So many couples ask me where to go to eat after a wedding in Central Park. This is a frequently asked question, but such a difficult one to answer. Check out my FAQs page on my website for some of the others I get asked a lot. New York is a huge city with so many awesome places to eat to choose from with every cuisine you can think of to fit a vast range of budgets. My couples are all so different, too – they have varying tastes, budgets and group sizes.
In an effort to provide some general advice to get couples thinking, I’ve written my own list of New York restaurant recommendations, and followed that up with a second list of New York restaurant recommendations. These lists may be slightly out of date now; there are some classics in there and some restaurants come and go. I decided later on that my previous client’s recommendations may also be helpful, so I wrote a post summarising where all the couples who featured on the blog in 2017 ate after their wedding, couples from 2016, then from 2015, then those from 2014, and also those from 2013. So there are lots of recommendations to look through!
Below I summarise the couple’s recommendations who featured on the blog in 2018. I intend to cover the next couple of years on the blog soon! I have had to break the posts down year by year, otherwise they would be far too long (for me to write and for you to read!). The list that follows is of the couples whose weddings featured on the blog in 2018 and where they went to eat and celebrate after their wedding, alongside any other recommendations they might have made.
Pinky and Bones, from Glasgow in Scotland, came to New York to get married in Central Park. They had been together for seven years before eloping to New York to get married. The couple were in New York for six nights and stayed at the Hotel St James, close to Times Square. They took a horse and carriage ride around Central Park after their wedding and then went to the Loeb Boathouse for their celebratory dinner.
Kelly and Ivan got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in June with their two and a half year old daughter as their only guest. After their photos they returned to the hotel to get changed before going to Little Italy for a meal at Kelly’s favorite restaurant. Her godmother had rung the restaurant ahead of them and paid for prosecco on arrival, which is a lovely touch for someone getting married far from home. On this visit they stayed at the Grand Westin on East 42nd Street.
Mirjana and John came over to New York from their home in Perth, Australia to get married in the Ladies’ Pavilion at Christmas time. They had been together for nine years before they got married. Mirjana had chosen Central Park for their wedding because of its beauty and its significance to what she felt Manhattan was. Hurricane Sandy had hit New York City badly two months before the wedding, and taken out The River Café in Brooklyn, which was where they had planned to go to eat after they had got married. Instead, after the wedding, they went to Times Square to take photos, and after that they went up to The View for dinner.
Natalie and Jason got married underneath Bethesda Terrace in November. They live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. After the wedding they had a bagpiper accompany them on a walk from Bethesda Arcade, up the Mall, and along to the Tavern On The Green. At the Tavern on the Green they had drinks at the bar for a little while and relaxed. Their reception was held at the indoor rooftop of the Nomad Hotel, where they had a cocktail hour and then had dinner.
Nikki and Andrew came to New York from their home in Essex in the UK with a small party to get married in Central Park on Valentine’s Day. They visit New York together every year, and already had this trip planned when they decided that they would get married. Andrew and Nikki got married in the morning, so afterwards they went for lunch with their party at Keens Steakhouse, “we would definitely recommend this restaurant,” said Nikki. And they had a New York cheesecake as their wedding cake!
Jacqui and Kenny got married in Wagner Cove in July with just their kids as guests. They had been together for almost twenty-five years before they got married. The couple had been together since the age of twenty and had always said that they would get married “one day” they just weren’t in a hurry and took a while to get around to it! They knew they didn’t want a fancy meal after their wedding, and they wanted to go somewhere appropriate for the kids so they went on to Black Tap for burgers and shakes for lunch.
Bernadette and Jody got married on Belvedere Castle Terrace in early September. They brought around a dozen of their nearest and dearest with them from their home in Pennsylvania, including Jody’s three children and Bernadette’s son. They took some photos by the Lake, on Bow Bridge and at Bethesda Terrace before getting in to a carriage and having a little quite time together before the couple joined their guests at The Time Hotel for cocktails before their meal at the same location.
Diana and Aaron eloped from their home in Canada to get married in Central Park on 1st July, which is Canada Day. Since it was just the two of them, we needed to provide a witness to their wedding. After taking some photographs around Central Park, including some drinking a champagne toast at the Tavern on the Green, the photographer left them and the couple went on to the Boathouse for lunch.
Karl and Elizabeth renewed their marriage vows in July underneath Bethesda Terrace in the heart of Central Park. They got married a year earlier at City Hall and they wanted to renew their vows on their first wedding anniversary with something a little more personal. After they had renewed their vows, the couple had a few more photos taken around Central Park and then went off to One if by Land, Two if by Sea for dinner.
Lucy and David brought their friends and family over from the West Midlands in the UK to New York in February to witness their wedding in the Ladies’ Pavilion. After the ceremony, the couple went off to take photos while the guests had some free time in the park and a few drinks at the Tavern on the Green. Then the couple joined them at the Tavern for a little while until taxis picked them up to take them to The Milling Room where they had booked a private dining room. “The food and staff were absolutely amazing and communication with us throughout the planning process was excellent,” said Lucy. “We selected our menu choices, added our own logo to the menu, and decorated the private dining room, and helped them to choose wines to accompany dinner,” she said. Guests commented that it was the best meal they had ever had – Lucy and David agree that the food really was phenomenal. After a three-course dinner and speeches, they took taxis to Refinery Rooftop – a rooftop bar at the top of their hotel where they had booked an area overlooking the Empire State Building.
