Best Restaurants Near Lincoln Center

  Last modified on August 27th, 2018

Ask about the best restaurants near Lincoln Center and expect a lot of different answers. There are countless five star eateries in this 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 Lincoln Center restaurants we’re listing 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.

And if you’re on a budget, check out this list of cheap places to eat near Lincoln Center.

 

P.J. Clarke’s

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 great mac and cheese.

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.

Visit P.J. Clarke’s restaurant near Lincoln Center, located at 44 West 63rd Street.

P.J. Clarke’s on Yelp

PJ Clarkes

PJ Clarkes Crab Cakes

http://pjclarkes.com/location/lincoln-square/

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The Smith

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!

I recommend getting a side of smashed garlic potatoes and their grilled shrimp scampi for your main course. Their mushroom pasta entree is also 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. The Smith’s restaurant near Lincoln Center is located at 1900 Broadway (between 63rd and 64th Streets).

The Smith on Yelp

The Smith

Great steak at The Smith!

http://thesmithrestaurant.com/location/lincoln-square/

Lincoln Ristorante

Modern Italian restaurant near Lincoln Center. Fabulous grub and a stunning interior. 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 menu includes fresh ingredients from local farmers, and they also visit the nearby Tucker Square Green Market on a regular basis to keep their options optimal for the season.

Located at 142 West 65th Street.

Lincoln Ristorante on Yelp

Lincoln Ristorante

Apple cake with salted caramel gelato

https://www.lincolnristorante.com/

Cafe Fiorello

This Italian restaurant near Lincoln Center also 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). Great breakfast and a popular weekend brunch, too. Located at 1900 Broadway (between 63rd and 64th Streets).

Cafe Fiorello on Yelp

Cafe Fiorello

Must try their chicken parm.

http://www.cafefiorello.com/

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Boulud Sud

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. Located at 20 West 64th Street.

Boulud Sud on Yelp

Boulud Sud

white truffle gnocchi

https://www.bouludsud.com/

Bar Boulud

Another Daniel Boulud restaurant, and also a great spot for outdoor drinking in NYC. More casual than Boulud Sud. Impressive wines and charcuteries at this Lincoln Center restaurant. Try the boudin blanc! Located at 1900 Broadway (between 63rd and 64th Streets).

Bar Boulud on Yelp

Bar Boulud

Bar Boulud’s beef tartare

barboulud.com/nyc/

Atlantic Grill

Atlantic Grill is one of the Upper West Side’s most popular restaurants. This classic seafood restaurant 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. Located at 49 West 64th Street.

Atlantic Grill on Yelp

Atlantic Grill

Try their grilled Spanish octopus!

http://www.atlanticgrill.com/

Jean Georges

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. 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. Conveniently located in the lobby of a five star hotel on the Upper West Side at 1 Central Park West (at 60th Street).

Jean Georges on Yelp

Jean Georges

Crispy Confit of Suckling Pig

https://www.jean-georges.com/restaurants/united-states/new-york/jean-georges

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The Leopard at des Artistes

A coveted Italian restaurant near Lincoln Center. Leopard des Artistes also prides itself on serving authentic Italian food to its loyal customers. 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! Located at 1 West 67th Street.

The Leopard on Yelp

Leopard des Artistes

Nutella chocolate mousse

http://www.theleopardnyc.com/

Rosa Mexicano

My top pick for Mexican restaurants near Lincoln Center!

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 are best known 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 margaritas at their Lincoln Center restaurant. Everything served here is delicioso! Located at 61 Columbus Ave (corner of 62nd Street).

Rosa Mexicano on Yelp

Rosa Mexicano

Rosa’s famous guac.

https://rosamexicano.com/lincoln_center

Cafe Luxembourg

Cafe Luxembourg has been around since 1983. The French restaurant near Lincoln Center 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. 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. Located at 200 West 70th Street.

Cafe Luxembourg on Yelp

Cafe Luxembourg

French Onion Soup

https://cafeluxembourg.com/

Porter House

One of the best steak restaurants near Lincoln Center

This Upper West Side steakhouse is located in the Time Warner Center. Porter House is also considered to be one of the best steak houses 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. Located at 10 Columbus Circle. 

Porter House on Yelp

Porter House NYChttp://porterhousenyc.com/

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Le Pif NYC

One of the best bars on the Upper West Side, this wine bar serves tasty French 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! Located at 2058 Broadway (between 70th and 71st Streets).

Le Pif on Yelp

Le Pif Lincoln Center

Try a charcuterie board!

http://lepifwinebars.com/

Ella Kitchen & Bar

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. Located at 249 Columbus Ave (between 71st and 72nd Streets).

Ella Kitchen & Bar on Yelp

Ella Kitchen & Bar

They make a mean eggs benedict for brunch.

http://www.ellakitchenbar.com/

Robert Restaurant

Sitting atop the Museum of Art and Design, Robert Restaurant offers unparalleled views of Central Park and 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. Located at 2 Columbus Circle.

Robert on Yelp

Robert Restaurant

Robert’s poached lobster.

http://www.robertnyc.com/

Shun Lee West

One of the best Chinese restaurants near Lincoln Center!

This high-end Chinese restaurant also has some of the best Chinese food on the Upper West Side. Some 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.

Shun Lee West

Roasted BBQ Pork

Shun Lee on Yelp

http://www.shunleerestaurants.com/location/shun-lee-west/

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Per Se

Per Se opened its doors in 2004. The high floor Lincoln Center restaurant is located inside the Time Warner Center and is 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 of best restaurants near Lincoln Center. Enjoy hefty nine-course meals and mouth-watering desserts. In addition, Per Se is also 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.

Per Se on Yelp

Per Se

Milk-fed Yorkshire porcelet, brooks cherries, roasted white asparagus and pistachio vinaigrette

https://www.thomaskeller.com/perseny

Marea

This high end 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 on Yelp

Marea

Fusilli with bone marrow and red wine braised octopus

http://www.marea-nyc.com/

Lincoln Center Kitchen

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 served on Fridays and Saturdays if there is a matinee show.

Some great dishes to try include their smoked salmon frittata, chicken liver mousse and seared diver scallops.

Lincoln Center Kitchen on Yelp

Lincoln Center Kitchen

Trout, Citrus Vinaigrette, Cherry Bomb and Watermelon Radishes, White Asparagus and Frisée.

http://www.lincolncenterkitchen.com/

Lincoln Square Steak

This steakhouse has a beautiful, vintage interior, extremely juicy steaks and an incredibly attentive wait staff.  We recommend the hanger steak with potato gratin and charred brussel sprouts. The herb garlic fries are also amazing.  This restaurant also has an extensive seafood selection and beer menu.

 

Lincoln Square Steak

http://lincolnsquaresteak.com/

There are so many wonderful restaurants near Lincoln Center. We hope this guide will serve you well!

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Mike Mishkin

Mike Mishkin

Blogger & Native Upper West Sider
Mike is a native Upper West Sider. He's lived in the Lincoln Center area, Morningside Heights, and pretty much everywhere in between. You can frequently find him eating through the many great restaurants on the Upper West Side or awkwardly taking iPhone photos for @ilovetheupperwestside.
Mike Mishkin

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