Danny Meyer’s Restaurant Empire

Food — By sarahpruitt on April 1, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Right or wrong, the common wisdom is that New Yorkers are not known for their hospitality. If you want warm and fuzzy, sunny and cheery, go somewhere else. When it comes to the city’s restaurants, however, Danny Meyer has led a one-man effort to make the city more welcoming—with phenomenal success.

From perennially popular Union Square Café to foodie magnet Gramercy Tavern to Shake Shack, an old-school burger joint poised to become a global empire, Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group operates 11—with more on the way!—restaurants operated in New York. They represent a wide range of cuisines and budgets, and all are worth a visit.

Union Square Cafe, by flickr4jazz via Flickr

Union Square Café – Meyer’s original NYC restaurant revolutionized high-end American cuisine.

Gramercy Tavern – Another temple to the Meyer aesthetic, and to gourmet New American cuisine.

Eleven Madison Park – Larger and higher-concept restaurant, equally delicious American cuisine with a French flavor.

Shake Shack at night, by Lucius Kwok via Flickr

Shake Shack – These burger joints draw a crowd. With 2 locations (Madison Square Park and 366 Columbus Ave on the UWS) and more planned for 2010.

Tabla – Sophisticated Indian cuisine in a gorgeous space.

Blue Smoke – Barbeque, Manhattan-style.

The Modern, Café 2 and Terrace 5 – When visitors to the Museum of Modern Art get hungry, they have not one but three Meyer spots waiting to serve them.

Maialino – Meyer’s newest—opened in 2009—is an Italian trattoria located in the lobby of the Gramercy Park Hotel.

To mark Maialino’s opening, Raymond Sokolov of the Wall Street Journal went on a one-day eating spree at all of Meyer’s NYC restaurants, from burgers at Shake Shack to sautéed sweet breads at Gramercy Tavern. Read his entertaining account, “Running a Danny Meyer Marathon” and start planning your own Meyer tasting tour for your trip to New York—better save up your appetite!

Tags: burgers, restaurants