5 Oldies but Goodies : Time-Tested New York Establishments

The start of a new year makes everyone think of, well, new stuff.  New restaurants, new sexual prospects, the new body you’ve promised to get for yourself, the new outlook on life you’re going to have this year, the new levels of motivation you’ll be filled with and so on.  New York , like all great progressive cities,  is itself obsessed with newness.  From the newest restaurant, to the newest nail-polish color, we are a city of people who like to be on the cutting edge. But as fun as learning about all the newest stuff can be, keeping up with it all can feel kind of exhausting. It’s easy to forget that New York is really, really old and has been making good food and good drinks in cool places since way before any of us were even born.  It’s nice to pay a visit to something that preceded your arrival to the city. Next time you’re standing out in the cold waiting for a table at new $27 Ramen place, remind yourself that there are plenty of  already established things here to get excited about, like these 5 spots.

Fanelli Cafe



Tucked into the corner of one of the most annoyingly tourist glutted streets in New York, Fanelli has been serving up beer and pub food since 1922.  The interior is cozy and quaint, with pressed-tin ceilings a giant mirroe behind the bar and dark wood everywhere.  Last Valentine’s Day my boyfriend and I decided to skip the fancy restaurant meal we usually do and instead wandered downtown Manhattan all afternoon and decided to dip into Fanelli’s for dinner.  We sat in the cozy back room and ordered burgers and Pilsners. The burgers were juicy and perfect and the fries were too.  It’s now one of my favorite spots to get an afternoon beer. They also have amazing chicken fingers.

94 Prince St., at Mercer St.
New York, NY 10012
212-226-9412

Milday’s



Just a hop skip and a jump from Fanelli’s is this jukebox, pool table bar that kinda makes you feel like you’re in Pittsburgh or some outer borough, except for the fact that Kate Moss shows up sometimes.  This place is an old school dive from way back before SoHo became an outpost of the Short Hills Mall.  Booze is cheapish, the jukebox is well stocked with rock, jazz, and blues and the people watching is excellent.

160 Prince St. at Thompson St
New York, NY 10012.
212-226-9340

Grand Central Oyster Bar


It’s unlikely that anything with the word “Oyster” in its name is going to be any kind of affordable and The Grand Central Oyster Bar is hardly an exception.  For 15 bucks though, you can get Anna’s favorite, Oyster’s Rockefeller, and for 8 bucks you can get a Bloody Mary Oyster shooter which is pretty damn amazing and helps ease the angst of a bad hangover.  Oysters or no, the space itself is amazing and worth a visit just to gawk at this historic landmark with vaunted tiled ceilings and a ton of old New York History.


89 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017-5503
(212) 490-6653


Brooklyn Inn

Yes, it’s tragic and true: The Brooklyn Inn was featured on a episode of that loathsome exercise in futility known as Gossip Girl. For some reason we were supposed to believe that some socially conscious high school girl who can’t even legally go inside the bar was somehow terribly invested in its historic preservation. Yawn, puke.  Anyway the bar itself is awesome and old.  It has a bit of Fanelli’s vibe but with huge windows, with bars on them, a large back room for pool and a beautiful old wooden bar.  A snowy night there spent with friends still stands out in my mind as one of my greatest New York memories. If you like your drink served in  a timely fashion, though, you’re out of luck. The folks behind the bar have elected to take a super-relaxed attitude towards work, so gaze out the window at the brownstones you can’t afford and wait for them to finally get around to pulling your stout.

‘ino

‘Ino’s been around for a good long time but because of it’s tiny size and quiet consistency it doesn’t get a ton of buzz. It’s bigger sibling ‘inoteca on Rivington street has been trendy for a long long time, but this smaller spot  is  a great option for a cheap and delicious bite. Start with tramezzini for $7 or pony up a few extra bucks and savor  glorious panini’s made with the best cheeses and the freshest ingredients imaginable for only $11. The bruschetta’s are also to die for and you get 4 different pieces for $10. My dream is to go one day and get all of them.  If you’re looking for booze their wine list is fantastic although you’ll probably have to wait a white to snag a seat at the tiny bar.

21 Bedford Street
btwn 6th Ave &
Downing
New York, NY 10012

Any other excellent sleepers you guys can think of?

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About the author

Ashley Friedman - Cornerstore Correspondent

Like most kids, Ashley grew up in New Jersey. Unlike most kids the Friedman's televison set acted as a third parent, imbuing young Ashley with the stern moral values of Claire Huxtable, the dramatic tendencies of Brenda Walsh and the earnest hopefulness of the blond kid on Silver Spoons. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence Ashley made her way to the Park Slope area of Brooklyn where she can currently be found reading foreign fashion magazines, scouring ebay for vintage heels, eating out in restaurants and otherwise stretching her meager income as far as it will go in NYC.