When city life gets to be too much, a stroll in Central Park can do wonders. Although a Turkish taco truck stationed inside the park was recently granted a liquor license, you may be looking for more ambiance to go with your cocktail. Here are the 3 best bars near Central Park. By Selena Ricks-Good.
See Also: Central Park's Hidden Gems
10 E. 60th St.
New York, NY
If your recent brush with nature has you feeling more zen than urban, head to this nutrition-focused American restaurant for a drink made with fresh, organic ingredients. Unwind with the Queen's Cup (Pimm's, cucumber puree, mint and lemon juice) or a Strawberry Mezcalita (organic mezcal, strawberry, strawberry-basil syrup, house-made sour mix, Italian bitter and citrus salt).
Bar Pleiades at the Surrey Hotel
20 E. 76th St.
New York, NY
Sporting one of the most impressive interiors in NYC, this boutique hotel lounge opened by Daniel Boulud draws inspiration from Coco Chanel and oozes with luxury. The cocktail menu features a selection of classics as well as seasonal inspirations. Try your luck with the Fortune Teller (reposado tequila, Lillet Blanc, Chinese five-spice grilled lemon, honey and cardamom). Given the Madison Avenue location, don't be surprised when drink prices here approach $20.
The Outside Dock Bar at Central Park Boathouse
E. 72nd St. & Park Drive North
New York, NY
Why leave the park for a refreshing drink when you can sip al fresco overlooking the lake? There's almost always a wait, but once you score a table you can linger over a glass of wine or a cocktail such as a mojito. Pair your drink with a cheese plate and settle in for some prime wildlife watching--I'm talking about the people, of course.
You'll feel like you're living large when you step onto the marble floors of the St. Regis Hotel lobby and head to the King Cole Bar. Featuring Maxfield Parrish's famous Old King Cole mural, the scene here is lavish, darkly-lit and Old World. Legend has it that the Red Snapper, the original Bloody Mary, was spiced up for American drinkers here after originating in London, and today's version is still a popular choice. Other safe bets include a classic martini or Manhattan.
Roomy yet devoid of rowdies, modern without copping too cool a 'tude, Prohibition provides an original twist on the Upper West Side social scene thanks to a relaxed lounge setting, a diverse roster of musical acts, great New American cuisine and the most attentive and attractive bartenders to ever tip a bottle in the city. Their martinis and mixers are particularly good (try either the Ruby Red or the Prohibition Mojito, each $11). Meanwhile, the backroom – which features a red velvet-topped pool table, a full private bar and your own personal waitstaff – is another option if you're looking for either a quiet chat with an eyecatcher, or an easy way to get circles of mutual friends to comfortably intermingle. Live music plays from 9pm-12am Sun-Wed, 10pm-1am on Thu, and 10:30pm-1:30am on weekends.
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