Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lexington Candy Shop

The Lexington Candy Shop Luncheonette is no hidden treasure--on the weekends it's overrun by Bugaboos packed with trust-fund babies, but it's the Upper East Side, so that's okay. Still, it is a treasure--opened in 1925 and not renovated since 1948.



I remember the first time I stumbled on it, years ago after coming from a day at the Met, in search of good food. Later, when I worked in the neighborhood, I became a regular, sitting in the first window seat eating dinners of French toast and bacon.



I love the counter with its hot-pink panel and the green-topped swivel stools. I love the curved soda fountains like swan's necks and the chrome cake platters with their foggy plastic covers. I love the malted container and matching 1940 seafoam-green milkshake shaker.



And I really, really love the crazy, utterly anachronistic fact that they serve water in these antique conical cups and stainless steel holders. I don't know anywhere else in the city where you can get that.

See all my pics of the Luncheonette here

22 comments:

EV Grieve said...

Lovely. I've never been here -- need to pay a visit.

Carol Gardens said...

Of course, it is worth mentioning that this location was used in Woody Allen's MANHATTAN. Mariel Hemingway looking so sad with her ice cream soda (or was it a shake or a malt?)

toonhead-npl said...

Those awesome cup holders are called zarfs. You never see the word anymore, except in crosswords.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this place after visiting the MET too. It just happened that I was showing a friend around NYC who loves soda shops like this where you can get hand made sodas made with syrups that use sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.

I've been back a handful of times since and it's always a pleasant experience.

-AD

Anonymous said...

This place is awesome. Places like this are what made New York unique and special.

amgphoto said...

I used to go by there all the time back in the early 90s, never went in though.

I definitely remember those conical cups and the metal cup holders...the Donut Shop (we sometimes call it Chez Donut) on Seventh Ave in Park Slope used them until just recently. I never liked them though...I'd rather drink my coffee from china.

Jeremiah Moss said...

zarfs! thank you for that one

BaHa said...

Shrimp salad plate and a lime rickey, please. Unfailingly excellent.

julie wilson said...

I love this place. The 2 brothers (?) that run it are very quirky. They have a great old ny style skinny burger. The only other place I know of that still uses zarfs is The Apple Pan in LA.

Norman Hathaway said...

I love the waitresses here as well. And the counter workers in white jackets and bow ties.

I hear they make their own syrups for their shakes. Try the coffee malted.

Also make a GREAT lemonade. Fresh squeezed per order and sugar syrup.

heatherina said...

sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but i've visited this place a couple of times. i don't understand any diner (or pseudo-diner) that charges for refills on coffee...

Anonymous said...

Anyone remember Dalton's on Ave B between 13th and 14th? It was very similar and would have had a great long term run too had it not closed back in the 70's.

Jill said...

The only other place I know that comes close to the atmosphere is Eddie's on Metropolitan Ave. in Queens. More of an ice cream shop than a diner, but the old fashioned thing is similar.

Good photos here:
http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bigmap/queens/foresthills/eddies/index.htm

Kirby Carnegie said...

I am going uptown just to visit this place, I completely forgot about it. Can't believe it's still here. Thanks, J!

Tom said...

They also squeeze fresh orange juice to order -- even ultra-high-end hotel breakfast places don't do that.

And, they scramble their eggs in a true egg pan, not on a griddle; much, much better outcome.

To the poster who observed that they charge for coffee refills -- yes, it's not ideal, but it's how they pay the bills and keep the place turning over. A busy corner on the Upper East Side: probably some very expensive real estate!

Nancy H. said...

The only place I know where you can get a coffee egg cream. All the fountain drinks are wonderful, pricey but worth it.

Nancy H. said...

And while you're on the UES, stroll over to 87th and First Ave to Glaser's Bake Shop, for another trip through a time warp. I'm surprised not to see any mention of it when I search the blog archives - it's a throwback and a gem.

Anonymous said...

This location was also used in the Three Days of the Condor. Robert Redford's character Joe Turner picks up some sandwiches here before returning to his office to find everyone murdered.

grace said...

cute, I love it, especially the antique water cups
lol, where's the candies?

Anonymous said...

Yep, I came upon it heading towards the subway from the Met. I had just seen the Robert Frank show and this place looks straight out of one of his photos. Seemed a fitting tribute to stop in for a coffee.

James Taylor said...

On Thursday evening I had to go see a friend on the Upper West Side after work. I was coming from Gramercy, and so since it was a warm evening, I decided to take the 6 train to 77th so I could finally try Lexington Candy before strolling across town through the park. The place was just how I imagined -- incidentally Robert Redford's picture hangs behind the counter (along with that of one-time Woody Allen stalwart Tony Roberts).

My egg cream was served in a real glass -- tasted pretty good too. I was a little surprised to be charged $3.50 for it though. Eisenberg's (my favorite egg cream in the city) charges just $2.00, and therefore remains the best, in my opinion. Plus it's on the way home...

laura said...

finally a post about my favorite street: upper lexington. i thought you forgot this area. just found it w/the random posts. there are some old time businesses from e.70s to upper e. 90s. its 86st which was destroyed. please feature more traditional diners etc! i hope this one is still there!