Ask about the best restaurants near Lincoln Center and Columbus Circle and expect a lot of different answers. And a very long list! There are countless five star eateries in the southern-most section of the Upper West Side, so finding great food is easy. The hard part is choosing! With so many great places to eat, consider this list subjective! But few will be able to dispute the quality of the restaurants in Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center we’ve listed below. Let’s eat!
The many restaurants near Lincoln Center represent the diversity of New York City’s food scene. You can truly enjoy any type of cuisine that’s on your mind. With that being said, this list also represents our top choices, so we’ve included links to each restaurant’s Yelp page and website so you can also choose the place that will help you make your evening unforgettable.
If you’re on a budget, check out this list of the best cheap eats near Lincoln Center + Columbus Circle!
The Best Restaurants Near Lincoln Center and Columbus Circle
44 West 63rd Street (between Columbus and Broadway)
We’ll start our list of the best restaurants near Lincoln Center with a New York institution since 1884. P.J. Clarke’s restaurant on the Upper West Side is also steps away from Lincoln Center. This classic American joint has been around for a long time. The decor is decidedly retro and features checkered table cloths and rustic wooden floors. Old-school saloon and American restaurant with some of the best mac and cheese you’ll ever have.
P.J.’s is best known for serving delicious comfort food in hearty portions. Their mouthwatering burgers are nothing short of heavenly. They also have a great raw bar with generous oyster, lobster, fish and shrimp plates. Zagat spotlighted their excellent lobster rolls in an article from 2014. Another one of their stellar menu items is the Maryland jumbo lump crab cake served with a side of tartar sauce and also a side of coleslaw. P.J. Clarke’s always offers an outstanding experience for food lovers.
The New York Times calls P.J. Clarke’s “the Vatican of Saloons”, and Nat King Cole called one of their favorite comfort foods “the Cadillac of burgers”. The “Cadillac” is prepared with double smoked country bacon, onion, American cheese, and butter pickles. He also considered Clarke’s burgers to be the very best in town.
The Smith at Lincoln Center
1900 Broadway (between 63rd and 64th Streets)
This New American joint is one of the most Instagram-worthy restaurants near Lincoln Center, consistently ranked as one of the “top ten reserved” restaurants on Open Table. It’s also among the top 100 grossing restaurants in the entire country!
They open at 7:30am and breakfast includes cage-free eggs and an amazing griddle section – especially their vanilla bean French toast served with maple butter and caramelized bananas!
And they stay open until midnight (or 1am on Fridays and Saturdays), with great options for all times of day.
Oysters can be picked from The Smith’s brunch, lunch and dinner menus, and their delicious eggs make another appearance for brunch. The smoked salmon toast and eggs benedict are popular choices.
For dinner I recommend getting a side of smashed garlic potatoes and the Smith Burger. Their braised short rib and squid ink spaghetti are also both excellent.
There are three additional NYC locations (in the East Village, Midtown and NoMad). Their first restaurant to open was their East Village location in 2007.
142 West 65th Street (between Amsterdam and Broadway)
Located right next to Lincoln Center’s reflecting pool, this modern Italian restaurant serves fabulous fare and boasts a stunning interior with walls of windows which present diners with direct views of the Lincoln Center campus.
Their desserts are outstanding and they also offer a pre-theater menu beginning at 5pm. Lincoln Ristorante opened in the fall of 2010, which was a very expensive project on the campus of Lincoln Center. Their dishes are created with fresh ingredients from local farmers; they visit the nearby Tucker Square Green Market on a regular basis to keep their options optimal for the season.
Lincoln Ristorante is a common participant in NYC Restaurant Week, and offers a la carte and prix-fixe menus (which you can view being created in their central open kitchen).
Located at 1900 Broadway (between 63rd and 64th Streets)
This Italian restaurant near Lincoln Center has some of the best pizza on the Upper West Side. You’ll love their mouth-watering thin crust pies. Two show-stoppers include the gooey margherita and pizza bolognese (with meatball, sausage and wild boar ragu).
