Best Restaurants and Bars Near Columbus Circle

Where to eat near Time Warner Center and Central Park's southwest corner
November 2, 2017
by Zagat Staff

Whether you’re passing through on your way to Lincoln Center or finishing up a stroll through Central Park, Columbus Circle has long been a fantastic place to take in the sweeping views over a delicious meal. Here are the best spots to dine and to drink in and around this iconic Midtown landmark.

The Office NYC
Bar · West 50s · $$$$

Tucked into The Aviary, an offshoot of the Chicago bar by Alinea’s Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas, this rarified spot on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental serves high-end cocktails, ultra-vintage spirits and fancy bites (which can also be ordered as a playful tasting menu with drink pairings). The richly designed space has a clubby, old-time style, and reservations are recommended.
French · West 60s · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.8

“Time after time” , Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s CPW flagship “lives up to its billing” with “exquisite” New French cuisine that “dazzles your palate” served “with balletlike precision” in “a serene, luxurious” setting that requires a jacket; it’ll cost a “king’s ransom” to settle the tab, but those “willing to splurge” can count on an “unforgettable” meal.
Vida Verde
Mexican · West 50s · $$$

The owners of cocktail bar Tanner Smiths and chef Hugo Orozco have created this ingredient-driven Midtown Mexican set in a bi-level space whose design is inspired by Mexican street markets. The cocktail program focuses on mezcals and tequilas, and the wine list highlights organic and biodynamic selections.
Italian · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

“Excellence abounds” at Michael White’s Italian “star” on Central Park South, where the “adventurous” seafood and “heavenly” housemade pastas “never fail to wow” ; the “impeccable” service matches the “sleek” , “convivial” setting – as well as the “power broker” prices (lunchtime set menus are a comparative “steal” ).
Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill
Sushi · West 50s · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

“First-class” fish in “creative and classic” combos makes for “dazzling” sushi at these Japanese “go-tos” by the brothers Bromberg; you’ll also find brasserie favorites (like “surprisingly good fried chicken” ) at some locales, and while the SoHo original is more “minimalist” than the rest (minus the Hudson Eats counter), all will cost you a “chunk of change.”
Turnstyle Underground Market
Food Court · West 50s · $

Beneath Columbus Circle, this ambitious food hall and market in a modern, completely refurbished section of the subway station (with no fare required) features vendors providing everything from grilled-cheese sandwiches to savory salteña pastries plus a host of sweets.
Per Se
French · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.7

Thomas Keller’s Time Warner Center “high temple” of French–New American cuisine is “truly an event” given the “fabulous” tasting menu, “unimpeachable” service and “posh” , jackets-required surrounds overlooking Central Park; while the “through-the-roof” set price may limit visits to “once in a blue moon” , those of more limited means “love the à la carte option” in the lounge.
Porter House Bar and Grill
Steakhouse · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

They “know how to cook a steak” at Michael Lomonaco's “chic” Time Warner Center chophouse, where the beef is “juicy and fork-tender” and the “modern” surroundings get a boost from “spectacular” Central Park views; “caring” servers take the edge off the predictably “big checks.”
American · West 50s · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.6

“Elegant, calm” surroundings and “spectacular views” over Central Park make an “incomparable” backdrop for the “exquisite” New American cuisine at this “special-occasion” go-to “atop the Mandarin Oriental” ; the prices are equally “out of this world” (dinner is prix fixe–only), but “stellar” service helps take the sting out – and the 'express' lunch is a “steal.”
French · West 50s · $$$
Food 3.9 · Decor 3.8 · Service 3.9

An “extensive” menu, “reliable” French-leaning fare and “big tables” make Marc Murphy’s “upbeat” TWC bistro “good for large groups” ; you’ll find “gorgeous views” and an after-work bar scene, but be warned: brunch is a “stroller-fest.”
Bar Masa
Bar · West 50s · $$$$