Central Park is not only known for its natural beauty and the various activities it offers but also for the vibrant culinary scene that is surrounding the park. You can find a big range of restaurants that offer everything from breakfast over lunch to dinner near the green lung of the city. You can’t decide between a delicious breakfast and a tasty lunch? Why not combine both and have a scrumptious brunch?
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In order to make you have an unforgettable brunch experience we have created this article about the absolute best brunch spots near Central Park New York. Whether you want classic American breakfast dishes like pancakes, breakfast sandwiches and eggs Benedict or you prefer something more extraordinary – we’ve got you covered! So grab a coffee and dive into the amazing brunch scene around Central Park!
These are my Favorite Places for Brunch near Central Park
The SmithAmerican Restaurant in Upper West SideAdd to myNY added
For all the food lovers out there who value the comforting embrace of classic American fare, The Smith is your safe haven. This hotspot, which sprouted its roots in the East Village in 2007, has since spread its reach to six locations, including our beloved spot on Broadway, right opposite the Lincoln Center.
The Smith serves a great weekend brunch until 4 pm and dishes out all your traditional favorites. Omelettes, lox, french toast, you name it, they’ve got it. But don’t let the constant crowd deter you. Snag a reservation and, if you’re lucky, an outdoor table for some quality people-watching. Personal recommendations? Go for a refreshing Martini or Spritz and pair it with the Ranchero Scramble or the Skillet Baked French Toast. Or for something more hearty, the bone-in Ribeye with eggs your way will not disappoint either.
Not far from Columbus Circle: Jams near Central Park SouthAmerican Restaurant in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
Jams is definitely one of the best brunch spots near Central Park because they only use fresh and seasonal ingredients for their dishes. Their brunch menu includes both sweet and savory dishes. My personal favorites? The Jams Burgers and the Huevos Rancheros are absolutely mouthwatering. And don’t miss their fabulous cocktails!
Jams is not only close to Columbus Circle but also to Carnegie Hall. So if you plan on going to a concert or any other event at Carnegie Hall with your friends or family, Jams is the best place to start your day with good food.
Enjoy American Cuisine at The East PoleAmerican Restaurant in Upper East SideAdd to myNY added
The East Pole is discreetly housed in a brownstone on East 65th Street and serves up some of the best brunch near New York’s Central Park. With a fresh, rotating, farm-to-table menu, it’s a must-visit spot for brunch lovers.
Think of it as “elegant home cooking,” available only on the weekends, ensuring you get a fresh and tasty meal every time. Don’t miss out on their Huevos Rancheros, complete with house-made tortillas and black beans. And do try the egg white frittata – it’s simply delightful.
Maman (Upper East Side)Café in Upper East SideAdd to myNY added
Nestled on 3rd Avenue, Maman is among the best brunch spots Upper East Side, standing out with its cozy ambiance and impressive all-day brunch offerings. This spot is reminiscent of a French bakery and gives off a whimsical charm that invites leisurely catch-ups and solo diners alike.
NYC locals can’t get enough of their scrumptious quiche, decadent chocolate croissant, and famous macadamia nut cookie. And I must say that I agree! Moreover, you can’t overlook their outstanding coffee, which is truly an underrated delight in any bakery. So, don’t miss this spot; after all, even Oprah named it one of her favorites!
Sant Ambroeus (Upper East Side)Italian Restaurant in Upper East SideAdd to myNY added
Located just down from Central Park, right off Madison Avenue, you’ll find Sant Ambroeus, the epitome of Sunday brunch NY Upper East Side elegance. As you sink into the plush velvet chairs surrounded by white tablecloths, you’ll find the ambiance relaxed yet sophisticated – like donning business casual attire for a meal.
Ready for my recommendations? The Omelette della Casa is a classic – choose your preferred fillings from an enticing list and savor the flavors. Or, for a bit of indulgence, the Salmone Affumicato with Scottish smoked salmon and cream cheese never disappoints.
Daily Provisions (Upper West Side Location)Café in Upper West SideAdd to myNY added
The next stop on our New York City brunch tour is Daily Provisions, a laid-back UWS brunch spot that serves everyone’s favorite mid-day food all day! This charming bakery was opened by Danny Meyer, who is the same genius behind Shake Shack. So, while you may have never heard of this place, you surely know that!