Cafe Fiorello’s antipasto bar filled with seafood and veggies and includes crowd favorites like shrimp and scallop salad, stuffed artichokes and burrata.
The popular Italian restaurant also has a great breakfast and weekend brunch, as well as a vibrant and spacious outdoor seating area.
20 West 64th Street (between Broadway and Central Park West)
Fancy Mediterranean and French food by Daniel Boulud. Lots of wonderful fish entrees! Definitely try their dover sole and Mediterranean sea bass, if possible. Also, if you’re a fan of truffles, they can help you get your fix.
The desserts are rather eye-popping as well! Google image searches will populate quite a few snapshots of their grapefruit givre – made with sesame halva, rose loukoum and grapefruit sorbet. Here’s a video Zagat published about how to create this very popular Boulud Sud dessert (pictured below).
1900 Broadway (between 63rd and 64th Streets)
Another Daniel Boulud restaurant, and also a great spot for outdoor drinking in NYC. Bar Boulud is more casual than Boulud Sud, but the many won’t disappoint.
Kick off your meal by choosing from Bar Boulud’s impressive list of wines, many of which come from Burgundy and the Rhone Valley, towns which neighbor Daniel Boulud’s native city of Lyon, France.
You’ll also want to spend some serious time on the charcuterie section. Here you’ll discover plenty of exotic ingredients and varieties including foie gras, guinea hen, duck pate and
And the boudin blanc (truffled pork sausage, pomme purée, mustard jus) is supremely tender!
Here’s Bar Boulud’s coq au vin (red wine braised chicken leg, späetzle, bacon lardon, mushroom) with homemade noodles:
49 West 64th Street (between Broadway and Central Park West)
Atlantic Grill is one of the Upper West Side’s most popular restaurants. This classic seafood spot is a frequent participant of NYC Restaurant Week. It’s location steps away from Lincoln Center draws customers looking to enjoy a meal before heading to a show. The restaurant’s open dining booth floor, cozy atmosphere, and delicious dishes also make it the perfect stop for families.They also offer some great sushi options and amazing shrimp and lobster spring rolls.
Here’s a review from their Yelp page:
I had such a great experience here. Absolutely loved the food and haven’t stopped raving about it since we left. My husband, my mom , myself and 10 month old daughter stopped in for brunch. It was our first time here. We were seated towards the back of the restaurant which is actually a different entrance on the next street over. I ordered the salmon burger which came with fries. It was FANTASTIC. I have to be honest, I I was so surprised. The salmon was soooooop juicy and well seasoned. Omg. Everything was amazing. This is for sure our new Sunday brunch spot. Our waiter was also very pleasant.
Jean Georges – Columbus Circle Restaurant
1 Central Park West (at 60th Street)
Consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants on the Upper West Side, so of course we also had to include it in our list of top restaurants near Lincoln Center and Columbus Circle. This upscale French restaurant is popular for virtually everything they make.
The restaurant is named after its legendary chef, Jean George. He crafts each dish with creativity and executes it with perfection. His menus also blend cuisines of different flavors from around the world. The ingredients used are always organic and also locally grown. The restaurant is sophisticated and the dining room also offers spectacular views of Columbus Circle and Central Park.
The Leopard at des Artistes
1 West 67th Street (between Central Park West and Columbus)
A coveted Italian restaurant near Lincoln Center. The Leopard prides itself on serving authentic dishes straight from the mother country. The Lincoln Center restaurant is located inside the upscale Hotel des Artistes. They offer seasonal menus and a special jazz and bossa nova brunch on Saturdays and Sunday from 11.30am to 3pm. This eatery stands apart from other local Italian establishments of its kind due to its outstanding customer service.
They have also participated in Taste of the Upper West Side in the past, and hopefully will again in the future. Specializing in Southern Italian cuisine and offering seasonal menus to ensure all foods are also fresh!
