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The 8 Oldest Restaurants in New York City

New York City, a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, boasts a culinary landscape that is as diverse as it is vibrant. Amidst the bustling streets and towering skyscrapers, the city harbors a treasure trove of gastronomic delights, including some of the oldest restaurants in the country. In this bustling metropolis where trends come and go, these timeless eateries have stood the test of time, preserving a rich tapestry of flavors and traditions. From historic taverns steeped in Revolutionary War lore to iconic steakhouses adorned with decades of nostalgia, each establishment offers a unique glimpse into the city’s storied past and continues to captivate diners with its enduring charm and delectable fare.

Oldest Restaurants in New York City

1. Delmonico’s

Established in 1837, Delmonico’s holds the prestigious title of being the first fine dining restaurant in the United States. Located in Lower Manhattan, this iconic establishment revolutionized the American culinary landscape by introducing haute cuisine to discerning diners. With a rich history spanning over a century, Delmonico’s has remained a bastion of gastronomic excellence, attracting patrons with its elegant ambiance and innovative menu offerings. From signature dishes like Eggs Benedict to timeless classics such as Baked Alaska, each culinary creation at Delmonico’s reflects a commitment to quality and tradition. Today, stepping into Delmonico’s is not just a dining experience but a journey back in time to an era of refined elegance and culinary mastery.

2. Fraunces Tavern

Dating back to 1762, Fraunces Tavern is steeped in Revolutionary War history, making it one of New York City’s oldest surviving buildings. Originally a meeting place for Revolutionary leaders like George Washington, this historic tavern has evolved into a cherished dining destination, serving classic American fare in an atmosphere infused with colonial charm. With its rustic interior and period furnishings, Fraunces Tavern offers patrons a unique opportunity to dine amidst the echoes of America’s founding fathers. Whether enjoying a hearty meal in the cozy tavern or exploring the museum upstairs, visitors to Fraunces Tavern are treated to a captivating blend of history, hospitality, and culinary delights.

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3. Peter Luger Steak House

Since 1887, Peter Luger Steak House has been a revered institution in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, renowned for its mouthwatering dry-aged steaks and old-world ambiance. From its humble beginnings as a small beer garden to its current status as a must-visit destination for steak enthusiasts, Peter Luger has maintained a steadfast commitment to quality and tradition. The restaurant’s iconic dining room, adorned with vintage photos and memorabilia, exudes an atmosphere of timeless elegance, inviting patrons to savor each succulent bite in style. With its unwavering dedication to excellence, Peter Luger Steak House continues to uphold its legacy as one of New York City’s premier dining destinations.

4. Katz’s Delicatessen

Established in 1888, Katz’s Delicatessen has been a beloved fixture on the Lower East Side for over a century, synonymous with towering pastrami sandwiches and bustling deli culture. Stepping inside Katz’s is like stepping back in time to the heyday of New York City’s Jewish immigrant community, where the aroma of smoked meats and the buzz of lively conversation fill the air. With its iconic neon sign and bustling counter service, Katz’s remains a timeless institution, drawing locals and tourists alike to indulge in its hearty fare and vibrant atmosphere. From classic deli sandwiches to homemade matzo ball soup, every dish at Katz’s is a celebration of tradition and flavor.

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5. McSorley’s Old Ale House

Since 1854, McSorley’s Old Ale House has been a beloved landmark in the East Village, offering patrons a taste of New York City’s rich history alongside its famous house-brewed ales. With its sawdust-covered floors, vintage memorabilia, and sawdust-covered floors, McSorley’s exudes an irresistible charm that transports visitors to a bygone era. Whether enjoying a pint of ale at the historic bar or exploring the walls adorned with yellowed newspaper clippings, patrons of McSorley’s are treated to an authentic slice of old New York City. As one of the city’s oldest continuously operating bars, McSorley’s remains a cherished institution, beloved by locals and visitors alike for its timeless appeal and storied past.

6. Keens Steakhouse

Founded in the late 19th century, Keens Steakhouse has long been a favorite haunt of New York City’s theater crowd, attracting actors, playwrights, and patrons alike with its savory mutton chops and storied ambiance. With its dark wood paneling, Tiffany glass ceiling, and walls adorned with vintage clay pipes, Keens exudes an old-world charm that harkens back to a bygone era. Stepping inside Keens is like stepping back in time to the golden age of Broadway, where the air is filled with the scent of sizzling steaks and the echoes of lively conversation. As one of the city’s oldest steakhouses, Keens continues to captivate diners with its timeless allure and unwavering commitment to culinary excellence.

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7. Old Town Bar

Since opening its doors in 1892, Old Town Bar has been a beloved fixture in Union Square, offering patrons a cozy retreat and classic cocktails served with a side of nostalgia. With its vintage mahogany bar, pressed tin ceilings, and antique cash register, Old Town Bar exudes old-world charm reminiscent of a bygone era. Whether enjoying a drink at the historic bar or savoring a meal in the cozy dining area, visitors to Old Town Bar are transported back in time to a simpler age. As one of the city’s oldest drinking establishments, Old Town Bar remains a cherished haunt for locals and tourists alike, offering a timeless escape from the hustle and bustle of modern-day Manhattan.

8. Pete’s Tavern

Established in 1864, Pete’s Tavern has been a cherished gathering spot for locals and luminaries alike in the Gramercy Park neighborhood. With its inviting ambiance, hearty Italian-American fare, and rich history, Pete’s Tavern invites visitors to step back in time and experience the enduring allure of old New York City. Whether enjoying a meal in the cozy dining room or sipping a pint at the historic bar, patrons of Pete’s Tavern are treated to a warm welcome and a taste of nostalgia. As one of the city’s oldest taverns, Pete’s Tavern remains a beloved institution, offering a timeless retreat where the spirit of old New York City lives on.


As we conclude our journey through the annals of New York City’s dining history, one thing becomes abundantly clear: the timeless allure of its oldest restaurants transcends mere culinary experiences. These venerable establishments serve as living testaments to the city’s rich cultural heritage, weaving together stories of the past with the flavors of the present. From the colonial charm of Fraunces Tavern to the iconic elegance of Delmonico’s, each restaurant offers a unique window into a bygone era, inviting patrons to savor not just exquisite dishes, but also the nostalgia and tradition that permeate every corner. As we bid farewell to these culinary time capsules, we carry with us a deeper appreciation for the enduring legacy of New York City’s dining scene and the indelible mark left by its oldest restaurants.


Are these restaurants expensive?

While some of these establishments may be considered upscale, others offer more affordable dining options, ensuring there’s something for every budget.

What makes these restaurants stand out?

These restaurants stand out for their historical significance, culinary excellence, and enduring popularity among locals and visitors alike.

Do these restaurants accommodate dietary restrictions?

Most of these restaurants strive to accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences, but it’s recommended to inform them in advance to ensure a seamless dining experience.

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