Daily Provisions is the perfect place to grab food on the Upper West Side, especially when you’re on the go. Don’t miss out on the BEC (bacon, egg, and cheese) or the smoked salmon, everything croissant, because these are the stars of the show! But if you’re looking for something lighter, the avocado toast is also a sure bet. The bottom line here is that when I want a relaxed Saturday morning brunch on the Upper West Side, Daily Provisions is my pick.
Thyme & TonicOther Restaurants in Upper West SideAdd to myNY added
Imagine spending your Sunday morning nestled among wooden booths, relishing a vegan brunch in the heart of the Upper West Side – sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Thyme & Tonic, situated conveniently near Theodore Roosevelt Park and the American Museum of Natural History on Columbus Ave, offers exactly this experience.
This gem is the pinnacle of gluten-free, plant-forward cuisine, and is open for brunch from 10 am until 3:30 pm. Here, you can explore their eclectic menu, brilliantly influenced by global cuisine and featuring innovative tofu and Impossible Meat dishes. And whatever you do, don’t miss out on the cocktails! In particular, their Bloody Mary is a game-changer. For a wholesome start, I would recommend the ‘Rise & Shine’ – served with their scrambled eggs and Impossible mushroom sausage will leave you craving for more.
The Viand Diner & BarAmerican Restaurant in Upper West SideAdd to myNY added
The last stop on our list of top brunch spots near Central Park is The Viand, a nostalgic retreat nestled in the heart of Columbus Avenue. The best part about this restaurant is that it’s set amidst the backdrop of luxury designers and high-end chocolatiers, making this old-school lunch counter a charming anomaly. In other words, when you crave comfort food, this is your sanctuary.
From fried eggs with crisp bacon to French toast piled with sausage, The Viand is all about classic diner fare, served generously and unpretentiously. They serve their brunch menu all day, so you can enjoy tasty delights whenever you fancy. I personally recommend the Monte Cristo Panini, Rise & Shine Burger, and the heavenly pancakes with chocolate chips. In the grand landscape of brunch spots in the Upper West Side, The Viand surely stands its ground.
The PenroseAmerican Restaurant in Upper East SideAdd to myNY added
The Penrose on Second Avenue is a stand-out Upper East Side brunch spot that doubles as an old-school bar. I love this restaurant because it’s bright and welcoming, which makes for a perfect brunch destination to enjoy innovative cocktails alongside delicious bites.
For something sweet, I highly recommend the cinnamon bun french toast sticks – a delicacy dressed in vanilla cream cheese drizzle and brown butter maple syrup. And if you’re after something savory, the toast with avocado, Eggs Benedict, and shrimp and grits hit the spot. Believe me when you say you won’t regret a visit to The Penrose!
Barney GreengrassCafé in Upper West SideAdd to myNY added
Ask anyone from New York where to eat brunch, and this is a name that will come up! In the heart of the Upper West Side, nestled between the Hudson River and Central Park, you’ll find Barney Greengrass. This iconic restaurant has been serving its legendary smoked fish since 1908 and is an authentic, cash-only Jewish deli.
On your visit, consider pairing your H&H bagel with cream cheese schmears and buttery, ocean-steeped nova. Or opt for the cloud-like scrambled eggs adorned with onions and smoked fish morsels. It’s also worth noting that you shouldn’t miss the heavenly cream cheese blintzes topped with a dollop of sour cream or fruit preserves. A word of advice, though – Barney Greengrass is beloved, so be prepared to rub shoulders with its local devotees.
Cafe d'AlsaceFrench Restaurant in Upper East SideAdd to myNY added
Cafe d’Alsace, a Central Park brunch favorite, brings the warmth of a classic Parisian brasserie to the city. It’s where you can savor flawlessly folded crepes and the buttery goodness of Croque Madame under a radiant ambiance.
Executive Chef Philippe Roussel weaves magic in the kitchen, transforming Franco-German flavors into delicious brunch treats. Whether you’re delighting in the Croque Madame or the Country Avocado Toast, this is THE place to experience a taste of Alsace in NY and a truly unforgettable brunch.
Bluestone Lane (Upper East Side Location)Café in Upper East SideAdd to myNY added
A hop, skip, and jump away from Central Park on 5th Avenue, Bluestone Lane buzzes with the lively chatter of locals savoring the best brunch in close proximity to Central Park. The camaraderie is infectious, the coffee divine, and the Australian cafe-style brunch well worth any potential wait.
