Oldest Steakhouses in New York City

10 Oldest Steakhouses in New York City

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New York City is one of the most famous food cities in the world, hosting a wide array of cuisines from around the world. One of the city’s most iconic food offerings is the steakhouse, which encapsulates the feel of old school New York. The first steakhouses in the United States date back to the mid-19th century and the oldest steakhouses on this list are also the oldest steakhouses in the country!

As of November 2019, the information on this list is as accurate as possible and at the time of this writing all of these steakhouses were still in operation.

10. Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse

Year Established: 1996
Location:  3940 Bell Blvd., Bayside, Queens
Operating Hours:  Monday: 11:30AM – 10PM; Tuesday – Friday: 11:30AM – 11PM; Saturday: 4PM – 11PM; Sunday: 11AM – 10PM
Most Popular Dish(es): Seafood Tree; “Boneyard” (Prime Bone-In Filet Mignon); “Fred Flinstone” (Prime Rib Chop); and The Big Jack Burger

Uncle Jack's Steakhousephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse only dates back to 1996 and does not necessarily have the storied history that some of the other steakhouses on this list have, but proudly calls itself the “Best Steakhouse in New York City.” Founded by William Jack Degel, Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse gets its name from Degel’s godfather, who ran a steakhouse on the Upper Westside of Manhattan for several years starting in the 1930s.

The first Uncle Jack’s restaurant is located in Bayside, Queens and Degel has added two more locations in Manhattan. Degel has plans to franchise the Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse brand.

Did You Know?

From 2012 – 2014, founder of Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse, William Jack Degel, was the host of Restaurant Stakeout, one of the first non-studio reality shows on Food Network.


9. Smith & Wollensky

Year Established: 1977
Location:  797 3rd Ave.
Operating Hours:  Monday – Friday: 11:45AM – 11PM; Saturday – Sunday: 5PM – 11PM
Most Popular Dish(es): USDA Choice Prime Rib; Cajun Rib Steak; and Maryland Crab Cake

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Although Smith & Wollensky has grown into a chain of high-end steakhouses, the original location in New York City is still opened on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 49th Street. Smith & Wollensky was founded in 1977 by Alan Stillman, who is also the founder of TGI Fridays, and Ben Benson. Stillman and Benson decided to keep the distinctive green and white striped exterior of the building, which was put in place by Manny Wolf’s steakhouse, which ran from 1897 – 1977.

The Smith & Wollensky brand was sold in 2007, but Stillman retains ownership over the original restaurant. Today there are Smith & Wollensky restaurants around the U.S., London, and Taipei.

Did You Know?

Each year, Warren Buffet lunches at the original Smith & Wollensky restaurant with the winning bidders of a charity luncheon auction to benefit the Glide Foundation in San Francisco.


8. Sparks Steak House

Year Established: 1966
Location:  210 E 46th St.
Operating Hours:  Monday – Saturday: 12PM – 11PM; Sunday: Closed
Most Popular Dish(es): Extra Thick Veal Chop; Prime Sirloin Steak; Scottish Smoked Salmon; and Mixed Vegetable Salad

Sparks Steak Housephoto source: Eater New York

Sparks Steak House is the last remaining steakhouse in an area of New York City that used to be known as “Steak Row.” The steakhouse was opened in a different location from its current one in 1966 by  brothers Pasquale (Pat) and Mike Cetta. The Cettas moved Sparks Steak House to 46th Street in 1977 and continued to run the restaurant together until Pat died in 2000. Mike Cetta still owns and operates Sparks Steak House today, which was in danger of closing down in 2017 due to a rent hike. However, Cetta came to an agreement with his landlord and Sparks Steak House remains open.

Did You Know?

Famously, or infamously, Sparks Steak House is known for being the site where Gambino crime family boss Paul Castellano and underboss Thomas Bilotti were gunned down. The hit was ordered by notorious mobster John Gotti.


