HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Gramercy Tavern vs. Babbo- which to pick?

  • 9

Hello all,

My boyfriend has reservations at both Gramercy Tavern and Babbo for my birthday (his sister is going to take the reservation we don't use). I don't know which one to pick-- I'm leaning toward Gramercy since I've never been there. Any advice from people who have been to both/either recently?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
        1. I hate to split the vote- but I would go with Gramercy hands down. I was at Babbo last week and it was an absolute nightmare- it is a complete bottleneck in the bar- you have to fight to get your coat checked, the service was apathetic and the food was sub-par. I am so disappointed because we have been going for years and our past two visits have been lackluster when compared to the old Babbo standards. On the other hand, Gramercy is always a lovely experience- the service is gracious and the food is better than ever. I know we all have different experiences depending on the night, the service, etc. so I would be interested to know other experiences.

          1. i love babbo, but i ate at gramercy tavern last night and it was one of the best dining experiences i've ever had in the city. service was incredible, from making the reservation, to coat check, to server, busboys, etc. the food was amazing! get the duck breast with duck leg confit. wow is all i can say. and save room for either the hot chocolate or the greenmarket apple cider. much different from babbo. if you're looking for romantic and a relaxing night, ,go to gramercy tavern. if you're looking for crowded but fun, go to babbo.

            1. If you've been to Babbo and know that you like it, go there. The only reason I would ever suggest GT over Babbo is if the opposite were true -- i.e., you had been to Babbo and been turned off by the experience.

              1. If you sit upstairs at Babbo, it is not noisy at all.

                Plus, it is not that hard to score a table at Gramercy Tavern. It is so much harder to get reservation at Babbo, I will not give it up if I have one!

                1 Reply
                1. re: kobetobiko

                  exactly. If you can guarantee a seat upstairs...I might choose Babbo. But if it matters to you that the head chef is in the kitchen, I'd opt for Gramercy Tavern where you're likely to see Michael Anthony. It is very unlikely that Batali will be in the kitchen, let alone the restaurant with his current schedule. Also, as kobetobiko mentioned, reservations at Babbo are more difficult to get. Either way, you;ll be happy with your meal.

                2. n/m sorry losing my mind.