1. Katz’s Delicatessen
Located in the Lower East Side, Katz’s has changed little since it was first opened by Russian immmigrants in 1888. Although the deli has seen some notable changes (like moving across the street when the subway was being constructed), the famous pastrami sandwiches and hot dogs have stayed true to their original recipes (though you’ll probably be in line a lot longer than back in the 19th century!). Still, the queue at 205 E Houston St. is definitely worth it.
2. Gin Palace
In the 1800s, “gin palace” was a broad term for any particularly lavish bar that also specialized in gin. Though this genre of bar has inexplicably never been as popular since, recently New York got its very own—aptly named “Gin Palace.” Not only do they offer almost every type of gin imaginable, the decor mimics the Victorian style AND they have G&Ts on tap. Like, have you ever even heard of such a thing?! Order up a round of G&Ts at 95 Avenue A promptly, please.
3. McSorley’s Old Ale House
At McSorley’s, you can sit down and grab a drink at the same place former presidents Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt once did. Opened in 1854, every wall is adorned with relics of New York’s past. The bar is so tied to its past, in fact, that it still only offers two beers on tap—McSorley’s Light and McSorley’s Dark. So pick a side—light or dark—and grab a draft at 15 E. 7th St.
4. A.T. Stewart Company Store / 280 Broadway
Alexander Turney Stewart first opened his mercantile business across from what became the famous “280 Broadway” back in the 1840s. It was immediately successful, and over the course of the next decade he gradually expanded it down the block, eventually making it New York’s first department store. While it encompasses a variety of stores nowadays, its astounding architecture remains one of the most reminiscent of a time period now long gone.
5. Pete’s Tavern
When you first see this Gramercy Park institution, you’re greeted with a plaque denoting its official historic landmark status. Most of Pete’s original furniture hasn’t stood the test of time like the building has, but the most important thing has—its in-house brew, 1864 Ale, follows the same recipe it did when it was first released that same year. If you’re unsure whether beers from 200 years ago taste as good as Natty Ice (hint: yes), you should swing by 129 E. 18th St.
6. The Old Homestead Steakhouse
Remember when the Meatpacking District was, you know, actually about meatpacking? Well, the Old Homestead Steakhouse is a testament to that past. Founded in 1868, Homestead has maintained close relationships with local butchers ever since, and as a result they get the first pick of meats for their famously large cuts. And you know you don’t have to worry about the quality of those cuts because they were the first place in America to serve Kobe beef. Try it for yourself at 56 9th Ave.
7. Dyckman House
As unbelievable as it sounds, the majority of Manhattan was farmland for decades. Built in 1784, the Dyckman House stands as literally the only testament to that time now (which boomed and bust all within the 1800s), as the oldest remaining farmhouse in Manhattan. Despite being almost as old the nation itself, you can still take a tour yourself at 4881 Broadway.
8. The Old Merchant House
Erected by a successful hatter in 1832, the Old Merchant House is probably the most well-preserved and most accessible 19th-century home in all of New York. The house contains many of the family’s original belongings, and you can even take tours of it daily at 29 E. 4th St.
9. St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Built from 1858-1878, St. Patrick’s was not just one of the biggest churches first built in America, but it was the first medieval-style one ever. Despite undergoing multiple renovation projects over these many (many) years, the cathedral still largely has its original bricks, mortar, and of course, mesmerizing stained glass. These days, you don’t have to be religious to fully take in its glory, either—its prime real estate on Madison Avenue makes it a frequent venue for concerts, too.