Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vintage New York Presents: The Great Joints of New York City

Big Nick's Burger Joint is a great place for some casual dining in New York City.
By Mitch Broder

You can always get out of a joint — unless, of course, it's the joint.

But you can't always find a Joint, unless you bone up on your Joints.

New York just got its latest Joint, Sticky's Finger Joint, which is a great joint if you happen to like Joints that have fingers. But in its Jointhood, it is a rarity: New York is not crawling with Joints. It has little more than a handful, and they're not exactly hip joints.

Here, nonetheless, is a gallery of Manhattan's best-known Joints. I won't be surprised if I've missed a couple. Joints are just the sort of thing you blow.

Maybe you'd rather Big Nick's Pizza Joint to get a taste of traditional New York City Pizza

Above is Big Nick's Pizza Joint, which is to the left of Big Nick's Burger Joint, which is shown at the top. The joints are on Broadway near 77th Street. I took these pictures on February 22nd, the day that Big Nick celebrated his golden anniversary by selling burgers for sixty cents. The enormous lines alarmed passersby.

Big Nick's Burger Joint & Pizza Joint Too combines the best of dining in New York City, but is no longer owned by Big Nick.

While Big Nick also founded Big Nick's Burger Joint & Pizza Joint Too, he no longer owns it, though it still acts as if he does. It's on 71st Street at Columbus Avenue. When I took this picture, its burgers were $6.75, and there were no lines.

Paul's Da Burger Joint is another great place for casual Dining in New York

Paul's Da Burger Joint, on Second Avenue near St. Mark's Place, has long claimed to have the best burger in the city. Either way, it has one of the best fake burgers in the city, and it's next to Gem Spa, which has long claimed to have the best egg cream in the city.

Joint hunters shouldn't miss the Burger Joint which is a place for dining in New York that is tucked behind Le Parker Meridien

Behind a great curtain at Le Parker Meridien is the somewhat secret Burger Joint, whose only signage is a neon burger and the jaunty poster you see here. The hotel is fancy; the joint is a dump. That's the irony. Find it on 56th Street between Sixth and Seventh.

Vegetarian joint lovers will have one less joint to frequent as Kate's Joint has now closed down

Clearly, joints are for meat, except in the case of Kate's — which may be why her joint, on Avenue B at Fourth Street, shut down last week. Kate Halpern's "vegetarian diner" sold things like Buffalo Unchicken Wings and the Not Reuben Sandwich. At the end, Kate was thinking of adding some meat. Maybe she just should have changed the name.

Sticky's Finger Joint is casual New York City dining at it's finest

Tell me if you know of another Joint. Just don't get yourself out of joint.


  1. Great piece, Mitch. New York really has some great Joints. I used to eat at a place called Soup Joint, Fish Joint, Hamburger Joint Coffee Shop that was on 2nd Ave in the 50s. Haven't thought of it in ages. Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Hahahaaaaaaa...."But you can't always find a Joint, unless you bone up on your Joints....Joints are just the sort of thing you blow." Niiiice! Now you're talkin'.
    Too bad Kate's went out. Hers was the only joint I could Joined.
    FYI, if you are out of Joint, do Egoscue!

  3. I've been wondering forever if Big Nick is/was involved in the Parker Meridien. I lived on W. 77th Street for 18 years, and took care of my burger cravings at Big Nicks. My son, now 27 was loving the burgers while still in a stroller. Burger Joint is a vital part of that neighborhood's integrity. I fear the day it disappears to be replaced with another CVS.