Last year, when talk of the egg cream's demise began circulating, I published a guide to the egg creams of the Lower East Side, mostly to show that the New York City treat is still alive and well. Since then, I've been collecting egg creams around town, because it's not only on the LES that you can find a fine one. So, in order of personal preference, mostly based on atmosphere, here's a bunch more.
1. Eisenberg's wins for overall old-world ambiance. I've written about the place here and here, where owner Josh Konecky extolled the virtues of Fox's U-bet syrup, which he uses with seltzer, now that the fountain is back up and running. With my egg cream, I like the big, fat tuna salad on rye.
2. Prime Burger comes in a close second for the best atmosphere in which to enjoy an egg cream. They don't use U-Bet, but a syrup called "Royal Treasure." If it weren't for the tourists, Prime might be perfect. Either way, their egg creams are good for washing down an un-fancy burger in those fantastic faux-bois vintage booths.
3. The Peter Pan Donut Shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is another fine place to loiter at a lunch counter. Unfortunately, they make their egg cream with seltzer from a can, but it is probably the most interesting to look at, with its many striations.
4. Joe Jr's on 6th Avenue is best known these days for being ripped from the arms of its many loving customers. I got an egg cream as part of my last meal there. It looked a little sickly, like it had a skin disorder, perhaps a manifestation of the stress it felt about its impending doom.
5. The Roxy Luncheonette is nothing special, but it serves up a serviceable and super foamy egg cream from its non-descript little hole in the wall lunch counter.
6. Tom's Restaurant in Brooklyn requires, as I've said before, the taking of a benzodiazepine before you go inside to eat on a Saturday. Their egg cream comes with whipped cream and shredded nuts. I don't approve, on principle, but it is tasty nonetheless.
7. The Soda Shop is totally ersatz and filled with loudmouths. I thought their egg cream was decent. However, a more discerning egg-cream lover and commenter here wrote, "Sorry to be the killjoy but that egg cream was obviously made incorrectly. The big bubbles on top and single color demonstrate that they mixed the syrup and milk before adding the seltzer. The two tone color scheme of the proper egg cream (the white foam head atop the chocolate soda) seems to have been lost to the ages--I have only seen one egg cream made properly in the last fifteen years."