The best restaurants near Lincoln Center

Looking for restaurants near Lincoln Center? Skip the tourist traps and head to these gems in NYC instead.
Boulud Sud
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz Boulud Sud
By Juliet Izon |
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Whether you’re craving high-end Italian or just a killer burger, there’s something for everyone at restaurants near Lincoln Center. Plus, with many offering pre-theater prix fixe menus, you’ll be safely ensconced in your seat well before the opening curtain at the New York City Ballet. Read on to see our favorite restaurants near Lincoln Center, whether you’re coming from Lincoln Center Out of Doors or just a stroll through Central Park.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Best restaurants near Lincoln Center

1
Marea
Photograph: Courtesy Marea
Restaurants, Italian

Marea

icon-location-pin Midtown West

Focusing on coastal seafood (the restaurant’s name means “tide” in Italian), this Central Park stunner is a temple to all creatures of the sea. Pasta fanatics will not want to leave without sampling Chef Michael White’s famed fusilli with octopus and bone marrow.

2
Lincoln Ristorante
Photograph: Courtesy Evan Sung
Restaurants, Italian

Lincoln

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

Housed in a sleek freestanding building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Lincoln’s architectural ambition is matched only by its refined cuisine. Now helmed by Chef Shea Gallante, diners can expect hearty Italian restaurant preparations with an emphasis on farm-to-table sourcing.

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3
Sardinian Fregula
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Italian

The Leopard at des Artistes

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

This romantic space, outfitted with walnut-wood columns, showcases the former tenant’s beautiful and historic oil murals. Chef Vito Gnazzo executes a Southern Italian menu that includes dishes such as buffalo ricotta gnocchi and traditional Sicilian couscous with shellfish ragout.

4
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Boulud Sud

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

Superchef Daniel Boulud combines the foods of Spain, Italy and many more at his most international restaurant. But the restaurant’s cooking also plays to his strengths: It’s polished, elegant and still fundamentally French. Don’t miss the pre-theater, three-course prix-fixe; a relative bargain at $63.

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5
Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill
Restaurants, Japanese

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen

The first of a chainlet that has since expanded to Miami and LA, this bustling Columbus Circle spot boasts a truly astounding number of fish varieties. Options are divided by Atlantic or Pacific Ocean habitats, so bring along friends and eat your way across the globe. Did we mention they bottle their own sake in-house?

6
Photograph: Noah Fecks
Restaurants, Steakhouse

Porter House Bar and Grill

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

Boasting dreamy views of Central Park, this Time Warner Center steakhouse is a carnivore’s paradise. Chef Michael Lomonaco stacks his menu with six different cuts of prime dry-aged beef, as well as the incomparably tender, true Japanese 100 percent Wagyu New York strip steak.

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7
Rosa Mexicano - Lincoln Center
Restaurants, Mexican

Rosa Mexicano

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

This David Rockwell–designed Mexican restaurant has vivid terrazzo steps, a two-story blue-tile water wall and backlit pressed roses that brighten the first-floor bar. The guacamole, an excellent bar snack, is deservedly famous, but don’t miss out on the equally addictive enchiladas suizas made with roasted chicken and creamy
tomatillo sauce.

8
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Fred B.
Restaurants, American creative

The Smith

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

This Lincoln Square spin-off offers the same menu of American brasserie fare as the East Village original. Take a seat at the zinc bar and choose from dishes like the Brooklyn-style fried calamari or a thick burger topped with American cheese and bacon.

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9
atlantic grill
Restaurants, Seafood

Atlantic Grill

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

With a menu as sophisticated as its crowd, this upscale seafood restaurant specializes in teetering shellfish towers (with the sizes named Ballet, Opera and Symphony, naturally) and innovative sushi rolls. The weekday dinner prix fixe is music to theater-goers’ ears. Pun intended.

10
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Dimitri S.
Restaurants, Indian

Sapphire

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

Known for its expansive lunch buffet, this Indian restaurant stalwart just two blocks from Lincoln Center is also a favorite for pre-theater meals. All the greatest hits are here—chicken tikka masala, garlic naan—plus sweet treats like kheer, a homemade rice pudding.

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