Culture | December 16, 2016 9:00 am

Nine NYC Restaurants That Predate the McKinley Administration

There’s a reason they’re still standing.

The NYC restaurant game is a revolving door.

One day you’re telling everyone about that excellent new hot beef sandwich down the block, the next minute, the doors are shuttered.

Which is what sets all these nine bad boys apart.

Youngest of the bunch? A ripe old 120. The oldest? Predates the Constitution.

And if a place has managed to keep ‘em coming back for 250 years, you can bet the ranch the eating’s good.

Fraunces Tavern | Est. 1762 -1767
After ‘67, Fraunces Tavern ceased to be a functioning cafe, and the historic locale, deemed by the Sons of the Revolution the oldest building in the city, was the go-to for the secret society Sons of Liberty. But today it’s back and dishing out shepherd’s pie, oysters and tomahawk steaks.
54 Pearl Street

Delmonico’s Restaurant | Est. 1837
What began a small specialty shop run by two brothers in the FiDi is now a ravishingly successful five restaurant group. Expect all the classic American hits like Lobster Newburg, Eggs Benedict and their outstanding house steak.
56 Beaver Street

Pete’s Tavern | Est. 1864
Pete’s has been a bustling waterhole for over 150 years, even prohibition couldn’t keep the joint down — they used a flower shop as front to stay slingin’ their pub food and spirits.

129 E. 18th Street

The Old Homestead Steakhouse | Est. 1868
The oldest steakhouse in NYC, the Old Homestead is also credited with creating the doggie bag — it’s said the portions were so large they needed to think of a way to suit guests’s requests to take the excess home.

56 Ninth Avenue

P.J. Clarke’s  | Est. 1884
The burger legend P.J. Clarke’s remains a New York favorite even today. Originally a local go-to for the area’s working Irish immigrants, you’ll find tourists, locals and society elitists alike at this happy hour.

915 Third Avenue

Keens Chophouse | Est. 1885
You might know this as ‘that pipe club.’ Started by Albert Keen, the plethora of pipes dangling from the ceiling have become the chop house’s signature. Keens actually claims they hold one of the biggest collections in the world of churchwarden pipes. Back in the days when you could smoke indoors, patrons would register their pipe, it would be kept clean by the restaurant’s “pipe boys,” and it would be there waiting for the guests when they returned again. Famous members included Teddy Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson, Babe Ruth and John Barrymore. Our recommendation — in lieu of a smoke — an order of Mutton Chop, a nice cut of lamb approximately 2 inches thick.
72 W. 36th Street

Peter Luger Steakhouse | Est. 1887
While it might not be the oldest steakhouse in the city, it is the quintessential N.Y. carnivore’s experience boasting a seasoned, professional wait staff and prime steak as good as it comes. Add a heavy dose of character and that makes Peter Luger’s an iconic destination. The porterhouse, thick bacon and creamed spinach are something any diner will be talking about for a lifetime. Of note: it was originally a billiard hall. Oh, and bring cash, a lot of it. They don’t take cards.
178 Broadway, Williamsburg

Katz’s Delicatessen | Est. 1888
The OG Jewish deli, home to unbeatable pastrami sandwiches, matzo ball soup, chopped liver and the orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally.
205 E. Houston Street

Rao’s | Est. 1896
Thought by many to be the premier meatball house of Manhattan, Rao’s is a truly sought after experience. The notorious Harlem eatery is a tough seat if there ever was one with only 12 tables and a long list of New York celebrity regulars that gobble ‘em up. In true homage to old school N.Y., the host/co-owner Frank Pellegrino has made appearances in Goodfellas, Law & Order and The Sopranos.
455 E. 114th Street