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Restaurants & Bars

Dining out is so deeply ingrained in the culture of New York City that many people use their oven for additional storage. Among the hundreds of restaurants in the area, these are our favorite restaurants, cafés, wine bars, and bars around the museum. Dinner in NYC is typically after 7, and often later.

Restaurants will usually have tables earlier and begin to fill up around 7-8 pm. Because space is a premium in NYC, expect to hear the conversation of the people sitting beside you, particularly in less expensive restaurants.

Of course, the number of dollar signs typically reflects the quality of the food and service. And, for $$$ and $$$$ restaurants, a reservation is often necessary.

Tipping: In the U.S., restaurants pay servers very little in lieu of tips earned. The standard tip in NYC for satisfactory service is 20%, or $1 per drink in a bar.

Restaurants

Columbus Avenue

Generally, the quality and price are both higher on Columbus Avenue.

  • Isabella's, American, 77 St. & Columbus, $$$. Close to the museum, rarely disappoints.
  • Ocean Grill, Seafood, Columbus btw 78 & 79 Sts., $$$
  • Gari, Japanese/Sushi, Columbus btw 77 & 78 Sts., $$$$
  • Calle Ocho, Cuban/Latin/Chinese, 81 St. in Excelsior Hotel, $$
  • Shake Shack, Gourmet Fast Food, Columbus & 77 St., $
  • Dovetail, American/French, 77 St near Columbus, $$$$
  • Mughlai, Indian, Columbus and 75 St., $$. best Indian food in the neighborhood, spacious dining room.
  • Patsy's Pizzeria, Italian/Pizza, 74 St. btw Columbus & Central Park West, $$. Great pizza, but if you go early, you will be dining with kids.
  • Tenzan, Japanese/Sushi, Columbus btw 73 & 74 Sts., $$
  • Bistro Cassis, French, Columbus btw 70 & 71 Sts., $$$. Great French food in a low-key atmosphere.
  • Blossom, Organic Vegan, Columbus btw 82 & 83 Sts., $$
  • Cilantro, Mexican, Columbus btw 83 & 84 Sts., $$
  • Lenny's, Salads & Sandwiches, Columbus btw 83 & 84 Sts. and Columbus btw 74 & 75 Sts., $. Good, slightly pricy, gourmet deli.
  • Gastronomie 491, Sandwiches/Bakery, Columbus btw 83 & 84 Sts., $$
  • Soup Stop, Soup & Sandwiches, Columbus btw 84 & 85 Sts., $

Amsterdam Avenue

Amsterdam Avenue generally has cheaper options.

  • Land, Thai, Amsterdam btw 81 & 82 Sts., $$. Best Thai value in the city, but very crowded and packed restaurant. Tables easier to get in off peak times (at 6 pm or after 9 pm), large groups might be tough to accommodate here.
  • Peacefood Café, Vegan, Amsterdam & 82 St., $$
  • Sarabeth's, American, Amsterdam btw 80 & 81 Sts., $$.  Good for breakfast.
  • Café Con Leche, Cuban/Latin, Amsterdam btw 80 & 81 Sts., $$
  • Flor de Mayo, Chinese/Latin/Peruvian, Amsterdam btw 83 & 84 Sts., $$. Cheap Chino-Latino food with a full cocktail menu. Try the Peruvian options.
  • Hummus Place, Middle Eastern/Vegetarian, Amsterdam btw 74 & 75 Sts., $

Broadway

  • La Caridad, Cuban/Chinese, Broadway and 78 St., $. Cheap Latin/Chinese food joint that's been around forever.
  • French Roast, Light French/Café, Broadway & 85 St., $$. Open 24 hours.

Coffee & Tea

Wine Bars

Most of these have food to nibble on.

Bars

Most bars are open until 4 a.m. every night. These are the kind of places you'll feel safe ordering beer or liquor, but wine is not their priority.

  • McAleer's Pub, Amsterdam btw 80 and 81 Sts., $$
  • Dive 75, 75 St. btw Columbus & Amsterdam, $$.
  • Dead Poet, Amsterdam btw 81 & 82 Sts., $$.  Very narrow, not great for large groups.
  • George Keeley's, Amsterdam btw 83 & 84 Sts., $$
  • Dublin House, 79 St. btw Amsterdam & Broadway, $$. A no-frills, old Irish bar. Bright and quiet, like they used to be.

Farther Afield

  • Café Luxembourg, French, 70 St. btw Amsterdam & West End Ave, $$$. Busy French bistro atmosphere, staple of the neighborhood.
  • Bar Boulud, French, Broadway btw 63 & 64 Sts., $$$
  • Lincoln, Modern Italian, at Lincoln Center off 65 St., $$$$. An exotic space, even for a glass of wine.
  • The Smith, American, Broadway btw 63 & 64 Sts., $$$. Large bar.
  • Jean-Georges, and Nougatine, Modern French, 1 Central Park West near 60 St., $$$$. Formal with fabulous food. Reserve at least 1 month out.
  • Landmarc, American/Steak, Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle, $$$. Casual, with a non-traditional menu that's heavy on beef.
  • 79th Street Boat Basin, Bar & Bar food, 79 St. on Hudson River, $$. Go for a drink overlooking the river, the food is standard bar food.
  • The Leopard at des Artistes, Italian, 67 St. btw Central Park West and Columbus, $$$
  • Pio Pio, Peruvian, Amsterdam and 94 St., $$

Or, browse Yelp by best restaurant in manhattan, and stay away from more touristy neighborhoods like Midtown, Theater District, Chinatown, and Little Italy.  Hell's Kitchen (9 Avenue btw 42 & 57 Sts.) has an amazing number of modestly priced options and is a little more lively than the Upper West Side.

Other restaurant sites:

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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