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455 Fifth Ave., nr. E. 41st St. (Midtown West)
New York, NY
(1) 212-768-4242 | www.bryantpark.org
HOURS/TIMESDaily: 7:00am-closing time dependent on month-check website
POPULAR TIMESWeekday lunchtimes; weekends
RESERVE IN ADVANCENo
WAIT TIME WITHOUT RESERVATIONNone
HIGHLIGHTSOutdoor reading room; Carousel; The Lawn; Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
SUBWAY42nd St.-Bryant Park (B, D, F, M, 7); Times Sq.-42nd St. (N, Q, R, 1, 2, 3, 7, S)
Though it’s been public property since 1686, Bryant Park had a varied series of uses (from a potter's field to a reservoir) before it became a graceful Parisian-style park, complete with gravel walkways, manicured gardens, and elegant amusements (like sculptures, chess tables, and a romantic carousel) in the 1930s. A rough patch in the '70s and '80s sullied its refined reputation, but concerted revival efforts in the '90s resulted in a total Bryant Park renaissance. In the summer, the central Great Lawn is packed with lunching office workers by day and culturally connected types taking in free concerts and film screenings by night. In the winter, it’s home to Citi Pond, a free ice rink, and The Holiday Shops, an atmospheric Christmas market.
GO HERE WITH
Friends; colleagues - for lunch; kids
WHY WE LIKE IT
It’s a lovely, photogenic retreat in the middle of the city’s hurly burly–perfect for a quiet afternoon stroll or a scenic lunch. We like snagging an outdoor seat at the Bryant Park Café and people watching as we sip our cappuccinos. Also, the New York Public Library is just next door–and Bryant Park has its own outdoor reading room–so it’s a great spot to curl up on a sunny bench with a good book.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
The free in-park Wi-Fi isn’t reliable.
GOOD TO KNOW
The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week used to set up tents for the Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer shows here, but as of fall 2010 the fashion in-crowd has migrated northwest to Fashion Week’s new home at Lincoln Center. The outdoor reading room at Bryant Park has its roots in the Great Depression, when the next-door public library set it up as a free hangout for out-of-work New Yorkers who couldn’t afford a library card. These days, the reading room is no longer run by the library, but the free reading material remains just as well-curated and eclectic. Also, if you’re looking for smarter eats than you can find on the Bryant Park Café menu, try the dressier Bryant Park Grill—and if you’re looking for a casual (yet hand-crafted) sandwich, the Bryant Park outpost of Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft should hit the spot.
All information within this website was checked for accuracy at the time of publication. But since the world moves quickly, things may have changed. Pardon us for any errors as we strive to give you the most up-to-the-minute details!