Rosa Mexicano’s Lincoln Center Restaurant
61 Columbus Ave (between 62nd and 63rd Streets)
Rosa Mexicano has received accolades for its vibrant interior design and authentic Mexican dishes. However, many would agree their killer guac and chips is what they’re best for. In fact, their homemade guacamole recipe has been delighting New Yorkers since 1982. The guacamole queen also happens to be the perfect pre-theater pit stop.
Another of their must-try appetizers is also the queso fundido. It consists of melted chihuahua cheese over poblano rajas that’s topped with cilantro and served with handmade corn tortillas. Enjoy some of their famous antojitos, tacos and mouth-watering frozen margaritas at their Lincoln Center restaurant. Everything served here is delicious!
200 West 70th Street (between Amsterdam and West End)
Cafe Luxembourg has been around since 1983. The French restaurant has been able to stay on the map for so long due to its lovely homemade dishes. The laid-back atmosphere and the old school decor have always kept patrons coming back for more. This local favorite brings their famous french fries to the table, among many other delightful French plates. You can’t go wrong by ordering one of their menu classics like their French onion soup or their country salad. The all natural steak tartare with toast points, endive, and frites is always another satisfying choice. I also recently tried their spaghetti squash gratin which was amazing.
Cafe Luxembourg is also a great place to spot local celebrities!
View this post on Instagram
10 Columbus Circle (The Time Warner Center, between 59th and 60th Streets)
This Upper West Side steakhouse is one of the most popular restaurants in Columbus Circle’s Time Warner Center, and is considered one of the best steakhouses in NYC. The restaurant’s award winning chef, Michael Lomonaco, prepares classic American dishes with quality ingredients. Lomonaco is also a friendly face and makes frequent appearances on TV. He was also one of the first chefs to become popular on the Food Network.
Porter House is also well-received for its’ views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline, a massive wine list, and of course the quality meats on their menu.
Le Pif NYC
2058 Broadway (between 70th and 71st Streets)
A popular Upper West Side bar, this French wine bar and restaurant serves tasty plates such as flat breads, soups, and salads. Their menu also includes a variety of charcuterie boards that are served with either high quality European meats or cheeses. They also prepare Croque Monsieurs, a traditional French dish that’s made with a toasted brioche, gruyere cheese, homemade bechamel, and ham. In conclusion, this is a great place to go for cheese lovers!
Best foie gras that I’ve had outside of Paris. Great wine selection with a healthy pour! Staff is friendly and I never needed to ask for anything. Highly recommended!-Facebook Reviewer
Ella Kitchen & Bar
249 Columbus Avenue (between 71st and 72nd Streets)
This tapas bar serves small Mediterranean and Spanish dishes. The Bravas potatoes tapa with an orange-chipotle aioli, harissa, and parsley pack is an absolute must-try. Empanada lovers will also enjoy their signature empanada stuffed with spinach, corn, manchego cheese, grated parmesan, and chipotle aioli. They also serve really tasty mushroom croquettes. Ella Kitchen also happens to be one of the few restaurants on the Upper West Side that have bottomless brunch deals on the weekends.
Robert Restaurant at Columbus Circle
2 Columbus Circle (between 58th and 59th Streets)
Sitting atop the Museum of Art and Design, Robert Restaurant offers unparalleled views and is easily one of the most visually appealing restaurants in Columbus Circle. The decor of this fancy restaurant near Lincoln Center is colorful and bright. Try your best to get a window seat and food wise, you can’t go wrong. Seafood dominates the main courses here. Each dish is packed with flavor. One of the more popular dishes is the Maine lobster served with plantain and grapefruit, and avocado mousse, lemon zest, and beurre blanc. The seared Scottish salmon served with white asparagus, chanterelle, risotto, and pomegranate jus is also just as fabulous. However, I would also personally recommend the filet minion.
