Central Park is an iconic New York City location. You could easily spend an entire day there, roaming the 843-acre expanse and still not see it all.
While Central Park is often depicted as some sort of haven for picnickers, the reality of being a tourist is that you don’t always have the time or resources to pack a lunch. Fear not! Luckily there are some great eats in and around Central Park to keep you moving. Before you reserve a Central Park tour, take note of these five Central Park restaurants in your itinerary.
Tavern on the Green
The Tavern on the Green is an iconic landmark within Central Park. Built in the 1880s, the building was originally used to house the hundreds of sheep that used to graze through the meadow during the simpler times. The building was renovated into a restaurant in the 1930s and faced more changes as the decades progressed. Now, it is a rustic building reminiscent of its sheep housing days, only with a lavish menu and delicious thirst quenchers.
Despite its name, Tavern on the Green is more of a gastropub than a tavern. With various seafood dishes and elegant twists on traditional pub fare, Tavern on the Green is the perfect place to wrap up your tour of Central Park. At the very least, it is a great place to stop and quench your thirst during your adventure.
The Loeb Boathouse
Like the previously mentioned Tavern on the Green, the Loeb Boathouse is another iconic Central Park restaurant. In the 1860s, boating on the lake became all the rage amongst New Yorkers. This created a demand for a proper docking and launching facility. Thus the Loeb Boathouse was built.
The Loeb Boathouse offers dining both indoors and al fresco, and features an assortment of cocktails and an amazing brunch menu. This high-end dining spot is perfect if you’re touring the park with your significant other and looking to add a little romance to your day. Take the romance to the next level with a Venetian gondola ride around the lake after you dine.
If you are spending a day at the park before heading out for a night on the town, you might not feel like visiting some of the finer dining establishments. If that is the case, stop by Public Fare for a quick bite. Located in the Delacorte Theater, this canteen style dining experience offers assorted soups, salads, and sandwiches.
Public Fare also offers combo options so that you can take a full meal away and join the ranks of the picnic crowd. Their coffee and whoopie pies make for an energy-boosting treat, and their selection of beers and wines satisfy the thirsty traveler.
Le Pain Quotidien
Le Pain Quotidien– The Daily Bread in English– is the brainchild of Belgian chef Alain Coumont. It’s the perfect option if you’re not feeling the formal dining experience, but want a little more substance than you would get with traditional takeout.
Le Pain Quotidien has beautiful baked goods, and all-day breakfast inspired meals including frittata, quiche, and avocado toast. There are various soup and salad options for the lunch bunch, all with a homemade, authentic vibe. Pair your plate with one of the various gourmet coffee options, and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable meal.
If you decide to grab a bite on your way out of the park, Sarabeth’s is an option near the south gate which is worth a mention. With a menu broken into breakfast and lunch, brunch, late lunch, and dinner, you’re guaranteed to find something delicious no matter what time you show up.
Sarabeth’s has a variety of seafood options on each menu, most notably for avocado lovers is the crab guacamole. If you’re in need of some comfort food, the Adult Grilled Cheese served with creamy tomato soup is a must try.
Central Park, like the rest of New York City, is a place that offers something for everyone. If one of the five fantastic eats listed above isn’t your style, stop by the local market and join the crowd of picnickers. After all, it’s the location and the company that matters.