Still Going | New York’s Prime Burger

A few weeks back, I wandered into an old greasy spoon in Gramercy Park and was reminded of a certain New York that has become more the of exception rather than the rule. The general speed and efficiency of the classic New York bodega or greasy spoon is still something that impresses me. I notice lack of New York pace more and more as I travel around the country and the world. While the speed of the City is, at times, appreciated, what I really love is the old school ambiance. That’s why I obsess over places like Keen’s, Eisenbergs, The Side Car, Harry’s, 21 Club and all of the other classic New York spots.

If you aren’t clear on the specific ambiance I am talking about, this video from This Must Be the Place (found via Devour) does a great job of illustrating what makes old school independent businesses so enjoyable. Prime Burger is no exception. It’s about the place and the food, but it is also about the people who have stayed for years or even decades. Supporting the little guys, the independents more fun and keeps our world (and New York) interesting.

Don’t forget about Viand, the high rent diner. And there’s more disappearing New York food and drink here.

Comments on “Still Going | New York’s Prime Burger

    Michael on March 5, 2012 7:11 PM:

    love the idea and nostalgia wrapped up in this post and it’s akin. thanks, mike.

    vanderleun on March 5, 2012 7:31 PM:

    “And there’s more disappearing New York food and drink here.”

    Nope. All videos removed by user.

    Alan Gray on March 5, 2012 7:39 PM:

    Been going there since 1969. Love it, especially the open faced grilled cheese and bacon, and even more so the onion rings. Oh, the onion rings.

    Brian Miller on March 5, 2012 7:41 PM:

    Love the Viand. Even when packed, that guy finds a way to shoehorn you in and get you a chicken salad sandwich in 2 minutes.

    Smith on March 5, 2012 7:58 PM:

    This was awesome! My next go to place. One of my favorite postings yet.
    I’m sure this film will capture a location scout for a film,( Claus should have wait staff in it…)

    Thank you for sharing this. I’d love to research more on the creators of the film work.
    They did a really nice job.

    C Murder on March 5, 2012 8:45 PM:

    awww hells ya. the prime burger is my spot.

    stumbled into a place on ues the other day that was legit as hell too. william poll. heard of it? they serve almost all of their samiches with watercress salad (like roast beef and watercress and thats it) cut into thirds. so damn good, i have dreams about it.

    Wesley Verhoeve on March 5, 2012 8:51 PM:

    Those Lost and Found guys are so great. Gorgeous video. Thanks for sharing Mike!

    Mark LaFlaur on March 5, 2012 9:43 PM:

    Yes to Prime Burger, right across from St. Patrick’s on E 51st and down the street from the Onassis Cultural Center NY at Olympic Tower, which has a great, and free, exhibition (till mid May) of pagan-to-early-Christian art called “Transition to Christianity: Art of Late Antiquity: 3rd–7th Century A.D.” : . So, take in some great art, then grab a juicy tasty Prime Burger in an “old New York” setting. Thanks for this post.

    Q: What was the greasy spoon in Gramercy Park? Was it good?


    ML in Kew Gardens

    Oliver Beaston on March 6, 2012 4:53 AM:

    Such an amazing video. This is why I love your website so much.

    What a great soundtrack too.

    J.S. on March 6, 2012 7:00 AM:

    I’m visiting New York later this year, and another stop on my to-go list was just added! I can’t thank you enough for sharing this.

    Pat S on March 6, 2012 9:30 AM:

    For a similar old school, keep doing it like we have for years you should check out Conte’s Pizza in Princeton, the only thing that has changed over time is the prices and even they have moved at a snails pace. The interior with miles of terrazzo, the dry wait staff, and the concise menu have been the same forever. If you want to immediately identify yourself as a outsider ask for a “new” pizza topping such as ham or prosciutto.

    Kate on March 6, 2012 9:37 AM:

    I think a P+W field trip is in order.

    Mike V. on March 6, 2012 10:35 AM:

    Diners and other assorted small neighborhood gems make the world a better place.
    I’ll take a burger off an 80 year old flat top griddle over just about anything.

    halberstram on March 6, 2012 1:37 PM:

    this must be the place,

    The Dandy Portraits on March 6, 2012 1:49 PM:

    It is just amazing to see the guy who has worked there pretty much his whole life. Very well done film, and a promising series. The two other’s in the series are just as fascinating. Thanks for posting!

    Mod Betty / on March 6, 2012 3:14 PM:

    Great find- and thanks for the link to the videos!

    Love the suggestions from the comments as well – the only place I’ve covered like that in the city is Eisenberg’s, so I’m totally adding all of these places to my Retro Roadmap list to check out.

    Glad to hear that not all the cool old places have been bulldozed in NYC and it warms my heart that I’m not the only one who appreciates places that have withstood the test of time!

    JDG on March 6, 2012 4:23 PM:


    Another great find. Thanks for doing what you do.


    Simon on March 12, 2012 8:22 PM:

    I knew watching this would make me hungry… Damn it.

    Great video and it seems like a great place.

    HLDM on March 14, 2012 12:26 PM:

    Sadly, another phenomenal NYC institution, Bill’s Gay 90’s, is set to close March 24th. What a huge loss to our great City! This was just one of those perfect bars with an outstanding history… No one to impress. Just have a drink and enjoy good company. I will try to mourn there daily until the close…

    bill on March 18, 2012 12:29 PM:

    i haven’t lived in nyc sense 1986 but prime burger “where every burger is prime’ tapped right into my routines around my office at 51 w 52…..the old cbs records. loved the school desks thank you. great video too…bill bennett

Comments are closed.