View this post on Instagram
Shun Lee West
43 West 65th Street (between Columbus and Central Park West)
This high-end restaurant serves some of the best Chinese food on the Upper West Side. Menu highlights include the Beijing duck and leg of lamb Hunan style. The Beijing duck served with homemade crepes, spring onion brushes and hoisin sauce. The crispy jumbo prawns with XO sauce (garlic, ginger, scallions, hot pepper, and dried scallops) is also quite another popular dish.
Shun Lee has another locations on East 55th Street (Shun Lee Palace), which first opened in 1971. In fact, it was the first Chinese restaurant of its kind to offer New Yorkers a peek into the world of refined Oriental cuisine. Their Lincoln Center restaurant has been open since 1981 and is also considered to be a long-time staple of the Upper West Side.
Per Se – Best French Restaurant Near Lincoln Center & Columbus Circle
10 Columbus Circle (The Time Warner Center, between 59th and 60th Streets)
Per Se opened its doors in 2004. The high floor Columbus Circle restaurant is located inside the Time Warner Center. Brought to us by super-chef Thomas Keller, it’s arguably the best French food in New York City, earning an easy spot on our list. Enjoy hefty nine-course meals and mouth-watering desserts at one of the few restaurants to come with the distinction of having three Michelin stars. The restaurant’s zen ambiance is elevated by the stunning views of Central Park and Columbus Circle. Treat your senses to a meal at Per Se for the ultimate dining experience.
240 Central Park South (between 58th and 59th Streets)
This Italian restaurant is located on Central Park South and specializes in high end seafood. One popular dish is their fusilli with red wine braised octopus and bone marrow. Marea offers a selection of caviar and oysters and an extensive list of Italian and French wines.
Marea, which means “tide” in Italian, opened in 2009; the next year, they won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant. They were also named Best New Restaurant by Bon Appetit and have been praised by many other big publications including The New York Times and Esquire.
Lincoln Center Kitchen
10 Lincoln Center Plaza (by 64th Street in Lincoln Center)
Located in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center Kitchen brings a new definition to “restaurants near Lincoln Center”. This is an American restaurant with a focus on regional dishes. The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Saturday between the hours of 5pm and 8pm. Lunch is available on Fridays and Saturdays when there is a matinee show.
Some great dishes to try include their smoked salmon frittata, chicken liver mousse and seared diver scallops.
Here’s one review from their OpenTable page:
This was my second time dining at the Lincoln Center Kitchen and I was impressed again. Excellent food, prepared well and beautifully. Very good service and attentiveness to timing for a show/concert. Great menu- everything I saw coming out to tables looked absolutely delicious. Convenient to all Lincoln Center activities. Nothing bad to say, really, all excellent. I look forward to going back again soon.
330 West 58th Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues)
Expect extremely fresh and well-presented sushi at this Columbus Circle restaurant. It’s a pretty low key and quiet place, yet it’s upscale and sleek, making it appropriate for most important occasions. The interior is sleek with lots of dark stained wood throughout, plus full-length windows which brighten it up.
The menu includes an extensive list of sushi and sashimi rolls and roll combos, plenty of meat and seafood entries, noodle soups, and traditional appetizer favorites like Shrimp Shumai and Gyoza.
Their signature “Damo Roll” delivers spicy tuna, cucumber, tempura flakes, avocado and tobiko (tiny little fish eggs).
You’ll also notice their popular mango sauce making an appearance in some of their other rolls.
Petrossian Boutique and Cafe
911 Seventh Avenue (between 57th and 58th Streets)
The upscale cafe just south of Columbus Circle is known for their best for their caviar and smoked fish platters. They also serve delicacies such as foie gras, cheese and charcuterie plates and truffles. The cafe includes a bakery with sweet and savory breads and pastries. Petrossian has earned press points from Grub Street (for their chocolate chip cookies) and Serious Eats (for their croissants), earning the number one spot from Grub Street and the number two spot from Serious Eats.
