P.J. Clarke’s

Image: P.J. Clarke's
EVERY DAY: 11:30 A.M. – 4 A.M.
(212) 317-1616 | WEBSITE

A squat, two-story building nestled among east Midtown’s glass towers, Clarke’s is a holdover from the days when this part of Third Avenue was known for slaughterhouses and the rumbling elevated subway. There are other P.J. Clarke’s around town (the bar became a chain in the early 2000s) but this is the original. As grand in décor and as old in pedigree as Old Town Bar and Pete’s Tavern, it has a distinctly better-heeled clientele. This is where tailored Wall Street arms go to bend, and neighborhood regulars come for oysters and crab legs. There are spacious halls out back where you can fill up on fairly nondescript victuals (save for the burger, which is good), but the older rooms up front are where you want to be, even if it is typically three-deep at the bar by 6 p.m. most days. The bartenders are wonderful vestiges of service from another era, and can make basic, but good classics.

Known For
  • oysters / raw bar
  • full menu
  • day drinking
  • historic
What to drink
A cold beer, a Martini or a whiskey.
Midtown East
Around the corner on 55th Street is the discreet staircase to Sidecar, P.J. Clarke's members-only dining room. Inquire about membership to gain entrance to the secretive space.