Looking for "old school" restaurants with old fashioned American comfort food
I will be spending a week in Manhattan soon and would like to eat in classic old restaurants or even greasy spoon diners that serve classic comfort food like hot turkey sandwiches, meat loaf, real mash potatoes, etc.. Also places that have historic dishes like Welsh Rarebit. And old dark wood interior with red leather booths wouldn't hurt as well!
The places that are coming to mind are: Eisenberg's, Paul's Da Burger Joint, B&H Dairy, and Stage Restaurant. All very low-key countertop eating. Maybe Shopsin's would be a good choice for you too.
Shopsin's General Store
120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop
174 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010
128 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
127 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
131 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
These are all great suggestions. Thanks. Can anyone add places with this additional element - I love to eat my comfort food in a restaurant with a very old, unremodeled interior - the more old and worn the better. Dark woods, leather circular booths, heavy coffee mugs, neon sign - you know I'm sure the kind of place I'm talking about. It seems like so many old New York places are remodeled.
I agree with Keens (for chops, etc) but would add Knickerbocker on University and 9th St. Cant get more old school than that, with an incredibly wide ranging menu (very large portions) and a classy room. Not cheap but, overall, reasonable. http://www.knickerbockerbarandgrill.com/
Now, if you dont care about the quality of the food, there's always the original Juniors in Bklyn.
Knickerbocker Bar and Grill
33 University Pl, New York, NY 10003
Third Sarge's, and also recommend Lexington Candy Shop for a luncheonette/soda fountain. http://www.lexingtoncandyshop.net/
"Best 'Old New York' Restaurants (stuck in the past)" might be helpful: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/697307
Lexington Candy Shop
1226 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10028
I would suggest Sarge's Deli. Even though it's called a "deli," and we go there specifically for the pastrami, the menu is more like a diner. So, you can get the classic comfort food you are craving. There are booths, but they are brown not red leather. The interior used to have a kind of grungy feel, but the place was freshened up about two years ago.
Eater just did a "Who Goes There?" article about Sarge's: http://ny.eater.com/archives/2011/10/who_goes_there_sarges_deli.php
548 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016
How much are you willing to pay? There are a few places that are more upscale catering to the old school atmosphere, like Fedora, Lamb's Club, Minetta Tavern, Keens, 21 Club, etc. but they can be quite expensive.
Need a GOOD Old School New York Suggestion
72 West 36th St., New York, NY 10018
21 West 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
239 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014
The Lambs Club
132 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036