In 1922, the Fanelli family came along and turned this spot, which had been operating since 1847, into what it is today: Fanelli Cafe, an old-school bar with a mosaic tile floor, wobbly wooden tables, and classic red and white checked tablecloths. My favorite thing about Fanelli’s is the kitchen, open late until 00:30 Sunday – Thursday and 1:30 Friday – Saturday. Although bars in New York famously stay open late, their kitchens (if they have them) close much earlier, usually before midnight. Go for the burger – what else do you order at a bar? – perfectly charred and served on a toasted onion roll with a generous helping of onions, tomatoes, and a pickle.
While SoHo is famous for its cast-iron architecture, the spots behind its historic facades have long been transformed into buzzy, new spaces that Millennials like to share on Instagram (think: white walls, neon lights, coffee bars inside retail shops). In spite of this, Fanelli’s has managed to hang on for nearly 100 years. And considering the spot is packed almost every night of the week, it’s safe to say it’s here to stay.
While you’re in SoHo:
Get a glimpse of 1970s New York on nearby Crosby Street, where graffiti artists are still at work (see the SoHo Street Art article).