Shauna and Lorcan brought around twenty-five of their friends and family over from Galway in Ireland to get married in Cop Cot in May. After they were finished with the photos, the couple joined their guests at the reception location – a restaurant in Midtown called Davio’s Steakhouse. They had booked a private dining room and had a three course meal. “Davio’s were so easy to deal with and very accommodating of any requests we had,” said Shauna. “All of our guests were impressed with the food, the decor and the staff, and it was also very reasonable in pricing,” she added. After the meal they went on to an Irish bar – Slattery’s Midtown, which had been recommended to the couple by a friend from Ireland. “The owner, Justin was very helpful and delighted to welcome fellow Irish,” said Shauna. “We had an outside balcony area to ourselves and music played all night,” she said.
Megan and Ryan live in New York, and they got married in Cop Cot in May. After the ceremony they took a few group photos in Cop Cot and then they all hopped straight on to the trolley bus they had rented to take them to Chinatown. On the way they did a little tour of New York City for their guests. “One of our favorite things to do in New York is going to Chinatown, especially for dim sum,” said Megan. So, it seemed fitting to do that for their wedding celebration. “We are pretty laid back, informal people so this felt the most like us,” she explained. They took their guests to the Oriental Garden in Chinatown, which they already knew that they would like.
Carrie and Neil brought twenty-five of their nearest and dearest over to New York from their home in Aberdeen in Scotland to get married in Central Park in May. They had got engaged in Central Park when they visited New York for Carrie’s thirtieth birthday two years before their wedding. After photographs around Central Park they went on to their evening reception. I had recommended the Bateaux Spirit Cruise, “it was such fantastic value for money and every one of our guests passed comment on what a great evening they had,” said Carrie.
Gemma and Dean came over to New York from their home in Falkirk, Scotland to get married on Gapstow Bridge this June. They got married on a Saturday and they had hoped to make a reservation at the Boathouse, but they don’t accept reservations on a weekend, and they close mid-afternoon, so the couple decided against it. Instead they ate at the Tavern on the Green, and then went to the Plaza for cocktails. After that they went to 230 Fifth for drinks. I asked if they had any restaurants to recommend, “we ate at Shorty’s, Keans Steakhouse, Hooters, Katz’s Deli, Olive Garden and Mighty Quinn’s,” so they’ve certainly done a culinary food tour of New York!
Rafael and Liza eloped to New York from their home in Puerto Rico to get married in Central Park this July. They had been together for more than twenty years when they married, and have two almost grown up sons. After their wedding and photos they went to the Tavern on the Green for lunch. I asked if there was any restaurants that they would recommend and Liza said that they had dinner in Havana Central, Dos Caminos and the R Lounge. All of them walking distance from their hotel and Liza said they would recommend them all.
Alicia and James got married in Wagner Cove in July with a small group of close family as their guests. Alicia is from the Bronx, New York and James is from London, England. They met in London through a dating app. After the ceremony, the couple took everyone to a lunch reception downtown at Cuba NYC.
Alysha and Giovanni got married in the Wisteria Pergola in the Conservatory Gardens of Central Park in September. Alysha is from New Jersey and Giovanni is from Italy. They had their reception dinner in the private room at Patrizia’s of Manhattan, which is an Italian restaurant, of course. “It’s one of our favorite restaurants!” she said, “the guests were absolutely amazed by the food, they are still talking about it!” she added.
Wendy and Craig eloped from their home in Queensland, Australia to get married in Central Park this September. Their ceremony was held in Wagner Cove. After the photos, our photographer walked them over to where they could get a horse and carriage, where they took a few photos and then left them to it. “We went for a twenty minute ride around Central Park, which was lovely, then we went to the Tavern on the Green for a lovely celebratory drink at the bar,” said Wendy. Later in the evening they went on to Porter House Bar and Grill at Columbus Circle for dinner. “The steaks were amazing and we had a view overlooking the entrance to Central Park” Wendy told me. “They also gave us a complimentary piece of cake to share, with ‘congrats’ written in chocolate on the plate, so that was our wedding cake!” she added.
Scottish couple Jennifer and Gary got married in the Ladies’ Pavilion in March with eleven guests. They had been together for around two years before moving from their home in Glasgow, Scotland to Perth, Australia, where they had lived for almost six years. They had booked a private dining are in Session 73 on the Upper East Side for their celebratory dinner. After dinner and drinks a live band played in the restaurant and dedicated their first song, Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen to the couple, and we got up and danced for their first dance to it. “The venue was perfect for us as it was not too busy, had live music and was very laid back with fantastic service,” said Jennifer.
Brianne and Bradley had been together for almost eight years before they got married in Central Park in August. They met in Portland, Oregon where they live. The ceremony took place in the late morning, followed by lunch at the Loeb Boathouse. After that they enjoyed some Monet at MoMA and finished with a group dinner at Da Nico’s in Little Italy.
As ever, I welcome anyone who would like to comment below with their own suggestions of great New York City restaurants – there are so many to choose from, and although there are some firm favorites that last over time we’re always seeing new ones! For more information to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding, visit our website, or “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest where you will find lots of lovely photos and many more inspiring stories of real weddings.