Barney Greengrass – New York

Barney Greengrass is one of New York’s greatest treasures. Located in the Upper West Side, it’s probably the one restaurant in the UWS worth making the trek for. With over 100 years in business, Barney Greengrass has truly perfected the art of smoked fish.


The small dining room, with a mural of what looks to be New Orleans oddly enough, bustles with energy. After being served his breakfast within minutes of placing his order, one boy exclaimed, “WOW! That was fast!”  “We don’t mess around, kid!” yelled the waiter over his shoulder.

Nova Scotia Salmon Sandwich

If you order one of the specialty fish sandwiches, you’ll be asked if you want onions and capers. “Just say yes,” said our waiter, as I was mulling over my options and then asked for just the capers. Turns out they charge an extra 75 cents for onions and capers, but the capers really made the sandwich. I was pleasantly shocked to see how much salmon came on the bagel – easily a 1/4 of a pound, if not more. Two people can easily split one sandwich and be very happy.


In my case, I ate the whole thing and was very happy and very full, not that I’m complaining. The smoked salmon was terrific.

Pastrami Salmon Sandwich

My husband chose the Pastrami Salmon, flavored with spices on the edges and completely delicious.


If I wasn’t so stuffed, I would have picked up some bakery items on the way out. Unfortunately, I was so stuffed that I couldn’t even think about buying anything – not even a  mini chocolate babka nor mini black and white cookies.


Going to Barney Greengrass totally spoiled me for our later visit to the new Russ and Daughters at the Jewish Museum, which was way more pricey (though a more refined dining experience).  Between the two, I prefer Barney’s bigger bang for the buck. Sure my husband’s chair got jostled as people came in and out of the dining room and the service was not quite as polite, but the generous portions, along with its historical charm, gives Barney Greengrass the win.


Go to Barney Greengrass, get the sturgeon and enjoy a piece of New York history.


Location – 541 Amsterdam, New York, 10024.
Website –
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s