Restaurants In New York City
( Originally Published 1940 )
Few cities have as many eating places, large and small, as New York. The classified section of the telephone directory lists over six thousand of them. I have endeavored to pick out a list of about a hundred to cover various price ranges, to offer different types of food, and to meet various tastes. Information about them has been gathered from various sources—chiefly personal knowledge, or the recommendations of friends.
I have also consulted the book Dining in New York with Rector, by George Rector, although all the restaurants he mentions, could not possibly be included. After all, his encyclopedia of good eating in the city runs to 273 pages! Many good ones have had to be omitted, so if one of your friends recommends some eating place which I haven't mentioned, the advice is probably good. After all, your friends will probably know your tastes better than I do.
From this list I have eliminated all hotel-restaurants except for a few where the restaurant is far more famous than the hotel. All the hotels listed in this book have restaurants, mostly good, and the prices are scaled generally according to the price range of the establishment.
There are several large chains of restaurants and cafeterias in New York offering excellent meals. As it is impossible to list all their addresses here, I will mention some of these chains, referring you to the telephone directory for the address of the one nearest you.
The AUTOMAT restaurants, operated by the Horn & Hardart Co., are a boon to the economically minded. The most expensive dish I have ever happened to see in one of these restaurants was roast turkey for 6o cents. It is quite possible to get an excellent meal in one for 50 cents, including a hot dish and the coffee that gushes from the wall, and for even less if you choose with care. The oyster and clam stews served by the Automat at Fifth Avenue and 45th Street even rival those of the famous oyster bar in the Grand Central Terminal.
BICKFORD'S operates a chain of inexpensive cafeterias, where the menus are very simple with little choice, but where the food is excellent. A really satisfying meal is possible for 25 or 30 cents, and the expenditure of 50 cents marks you as really extravagant.
The WALDORF system, so popular up New-England way, also maintains a chain of cheap and good cafeterias in New York.
Of the chain-operated "sit down and be waited on" restaurants, CHILD'S is probably the best known. I think they are about the least expensive of the chains offering real restaurant service. There are about fifty of them in Manhattan alone.
The restaurants of the CARUSO chain specialize in Italian food. They offer both a la carte and table d'hote service. A dinner will cost from a dollar up, and the food and service are both excellent.
The four restaurants of the SAVARIN chain are far from cheap, as you will realize when you find that one is in the Waldorf-Astoria. But they are good, whether restaurant or lunch-counter type.
At the various SCHRAFFT'S restaurants, prices are moderate to high, and portions are generally small. But they are good, and highly popular, or there wouldn't be twenty-eight of them around Manhattan.
The most expensive of the chain restaurants are those operated by LONGCHAMP'S. The food is perfection, the portions are good size to large, and the service is impeccable—which is remarkable, for the no-tipping rule is rigidly enforced, a tenper-cent charge being added to the bill instead. The Long-champ's restaurants cannot be too highly recommended.
For ready reference in locating the particular restaurant of which you may have heard, I have listed them alphabetically. If you prefer to eat by nationality rather than by the alphabet, let me refer you to the index, where you will find them listed in this way.
Having promised not to mention many hotel-restaurants, I will naturally begin with one to head my list of establishments which I consider particularly good for one reason or another.
ALGONQUIN HOTEL, 59 West 44th Street. Medium prices, good food, and a great haunt of actors and writers.
APOLLO ORIENTAL RESTAURANT, 258 West 42nd Street. Moderate prices. They specialize in real Greek dishes in this place.
ARTIST'S AND WRITERS, 213 West 40th Street. Not cheap by any means, but very good. Small, and popular with the better-paid newspaper people.
AURORA'S RESTAURANT, 105 Lexington Avenue between 27th and 28th Streets. About the best cheap Armenian place I know of anywhere near the uptown section. Table d'hote dinner at 75 cents.
AUSTRIAN HALL, 245 East 82nd Street. Trying to keep alive the atmosphere of old Vienna in the Yorkville district of New York. Gemutlich. Good food. Moderate prices.
BARBETTA RESTAURANT, 321 West 46th Street. One of the better moderate-priced Italian places.
BELLE MEUNIERE, I2 East 52nd Street. French cookery of the best, perfection of wines. Very expensive, but if you want that kind of food and service, you've got to pay for it.
BILLY THE OYSTERMAN, 7 East 20th Street and 10 West 47th Street. One of the most famous seafood restaurants of New York. Expensive.
