12 Places to Eat Near Bryant Park

Nestled in busy Midtown Manhattan is Bryant Park, the manicured garden and preferred picnic spot for busy New Yorkers and tourists alike. Whether you’re looking for something tasty during the lunch rush or a nice sit-down dinner near your hotel, you can find it within a two-block radius of this formal, French-inflected oasis. Here are 12 restaurants, ranging from your go-to croissant spot to a Michelin-starred sushi restaurant, near Bryant Park and the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.



Located inside the Hotel Hendricks, Paloma presents pan-Latin cuisine from Chef PJ Calapa. Come for Mexican-style ceviche or sumptuous steaks like al pastor short rib with pineapple chutney. Of course, you can also enjoy a paloma cocktail during happy hour, and when it’s warm out, sip away in the al fresco Peruvian Garden. The hotel’s rooftop bar presents elegant cocktails and a stunning view as well. 25 W. 38th St., 646-933-9040,

Xi’an Famous Foods

Among the many fast-casual lunch spots in the area is the great Xi’an Famous Foods. This chain of hand-pulled noodle shops attracts crowds day in and day out for its soups and entrees. The cumin lamb gets the most hype, but the Tingly Beef Noodles and spinach dumplings are also very popular. Watch out for their signature chili oil kick! 37 W. 43rd St., 212-786-2068,

Benjamin Steakhouse

Benjamin Steakhouse

Among the top steakhouses in the city, Benjamin Steakhouse serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with class and plenty of taste. Extraordinary sirloins, ribeyes, and filets are dry-aged by the steakhouse and served with sides like crab legs and bleu cheese-topped home fries, as well as Benjamin’s own steak sauce. Visit the stately Chemist Club building on 41st Street for great service with your steak and wine near the grand fireplace in the dining room. 52 E. 41st St., 212-297-9177,

Bryant Park Grill

No need to leave Bryant Park at all—check out Bryant Park Grill, located in the back of the New York Public Library. The Grill dining room, a formal setting with a gorgeous view of the park, serves New American dinner and weekend brunch. In good weather, the outdoor Cafe serves sandwiches and American plates. 25 W. 40th St., 212-840-6500,

Maison Keyser

Pick up a quick breakfast or lunch at bakery extraordinaire, Maison Kayser. Take your croissants and brioches to the park for a morning in the shade, or open-faced sandwiches like the smoked salmon tartine at lunch. There’s a dining room at this location, but expect a crowd for seated breakfast, lunch, or breakfast at this branch of Eric Kayser’s empire. 8 W. 40th St., 212-354-2300,

Strip House

Strip House

Another steakhouse you should know is Strip House. The Midtown outpost of the downtown restaurant serves outstanding bone-in New York strip with Maitre’D Butter, along with crispy goose fat-fried potatoes. This bilevel dining room, inspired by bygone burlesque venues, also makes a mean 24-layer chocolate cake for dessert. 15 W. 44th St., 212-336-5454, 

DB Bistro Moderne 

Chef Daniel Boulud, of Daniel and Bar Boulud, presents a stylish French bistro with his signature flair just two blocks north of the park. A great pre-theater pick, you can have three courses for just $60 and a deep selection of whiskeys and wine to drink. DB Bistro Moderne is known for its gourmet burger and fantastic eats all day, every day. Brunch standouts include Pistachio French Toast with Chantilly cream (!). 55 W. 44th St., 212-391-2400,

Gabriel Kreuther

Gabriel Kreuther

A fine French feast lies right across 42nd Street from Bryant Park. Chef Gabriel Kreuther’s namesake restaurant, the recipient of two Michelin stars and widespread critical acclaim, serves rotating tasting menus in the formal dining room and dishes like his iconic tartes flambees in the Bar & Lounge. Moreover, its cocktail menu includes a thorough history of Bryant Park and cocktails named for some of the park’s hidden historical features. 41 W. 42nd St., 212-257-5826,

Sen Sakana

Sen Sakana

Peruvian and Japanese cuisine combine to create Nikkei, a traditional fusion served at Sen Sakana. This elegant restaurant, offering special pre-theater prix fixe dinner, invites you to savor its best dishes via small plates and sushi. That means quinoa-crusted chicken breast, pork belly skewers, and a tiradito (which the menu calls “sashimi meets ceviche”). 28 W. 44th St., 212-221-9560,


Pick up a fantastic Italian sandwich at Alidoro on 39th Street. These artisanal sandwiches, divided into hot and cold on its extensive menu, consist of quality cured meats, cheese, and bread. There’s the spicy Enzo with mozzarella and arugula and the Brando with chicken, provolone, and sweet peppers. Build-your-own sandwiches and salads are also available. 18 E .39th St., 646-692-4330,

Luke’s Lobster

Luke's Lobster

Indulge in the smash-hit New England lobster rolls at Luke’s Lobster. This chain of seafood restaurants use sustainable ingredients—including wild-caught shellfish—for their plates, sandwiches, chowders, and salads. Lobster Mac and Crab Grilled Cheese feature on the menu at this laid-back shack, which also offers patio dining. 207 E. 43rd St., 646-657-0066,

Sushi Ginza Onodera

Across the street from New York Public Library is an exclusive restaurant for omakase sushi. Akifumi Sakagami and Kazushige Suzuki’s intimate counter, preparing sushi in the Edomae style, has earned one Michelin star. Be prepared for fresh, imported seafood during your experience, and to pay top dollar for the daily tasting menu. A more affordable omakase experience can be yours during lunch at Sushi Ginza Onodera. 461 Fifth Ave., 212-390-0925,

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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