The Best Cafés Around Central Park, New York City

Courtesy of KG-NY Restaurant Group / Cafe Sabarsky
Courtesy of KG-NY Restaurant Group / Cafe Sabarsky
Photo of Julia Goicochea
30 June 2017

New York City’s Central Park is iconic, gorgeous, and, truthfully, pretty exhausting. Whether you’re looking to fuel up or wind down, the numerous cafés surrounding the park have got your next caffeine-craving covered. Here are eight of the best cafés near the city’s favorite park.

Cafe Sabarsky

Cafe, Restaurant, Austrian, $$$

Nestled within Neue Galerie New York is a café approaching eating as an art form. At Cafe Sabarsky, turn-of-the-century Viennese décor meets contemporary takes on Austrian cuisine, resulting in an appetizingly immersive dining experience. Be warned, though: sampling the spot’s sophisticated dishes, including smoked trout and horseradish-crème fraîche crêpes, hot spiced red wine, and housemade liverwurst tartines, will ruin you for uninspired pastries for good.

Bluestone Lane

Cafe, Australian, $$$

With its artisan cups of coffee and fresh, ingredient-focused fare, Bluestone Lane is keeping New York’s love affair with Australian cafés alive. Unsurprisingly, it’s the locally beloved chain’s Australian offerings that stand out amongst its array of café classics. The spot’s flat whites, Aussie iced lattes, avocado toast, and more provide a much-needed pick-me-up from Down Under.

The Great Hall Balcony Café & Bar

Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, American, Salad Bar
ETHEL at The Great Hall Balcony Café and Bar
ETHEL at The Great Hall Balcony Café and Bar | Courtesy of Erin Patrice O'Brien / The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Despite its solid selection of sandwiches, salads, and drinks, the café is not the main draw of The Great Hall Balcony Café & Bar. Located within the famed Metropolitan Museum of Art, an ordinary café is made extraordinary by its surroundings, which include awe-inspiring architecture, world-renowned artworks, and prime people-watching. Plan your visit for a Friday or Saturday evening, and you’ll be able to witness a live musical performance by global ensemble ETHEL.


Cafe, Swedish, $$$

Delivering the Swedish “appreciation of a coffee-centric lifestyle” to New York City, FIKA has captivated local caffeine lovers. At its locations throughout the city, 100% homemade European fare, including house-cured salmon, hand-rolled meatballs, and chocolate truffles in flavors such as FIKA espresso and goat cheese, are savored alongside traditional Swedish coffee. Boasting trendy minimalist décor and high-quality cuisine, FIKA’s original Central Park South location is a perfect place to gear up for or wind down from your day.


Bar, Cafe, Coffee Shop, Contemporary, $$$

The aptly named DTUT (an acronym for Downtown Uptown) brings a refreshingly funky downtown vibe to Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Vintage furniture, low lighting, and off-beat menu offerings earn this spot distinction among the area’s abundant coffee shops. With its fondue and wine pairings, locally sourced coffee and cuisine, and the “largest selection of American craft beers north of 86th Street,” DTUT is an ideal destination any time of day.

Two Little Red Hens

Bakery, Cafe, Pastelaria, American, $$$

While 2,000 Yelper recommendations sure are sweet, the all-American treats at Two Little Red Hens speak for themselves. Nostalgic noshers flock to this Yorkville spot to enjoy old-fashioned baking at its best. Serving quality coffee and tea, it’s the coop’s confections, including banana cake with homestyle cream cheese frosting, chilled Key Lime pie, and chocolate pudding layer cake, that’ll have you coming back for more.

Café Noi

Cafe, Mediterranean

Located in Manhattan’s Yorkville area, Café Noi is a neighborhood spot where Mediterranean dishes, such as bureka, shakshuka, and Greek omelets, are cooked up with care. Boasting Insta-worthy latte art, a warm atmosphere, and generously portioned plates of frittata sandwiches, fruit-topped pancakes, and more, Café Noi is an excellent pick for a long lunch.

The Brown Cup

Cafe, Healthy

Offering no frills, just flavor, The Brown Cup is a great option for on-the-go café cuisine. This small spot, which serves up super-sized sandwiches, breakfast rolls, and coffee beverages, packs huge value. While the café does offer places to sit, its finger-friendly offerings practically beg to be enjoyed on a casual picnic in the park.

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