Savings & Discounts

Landmark Dining - New York City's Most Historic Restaurants

With a history as rich as New York City's, you would expect there to be many restaurants with stories as long and absorbing as their menus. Here are the places to get both an exquisite meal and a dose of classic Manhattan.

Patsy's Restaurant

This white tablecloth restaurant of simple elegance and warmth, operated by the Scognamilla family for 69 years, was made famous long ago by Frank Sinatra (whose family still comes here). But what makes it a lasting institution in New York is not the celebrities (though there are many). It’s the food. And the friendliness! This is where you come for some “down home” southern Italian fare; where they really know how to make red sauce—from marinara to pizzaiola... (read more)

The Oyster Bar


The Oyster Bar, along with the rest of Grand Central Terminal, celebrates its centennial this year. The high-vaulted tiled ceiling in the 400-seat main dining room is an architectural gem of the Gilded Age and still beloved by tourists and natives alike. Commuters stop at the raw bar for a half-dozen oysters with their martini before boarding the 6:15 home; shoppers and office workers come to the lunch counter for a fried oyster sandwich; and the small lounge is always crowded for Happy Oyster Hour from 4 to 7:30pm, where you will find an especially good choice of white wines. (There’s even a Flying Dog oyster stout.)... (read more)

One If By Land, Two If By Sea

If you are not in love now, you will certainly want to be when you dine at One if By Land Two if By Sea. Inside this charming old brick building, said to have been Aaron Burr’s carriage house, chandeliers twinkle, candlelight and flowers adorn the tables, and the piano player tickles those keys into strains of romantic ecstasy. Two or three marriage proposals occur each evening, according to the staff. The building went through several incarnations before becoming a restaurant 40 years ago and is still a treasure trove of legends and curios such as replicas of the dueling pistols that ended Alexander Hamilton’s life... (read more)

The Carlyle

The Carlyle is an elegant Upper East Side hotel that’s home to the world-famous Bemelman’s Bar and Café Carlyle, where Woody Allen often performs with his jazz band. The restaurant has been serving the world’s movers and shakers since before The Great Depression. It is designed like a comfortable manor house with high ceilings, a giant vase of fresh long-stemmed flowers in the center, and comfortable upholstered banquettes. The service is friendly and unrushed... (read more)

Bull and Bear

The Bull and Bear was once exclusively for men, particularly those concerned with the stock market. The ticker tape still runs along the wall of the barroom, and behind the massive mahogany bar stand the powerful Bull and Bear replicas. However, today there are plenty of women and families in attendance at this modern steakhouse, one of three restaurants at the Waldorf=Astoria... (read more)

The Empire Room

When the Empire State Building was erected in 1931 Prohibition was still in effect, so alcoholic drinks were not served, of course. Today, you can recall that historic era with a Prohibition Punch or an Empire Cocktail at the Empire Room on the ground floor on the south side of the landmark building. The décor, with mahogany paneled walls, marble bar, and comfortable leather chairs, captures the Art Deco feel of the era... (read more)

Old Homestead

In 1868, President Andrew Johnson came here to celebrate his narrow escape from impeachment. More recently, Chelsea Clinton dined here with her famous family. This landmark with the big cow, “Annabelle,” stationed over the front door like a Broadway marquee, is in the heart of the Meatpacking District, where sides of beef once arrived to be sorted for distribution. Today, few meatpackers remain, but The High Line, Chelsea Market, new hotels and the future Whitney Museum make this the hippest neighborhood in Manhattan. Originally a bar with five tables where, in 1868, a steak dinner cost 8 cents, Old Homestead today seats 300 guests on three levels and steak is a tad more expensive. The charming front room with a tin ceiling, mirror-paneled walls and strings of tiny lights, create a modern ambiance with old world charm... (read more)

The Original Delmonico's

Delmonico’s is the nation’s first white tablecloth restaurant, the first to allow groups of women to dine without men, and first to seat guests at their own separate tables. Opened in 1837, it is also the origin of classic American dishes such as Lobster Newburg, Eggs Benedict, and, of course, the boneless rib eye steak that bears its name. Dinner regulars once included Diamond Jim Brady and Mark Twain. While retaining its classic steakhouse décor with chandeliers, wainscoting, and walls adorned with genre paintings, the kitchen, under the direction of Executive Chef Bill Oliva, has modernized the classics and added new dishes with locally sourced ingredients, changing the menu four or five times a year. (read more...)

To view the pages in pdf form, click here.

Bringing a group to NYC? Free planning services

Let us know what you are looking for and we will try to connect you directly and get discounts.

Enter the code: 3972

More Articles