Dining Guide: Lincoln Square

The Lincoln Square area of the Upper West Side is home to some of the greatest cultural institutions in NYC, ex: all of Lincoln Center. Yet, when it comes to where to eat before a show, I find that people tend to have just one place or not even know where to go. If you fall into that category, consider me your fairy food mother. Here are my picks for where to eat near Lincoln Center.

An oasis in the heart of the city.

An oasis in the heart of the city.


Ed’s Chowder House

Despite the name, Ed’s is not your beach shack with a lobster roll but the menu is heavily seafood. Ed’s manages to be both relaxed but feel a bit special too. It is great for families of all ages/sizes or just meeting a friend and won’t break the bank. You don’t need to be super dressy but you should look put together. It’s light floors and large windows bring a nice light, airiness to the space while the dark wood accents keep it from feeling too beachy. website


P.J. Clark’s

P.J. Clark’s is a step above a burger joint. The menu goes beyond burgers, but I definitely recommend getting one, or at the very least getting fries. Kids will have more than enough choices and you can pretty much wear anything, but as you might expect from such a description, it can get loud. Still, for a quick bite, it does the trick and is yummy. website



Don’t be deterred by Landmarc’s location in the Time Warner Center. Chef Marc Murphy, aka one of my favorite judges on Chopped, is who he is for a reason. To be honest, I had forgotten about Landmarc for a few years but this past February was there and had a total “Why did I ever stop coming here?!” moment (Answer: I live downtown now and hadn’t had a reason to have dinner in the area for a while.) The food was just as good as I remembered, perhaps even better. Prices are reasonable, the atmosphere can accommodate a large group (with or without kids), friends, or even a date. Their famed ice cream cone trio dessert is pure whimsy and childhood fun. website


Atlantic Grill

Atlantic Grill is one of those restaurants that I consider a “classic, stand-by.” From sushi to fish entrees, I don’t think I’ve ever had, or been with anyone who’s had, a bad meal there. It might not be the best version of [insert dish] you’ve ever had, but it will be very good and you will leave with a full belly and a smile. Atlantic Grill is best for a family dinner or extended family/family plus family friends dinner. I’ve been with a group of 8 and it was perfect. I would be remiss if I didn’t note that they have some of my favorite bread; small sourdough loaf rolls that come attached like leaves and you pull them off – hopefully that makes sense, Internet land has failed me on the picture front. Bottom line, try the bread. website



If you’re looking for something more casual, head back to Time Warner and go to Bouchon Bakery & Café. If you really need to be quick, do take out from the Bakery window. If you have some more time, make a reservation, or just try your luck (which most days should be ok) at the café. The menu is bistro fare and though there is zero ambience, it’s truly just a fenced off area on the third floor, the food is great, almost unexpectedly so given how casual it appears, but then again, Bouchon is part of the empire that is Thomas Keller of The French Laundry. Trust, you’ll like it. website


Whole Foods

If you’re super pressed for time or want something on the really cheap or “whole paycheck” cheap, go to the bottom of the Time Warner Center to Whole Foods. No surprises here with what you can get, it’s your standard Whole Foods prepared food and salad bars, but it is good, it’s easy, and sometimes you just want something simple, tasty, and fast. website


Do you have a favorite spot I missed? Should I do more dining guides?