The cafe is also located in a really cool building called Alwyn Court, so even if you’re not hungry, walk by to snap some photos! But if you do go inside, you’ll find just as much aesthetically pleasing scenery in the restaurant.
An Ever Expanding List of Columbus Circle Restaurants at the Underground TurnStyle
So far, we’ve only included restaurants visible to pedestrians. But there’s an entire eating and shopping center in the Columbus Circle train station with a steadily growing list of food vendors. If you’re craving Asian cuisine, TurnStyle Underground Market currently includes Hey Hey Canteen, Zai Lai, Yong Kang Street, and Boil Boil Ramen. You can also find a Champion Pizza, a Starbucks (just so you’re aware), and sweet dessert spots including 16 Handles x Mochidochi and a Doughnuttery.
Best Cheap Eats Near Lincoln Center + Columbus Circle
153 Amsterdam Ave (between 66th and 67th Streets)
Cheap Chinese take out spot. A great choice if you’re running late to a performance and need to find both fast and cheap eats near Lincoln Center!
Get 4 crab rangoon for $3, a small wonton soup for $2, or if it’s during their lunch menu hours (11am-4pm), a sweet and sour chicken for $5.75.
885 Ninth Avenue (between 57th and 58th Streets)
This small ramen bar is cash only and offers ramen bowls from $9 to $14. You can garnish you’re bowl with toppings that range between just $1 and $2.
Old John’s Luncheonette
148 West 67th Street (between Amsterdam and Broadway)
Not everything on their menu is cheap, but they do offer grilled cheese sandwiches for $4.95 and burgers for $6.95. If you’re visiting the city, this NYC diner is also a cool place to experience “old New York”.
LA Traviata Pizzeria
101 West 68th Street (between Amsterdam and Columbus)
This classic, hole-in-the-wall UWS pizza place is quick and cheap. Cheese slices go for $2.50 and pies for $11.00. Service is over the counter and designed for those prepared to gobble up their pizza quickly or on the go.
Fluffy’s Cafe & Pizzeria
370 West 58th Street (corner of Ninth Ave)
Fluffy’s is open 24/7, and offers a little bit of everything in a cafeteria-style dining room. Plain pizza slices go for $2.50, and most slices with toppings will go for $3.75 or $3.95. Their burgers sell for $6.95, and custom hot pastas and stir fry bowls with three toppings are only $7.95.
186 Columbus Ave (between 68th and 69th Streets)
Francesco’s serves delicious olive oil crust pizza. You can get yourself a plain slice for $2.90 or a personal pie for $12. They also offer pastas starting at $12.50, and meat and poultry dishes starting in the low $20 range. Yes, not everything here is “cheap” by everyone’s standards, but it’s a nice place to sit down and have yourself a slice if you’re in saving mode.
342 West 57th Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues)
This very small Italian deli offers its patrons small sandwiches for under $5, salads for under $10, and their pasta of the day for $9.95.
940 Eighth Avenue (between 55th and 56th Streets)
All natural, fast-casual Indian food. Pay between $10-$12 for an entree with four sides. Entree choices include chicken tikka, pulled pork, lamb kofta, grilled mushroom and paneer (marinated farmer’s cheese).
Best Columbus Circle + Lincoln Center Dessert Spots
10 Columbus Circle (at 59th Street)
Located in The Shops at Columbus Circle, the Bouchon Bakery from Chef Thomas Keller is a busy café that offers delectable sandwiches on French baguettes, large, beautifully crusted croissants, and even more options to satisfy both your savory and sweet tooth. If you have the time for a luxurious café lunch, you can dine at the restaurant; but if you’re only interested in a quick bite and dessert/coffee combo to-go, the bakery around the corner from the restaurant (on your left) is the spot. Bouchon Bakery serves a full range of espresso drinks and coffee custom-blended by Chef Keller’s longtime partner Equator Coffee Roasters. Follow their Instagram for eye-opening treats!
