Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Nov 12, 2006 09:53 PM

What is the oldest restaurant in NYC?

I am interested in dining in a few restaurants that have a sense of history.
What are some old ( not old style but have been around for a long time) restaurants?

Any neighborhood-- any type of food

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Keen's has been around for 150 years or so and is great, especially the room by the fire.

    1. fraunces tavern - GW said a farewell to his officer's corps there

      3 Replies
      1. re: swarttav

        yup. 1762 was its inception date.

        1. re: dkstar1

          How's the food?

          As for history: Apparently, among other things, the building also housed the New York capitol's departments of War, Foreign Affairs, and Treasury!

          The site makes no mention of the structure itself being a recreation, which I had thought it was too.

          "It was built in 1719 as an elegant residence for the merchant Stephan Delancey and his family."

          However, wikipedia says, quoting the American Institute of Architects, that the building's 1907 restoration was more of a fanciful reconstruction using whatever was left.

        2. re: swarttav

          Has the Fraunces Tavern reopened??

          Fraunces Tavern
          54 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10004

          1. re: georgeb

            not even close. Pete's opened in 1864, nearly 100 years after Fraunce's.

          2. In the financial district, try Fraunces Tavern (1762 traditional 'american', steak)or Delmonico's (1837 steak).

            If you want less traditional old style steakhouse, try Cafe des Artistes (1917 french bistro) on the upper west side.

            Cedar Tavern on University Place in the village (University Place) and White Horse Tavern in the west village are great old bars..

            3 Replies
            1. re: emmers

              The original Cedar was about 2 blocks south. Jackson Pollock peed in the fireplace at the old one.


              1. re: emmers

                FWIW, the Delmonico's located on Beaver/South William Street is unrelated to the original 19th century Delmonico's, although it is pretty old, dating, I believe, from 1899, closing in 1917, then reopening with new ownership in 1929, since resold several times.

                1. re: emmers

                  The Cedar Tavern has been closed since 2006; the Cafe des Artistes folded last year (although there are rumours that the latter is about to reopen under new ownership.)

                  EDIT: Delmonico's started on William St. in 1827, then moved -perforce- to lower B'way; then to 5th @ 14th [that's the one I remember]; then to 5th @ 26th (across from MSG); then finally back to Beaver, where it finally gave up the ghost in the 1980s!

                2. Not quite 150 years, but Keens is one of the oldest. Opened in 1885 and retains its incomparable old NY ambiance.

                  Actually, acc. to a listing in Zagat, the oldest are Pete's Tavern (1864), Landmark Tavern (1868), and Old Homestead (1868).

                  Katz's - 1887
                  Barbetta just celebrated their 100th Anniversary - 1906

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: RGR

                    Hi RGR...actually, Zagat lists Fraunce's as the oldest (1762). Delmonico's is also older (1827).

                    1. re: dkstar1

                      Hi dkstar1, I didn't have my 2007 Zagat handy, so I relied on the list in the 2006 edition, which didn't include Fraunces Tavern. But when deciding about its longevity, Wilfred's comment below is instructive. As for Delmonico's, it is not in its original location, nor has it been open continuously like Keens or Barbetta.

                      1. re: RGR

                        indeed. Thanks for the clarification both to you and Wilfred