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Mar 15, 2008 08:04 PM

ADA Wheelchair accessible Restaurants

I'm hoping to compile a list of accessible restaurants. We go out for brunch nearly every weekend and one of our party uses a wheelchair. We've had some really good experiences at the following places:

L'Annan on 3rd and 28th is an old standby. Vietnamese, smooth ramp entrance, roomy enough for easy navigation. The tables are pedestal style, which may interfere with footrests a little bit.

Ethos 3rd and 33rd has a smooth ramp entrance, and room to move. Staff are kind and accomodating and the food is delish (Greek).

Grill 21 on 21st between 1st & 2nd Filipino-American- Asian Fusian Unique delicious food, kind and attentive service and very accomodating. The restaurant seats 20 and is a little tight, but has a smooth ramp entrance.

2nd Avenue Deli 33rd bet 3rd & Lex. A long wait, snug quarters but very accommodating staff. And a great meal.

Second Avenue Deli
162 E 33rd St, New York, NY 10016

495 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Grill 21
346 E 21st St, New York, NY 10010

393 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

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  1. I have definitely seen diners with wheelchairs at Eleven Madison Park, and the staff was very accommodating and gave the closest seats to the entrance available. I am sure if you make it clear them during your reservation, it will not be a problem.

    The brunch at EMP is of course delicious!

    1 Reply
    1. The Zagat guide includes 'accessibility' in their list of attributes of restaurants, but I would also call to double check anyway.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bolletje

        Yep. Most places will say they're accessible. Unfortunately, the staff who are assessing 'accessibility' might be looking at the ADA style bathroom, but forgot about the front step. It happens all the time.

        1. re: shindiganna

          Or the ADA bathroom is downstairs with no elevator access! Saw that at the theater the other night. We always had to call when my father was in a wheelchair. And always had to make sure to ask about steps into the restaurant.

          I notice that Luna Piena (E. 53rd bet 2nd & 3rd) is under renovation and they've done away with the entryway step so that you can just wheel down a tiny incline from the street level. They may take care of the rest of it too. They should reopen in a couple of weeks.

          1. re: Jane A.

            LOL @ Jane! It's amazing.

            Nearly 10 years ago, I worked as a home manager for 5 multiply handicapped adults, all of whom used wheelchairs. We'd call in advance, and get the 'we're accessible' line. This was in a rural area, so the trip would often be 40 minutes or so. What a waste of resources and time!

            I finally passed out site assessment form to my staff and asked them to fill it out places they visited. It was a completely voluntary project, but the staff were really committed to it, and started compiling info on places they'd visit on their own time, and it even branched out to neighboring cities. In no time, we had a reference book compiled by professionals who'd actually visited and thoroughly assessed each site. It made life so much more enjoyable for the 5 residents.

            I'd like this thread to become like that 3 ring binder!

      2. Hey, shindiganna,

        I'm a bit surprised at your description of Ethos as having "room to move." The tables always seem to me to be quite close with narrow aisles. And when they're jammed, there is next to no space to wait for a table. Yes, they take reservations, but I've found that when they're busy, it doesn't mean much. We haven't been there for brunch, so maybe things are different then. All that said, I've always liked Ethos.

        With regard to Eleven Madison, there is one step up to the front dining room though I think there may be a ramp entry at the far left side. I'll check the next time we're there. For certain, there is loads of aisle space and great spacing between tables. As kobe said, brunch is delicious though not inexpensive.

        Pamplona, on 28th, b/t Madison & Park Av. S., is one of our favs. I'm a huge fan of Chef/owner Alex Urena's inventive Spanish cuisine. They serve brunch on Sat. & Sun. There are no steps to enter or inside, and there is enough room for a wheelchair to maneuver. The bathrooms are on the same level.

        Sarge's Deli, on 3rd, b/t 36th & 37th Sts., has no steps outside or inside. The dining room is fairly large with ample room to maneuver. Don't know about the bathrooms. The "decor" (such as it is) is quite worn, but the place has a comfy feel. The food's good, and the waitresses are a hoot. Open 24/7.

        We haven't been to Cibo in quite a long time, but iirc, it's wheelchair accessible from outside. As for the interior, there are two spacious, attractive dining rooms, no steps and lots of room between tables. Don't know about the bathrooms. They serve brunch on Sat. & Sun., and the food is very good.

        And, btw, I just looked at my Zagat and didn't see any listing or references to wheelchair accessibility.

        3 Replies
        1. re: RGR

          Thanks RGR. Great suggestions. You are right about Ethos. We usually go Sundays around 1130-12 when the place is empty. With other diners, it would be a completely different experience...

          1. re: shindiganna

            Hey, shindiganna,

            Glad I could help. I'll keep my eyes open for other possibilities.

            Btw, I noticed that the places you mentioned in your original post are all in Gramercy/Murray Hill, so I suggested places in those areas. Are you willing to go to other neighborhoods?

            1. re: RGR

              Yes, other neighborhoods would be great!

        2. I don't recall any steps at Olana (do call to verify in case I'm mistaken), and the bathrooms are on the same level. The tables are well spaced.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rrems


            shindiganna did say they were especially looking for *brunch* options, and Olana does not serve brunch. Still good to know, though.

            1. re: RGR

              Oops, I hadn't noticed that.

          2. South Indian Vegetarian- used to be Dosa Hut
            Southwest corner of E27th and Lex: across the street from Curry Leaf.

            Great experience! Delicious food, great presentation, good value. The foyer is incredibly spacious. The main dining room is small, but there is room to move. There is a second dining area for larger parties, which is also spacious.
            Highly recommended.

            Note on Curry Leaf: it is also accessible and has very good food. However, it is a tight fit, and required lots of juggling to get in comfortably. Go early and when the place is deserted.

            2 Replies
            1. re: shindiganna

              Have you been anywhere on the upper east that you know is truly wheelchair accessible? My Uncle and I are going out to dinner tonight, and I am worried the places that claim accessibility are, as you all have attested, not at all. I was thinking Beyoglu. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks.

              1. re: hchudgin

                sorry i missed your post hchudgin. At this point I am unfamiliar with accessibilty on the UES. If you have any reviews, please post!