2. P.J. Clarke’s (est. 1884)
It’s the bar that has shaped what people think of bars. Buddy Holly proposed here, Frank Sinatra had Table 20 on reserve, and Johnny Mercer, JFK, Jackie O, Ted Kennedy, and Dick Clark all became a part of the iconic New York restaurant’s history. Nat King Cole once called their bacon cheeseburger “the Cadillac of burgers.” Order the Cadillac.
Though P.J. Clarke’s now has a handful of locations in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., the original location on 3rd Avenue is still the best one. It’s full of mementos like a broken pay phone, human leg bones (an Irish good luck talisman), and Skippy the taxidermied dog and has been featured on film and TV shows like Mad Men.