21 Club

A timeless Midtown West enclave
The upscale 21 Club is a New York institution. Initially a speakeasy in the 1930s during the Prohibition era, this famous Midtown West enclave named for its address, 21 West 52nd Street, is exactly what you hope it will be: an exclusive, sophisticated atmosphere that warmly welcomes you in.

Statues of jockeys in equestrian attire stand guard at the entrance, where tourists pose for photographs in front of the famed “21” historic wrought-iron gate. The regular photo ops have become somewhat of a tradition.

Businessmen in suits sitting at the bar acknowledge each other with boisterous camaraderie, handshakes and pats on the back. It’s no wonder that celebrities and all the big names frequent the 21 Club — it possesses New York-style panache that is timeless.

Bartenders treat you as if they've known you for years, greeting newcomers with a familiar smile. On a weekday night you can walk right in, but the place gets busy fast.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • 21 Club exudes classic, old-fashioned charm without pretension. Similar to the warmth of a neighborhood Italian eatery, the New York City restaurant is inviting and friendly.
  • The crowd is mixed; expect to see 20-somethings sipping martinis next to tables seated with Wall Street old-timers. This blend may sound a bit out of the ordinary, but it works.
  • With plenty of seafood and game on the menu, the 21 Club is the epitome of Americana cuisine.
  • When it comes to cocktails, expect strong, intensely flavored and creative libations. Southern Spice is a sweet and spicy mix of Don Julio Tequila, lime juice and Sriracha syrup (made with honey and white wine), for those who desire a cocktail with a kick.
Things to Know
  • To experience a taste of classic New York, you’ll want to dress to the nines. Jackets are required here and ladies will definitely want to don that little black dress you’ve just been dying to wear.
  • Enjoy 21 Club’s American elegant American cuisine for dinner Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 10 p.m., Friday until 11 p.m. or Saturday from 5 to 11p.m. Lunch is also available on weekdays from noon until 2:30 p.m.
  • Reservations are highly recommended at this popular New York eatery. Book your table by calling the restaurant directly at 212-582-7200 or booking online. 
The Food
  • The menu and cocktail list are contemporary updates of classic American dishes. The bestsellers are 21 Club staples: the 21 burger, crab cake, Clayton’s jumbo lump crabmeat, 21 Caesar salad mixed with house-made dressing and “Speakeasy” steak tartare.
  • To start, try the savory grilled quail with heirloom rice and lemon gremolata is perfectly tender with a slight crunch in all the right places. The fusion of yogurt and warm Indian spices provides an excellent balance of flavors.
  • For an entrée, try the potato-wrapped tuna, a pleasant and unusual take on a raw dish. Topped with a Moroccan olive tapenade, chickpeas, snap peas and preserved lemon, the result is citrusy, light and fresh.
  • Following dinner, try the outstanding bananas Foster. A decadent and large portion fit for two, impeccably flavored flambéed bananas sit beside banana bread and vanilla ice cream.
The Design
  • Composed of three separate areas that altogether can accommodate up to 800 people, 21 Club is sizable.
  • The Bar 21 & Lounge is situated next to the foyer and offers lunch, bar bites and cocktails and beer.
  • Upstairs at 21 is an intimate 32-seat restaurant for a four-course tasting or private dining event.
  • In the Bar Room, colorful “toys” consisting of airplanes, rocket ships, fire engines and sports equipment cover the entire ceiling, adding to an atmosphere that is already brimming with masculinity.
Jacket/tie required
Private dining
Reservations recommended
Getting There
21 West 52nd Street, New York, New York 10019
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