told.
If you’re visiting NYC with kids one of the most memorable restaurants near Central Park is at Serendipity 3. The delectable Frrrozen Hot Chocolate (not a typo) is a treat that will have your littles grinning ear to ear.
A little tip I learned while having my niece visit, start your morning here. Then use a walk through Central Park as a way to burn off the sugar rush and let your kiddo run wild while you wobble behind them.
In full transparency the food at Serendipity 3 isn’t going to blow your mind, but the interior and experience makes for a really fun time. It feels like you’re dining in an antique candy shop and again, the frozen hot chocolate is all your kids will be talking about for the next few weeks!
Address: 225 E 60th St, New York, NY, 10022
If you’re okay with a hodgepodge of restaurants near Central Park, one of my favorite places to explore after walking through the park is in Columbus Circle.
Full of shops, food carts and even an underground market, you won’t go hungry exploring the area. There is a Whole Foods located inside the Shops at Columbus Circle with a hot-bar that makes for a delicious meal. Offering plenty of seating, it’s a great place to rest your feet (and use the restroom!).
Or you can keep walking south towards other adorable cafes and restaurants near Central Park. Regardless of where you choose to eat, you can find a satisfying place to have eat near Central Park within a short 10 minute walk after exiting the park.
Address: 10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019
There are Serafina’s sprinkled all across Manhattan, dotting a map like a starry night. Cafe Serafina is an extension of the Serafina restaurants, but meant to be a more casual eatery.
You’ll find the closest location on 7th Avenue, less than a block from Central Park.
Like cafes in Italy, Cafe Serafina serves hearty, casual meals and is one of the best restaurants near Central Park. The menu consists of all day breakfast, paninis, salads, pizzas and salads.
The cafe is a great pit-stop to load up on some carbohydrates after a morning exploring the park. Even if you swing by for just a pastry and a cup of coffee.
Address: 922 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019
For anyone looking for a great steak and delicious appetizers, I can’t say enough good things about Quality Bistro.
Luckily for us, Quality Bistro is one of the best restaurants near Central Park. The interior of the restaurant is insane and the low-lighting adds a romantic feel to the space.
You can’t go wrong ordering anything off the menu, but if you need some guidance I hope to help. To say I suggest ordering the French onion soup or tuna tartar to start, would be an understatement. It’s not a want, but a need!
That paired with the steak and frites and any of the delectable desserts — you are in for quite the night, my friend. This is a perfect spot for a date night or catching up with some friends. Just make sure to hurry and make reservations since it’s one of the more popular restaurants near Central Park.
Address: 120 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019
Burger Joint looks like it belongs on the side of a seldom traveled highway. Its wooden booths and tagged walls scream hole in the wall, but instead you’ll find it tucked away the elegant Thompson Hotel on 56th Street, hidden behind a red-curtain wall in the lobby.
It’s one of the best restaurants near Central Park for a no frills, hearty meal. Burgers (including plant-based), fries, shakes and brews dominate the menu.
But word is out on the Burger Joint and its quirky nature means a lot of folks want to give ‘em a try. Lines are common so if you’re in a rush I’d stop by one of the other restaurants near Central Park.
Address: 119 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019
It goes without saying, the Halal Guys have stands everywhere.
They started their business out of carts in 1990, and have continued expanding to now include brick and mortar restaurants.
With so many locations the popular NYC cheap eats destination is rarely far from from wherever you might be. Since most of their locations are (at least) open until midnight their carts make for some of the best late night food near Central Park.
The menu is simple, either a gyro or a platter. Inside each you’ll get rice, a choice of either chicken or beef (you can also order a combination) lettuce, tomato, and their famous white sauce.
The word halal is Arabic for “lawful,” meaning in line with the practices of the Quran and Islam. Similar to how a Jewish person must keep Kosher, a Muslim person must follow Halal guidelines.
Address: 6th Avenue &, W 53rd St, New York, 10019
Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Who knew the 1950’s were only a 10 minute walk from Central Park? At Ellen’s Stardust Diner you’ll be dining like your grandparents did at one of the best restaurants near Central Park.
As one of the best themed restaurants in NYC, the diner has memorabilia and even a “drive in” style screen playing movies from the era.
As far as food is concerned it’s typical diner fare. Breakfast is served all day with classics like pancakes and omelets dominate the menu. Ellen’s Stardust Diner is one of the best restaurants near Central Park to start your day, just don’t have too many mimosas or you’ll be crawling back to bed.
Address: 1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
La Grande Boucherie
La Grande Boucherie is a French restaurant that feels more like an elegant museum. The romantic interior could make anyone fall in love and the food is exceptional.
I’ve been to La Grande Boucherie more times than I’d like to admit, but I am a sucker for the brunch –especially the Eggs Norwegian (eggs Benedict with smoked salmon). The eggs are poached to perfection and the hollandaise sauce is full of flavor.
This is one of the best restaurants near Central Park, so make sure to plan ahead and make reservations. If you can’t get a reservation for the morning, don’t worry, the dinner menu is just as good!
Address: 145 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
Quick Recap of The Best Food Near Central Park
- Modern Bread & Bagels
- Zucker’s Bagels
- Freddie & Peppers
- Pizza Pete’s
- Daily Provisions
- Magnolia Bakery
- Maison Pickle
- Gray’s Papaya
- Charles Pan Fried Chicken
- Jin Ramen
- Shake Shack
- Sable’s Smoked Fish
- Tal Bagels
- Famous Famiglia
- Emmy Squared Pizza
- Oath Pizza
- Ralph’s Coffee
- Blustone Lane
- Breads Bakery
- J.G Melon
- Luke’s Lobster Roll
- Xi’an Famous Foods
- Milano Market
- Cafe D’Alsace
- Carnegie Diner
- Serendipity 3
- Columbus Circle
- Cafe Serefina
- Quality Bistro
- Burger joint
- Halal Guys
- Ellen’s Stardust Diner
- La Grande Boucherie
Where to Eat Near Central Park NYC (Helpful Map)
And there you have it, the best restaurants near Central Park. As always, don’t hesitate to let us know if we missed anything — we love hearing from you.