About usPartner with usSign up to our Newsletter
Opening Hours
53 West 19th Street
Boqueria 1 Spanish Flatiron

Boqueria has three locations in New York and six total between NYC and Washington D.C, with a seventh in Chicago on the way in 2019. As a social media friendly and chic iteration of Barcelona’s most trafficked and well-known market, El Mercat de la Boqueria - a tourist destination known for its tapas bars and various food stands - Boqueria has staked its place as one of the most recognizable Spanish restaurants on the East Coast.

Boqueria’s modern vibe is not only curated by its interior design and culinary aesthetics, but also by its music, a smooth combination of European house and dance music a la Ibiza. Boqueria prides itself on its upbeat, vibrant atmosphere that replicates the communal spirit of Spanish and Catalan tapas restaurants.

Boqueria was founded in 2006 by Yann de Rochefort at its flagship location in the Flatiron district. Its success in the competitive industry of Spanish cuisine in Manhattan is remarkable. Marc Vidal, the current head chef, got his start in the Catalan Pyrenees and on the Canary Islands, eventually landing at the Michelin starred Gaig in Barcelona. He has learned from some of high cooking’s finest to create and execute the intricate dishes of Boqueria.

The restaurant strives to be a tapas bar with “no compromises” - a consistent restaurant made for anybody who is looking to share tapas in a warm and exciting environment. With a bilingual serving staff, Boqueria’s commitment to authenticity is not feigned. Their menu directly seeks to offer the local flavors of Catalonia. Among the dishes sampled by Manhattan Sideways was the Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp with garlic), Espinacas a la Catalana (catalan spinach), and Paella de Mariscos (seafood paella). Their menu is “market-driven” and characterized by a number of seasonal selections in both food and beverages. Kieran Chavez is the head of the beverage program, which has created a menu that embraces and salutes Spanish alcohol of all persuasions. The Spanish wine list celebrates the country’s internal diversity in both culture and climate, and there is a vermouth-based build-your-own-cocktail option, the classic Barcelona pilsner Estrella Damm, and a rotating selection of seasonal cocktails.

Boqueria is rapidly expanding into one of the most stable and dynamic “institutions” of Spanish cuisine in the US. Creating bridges between Barcelona and New York is something that members of the Manhattan Sideways team take dearly to heart, as the two are some of their favorite cities in the world - as distinct, but comparable melting pots that are effortlessly conducive to cultural culinary exchange. Boqueria has not only retained the original authenticity of its original mission and location, but has expanded it even as its popularity has grown.

Sign up to Sidestreet Updates
Boqueria 1 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 2 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 3 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 4 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 5 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 6 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 7 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 8 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 9 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 10 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 11 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 12 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 13 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 14 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 15 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 16 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 17 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 18 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 19 Spanish Flatiron
Boqueria 20 Spanish Flatiron

