Pete’s Tavern is an absolute NYC landmark and is still kicking with the same crowds since opening its doors in 1864. The history is so rich with incredible tidbits such as being the watering hole during prohibition disguising itself as a flower shop, to being the location where author O. Henry was said to have written the famous Gift Of the Magi in 1903. It is known to be the oldest continuously operating tavern in New York City. The best part? It is all still completely intact with the original brick walls, bars, and the same dining room conditions as it was all those years ago and available for us to experience.
While it is seemingly a super casual dive bar, this location definitely feels special. Upon looking at the authentic decor, the famous faces who have visited before on the wall, there is a sense of character that makes this experience unique rather than going to just any bar in the area. You really do feel a part of history. Many people must relate because this spot was PACKED. Almost every table was taken with a very busy bar and full outdoor seating section too. So if you’re looking for some evening plans that really give you that sense of NYC energy and aliveness, Pete’s will definitely fit the bill.
I could have admittedly come a little hungrier to really try out the menu more fully, but for just some more light bite options this is what I had:
I am a big believer that when you dine out, stick to what the establishment is known for and does best. Meaning more or less, when you go to a bar, stick with BAR food. I did enjoy my wings a lot and thought they had a nice flavor that wasn’t your typical Buffalo style. I think it was definitely a solid order.
I found the steak bites to be a little hit or miss. I am VERY particular when it comes to the temperature of my meat. Surprisingly no one asked how I wanted it cooked, not that it mattered because I would say each bite was a little inconsistent. The ones that were medium rare were definitely tasty and I can say I absolutely LOVED the sauce that it came with. I do find the bread to be a bit of a disjointed aspect. I mean, it is not exactly a sandwich, and I find the bread-to-meat ratio is a little off. I just think it a tad unnecessary.
I was happy with my salad as well. I enjoy when restaurants put a few additions to make a typical salad a little less boring and I didn’t have complaints with this one. It was also a great portion.
This Old Fashioned was definitely strong but I thought it part of the experience. I felt it really fit the vibe of my surroundings and put me in the Old Boys Club mood I would have imagined this spot to be decades ago.
Pete’s is also available for lunch and weekend brunch. It is definitely a must to experience in NYC.