8 NYC Spots That Transform Lunch at Your Desk

8 NYC Spots That Transform Lunch at Your Desk

Enjoy Nature’s Beauty During Your Lunch Break

As an employee in the bustling concrete jungle of NYC, it can be easy to get swept up in the fast pace of the city. Lunch breaks offer a precious chance to reset and nourish our minds and bodies. Rather than eating hurriedly at your desk, consider spending your lunch hour connecting with nature at one of these eight rejuvenating NYC spots.

1. Central Park

Wander shaded trails past lush gardens and still ponds. Find a sunny meadow or a bench under a canopy of trees. Central Park offers over 800 acres of urban wilderness to explore and relax in.

2. The High Line

Stroll above the city streets along this one-mile elevated park built on historic rail lines. Take in views of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline from a garden oasis 30 feet in the air.

3. Brooklyn Bridge Park

Bring a picnic and spend your lunch break taking in dramatic vistas of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and Lower Manhattan from the East River waterfront. With green spaces, sports courts, and cultural events, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

4. Hudson River Park

Walk or bike along the five-mile greenway flanking the Hudson River. Spot birds and boats as you breathe in the refreshing river breeze. Grab lunch from a waterside cafe or food truck before relaxing on a pier or grassy lawn.

5. The Cloisters

Transport back in time among monasteries, chapels, and medieval gardens from Europe at this museum in Fort Tryon Park. Wander peaceful cloisters, courtyards, and herb gardens for a dose of history, art and nature.

6. Roosevelt Island

Ride the tram high over the East River to reach this slender island oasis between Manhattan and Queens. Explore Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park and Lighthouse Park’s spectacular city views as you recharge.

7. Governors Island

A quick ferry ride transports you to this car-free island filled with historical sites, art installations, and bikeable waterfront paths with unobstructed views of NY Harbor. Lay out a picnic blanket and cloud gaze in sprawling open green spaces.

8. Prospect Park

Brooklyn’s answer to Central Park spans 585 acres of forests, meadows and lakes designed by the same architects. Find a shady refuge listening to birdsong, watch boaters glide across the lake, or rent a paddleboat yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some good lunch spots near Central Park?

Some top-rated lunch spots close to Central Park include Leo’s Casa Calamari for Italian, JG Melon for burgers, Ess-a-Bagel for classic NYC bagels, Jacob’s Pickles for Southern comfort food, and The Smith restaurant for freshly-made meals in a cool atmosphere.

Are there restrooms available in these parks and public spaces?

Yes, most major NYC parks like Central Park, Prospect Park, and Brooklyn Bridge Park have public restrooms available. Some may only be open seasonally. The High Line also has restrooms at the north and south ends. Restrooms may also be found in nearby cafes and other establishments.

Can I bring my own lunch to enjoy at these spots?

Absolutely! All of the suggested parks, plazas, piers and gardens welcome visitors bringing their own food. Just be sure to pack out any trash and food waste when you leave to keep these urban oases beautiful.

What’s the best way to get around to these locations?

The best method depends on how close you are. Many spots like Central Park, Hudson River Park or Brooklyn Bridge Park are very walkable for nearby offices. For farther flung spots, public transit including subway, bus, ferry or tram can conveniently deliver you. Biking or CitiBike is another option for reaching riverside green spaces.

Do I need to make reservations or pay admission fees?

The suggested public parks, piers, gardens and walkways are all free to visit. A few exceptions like Governors Island and the Roosevelt Island tram require ferry or tram tickets. The Cloisters museum charges admission fees. Otherwise, no reservations or payments are necessary – just show up and enjoy lunch hour nature immersion!