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The Shakespeare

Bars, Pubs Midtown East
3 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Photograph: Filip Wolak Fish and chips at the Shakespeare

Sophisticated pub grub in an Old World atmosphere is the hallmark of the Shakespeare, a British-style tavern tucked inside the William hotel. Accented by weathered wood-beam ceilings and dim, moody lighting, this cozy bar delivers unexpectedly elevated English fare in a refreshingly friendly, laid-back atmosphere.

Service is prone to inconsistencies, but the food readily compensates for it. Starters like the Smoked Duck & Potato Tart ($15) and poached salmon toast ($10) hold their own against classic British dishes like the luscious Scotch Egg ($10), served piping hot in a deep-fried sausage and bread crumb coating, and the pungent Welsh Rarebit ($10), an open-faced toast smothered in Tickler cheddar with hints of Guinness. Don’t miss the surprisingly toothsome Country Pâté ($11)—it's generously portioned with a velvety smooth texture that joyously melts on the tip of your tongue.

Entrees like the Organic Scottish Salmon Burger ($20) and gammon steak with a fried egg ($24) linger amongst more traditional mains like bangers and mash ($19) and a behemoth serving of fish and chips ($25)—beer-battered and deep-fried, the cod is flaky and supple under its breaded hood, with sizable thick-cut potato wedges and an herbaceous tartar sauce appropriately complementing its stature. But it’s the shepherd’s pie (MP) that reigns supreme, with delicately whipped cheddar-laced potatoes ensconcing a bed of succulent ground lamb shoulder that’s slow-cooked in a roasted lamb bone broth.

A befitting dessert list featuring Banoffee Trifle ($8) and Sticky Toffee & Date Pudding ($8) rounds out the menu, but diners would be best served by indulging in a final cold draft brew. This is, after all, a pub.


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The Shakespeare says
Terrace Open! ALL DAY for a lunch in the sun, a fruity sangria, a light bite or, a delightful dinner date!
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By: Time Out contributors


Venue name: The Shakespeare
Address: 24 East 39th Street
New York
Cross street: between Madison and Park Aves
Opening hours: Mon–Sat 11am–11pm; Sun 11am–10pm
Transport: Subway: 42nd St S, 4, 5, 6, 7 to 42nd St–Grand Central
Price: Average entrée: $27. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V
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Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

For Murray Hill (sorry), this is a great bar because you feel like you are not in Murray Hill but in some random pub in England or Ireland. If you work in the area and need a place to grab a quick drink, this is the place. I can't imagine staying here much longer though.


Walk down the steps and prepare to be transported through time and space. From the wood paneling to the cask beer, this place has all the feels of an old London pub. I normally avoid Midtown at all costs, but this is a gem. 

The bartender completed the feeling with his charming accent. He was incredibly friendly, and we ended up talking with him throughout our drinks. I can't speak to the food, but I will surely return for a drink should I venture above 14th any time soon. 

I came here for Saturday brunch with 3 others. I was generally very unimpressed. The place was literally empty, we were the only people there. The sole waitress disappeared halfway through, and we had to run around the restaurant afterwards to look for her in order to get a check. Eating at a restaurant should not be this difficult.


So your friend wants to grab drinks but they "reallyyy need to make the 8:15 out of Grand Central." Quality spots in the immediate vicinity are few and far between, but The Shakespeare is one that I can actually endorse. Get there at a reasonable time to snag a seat near the bar, grab a beer, and feast on some pretty above average bar food. Stick to the basics (fish and chips, the house burger, etc.) and you won't be let down. For the more adventurous epicureans, you'd be be wise to try the Scotch egg. The bartenders are very friendly and really set the mood for a relaxed, casual evening. AND your friend won't miss their train.