On a visit to Bluestone Lane, I suggest savoring the grain bowl, indulging in a breakfast burger, or going for my personal favorites, the avocado smash and Brekkie Board. They also serve a mean chimichurri eggs & bacon toast. So, grab a spot outside on a sunny day and soak in the friendly atmosphere.
Tavern on the GreenSea Food Restaurant in Upper West SideAdd to myNY added
Right on the western edge of Central Park and very close to Sheep Meadow is the popular restaurant Tavern on the Green. Here you can expect a chic ambience with English charm and cosy outdoor seating.
Their brunch menu includes classic brunch dishes like Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon and the Tavern French Toast with strawberries. My tip: Try the Fruitwood Salmon with bagel chips and cream cheese or the Steak & Eggs! Both dishes are simply delicious!
Sarabeth's is just a short walk away from Central ParkOther Restaurants in Upper West SideAdd to myNY added
Amidst the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam Ave, Sarabeth’s humble facade can be easily overlooked. Yet, this petite storefront serves some of the best brunch food close to Central Park and has done so since 1983. What I love most about this restaurant is that it brings a certain class to your brunch.
Picture expertly poached eggs on a fluffy corn muffin partnered with zesty greens. Yes, I’m talking about their smoked salmon benedict! But it doesn’t stop there! Sarabeth’s morphed from a tiny bakery-kitchen selling preserves and baked goods to one of the best brunch restaurants adored by locals and visitors alike.
For a taste of their legacy, the Lemon & Ricotta Pancakes with blackberries are my top pick. And their delicious Eggs and Lox never miss the mark either. So, no matter what you eat, don’t miss this unassuming spot!
There are two Sarabeth’s stores close to Central Park:
- Upper West Side: 423 Amsterdam Avenue
- Midtown: Located in 40 West 59th Street Condominium
Jacob's Pickles serves great Food in Walking Distance to Central Park NYAmerican Restaurant in Upper West SideAdd to myNY added
Prepare yourself for a New York brunch extravaganza at Jacob’s Pickles! This casual joint serves some of the best southern comfort food in the neighborhood, with fried chicken and waffles being one of the crowd favorites. Trust me; not only is their fried chicken a must-try, it’s even better paired with their tasty mac & cheese.
But a meal here is an event and their food quality is top, so don’t be surprised if it’s packed to the rafters every weekend. In other words, advance reservations are your best friend. Want another quick tip? Go for one of their 12 biscuit breakfast sandwiches and top it off with a pickled vegetable of your choice. Either way, Jacob’s Pickles is my go-to recommendation for friends visiting from out of town because a brunch here is like a Sunday Upper West Side tradition.
What is the biggest brunch day?
Some people say that Mother’s Day is the biggest brunch day in NYC. In general, people love to go brunch on holidays or for special occasions. Many restaurants in New York offer their brunch menu on the weekends but there are quite a few that also offer a weekday brunch.
What time do most people eat brunch?
Most people eat brunch in the middle of the day, between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM. Some people prefer to start their day earlier than others but since brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch there is no rule about when to eat brunch. It all depends on people’s personal preferences.
Is 11:30 too early for brunch?
No, 11:30 AM is not too early for brunch. The word brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch so you can have brunch both early in the morning or in the afternoon. However, brunch times vary from restaurant to restaurant and in some of them brunch does not start before 12:00 PM, so it’s always best to check in advance what the brunch times are at your favorite restaurant.
What is the best day to have brunch?
The best day to have brunch is whenever you decide to have it! Most people prefer the weekends for their brunch experience but there are many restaurants that also offer weekday brunch as well. Just keep in mind that the brunch restaurants are more crowded on the weekends so you should make sure to make a reservation.
What do I wear to brunch?
What you wear to brunch in NYC depends on where you go. Most restaurants are casual and do not have a specific dress code so you can wear whatever is comfortable for you. However, if you want to have brunch at a more upscale restaurant, you should check the website beforehand to see if there is a dress code.
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I'm in love with New York City since I was a child but when I finally had the chance to visit this place back in 2019 I lost my heart. This city makes me happy in a way I didn't know before. Now I hope that I can give you some inspiration for your New York City trip, so that you can understand my love for this city and have the best possible time in the Big Apple.