2. Fraunces Tavern
Fraunces Tavern, dating back to 1762, is considered the oldest restaurant in New York City, though there is some debate as to the actual age of the building itself. The brick home in the Financial District dates back to between 1719 and 1722, although its architecture has been renovated and reconstructed many times over the years. Before Samuel Fraunces opened the tavern, the building hosted a dance school and a trading firm.
Fraunces Tavern was one of the main meeting places of the Sons of Liberty, the planners of the Boston Tea Party. In August 1775, the British Royal Navy fired a cannonball through the roof of the building after a student militia from Kings College fired on the HMS Asia. The year after, the British captured the restaurant and forced the staff to feed their soldiers. “British-American Board of Inquiry” meetings were also held at the tavern, ensuring that no American property left with British troops. When the British were finally driven out on November 25th of 1783, General George Clinton held an honorary banquet there for George Washington, whose tooth is now on display in the upstairs museum.