Jacob's Pickles

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Critics' pick
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Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Bloody B.L.T.

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Biscuit with sausage gravy and fried chicken

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Jacob's Pickles

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Jacob's Pickle platter

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Jacob's Pickles

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Jacob's Pickles

Upper West Side

The two sides of upper Manhattan have a rich history of one-upmanship, competing over high-society concerns like private-school acceptance rates and whose money is the oldest. Nightlife has never played much of a role in this posturing, until a recent spate of offbeat bar openings (Jones Wood Foundry, City Swiggers, Earl's Beer and Cheese) suddenly brought legitimate buzz to the Upper East Side. Consider Jacob's Pickles a retort from across the park. With a lot of ground to make up, it's not surprising the craft-beer-and-biscuit--slinging gastropub is trying a little too hard, shoehorning a grab bag of tippling memes—Dixieland grub, house-made bitters, wines on tap—into one rustic barroom. But while the results are hit-and-miss, the spot's instant crowds speak for themselves: The 'hood's drinkers need a pick-me-up, and for fans of pickles and beer, Jacob's is doing its part to raise the bar.

DRINK THIS: Once you get over the inflated prices ($7--$9 for a 15-ounce pour), you'll find that the bar's 25 taps offer uptown brew geeks plenty to get excited about. The all-domestic lineup is broken down by state, with a stable of Northeast breweries (Pretty Things, Allagash) complemented by cross-country favorites: the silky Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale ($7) from Cigar City in Tampa, plus Stone's Cali-Belgique ($8)—a hoppy Californian IPA brewed with Belgian yeast. The cocktail program, heavy on infused spirits and pickle juice, is too spasmodic, meddling with the Manhattan (made here with sage-infused Four Roses bourbon and apple-cinnamon bitters; $13) while also offering $12 mason jars of spicy brine margaritas. If it's booze you're after, stick with a Dickel Back ($12)—a double shot of George Dickel No. 12 chased with a glug of house brine.

GOOD FOR: Upper West Siders looking for a respite from fratty bars and faux-Irish pubs. With table service and a huge back room, Jacob's is spacious and adaptable enough to bring a mixed crowd.

THE CLINCHER: A sizable menu swings among predictable comfort foods (a dish called "the obligatory mac and cheese" is a little too on the nose), Southern-fried staples (house-made biscuits, creamy grits) and nods to the neighborhood (matzo ball soup for the Jews, grilled-salmon salad for the Real Housewives). The namesake pickles don't disappoint, especially the meaty, fried Kirby cukes ($9). The crumbly biscuits don't hold up well in sandwiches ($14--$16), but we liked them smothered in sausage-and-mushroom gravy ($9). Portions are reminiscent of the Cheesecake Factory, so sharing is advisable—on the way out, you can augment your doggie bag with jars of pickles, preserves, growlers and bags of biscuits from the refrigerators up front.

OVERHEARD: "He was top-of-his-class Ivy League, but they just didn't connect."—A mom bemoans the hardships of finding a good tutor for her son

Venue name: Jacob's Pickles
Address: 509 Amsterdam Ave
New York

Cross street: between 84th and 85th Sts
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 11am-2am; Fri 11am-4am; Sat 9am-4am; Sun 9am-2am
Transport: Subway: 1 to 86th St
Price: Average beer: $8
Do you own this business?

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Alex F

I ordered a salad here... when it came over, I didn't recognize it was my order and almost sent it back! Piled high with fried chicken, a side of cheese that was so big I mistook it for mashed potato, it was by far the biggest dish on the table... but by God was it delish! If huge portions aren't your thing, don't worry, they're pretty well prepared and offer you a doggy bag if it looks like you're struggling to finish up. Make sure you actually try the pickles too, a pretty good starter whilst you wait for your massive main!

Seth Kelley

Jacob's Pickles can get. it. in. Not only are their portions huge and delicious, they also come with no judgement. One time I went there and only ordered the biscuits appetizer because I was hunger over and truly believed that was the only thing that could make me happy, and the servers were super chill about it. It comes with a few different jams in little bottles, and two different types of butter. I'm really pretty much in on any place that will serve me cinnamon butter, so the fact that everything else about this place is so fantastic is just gravy (to go on the biscuits, of course)!

Joel M

"We're gonna need a bigger stomach". That's what I always think when the sausage gravy fried chicken biscuit arrive at my table at Jacob's Pickles. The Southern-style food here is delicious and mammoth. The fried pickles are a must. the beer selection is fab (craft breweries from coast to coast). Skip the Deviled Eggs though. 

Jaime B

Jacob's Pickles has a great program. The menu is kind of a strange mix of Jewish deli and Southern food, with a few popular Mexican dishes thrown in, like corn with cotija cheese and chili spice. Be prepared to eat a lot of pickles, of course. There's a variety available served fried, on burgers, whole as appetizers, etc. There's also matzo ball soup, meatloaf and homemade biscuits, so this is definitely a place to go when you're feeling comfort food. Jacob's Pickle's does a good job of making stuff in-house, so the food here is actually good. It's also super close to Central Park, so you can just hop over for some grub after working up an appetite wandering the park.

naveen r

I love this place! Get yourself down there early, or be prepared to wait in some serious queues for weekend brunch. Trust me, it's well worth the wait. Portions are huge, and ridiculously tasty... and the cocktails are STRONG. 

Lisa S

awesome vibe, awesome food and beer. The right place to hang out on the UWS!