Jacob's Pickles

Bars, Gastropubs Upper West Side
Recommended
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
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 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
1/6
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Bloody B.L.T.

 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
2/6
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Biscuit with sausage gravy and fried chicken

 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
3/6
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Jacob's Pickles

 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
4/6
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Jacob's Pickle platter

 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
5/6
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Jacob's Pickles

 (Photograph: Virginia Rollison)
6/6
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Jacob's Pickles

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

Posted:

Venue name: Jacob's Pickles
Contact:
Address: 509 Amsterdam Ave
New York
10024
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

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|13
2 people listening
Sean D

Walked through the snow after a date at the AMNH. Got there and waited for about 20 minutes. Worth every minute and snowflake! I had the BBQ smothered pepper jack chicken biscuit sandwich. AMAZING! So much pepper jack cheese, tasty fried chicken, and bonus cheesy grits. Low Country Meatloaf was also a hit with my date. Rich and delicious, it was a perfect comfort meal for a snowy day.

Sadie
tastemaker

DO. NOT. COME. FOR. BRUNCH. WITHOUT. A. RESERVATION.

If I had to rate this restaurant based just on the food alone, it would be five stars hands down. The experience caused me and my party to change our mind considerably about ever returning (or at least for brunch). 

First of all, as a foodie in NYC, I definitely understand that good places often come with a wait, I've accepted the unfortunate fate of that many a time. That being said, on a Sunday morning with friends, I travelled from Brooklyn to the UWS to eat at Jacob's Pickles, which I've heard so much about. When we got there, we were told there would be a 2.5 hour wait and put our names in. We had a party of five people, who were all present when our names were put on the list (which they asked specifically, which in my opinion doesn't really make sense because we would literally not be eating for over TWO hours). The restaurant was far too small for all of us to wait inside, but we were told we would be texted and would have to show up for our reservation so we had a very small radius to stay in. We walked across the street for some coffee, shopped a bit before settling in to play cards at the bar next door. 

Once we hit the 2.5 hour mark, we went to check on our reservation, where we were told we were next and it would be about 15 more minutes. 30 minutes later, we decided to just stand in the very crowded restaurant and wait for our table, as we had arrived at 12 for brunch, and it was now past 3pm. The hostess told us our table was ready and took us to the back room, where the tables had not been cleared. After a few minutes, she attempted to seat us at a four person table and told us that they could make us fit. One member of my party asked if we could perhaps have a five person table, as we had been waiting three hours for a party of five, not four. At this point, they attempted to seat us in the middle of a crowded, communal table. I know the purpose of a communal table, but most restaurants do not make you wait three hours to sit communally, scrunched in with other patrons. We finally told the hostess that we would just sit at the four person table, as we were hungry and exhausted and just wanted to eat. 

Once seated, our server was great. The pickles were phenomenal (we ordered the 8 pickle sampler, fried pickles and biscuits). The drinks were delicious and the food portions were gigantic. Most of us had leftovers and we were definitely full and highly satisfied (foodwise) by the time we were finished eating. I would highly recommend any of the dishes that come with biscuits and chicken. That being said we spent over three hours waiting, and about 50 minutes eating. We made friends with tons of parties at the bar next door that had similar experiences. Most of them got pretty intoxicated trying to pass the time of their wait.

I understand that good restaurants have waits, and people like myself somehow convince my friends to give up three hours of their day to wait. That being said, I feel like the restaurant didn't have much regard for their customers when dealing with wait times, and honestly I would NOT go back based on the wait and seating experience alone. Which is unfortunate because the food was delicious and I do love a good pickle. I wish it could be different, I wanted to love you Jacob's. I really really did.

***That being said....After posting a yelp review about my time spent at Jacob's, the manager offered apologizes and invited my friends and I to come back for drinks and a better experience. I will be back ASAP and hope to write a much better review at that time....though I don't think that will prevent the 4 hour wait. Maybe it's just an unfortunate NYC doom that Jacob's will now suffer from of being a popular restaurant***

AndyK

If you haven't been to Jacob's Pickles, you're missing out on one of the top food options in NYC that actually has a reasonable price. Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time or be prepared to wait in line for a while because it's a very popular place.
Most of their plates can easily feed two people, so come hungry or be ready to take some with you. I had the chicken and pancakes and it was phenomenal. Everything on the menu is great though, so look for something you like.

Chloe W
tastemaker

For months, I've had friends rave about this bar and restaurant and tell me that "I HAVE to go here" so when I finally went - I was surprised when Jacob's Pickles exceeded all of my expectations.  As somebody who isn't a huge fan of pickles, I was shocked when we ordered 8 kinds and I loved all of them (especially the sweet and spicy carrots).  The cocktails are delicious - I definitely recommend the Jam Jar for anyone with a sweet tooth - and the fried chicken was amazing.  Either come hungry or prepare to bring leftovers home, because the portion sizes are massive - but totally worth it.


Miranda C

YUM!


I'm from the deep south and this place hits so close to home. The biscuits and (sausage) gravy are to die for! Literally. It was so good I thought I was back in Mississippi. Oh, don't forget about the chicken and waffles /pancakes. You could feed a small village with the portions on that entree. Well worth the wait and visit! Arrive hungry and you will no doubt leave stuffed.

lily r
tastemaker

Visit. This. Restaurant. 


For those who think there is no reason to visit the Upper West Side, Jacobs Pickles has been born into the world to prove you wrong. From the rustic chic decor to the warm and inviting staff, this is the perfect spot for almost any casual occasion (outing with friends, family in town, casual date night). The drinks are all phenomenal (probably the best Bloody Mary in town) and the food is incredible - just be sure to come HUNGRY. Portions here are huge. My favorite dish on the menu is the Mushroom Gravy Smothered Chicken, but I always leave with leftovers to take home (and I'm not a leftover type of person - gold stars all around for finishing all my food). You cannot leave without trying the fried pickles, which are not the normal puny frickle trips most restaurants try to pull off, but proper fully pickles fried and served with an amazing spicy mayo (that if I was any less civilized, I would likely drink out of the dish). And despite this being a southern food joint, majorly favoring all things fried, the salads are actually incredible as well (healthy eaters, breath easy). 


The only set back is the wait, which especially for lunch, is generally up to two hours. A great tip is to stop in ahead of time and put your name down (they'll text once your reservation is ready) and pop in for a stroll in Central Park or stop by E's, the bar filled with board games next door. 

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!