9. Defonte’s Sandwich Shop (1922)
Defonte’s Sandwich Shop is located at 379 Columbia Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The restaurant was founded in 1922 by Nick Defonte, an Italian immigrant from Bari, Italy who came through Ellis Island.
Defonte bought the store for $100 from a mysterious man named Brooklyn who needed to urgently leave town, and the almost 100 year-old-institution has been making enormous subway sandwiches ever since. Defonte’s has been continuously family-run since then as well, with a more recent outpost opened on Staten Island. The owners aim to keep that old-school feeling, telling CBS News earlier this year, “You walk in here, and it’s like you’re transported back in the day. There’s people yelling left and right. There’s sandwiches being thrown.”
Next, check out the 13 oldest restaurants in NYC.