BONAT RESTAURANT, 330 West 31st Street. Mme. Bonat's cuisine is famous among those who want good French bourgeois cookery, yet can only afford to pay a moderate price for it.
BRASS RAIL, 745 Seventh Avenue (at 49th Street). This Times Square establishment is one of those places reminding the visitor somewhat of a cafeteria, without at all being one. Good, and moderate prices.
CAFE LATINO, 15 Barrow Street. 'Way down in Greenwich Village, this moderate-priced restaurant features South-American cookery.
CAFE LOYALE, 52 I Fifth Avenue (near 43rd Street). A good, moderate-priced restaurant near 42nd Street.
CAFE ROYAL, 188 Second Avenue (12th Street). The most interesting, and I believe the best, Jewish cafe in New York. Artists, lawyers, doctors, and actors from the Yiddish Art Theater all talking at once. And oh, the roast duck! Medium prices.
CAFE TROUVILLE, 112 East 52nd Street. French-Italian food, and fairly expensive. Table d'hote dinner beginning at $2.00. Smart.
CANARI D'OR, 132 East 61st Street. Another excellent French restaurant, with a nice garden in summer, and prices like the Trouville, dinner being from $2.00.
CASTLEHOLM, 344 West 57th Street. One of the best of the Swedish restaurants. Grand Smorgasbord. Medium prices. Dancing.
CAVANAGH'S, 260 West 23rd Street. This restaurant has been here for sixty-four years. Expensive, yes, but when you have tried the steak or the lobster you won't care. The very best type of American cooking.
CHRIST CELLA'S, 144 East 45th Street. French and Italian cuisine, and marvelous steaks besides. Intimate atmosphere, and very expensive.
CENTRAL PARK ZOO RESTAURANT. Central Park Zoo, Fifth
Avenue and 65th Street. This excellent cafeteria is one of the most popular summer outdoor eating places in New York. Try to sit on the terrace where you can watch the seals. Fun, cheap, and, surprisingly enough, smart!
CHAMBORD, 803 Third Avenue (near 50th Street). One of the most expensive French restaurants of the city, tucked away under the Third Avenue Elevated. But it is so good that location means nothing to it.
CHAMPLAIN, 115 West 49th Street. An excellent French restaurant at medium prices. Try their tete de veau!
CHARLES A LA POMME SOUFFLEE, 157 East 55th Street. Fairly expensive, but worth it. French cuisine.
CHARLE'S FRENCH RESTAURANT, 452 Sixth Avenue (near 11th Street). One of the best of the more expensive of the Greenwich Village restaurants. French cuisine. Dinner from $2.00. CHEVAL PIE, 145 East 45th Street. Small, marvelous food, and reasonable. Dinner from $1.25.
CLAREMONT INN, Riverside Drive and 124th Street. Good food, and sanely priced. Delightful in summer, when you can dine and dance outdoors and enjoy the marvelous view of the Hudson. Nicest at sunset. Dinner $ 1.50.
CLUB GAUCHO, 245 Sullivan Street. Also in the Village, but with an Argentinian atmosphere.
COLONY RESTAURANT, 667 Madison Avenue at 61st Street. Has often been called the most expensive restaurant in the world, and as far as I know, never bothered to deny it. Super-smart, and super-good.
CORTILE RESTAURANT, 37 West 43rd Street. Pseudo-Spanish decorations, Negro waitresses, and American food at a reason-able price.
CRILLON, 277 Park Avenue (at 48th Street). French cuisine, smart, fairly expensive, and good.
DARUMA, 1145 Sixth Avenue (near 44th Street). Simple up-stairs place serving excellent Suki-Yaki and other Japanese dishes. Reasonable.
DIVAN PARISIEN, 17 East 45th Street. Good French cooking at a moderate price.
EAST INDIA CURRY SHOP, 117 East both Street. I like this the best of the East-Indian restaurants I have tried. Dinner $ I.50.
FORNO'S, 236 West 52nd Street. Mexican-Spanish cooking, and of the very best. Much patronized by Mexican and Spanish people. Moderate.
FRAUNCES TAVERN, Pearl and Broad Streets. This historic old place is nice for lunch when you are sightseeing in the financial district. Serves luncheon only. Reasonable.
GALLAGHER'S STEAK HOUSE, 228 West 52nd Street. Food as the name would imply, and marvelous. Not cheap though, the table d'hote dinners beginning at $2.00.
GASTON A LA BONNE SOUPE, 44 West 55th Street. Good French cooking at a sane price.
