Where to Drink After a Day at Central Park South

Starting at 59th Street and ending at 110th, Central Park covers a lot of territory. This means that there are a lot of bars you can go to for brunch that will spit you out right at the edge of the park several mimosas later and plenty you can saunter over to for late afternoon drinks after catching the best of the sun’s rays earlier in the day.

Thus, the following only represents a small sampling of such bars by the south end of the park. If you’re coming from downtown, these are the most convenient places to grab a drink by the city’s premiere park.
If you’re looking for a classier way to start and end your day at the park (in keeping with the Central Park South address), Southgate offers a three course “jazz brunch” for $55 that comes with a cocktail (coffee and juice included) or a brunch open bar that lasts two hours and offers otherwise unlimited mimosas, Bellinis, and Bloody Marys. There’s also a very extensive wine and liquor menu for later in the day. (154 Central Park South; 212-484-5120)
Though definitely overrated for its food, you can’t go wrong sipping a five flowers mimosa or a classic Bellini made with white peach purée just parallel to the park’s south entrance. Supposedly, the restaurant doesn’t let you sit outside with just drinks, so to get around this either get some chips and crab meat guacamole to go with your cocktails, or just order cocktails first and hope your waiter doesn’t notice or care (a likely possibility—tried and true, in fact). (40 Central Park South; 212-826-5959) 
Another high end option, which is hard to escape at this side of the park, Whiskey Park is located in the Trump Parc building, and it touts being ideal for sports fans with multiple, big-screen TVs and a pool table. Ultimately, the draw lies in the interior, which is pleasant, and the whiskey, which is abundant. (100 Central Park South; 212-307-9222)
Taking a couple steps down in terms of class and price, this bar offers a menu dedicated entirely to shots, including one named after Harry Potter and another named after Jose Canseco, which the website describes as coming “straight from the syringe.” The “Monica Lewinsky” shot gets an equally respectful description. It’s a few blocks from the south side of the park, but worth the trek if you’re seeking out a less upscale option. (923 8th Ave.; 212-245-3212)
Since this end of the park is also the most accessible to tourists, the bars, like the above, can err on the side of tacky…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Irish Pub is festive in the kind of silly way that actually provokes enthusiasm in its patrons, while the selections of whiskey, scotch, and bourbon aren’t lacking. Also, the bar food here is most certainly not trying to be anything other than bar food. (837 7th Ave.; 212-664-9364)
A classic bar that’s far enough from the park to eschew pretensions and tourist trappings, Lincoln Park is dark, simply decorated, sports-inclined (but not aggressively so), and cheap for New York. Red Stripe and Twisted Tea are on the bar menu alongside the usual culprits like Sam Adams Seasonal and Brooklyn Lager. (867 9th Ave.; 212-974-2826)
Located further south of Lincoln Park in Hell’s Kitchen, Valhalla offers a wide array of beers you won’t see all in the same place at most other venues in the area. Fifty-cent wings are also on the menu (at certain hours), and if you come really late at night, all craft beers go for $5. (815 9th Ave.; 212-757-2747)
Photos via Flickr user ZeroOne and Sarabeth's



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