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Nov 12, 2011 05:29 PM

Any Tips on Getting into Rao's ?


Visiting from out of town and would like to get into Rao's the Friday after Thanksgiving...any tips on how I might get a reservation or get in or forget about it?


455 E 114th St, New York, NY 10029

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  1. It might help if you were in The Mafia. (A high-ranking union official at the very least.)

    1 Reply
    1. Buy it at a charity event,

      1. Words has it you can eat at the bar as a walk in. I'm sure if you time it right, you can also get a table as a walk in. That doesn't help you with a reservation, or put you anywhere near a good backup if you don't luck out. The original Patsy's is nearby, so that would be one good suggestion.

        The day after Thanksgiving sounds like it might be prime for people to use their tables, or give a reservation for a gift.

        9 Replies
        1. re: sugartoof

          "Words has it you can eat at the bar as a walk in. I'm sure if you time it right, you can also get a table as a walk in."

          To the OP - I would call and attempt to confirm that. That sounds like Babbo, not Rao's.

          110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

          1. re: Bob Martinez

            It's not something they're going to confirm over the phone. It's something confirmed by the countless reports of having done so.

            One just has to go expecting to get turned away, so their night isn't ruined.

            1. re: sugartoof

              "It's something confirmed by the countless reports of having done so."

              Have any of them ever posted that information of Chowhound? If so, could you link to it?

              1. re: sugartoof

                "Countless" reports of people walking into Rao's and eating at the bar or a table? Can you point to, let's say, two of those reports here on CH?

                  1. re: sugartoof

                    Did you even read those topics? You can't eat at the bar.

                    1. re: sugartoof

                      You just linked to 2 threads that don't support your position in any way. You said they occasionally served walk-ins. Not one post on either thread mentioned that. Yes, you can get a drink at the bar but they won't serve you a meal.

                    2. re: gutsofsteel

                      Perhaps a couple of years ago, while doing research in the neighborhood, I walked by Rao's in midafternoon and saw the door open. "You want, you can have a look around, just no pictures," said a fellow who stepped outside. Another fellow, more senior, showed up some minutes later as I was perusing the photo gallery. After we exchanged pleasantries (but not names), he told me that I could stop in any evening and sit at the bar for a drink. "But you won't eat," he added, in a just-so-you-know manner of speaking.

                1. re: sugartoof

                  If you are feeling down and need a good laugh call the restaurant for a reservation. The recording you will get is hilarious.
                  I hear there is a Rao's in Las Vegas.

                2. Not to be snide, but if you are posting that question on this board, you can't.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nmprisons

                    You can get into the Rao's in Vegas.

                  2. Funny, the country is in a Depression, and business owners just sail along as if they're bigger than the economy. Good luck RAO with your attitude.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: RedTop

                      Funny how this country is in a Depression, and restaurants like Rao's can STILL be full every night without letting in strangers.

                      I'm sure when Rao's stops being filled up using its current policy, it will reconsider.

                      1. re: RedTop

                        I don't think Rao's or any of the city's other restaurants with exclusive reservation policies are exactly suffering. (Rao's has been around since 1896, by the way.)

                        1. re: loratliff

                          The Monkey Bar quickly changed its exclusive reservation policy, i.e., private phone number to book a table, when the regulars, who didn't cotton to the very mediocre food being served, stopped coming. But even going on OpenTable didn't help, so now, Grayden Carter has brought in a whole new team to try to turn things around.

                          I've never understood the fascination with Rao's. From what I've heard, the food is nothing to write home about.


                          Monkey Bar
                          60 E 54th St, New York, NY 10022