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Jan 26, 2012 12:54 PM

Russian Tea Room for a drink?

I've done a bit of looking and the reviews of this "Russian Icon", pun intended, are all over the place. I think what that means is that I am not all that interested in plunking down a lot of cash for food that might or might not be good. But my partner would love to visit the place. She said it would be great to at least say we had a drink there. So my real question is does this place have a bar where we can sit and have just a drink and do people watching????


Russian Tea Room
150 W 57th Street, New York, NY 10019

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  1. Hi! Nobody seems to be showing you any love, so allow me to weigh in - perhaps, as a visitor from Boston, my opinion might be equally useful. I think that there was a time when RTR was "fun" to drop into, for the "Samovar Kitsch"; vodka & caviar served with a dramatic flourish, great people watching... But, times change. I get the feeling (just a gut feeling - this is by NO MEANS grounded in any sort of reality but my own) it's achieved "has-been" status, and would be nothing more than a depressing, grossly overpriced "Times Square North - Russian Theme Park Ride". It might be cheeky fun still, but I doubt it. If you want New York-y people watching/quasi-touristy stuff, maybe Oyster Bar @ Grand Central? King Cole Bar @ St. Regis? I think the lack of response to your post speaks volumes; avoid The Russian Tea Room. Again though, I'm a Bostonian, so I could be totally off base on this one. I just think that New Yorkers don't view RTR as an institution anymore like, say, 21 Club. If anyone else felt like responding, perhaps you may corroborate/refute me!

    Grand Central Oyster Bar
    89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

    Russian Tea Room
    150 W 57th Street, New York, NY 10019

    King Cole Bar
    2 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022

    1. The "people watching" at the Russian Tea Room will be a sad spectacle.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Nancy S.

        Oh, and to try and answer your question more directly - I don't recall there being a separate bar, but I haven't been there in, like, 20 years...

      2. there is a separate bar in front. however, the true joy of the Tea Room is not found on the first floor. it's the second, third, and fourth floors that are really spectacular in design. you could sit at the bar, but there's no reason to.

        the food is downright awful. i'm the shameless type that photographs nearly everything i eat. my wife and i had lunch at the tea room last year and not a photo was taken. nothing looked appealing enough to want to see it again. we left dessert on the table unfinished. i don't do that anywhere.

        Russian Tea Room
        150 W 57th Street, New York, NY 10019