More places on 19th Street

Lost Gem
Burger and Lobster 1 Burgers American Seafood undefined

Burger and Lobster

The moment I walked into Burger and Lobster, I knew that it was not a typical seafood restaurant. Huge lobsters swam in tanks by the door, and a whimsical chalkboard announced the restaurant’s grand total of three menu items: the burger, the lobster, and the lobster roll. When Burger and Lobster opened in January of 2015, no one knew whether its limited menu would appeal to New Yorkers. Vanessa, the general manager, was especially skeptical. “But after just a few weeks, ” she told me, “the restaurant was a huge success! I couldn’t believe it. ” Since then, Burger and Lobster’s reputation has continued to grow, and the wait on weekends can be up to an hour. When I stopped by on a sweltering July afternoon, I could see why the restaurant has become so popular. Housed in a former tae kwon do studio, Burger and Lobster feels both casual and upscale, with high ceilings and simple décor (I especially liked the lobster trap light fixtures). With seating for up to 300 people at a time, the restaurant can easily accommodate large groups, and the downstairs space is available for private events. Even better, every item on the menu is $20 and comes with generous portions of salad and fries. Burger and Lobster has a distinctively American feel, so I was surprised to learn that the company is based in the UK. According to Vanessa, it all started out with four friends who had known each other since high school. They already owned several high-end London restaurants, and when they decided to do something fun and different, Burger and Lobster was born. The first restaurant was so successful that the business multiplied, and now has eight locations in London and several others in Manchester, Wales, and Dubai. All of Burger and Lobster’s locations have the same laid-back atmosphere, but Vanessa told me that the New York restaurant is the most fun. “A lot of our servers are actors and actresses, ” she explained, “and they’re always having a good time. Last week, two of them performed a scene from Dirty Dancing, and everyone loved it! ”In spite of its relaxed environment, Burger and Lobster is very serious about the quality of its food. Vanessa explained that they buy all of their lobsters from the same group of lobstermen in Nova Scotia, while their beef comes from carefully selected Nebraskan ranchers. “We work really closely with them to make sure all of our food is of the highest possible quality, ” Vanessa added. We had the opportunity to try the food for ourselves just a few minutes later, when the server presented us with all three of Burger and Lobster’s menu items. The lobster paired perfectly with the lemon garlic butter (as did the fries), and once we managed to bite into the towering ten-ounce burger, we found that it was juicy and filling. The Manhattan Sideways team especially enjoyed the creamy lobster roll on soft butter brioche, a choice that felt refreshing and summery. Though we did not sample the drink menu, Vanessa told us about the signature cocktails and wines that Burger and Lobster has on tap, as well as its many beer options. When we had eaten as much burger and lobster as we could—the portions were quite large—Vanessa took us on a tour of the restaurant’s lobster lab. This area, which was designed by a marine biologist and is regulated by a complex computer system, can hold up to 4000 pounds of lobster at any given time. “We go through a lot of lobster, ” Vanessa told us. “On weekends, sometimes we use as many as a thousand per day. ” While the smaller lobsters are kept downstairs in the lab, the “big boys, ” as they’re affectionately known, are kept on the main floor for customers to admire. Between six and eighteen pounds, some of these lobsters are estimated to be eighty or ninety years old, and they are quite an impressive sight. We even got a chance to hold one of the big boys, a six-pounder who remained surprisingly calm as we lifted him by the claws. Burger and Lobster’s Manhattan location has received rave reviews, and Vanessa told us that the company will soon bring its high-quality food and impressive service to other locations in New York and the United States. But until then, anyone hoping to experience Burger and Lobster will have to make their way to this cool, casual spot on West 19th Street.

Lost Gem
Peter McManus Café 1 American Bars Beer Bars Pubs Irish Family Owned undefined

Peter McManus Café

Four generations of the McManus clan have operated this jovial Irish tavern, making it among the oldest family-run bars in the city. Its originator, Peter McManus, left his quaint Irish hometown and disembarked in Ellis Island with “basically five dollars and a potato in his pocket, ” as the story goes. He opened the first McManus as a longshoreman’s bar in 1911 on West 55th Street, which he then converted into a thriving general store during Prohibition while migrating his liquor business into a number of speakeasies. Once the restrictions ended in 1933, the shop was so successful that Peter kept it going and found a new spot on 19th Street in which to revive his bar. Peter’s son, James Sr., spent close to fifty years working in and later running the pub. It then passed into the hands of James Jr., who now stands beside his own son, Justin, serving beer and cracking jokes over a century later. Knowing that they will find pleasant conversation and an intriguing cast of characters at McManus, people often come alone to see what the night holds for them. The atmosphere at McManus is merry, but patrons still respect the history and charm that suffuse every corner of the space. Much of the bar is original, including the stunning Tiffany stained glass windows, the hand carved woodwork and crown molding, and the terrazzo floor that can no longer be made today. “We try to preserve it and are pretty protective of it. This bar was built to last, ” Justin said.