Sad About ‘Mad Men’ Ending? Eat at These New York Restaurants

Contributor
Just because the show is ending doesn’t mean your Don Draper- or Peggy Olsen-inspired style has to

Channel your inner Don Draper at Minetta Tavern.

As the posters for Mad Men’s final season say, “It is the end of an era.” It was truly a great era —the era in which we got to watch the work, relationship, gender, and family dramas of devastatingly stylish people unfold on our screens. As a result, we’ve concocted ideas for Mad Men-inspired cocktails, Mad Men-inspired meals, and heck, whole Mad Men-inspired parties.

But soon, Man Men-inspired anything will start to seem a bit outdated. Fear not. We’ve compiled a list of places in New York that have been bustling since the actual 1960s, and that have no intention of stopping anytime soon. 

As the posters for Mad Men’s final season say, “It is the end of an era.” It was truly a great era —the era in which we got to watch the work, relationship, gender, and family dramas of devastatingly stylish people unfold on our screens. As a result, we’ve concocted ideas for Mad Men-inspired cocktails, Mad Men-inspired meals, and heck, whole Mad Men-inspired parties.  

But soon, Man Men-inspired anything will start to seem a bit outdated. Fear not. We’ve compiled a list of places in New York that have been bustling since the actual 1960s, and that have no intention of stopping anytime soon. 

Barbetta

From plush chairs to an enormous chandelier to curtained windows that look out into a garden — which, in midtown New York, seems almost impossible — Barbetta has been delighting sophisticated guests since 1906. It was New York’s first elegant Italian restaurant at a time when most Italian restaurants were more rustic than chic.

Grand Central Oyster Bar

Located in the resplendent Grand Central station, site of Don Draper’s commute, Grand Central Oyster Bar provides the perfect ambiance for a boozy chat with colleagues — so long as one of them doesn’t throw up the feast later, as Roger Sterling once did during a client meeting.

Keens Steakhouse

Once upon a time, there was a theater district in Herald Square, and the only proof of it that still remains is Keens Steakhouse, which opened in 1885. The most Mad Men thing about it is its collection of around 50,000 pipes, remnants from a time when smoking was expected — and even embraced.

Minetta Tavern

Not only did their burger score the No. 3 spot on our list of the 101 best burgers in America, but Minetta Tavern is a true relic. With tiled floors, sharply dressed waiters, and caricatures of famous people on the wall — not to mention a bustle that hearkens back to its Mad Men-era heyday — you’ll want to reserve a table here as soon as possible, because there will be a wait.

The Pierre

When the show’s leading men decided to break from Sterling Cooper and start their own firm, they set up a makeshift office in hotel room 435 at The Pierre. The Depression-era luxury hotel went through bankruptcy but was revived by the economic boom in the ‘50s, when Don Draper types frequented its bars and restaurants before their romantic liaisons.

Sons of Essex

Though Sons of Essex opened long after the 1950s, and there is no mention or glimpse of it in the show, the atmosphere is perfect for an old fashioned — even if the restaurant and bar is aiming for more of a Gangs of New York vibe. 

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