Union Square Cafe

Restaurants Gramercy
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
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Union Square Cafe (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Lamb shank 

Union Square Cafe (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz


Union Square Cafe (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

North of Manhattan

Union Square Cafe (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Absinthe Apple Suisies

Union Square Cafe (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Union Square Cafe (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

No restaurant is from the perils of steep New York rents, not even one as universally beloved as Union Square Cafe. Restaurant megamogul Danny Meyer shuttered the 30-year-old restaurant last year in its original space (it’s now home to udon emporium Tsurutontan), but Gothamites weren’t without the downtown institution for long—USC reopens a mere five blocks away, in the former home of City Crab. The bi-level space, nearly doubled from the 6,000-square-foot original, offers a sense of design déjà vu: There’s still plenty of cherrywood, forest-green wainscoting and a colorful collection of paintings from the likes of Frank Stella, Claes Oldenburg and Richard Polsky. Executive chef Carmen Quagliata, a decadelong veteran of the original USC, serves favorites like a lunchtime tuna burger in the 95-seat downstairs dining room, but expands the menu with new dishes like tortellini en brodo, “baked potato” beets with sour cream and braised lamb shank with salsa verde. The extra square footage also allows for an in-house bread program, with sourdough loaves produced by former Lafayette baker Justin Rosengarten. And there’s not only a mahogany main bar downstairs but a cocktail lounge upstairs, where diners can find drinks like a bitter almond Negroni from Porchlight alum Cory Fitzsimmons.


Venue name: Union Square Cafe
Address: 101 E 19th St
New York
Cross street: between Irving Pl and Park Ave South
Opening hours: Mon–Thu, Sun noon—4pm, 5:30–10pm; Fri, Sat noon–4pm, 5:30–11pm
Transport: Subway: L, N, Q, R, W, 4, 5, 6 to 14th St–Union Sq
Price: Average main course: $31. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

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Adam V

Very clean, in atmosphere, layout, and design. Food is super high quality - though you will pay for it - in both wait time, and pricing. Wait staff is top notch, very sociable and very on point. Bathrooms are small but nice. Menu changes keep it current and exciting. Love the location, vibrant area and easy access.