GOLDEN HORN, 31 West 51st Street. Splendid Armenian-Turkish cooking. Dinner $I.25.
GRAND TICINO, 228 Thompson Street. So many of my friends have told me how good this Italian restaurant is that I have been trying to get there for years. Inexpensive.
GRIPSHOLM, 324 East 57th Street. Another of the excellent Swedish smorgasbord and dinner places.
HAPSBURG HOUSE, 313 East 55th Street. Not cheap, but I think about tops among the Viennese restaurants. Table d'hote $ 2.00.
HENRI, 15 East 52nd Street. Fairly expensive, the table d'hote dinners beginning at $1.75, but the food is worth it. The specialites offered daily are extra good. French cuisine.
HICKORY HOUSE, 144 West 52nd Street. Steaks broiled over hickory logs. Not cheap. Swing band.
JACK DEMPSEY'S, Eighth Avenue and 50th Street. The champion of the ring proves himself a champion restaurateur. The American food served here is nothing short of marvelous, particularly the steaks. It is far from cheap, but the food and service justify the high prices.
JAEGER'S, 1253 Lexington Avenue (at 87th Street). One of the best of the German-Austrian places in the Yorkville section. Medium prices.
JANSSEN GRAYBAR HOFBRAU, Graybar Building, 420 Lexington Avenue (at 44th Street). A famous old German"restaurant transplanted to a modem office building. Not cheap.
KAVKAS, 332 East 14th Street. Real, rather than story-book Russian. Proletarian to the last degree, with good food. I recommend the borsch, the shashlik, and the cheese blinchiki, but not all at the same meal. No one could hold that much. A la carte, and a check of over 50 cents per person indicates almost a debauch.
KEEN'S ENGLISH CHOP HOUSE, 72 West 36th Street. A New York institution. Famous for the best mutton chops in the city. And they are mutton, instead of the usual overgrown lamb. Not cheap.
KUNGSHOLM, 142 East 55th Street. Many people say that this is the best Swedish restaurant in New York.. Certainly it is a delightful one, with a nice garden open in the summer. Smorgasbord, of course. Dinner $ 1.50 up.
LA CHAUIMIERE, 163 East 56th Street. Carefully rustic in atmosphere, as the name would imply. The food is French, perfect—and expensive.
LAFAYETTE, University Place and 9th Street. Another New York institution, noted for its fine food for nearly sixty years. Dinner $2.00.
LINDY'S RESTAURANT, 1626 Broadway (at 50th Street). This Times Square restaurant is famous with theatrical and "Tin Pan Alley" folk. Medium prices.
LUCHOW'S, 110 East 14th Street. This restaurant has been in the same place for nearly sixty years, and it looks as though it might stay there sixty years more. German beer and food at its best.
LOBSTER, 145 West 45th Street. About as good a medium-price shore dinner as you will find in New York. They specialize in lobsters, as the name implies.
LOUIS & ARMAND, 42 East 52nd Street. One of those intimate and somewhat expensive French restaurants in which the East Fifties abound, and one of the better ones.
MAILLARD, 387 Madison Avenue (near 47th Street). An old, established restaurant and tearoom. Not cheap. Particularly nice place for ladies to lunch while doing a bit of Madison Avenue shopping. Not open for dinner.
MANNY WOLF'S 49TH STREET CHOP HOUSE, Third Avenue and 49th Street. Enormous portions of grand food at medium to more-than-medium prices. Very popular with good, hearty eaters who want excellent food without t00 much style thrown in. Noisy and crowded.
MARGUERY, 270 Park Avenue (at 47th Street). Right up at the very top in food, service, and price.
MASCOTTE, 18 East both Street. Another of the very quiet, very smart, very expensive French restaurants.
MICHEL'S, 38 East 53rd Street. French restaurant famous for its hors d'oeuvres. Dinner $1.50.
MIYAKO, 340 West 58th Street. Japanese restaurant where the Suki-Yaki is cooked in a chafing dish right on the table. Dinner from $1.00.
MONETA'S, 32 Mulberry Street. Although if this restaurant isn't in a slum neighborhood, it is hanging right on the edge, the food, in the Italian style, is so perfect that it is still able to charge $2.00 for a table d'hote dinner.
MOORE'S RESTAURANT (Dinty Moore's), 216 West 46th Street. Perfect American food at high prices. Try the corned beef and cabbage. Theatrical crowd and atmosphere.
