Maybe someone’s dragging you to Central Park. Maybe you’re visiting New York. Whatever the reason, you’re going to need food, water, and—especially if you have kids—alcohol. Here’s my go to recommendations for spending a day in and around Central Park.
Cafe Luxembourg. Stop here for an early lunch before going to the park. Get the tuna tartare and the beef tartare. But get the big beef tartare; it comes with fries. Whatever you do, do NOT leave Lux without having an order of fries. They alone are worth a trip to NYC. While you’re there, say hello to Ryan the bartender. Or Rachel the bartender. Or Israel the bartender, or… Okay fine, just say hello to any of the bartenders and show them my picture. They might top off your drink, or they might throw you out. It’s also a favorite among celebrities. Rumor has it it’s one of Tom Hanks’ favorite NYC restaurants. Wiff and I have seen Kathleen Turner there a few times and Al Pacino once.
Tavern on the Green. Stop here for a drink and a snack while you’re at the park. Unless it’s 20˚F out, the main patio is always full. Try to get in if you can. You may have luck sitting at the high top bar. If you can’t get in, grab a drink at the little window to the left of the check in stand and sit in the seat-yourself area. Even at peak times there’s usually a table open. They have a decent selection of wine—two Pinot Grigios and a rosé—and a small selection of beer. Oh! And they’re dog-friendly!
Bar Boulud. Stop here after the park for a pre-dinner drink. Or drinks and dinner. It’s worth it. This was one of the first places Wiff and I went for a bite to eat and some drinks when we moved to NYC. I still remember it like it was 8 years ago. Ah… We had a glass of wine, the charcuterie board, a few more glasses of wine, maybe something else, I don’t know. Did I mention we had wine? Sit outside in the warmer months. If you dress warmly enough you can sit outside during the cooler months too—do so, and you’ll be rewarded with wide open availability.
Location: 64th & B’way, 1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 595-0303