7. Gallagher’s Steakhouse

Year Established: 1927
Location:  228 W 52nd St
Operating Hours:  Monday – Saturday: 11:45PM – 11:30PM; Sunday: 11:45PM – 10:30PM
Most Popular Dish(es): Porterhouse for Two; Steak Tartare; Wedge Salad; and Clams Casino

Gallaghers Steakhousephoto source: Wikimedia Commons via Americasroof

Like Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse, Gallagher’s Steakhouse was initially opened as a speakeasy a few years after Prohibition began. Gallagher’s was founded by Helen Gallagher and Jack Solomon and served as a gathering place for gamblers, sports figures, and stars of Broadway.

After Prohibition ended, Gallagher and Solomon turned the speakeasy into Broadway’s first steakhouse. Gallagher’s remained a Broadway favorite for the next several decades until the Porterhouse steak was removed in 2008 by new management. The Porterhouse returned in 2014 after Gallagher’s Steakhouse was renovated by current owner Dean Poll.

Did You Know?

Gallagher’s Steakhouse was reportedly the first restaurant to serve the New York Strip cut of steak.


6. Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse

Year Established: 1926
Location:  320 W 46th St.
Operating Hours:  Monday: Closed; Tuesday – Saturday: 11:30AM – 2:30PM, 4:30PM – 11:30PM; Sunday: 3:30PM – 9:30PM
Most Popular Dish(es): Shrimp Scampi; Jumbo Lump Crabmeat Cocktail; Porterhouse for Two; Double Loin Lamb Chops; Creamed Spinach; and Lyonnaise Potatoes

Frankie and Johnnies Steakhousephoto source: nycgo.com

Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse is a staple of New York City’s Theatre District and was founded as a speakeasy in 1926 while Prohibition was in full swing. The original owners were named Frankie and Johnnie and their family continued to run the restaurant until 1985. That year Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse was purchased by longtime waiter Peter Chimos and his brother in law.

Despite being a longstanding Theatre District institution, the original Frankie & Johnnie’s location on 45th Street was shut down on its 90th anniversary in early 2016. However, Frankie & Johnnie’s was moved over to 46th Street into a bigger location. There is also a Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse on 37th Street and in Rye, New York.

Did You Know?

Reportedly many famous New Yorkers frequented the original Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse bar, including Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lanskey, John O’Hara, and Frank Sinatra.


5. The Palm

Year Established: 1926
Location:  840 2nd Ave
Operating Hours:  Monday – Tuesday: 11:45AM – 10PM; Wednesday – Friday: 11:45AM – 10:30PM; Saturday: 5PM – 10:30PM; Sunday: 5PM – 9PM
Most Popular Dish(es): Prime New York Steak “A la Stone”; Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail; Chicken Parmigiana; Creamed Spinach; and Half & Half (cottage fries and onions)

The Pallmphoto source: The Palm

The Palm was originally opened in 1926 by Italian immigrants Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi. In the beginning The Palm was a traditional Italian restaurant, but early on in its history, a customer asked for a steak and Bozzi and Ganzi fulfilled the request after they got meat from a 2nd Avenue butcher. This first steak led to other requests and The Palm became a steakhouse while continuing to serve Italian food.

Since then, The Palm has grown into a chain with locations around the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Members of the Bozzi and Ganzi families still own and operate all of The Palm restaurants.

Did You Know?

According to The Palm, Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi wanted to name the restaurant La Parma, but the city licensing clerk did not understand their accents and registered the name as The Palm.


4. Peter Luger Steak House

Year Established: 1887
Location:  178 Broadway
Operating Hours:  Monday – Thursday: 11:45AM – 9:45PM; Friday – Saturday: 11:45AM – 10:45PM; Sunday: 12:45PM – 9:45PM
Most Popular Dish(es): USDA Prime Beef Porterhouse for two; Thick-cut Bacon; Creamed Spinach; and German-style Fried Potatoes

photo source: Flickr via Shinya Suzuki

Peter Luger Steak House is the last of New York City’s historic steakhouses opened in the mid-to-late 19th century. The steakhouse was originally opened as “Carl Luger’s Café, Billiards and Bowling Alley” in 1887 by Peter Luger – his nephew Carl ran the kitchen.

