Central Park is one of the Big Apple’s shining jewels. It’s a huge New York City, USA park which covers eight hundred and forty-three acres and it’s located right in the heart of beautiful Manhattan!
Central Park was established way back in 1857, so it has a rich, colorful and meaningful heritage. It’s an oasis in the midst of one of the world’s most bustling and fast-paced cities! The park was designed to rival the most stunning parks in Europe, such as the Bois de Boulogne in Paris and London’s Hyde Park…and it definitely does!
Within Central Park, there are so many great things to see and do. For example, the park is home to ice rinks, fountains, theaters, lakes, baseball fields, playgrounds and tennis courts. As well, it’s the home to the Central Park Zoo (a great place to see Snow Leopards and Sea Lions!) and the wonderful Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is the biggest art museum in the USA.
Also, you should know that plenty of wonderful eateries are found within Central Park…or very close by!
Today, we’d like to share information about these impressive eateries. We want you to find the best Central Park restaurants.
We know that you’ll love these special restaurants and their food, ambiance and service.
The Loeb Boathouse Restaurant is So Special
When you choose this sophisticated eatery, your meal will become yet another unforgettable memory of your time in New York City. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a special meal which is a gourmet delight, as well as a unique and enjoyable experience (reservations are recommended, so plan ahead). During summer season reservations are not excepted on the weekends. You have to come there and wait. Average time wait around 30 min, but it depends.
Now, let’s talk about the background of The Boathouse. It’s a little touch of Central Park heritage!
At The Loeb Boathouse, it’s possible to rent a boat or go on a group gondola ride. There is a fleet of one hundred rowboats available for rental and gondola tours are run by Boathouse staff on a regular basis. The Boathouse also features The Lakeside Restaurant, which is truly exquisite. The whole Boathouse structure is very attractive. Its decorative elements make it a great setting for a fine dining experience.
Naturally, The Boathouse has a nautical theme. It’s actually the second boathouse constructed at this location in Central Park. The first boathouse was designed in the Victorian style, by architect, Calvert Vaux, way back in 1872.
The initial boathouse did not provide exceptional fine dining. It was a working boathouse which measured only 12 feet in width and 20 feet in length.
During 1924, the boathouse was replaced by another structure with a rustic look. By the 50s, this replacement building was in dire need of refurbishment.
Luckily, a philanthropist named Carl M. Loeb (along with his wife, Adeline) stepped in and donated funds for repairs and refurbishment. The end result of the costly refurbishment is the same Loeb Boathouse that tourists and Big Apple residents enjoy today…
Now, let’s talk about the food!
The Loeb Boathouse features three dining options, which are The Lakeside Restaurant, The Outside Bar and the Express Cafe. The Lakeside Restaurant is our pick for a superb (and refined!) brunch or lunch in the park (this eatery doesn’t serve dinner). The other options at The Loeb Boathouse are more casual.
It’s absolutely the poshest option at the boathouse location and well worth it if you want a treat!
The restaurant is lovely, with a serene lakeside view, starched white tablecloths, plenty of pretty, pale columns between tables and lots of comfortable latticework chairs.
Examples of appetizers offered include Passion Fruit Salmon Ceviche, Seasonal Oysters and Macaroni Au Gratin.
Lunch entrees to consider include Seafood Pasta and Chili-rubbed Pork Loin. For dessert, why not indulge by choosing the decadent Sour Cream Cheesecake with masticated cherries? For brunch, you may want to enjoy classic Eggs Benedict, which always features a heavenly dollop of creamy Hollandaise Sauce!
You’ll have plenty of menu options for brunch and lunch. This restaurant is licensed and offers some brilliant cocktails (including a truly inspired Elderflower Cosmopolitan), along with great wines and beers.
Entrees for brunch range in price between sixteen and twenty-six dollars, while entrees for lunch range between twenty-seven and thirty-eight dollars. Prices may be subject to change. We’re only mentioning them to give you a sense of what you’ll need to spend.
Address: East 74th St and East Drive Tel: +1 212 517 2233
Now, let’s move on to another famous and beloved restaurant in Central Park…
Tavern on the Green is Truly Legendary
Tavern on the Green features the very best in American-style cuisine and its situated within Central Park. You’ll find it close to the West 66th Street and Central Park West intersection. This restaurant was open from the mid 1930s to 2009. During this time frame, it had a range of different owners.
In 2010, until 2014, it was utilized as a public space for park visitors. Then, the space was renovated and the refurbished Tavern on the Green was re-opened, during spring of 2014.
This restaurant sees a lot of tourist traffic. For example, during 2007, half a million visitors dropped by for a bite! These big visitor numbers mean that Tavern on the Green is the second-most profitable restaurant in the country.
Weekend brunch and daily lunch and dinner are offered at this modern eatery, which is nestled in a lovely and serene, pastoral setting. If you make a reservation for brunch, consider Roasted Figs as a delectable appetizer and the move onto Steak and Eggs as a Main Course.
If you prefer to enjoy lunch at Tavern on the Green, consider an appetizer of Maple Grilled Smoked Bacon, followed by Organic Chicken Paillard.
For dinner, you’ll have so many amazing choices, such as Hand Cut Steak Tartare as an appetizer (it’s served on a grilled baguette) and Caramelized Diver Sea Scallops for a main course.
This restaurant isn’t cheap. Entrees for dinner range in price between twenty-four dollars (for a vegetarian option) to fifty-four dollars. This is a modern and elegant eatery with all of the bells and whistles. It’s a place to savor everything that is special about American cuisine and everything that is special about Central Park!
Address: 66th St & Central Park West Tel: +1 212 877 8684 Website
LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN is classic Belgian bakery chain. Located above Sheep’s Meadow.
KERBS BOATHOUSE SNACK BAR – name speaks for itself (snacks and drinks). You can rent remote control sailboats there. Located on eastern side of Conservatory Water (74th Street and 5th Ave)
WAFELS & DINGES the best waffles in the city! Located at 5th Ave & 60th Street
Ballfields Cafe is self-serve snack shop with tables serving tasty hot dogs & burgers with great beer. Located at Heckscher Softball Fields and close to Carousel, around 65th Street Transverse.
In the “city that never sleeps”, there’s no shortage of dining options! However, everything that we’ve recommended today is located within Central Park. We want you to know where to grab the best grub while you’re touring the park and its plethora of diverting attractions, including Strawberry Fields, which is a tribute to the late Beatle, John Lennon, Bethesda Fountain and the Reservoir.
Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple
Start your love affair with the Big Apple by taking a bite out of it at one of the best places to eat in Central Park Restaurants.
When you combine a fabulous meal with a jaunt in the park, you’ll be having the ultimate New York City experience.
Lots of tourists take Fun Central Park Pedicab Tours which end at The Boathouse Restaurant or at Tavern on the Green. This may be something that you wish to consider. Pedicab tours will allow you to ride in comfort and avoid a ton of walking, before or after enjoying a world-class meal! These tours will allow you to hit all of the most interesting and beautiful park highlights.
Map of Central Park Restaurants
If you looking for a great cup of coffee near Central Park check out our article about Central Park Coffee Shops. Buon appetite!!!