Reade Street Pub & Kitchen in Tribeca is my absolute favorite bar in NYC. It’s one of those typically divey bar and grills that offers cheap drinks and solid food. The main draw for us is that on Thursday nights and every other Saturday nights, Reade Street features live music via talented guitarist Chris Decker. Chris plays an eclectic mix of classic rock and some more contemporary songs. He’s got a great sense of humor and tolerates it when drunk people (i.e., Josh) shout requests at him nonstop. If he doesn’t know the song, he makes an effort to learn it for the next time, and if you’re brave and/or drunk enough, he’ll also invite you up to sing with him. We love his expansive repertoire of Beatles songs, and his version of “Rocket Man,” which, depending on how many drinks he’s had, can range from classic (a la Elton John) to dramatic (a la William Shatner/Stewie Griffin).
But back to the food. Reade Street offers typical bar menu items (nachos, buffalo wings, burgers, sandwiches, etc.) but executes them very well. Josh’s standard order is the pub burger with swiss cheese and bacon. While the burger obviously doesn’t compare to some of the city’s greatest (i.e., Corner Bistro, Shake Shack), it gets a nice char and is well seasoned.
They have a tendency to overcook it a bit, so a medium rare order usually ends up being closer to medium. It’s still really juicy though, and I’ve burned my hand many times on the juices that run out when you bite into it.
My grilled chicken club is seriously the best I’ve had anywhere. I hesitate to order chicken/turkey clubs at an unfamiliar place because they’re usually just dry and mealy, but somehow the kitchen at Reade Street manages to keep the chicken breast completely moist. Their version is a standard triple decker sandwich piled high with grilled chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato and red onion. Mayo is not necessary, but I love mayo so I slather it on liberally (yet another reason why I have a fat belly). Both the sandwich and the burger come with a side of fries (you can substitute with salad) that are made from real potatoes and are the perfect thickness – not too thin and not too fat.
When Josh and I lived in Battery Park City, we would stay for hours at Reade Street listening to Chris, going through multiple pitchers of Reade Street Ale (only $9 a pitcher!) and then stumbling home. It was a nice walk and gave us a chance to sober up on the way. Now that we live uptown we have to take the train, which just isn’t the same, but it’s still worth the trip. Reade Street is really an awesome place. I’m almost hesitant to give it such a great review as it’s crowded enough, but then again, it’s not really a big secret. It’s popular among the after work crowd as it’s a stone’s throw away from the Citi building and the World Financial Center. It’s also a hangout for New York Law School and BMCC students. The bartender is quite a character (and is friends with former Mets players whom she encourages to come hang out!), and the waitresses are always friendly. We can stay there for hours eating and drinking pitcher after pitcher until we can drink no more, and somehow the bill always comes down to less than $25/person, including tax and a generous tip.
Reade Street Pub & Kitchen
135 Reade St. between Hudson and Greenwich
New York, NY