Unfortunately, after Peter Luger died in 1941, the restaurant went into decline under his son’s ownership. Peter Luger’s was shut down in 1950 and put up for auction. Sol Forman Seymour Sloyer, who owned a metal giftware factory across the street, bought Peter Luger’s because they were worried that they would no longer have a lunch spot for their clients. Today, Forman and Sloyer’s families continue to run Peter Luger Steak House.

Did You Know?

Since 1950, members of the Forman family personally select the meat that Peter Luger Steak House uses to ensure it is the highest quality.


3. Keens Steakhouse

Year Established: 1885
Location:  72 W 36th St.
Operating Hours:  Monday – Friday: 11:45AM – 10:30PM; Saturday: 5PM – 10:30PM; Sunday: 5PM – 9:30PM
Most Popular Dish(es): Mutton Chop

Keens Steakhousephoto source: Wikimedia Commons via Leonard J. DeFrancisci

Before establishing an independent restaurant in 1885, Keens was a part of the Lambs Club, a famous theatre and literary group founded in London. The club was managed by Albert Keen, founder of Keens Steakhouse. The steakhouse was located in the Herald Square Theatre District and Keens quickly became a popular spot for celebrities. Keens is the last surviving business of the Herald Square Theatre District and with the exception of a brief closure in 1979, has been in continuous operation.

Did You Know?

Keens Steakhouse used to let patrons store their hard clay churchwarden pipes at the restaurant and it now houses the largest collection of churchwarden pipes in the world. Some of the pipes still on display belonged to notable people such as Babe Ruth, President Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, J.P. Morgan, and many more.


2. Old Homestead Steakhouse

Year Established: 1868
Location:  56 9th Ave
Operating Hours:  Monday – Friday: 12PM – 10:30PM; Saturday – Sunday: 1PM – 11PM
Most Popular Dish(es): 18-oz. USDA prime dry-aged New York sirloin steak; Colossal Crab Cakes; Creamed Spinach; and Potato Hash

Old Homestead Steakhousephoto source: Wikimedia Commons via Leonard J. DeFrancisci

 

Delmonico’s may technically be older, but Old Homestead Steakhouse has been opened in the same spot since 1868 and is the oldest continuously operating steakhouse in the United States. Originally called Tidewater Trading Post, Old Homestead Steakhouse was opened by a German family in New York’s Meatpacking District.

In the early 1940s, Harry Sherry, a long-time employee and former dishwasher at Old Homestead Steakhouse, bought the restaurant. The Sherry family continues to run Old Homestead Steakhouse today and two more locations were opened in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

Did You Know?

In the 1990s, Old Homestead Steakhouse was the first restaurant in the U.S. to serve Wagyu beef (Kobe beef) from Japan


1. Delmonico’s

Year Established: 1837
Location:  56 Beaver St., Financial District
Operating Hours:  Monday – Friday: 11:30AM – 9:30PM; Saturday: 5PM – 9:30PM; Sunday: Closed
Most Popular Dish(es): Delmonico’s Steak (boneless rib-eye cut)

Delmonicosphoto source: Wikimedia Commons


The original Delmonico’s located at 56 Beaver Street has not been in continuous operation, but does trace its history all the way back to 1837, making Delmonico’s the oldest steakhouse in New York City. Delmonico’s was originally opened by brothers John and Peter Delmonico, immigrants from Switzerland. Their shop initially sold pastries other fine foods, before it was turned into a fine dining restaurant when it moved to the current building.

The Delmonico family continued to run various Delmonico’s restaurants until they left the industry for good in 1927. Since then, different owners have opened up a Delmonico’s at the original 56 Beaver Street location and the current iteration has been operating since 1999.

Did You Know?

Delmonico’s became so famous that any high-quality thick cut steak is called a Delmonico steak.


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