1796 Broadway (between 58th and 59th Streets)
Let’s face it—gelato is arguably better than ice cream. But sometimes, even in NYC, it can be hard to find a quality gelato café that feels as if it were plucked right out of Italy. Luckily enough, Grom is an authentic and reputable gelato shop just steps outside the 59th St- Columbus Circle subway station. They provide high-quality ingredients for classic flavors, like pistachio or hazelnut, as well as more eccentric flavors like caramello al sale (caramel and Himalayan pink salt.) They also change their flavors once a month, so you always have a reason to visit Grom.
Buttercup Bake Shop
828 Seventh Avenue (between 53rd and 54th Streets)
Prepare yourself. If you’ve ever heard of Magnolia Bakery, you need to check out Buttercup Bake Shop, serving old-fashioned American desserts. It was founded by Jennifer Appel, who also opened the very first Magnolia Bakery with her partner in the West Village in 1996. With all cupcakes made from 100% buttercream, you can guarantee to enjoy a truly remarkable sweet treat. They don’t just offer cupcakes though. Buttercup Bake Shop also serves cakes, cookies, pies, marshmallow treats, and much more.
Baked in Color
Columbus Circle Subway Station (58th and Eighth Avenue Intersection)
Tucked into the Turnstyle Underground Market of the Columbus Circle station is Baked in Color, a bakery making a rainbow of treats– literally. From classic gooey chocolate chip cookies to giant rainbow cookie squares, this place is both a dessert for the eyes and soul. With options to snack on-the-go or create custom orders, you can’t go wrong with Baked in Color. Follow their Instagram for some sweet vibrancy!
La Maison du Chocolat
The Plaza at 1 West 58th Street (between Grand Army Plaza and Avenue of the Americas)
If you’re a chocolate person, you need to visit this shop and indulge. These luxury chocolates are the perfect gift idea for someone you love, including yourself. They offer decadent truffles, dark and milk chocolate bars, and a sincere array of treats and pastries. You’re likely to take one bite of any item at La Maison du Chocolat and feel transported to an authentic chocolate shop in the heart of Paris.
1800 Broadway (between 58th and 59th Streets)
If you’re looking for a quaint café where you can fill up on delicious savory food, enjoy a hot latte, and finish off with a French pastry, Maison Kayser is a classic choice. With an array of baked goods and pastries ranging from ever-popular madeleines to refreshing Yuzu tarts, you’re sure to find something worth indulging in (and possibly not sharing) at this well-known boulangerie.
Best Columbus Circle + Lincoln Center Bars
Empire Hotel Lobby Bar
44 West 63rd Street
Plush seats, majestic curtains, towering ceilings and a winding stairwell. Up top is one of the best rooftop bars in NYC, too.
10 Columbus Circle
Fancy cocktail lounge and wine bar in the Time Warner Center. Fifty wine bottles on their menu and great small plates, too. But the main reason to head here is the beautiful interior.
View this post on Instagram
Library Bar at Hudson
358 West 58th Street
Located in the Hudson Hotel, Library Bar actually has a library. Though I wouldn’t recommend reading at this bar, or any other. You’ll also get to enjoy a roaring fireplace, plush chairs and couches, and a billiards table.
The Office NYC
80 Columbus Circle
Located next to the Aviary at the Mandarin Oriental, The Office NYC is ideal for spirits lovers and connoisseurs. Especially those who can’t make up their minds, as their “Dealer’s Choice” offering allows you to provide parameters to the barkeep who will then create your custom-tailored cocktail.
10 Columbus Circle
On Tap is located at the Columbus Circle Whole Foods in the Time Warner Center. What stands out the most about this place is the massive beer selection. Yes, this stands out more than the fact that it’s located in a Whole Foods.Get UWS food tips and restaurant news delivered to your inbox