ORIGINAL MAXL'S, 243 East 86th Street. Carefully stage-managed Bavarian atmosphere, but the food is good, so is the beer, and the place is fun. Moderate prices.
PASSY, 28 East 63rd Street. Among the very best of the French restaurants of the city. Perfect food, and high prices.
PENTHOUSE RESTAURANT, 30 Central Park South. Intimate atmosphere, nice view over the park, and dinner $2.00 and up. Casual entertainment.
PIERRE'S, 52 East 53rd Street. Among the best of the French restaurants, without being quite so murderously expensive as some others. Dinner $1.75.
PLATZL RESTAURANT, 225 East 86th Street. Very Bavarian—or is it Tyrolean? Well, who cares—it's fun, anyway! Moderate prices.
PORT ARTHUR, 7 Mott Street. This Chinatown restaurant is popular not only with visitors, but with the Chinese themselves. Like most Chinese restaurants, it is inexpensive. REUBEN'S, 6 East 58th Street. Good food, and famous for sandwiches. Medium-high.
RUBY FOO'S, 161 East 54th Street and 240 West 52nd Street. Chinatown moves uptown, and puts on a dinner jacket. The Chinese dishes are authentic, and good. More expensive than the other Chinese restaurants mentioned.
SARDI'S, 234 West 44th Street. Very popular with theatrical people for its good food at easy prices.
SON OF THE SHEIK, 77 Washington Street. Way downtown in the Syrian section, and serving real Syrian food: Dinner 65 cents.
STOCKHOLM, 27 West 51st Street. Right up among the tops for Swedish food. Excellent smorgasbord, quiet atmosphere, unobtrusive dinner music. Dinner $1.25.
SWEET'S RESTAURANT, 2 Fulton Street. This famous hundred year-old fish restaurant is right opposite the Fulton Fish Market. There are no particular decorations, the food is inexpensive, but for fish there is none better.
TAVERN-ON-THE-GREEN, Central Park West and 67th Street, in the Park itself. Moderate prices, and delightful in summer.
TESSIE'S OLD VIENNA, 133 East 54th Street. A cozy slice of Alt Wien specializing in excellent Beinfleesch, Wiener Schnitzel, Wiener Bachhuhn, and other Viennese dishes. Lunch from 75 cents; dinner from $1.35; Sunday dinner from $1.50. Bar.
THEODORE'S, 4 East 56th Street. Operated by a former maitre d'hotel of the Ritz, this French restaurant is very good and very expensive.
TINGYATSAK, 21 Mott Street. This is my favorite restaurant in Chinatown. Tucked away in a cellar, and absolutely with-out decoration, it concentrates its attention on perfect food. Don't be misled by the seemingly higher table d'hote prices., Let each member of your party order a single dish a la carte, and then share them. By doing this it is almost impossible to spend a dollar each.
TWENTY-ONE West 52nd Street. Address the same. Every-one has heard of "Twenty- one." Just about as good food and wines as New York affords, and just about as high prices for them, too.
UNION NEWS GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL RESTAURANT. The oyster bar is famous among New Yorkers not only for its raw oysters, but for its oyster and clam stews.
VOISIN, 375 Park Avenue (at 53rd Street). Worthy of the ancient name it bears. Expensive. Exclusive.
VOLK'S RESTAURANT, 51 Cortlandt Street. A bar with a tiny restaurant behind it where Herman yearns over his clients, while bringing them about the best medium-priced German food in New York. Oilcloth-on-the-tables sort of place, but what food and drink! There is a larger room upstairs where you get the same food and drink, but no Herman.
WAVERLY INN, 16 Bank Street, corner of Waverly Place. Fine American cooking served in a friendly and intimate atmosphere. I don't know whether it is pleasanter to go in the winter and sit by the open fire, or in the summer and sit in the garden. Inexpensive.
WHITE TURKEY TOWN HOUSE, 1 University Place. Needs no recommendation to any motorist who has eaten at the parent White Turkey Inn at Danbury, Connecticut. Very fine American food at medium prices.
WHYTE'S, 145 Fulton Street. One of the famous places for businessmen to lunch for many years. Not cheap.
XOCHITL MEXICAN RESTAURANT, 146 West 46th Street. The food is as good as the name is unpronounceable! Medium prices.
YE OLDE CHOP HOUSE, 118 Cedar Street (near Wall Street). The food is so good that in spite of my prejudice against care-fully antiqued names, I have to place it among the best for steaks, chops, and so on. Expensive, though. Closed Saturday' nights and Sundays.