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PJ Clarke's - Midtown East?

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Hi! My husband enjoys burgers in an old-timey atmosphere. From what I've read, PJ Clarke's seems to fit the bill. Is it worth it? Should we go somewhere else? We really like Corner Bistro and Fanelli's a lot.

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  1. It's worth checking out. I don't think the burger is as good as it was when it first opened and it is wildly overpriced for everything except maybe the burger (e.g. you have to order fries ala carte even with the burger). That stated, the burger is pretty good and the atmosphere can be fun. Definitely go to the one in midtown. STAY AWAY from the T.G.I. Clarke's in the World Financial Center.

    1. Try it, just so you can say you did and to find out if all the talk is just hype. I like the burgers at PJ Clarke's, and the fries also, but I would avoid the fish & chips which is a large portion but tastes oily.

      1. For a great hamburger with a lively bar scene try JG Melon's...Third Avenue & 75th Street....order the cottage fries as a side....very New York-y & wonderful burgers...

        1 Reply
        1. re: fauchon

          PJ Clarke's mini-cheese burgers are amazing as well. On a nice evening the bar scene is very nice there -- people literally spilling out onto the corner of 55th and 3rd. They have a pretty beer selection as well.

        2. Interior of the place is interesting from an historical perspective, but the food is lousy. If they invented the bacon cheeseburger, God help us. They have certainly strayed from whatever it was that once made the place an institution. I would stay away except to duck my head in for a quick look-see.

          1. I agree that JG Melon's is a better choice. Good food, good bar, strong drinks, old-time place.

            1. "My husband enjoys burgers in an old-timey atmosphere."

              In that case the Old Town Bar on E. 18th near Union Square is for you. The fixtures and vintage are similar to P.J.s but the prices and vibe is friendlier. The burger is fine, a bit smaller than the standard NY bar burger but very much like the ones you'd get at Clarke's. And fries are included. :-)


              Your husband will love it.

              For another trip you may want to consider the White Horse Tavern on Hudson St. in the West Village. Another ancient bar notorious for the story that poet Dylan Thomas frequented the place and drank mightily.

              They serve a classic New York pub burger. Bigger than the ones at Clarke's and the Old Town, it is really flavorful with a nice char on the outside, cooked medium rare as requested and very juicy. The bun is soft and and sort of flimsy - not quite a good match for a burger with this much juice. I cut the burger in half to make it easier to pick up and by the time I was ready for the 2nd half the bun was falling apart. I wound up finishing it with a knife and fork but it tasted terrific.

              Served with thick steak fries, the cheese burger is an amazing bargain at $6.25. (American, Cheddar, mozzarella, or Swiss.) The beer list was not all that long. I had a couple of draft Yuenglings, perfect for a sticky mid September night.


              The White Horse has been around for a long time and I got the feeling that the staff doesn't spend much time scrubbing and buffing the interior. There are some stains on the tables that were left by Dylan Thomas.