I love when you can tell by the sign of a bar or restaurant that it’s been around forever. The mark of quality in this town isn’t always Michelin stars, but longevity. With high rise apartments sprouting from up in every neighborhood, it’s easy to forget that New York City is so rich with history, so take a step back in time at these taverns.
129 E. 18th St., Gramercy
The oldest continually operating restaurant and bar in NYC hosted O. Henry in 1864, when he wrote “The Gift of the Magi” while dining on delicious Italian cuisine. But did they have happy hour back then? Visit Monday through Friday from 5-7 p.m. for $5 beers and wines and complimentary passed hors d’oeuvres. They offer dinner specials, like pastas on Monday night for $13.95 and prime rib on Tuesdays for $17.95. You’ll see why they’ve been around so long.
White Horse Tavern
25 Bridge St., Financial District
This bar has been open since 1880, but became a haven for artists and writers in the 1950s. Get $3 pints and well drinks every day; from 5-8 p.m. order a $3.50 Guinness and wash it down with chicken tenders ($6.50). In a neighborhood of Wall Streeters, they are a low-key affordable oasis. Just remember to bring cash.
54 Pearl St., Financial District
Somehow, Fraunces Tavern combines a restaurant, whiskey bar, party rooms and an American Revolutionary Museum. The site dates back to 1719 and is filled with art and artifacts from Colonial America. Clear a full day to take in all its historical charms, but make sure you’re there between 4 and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday for $5 well drinks, $6 drafts, and wine and six oysters for $9. They offer over 140 beers and 200 whiskeys at its intimate Dingle Whiskey Bar, and an upscale menu that would make our forefathers proud.
Monica DiNatale is a Deals Expert and Author of 365 Guide New York City, a treasure trove of restaurant deals and bar specials in New York. Monica has been featured as the Dining Expert for PIX 11and Good Day New York and has hosted segments for The New York Chocolate Show and The New York City Craft Beer Week Festivals. “365 Guide New York City” is available in paperback and e-book.