Spotlight: A Lexington luncheonette/time capsule!

Spotlight on one of the most fascinating little diners uptown: the Lexington Candy Shop, aka a fabulous place for breakfast in the city!

by Pinki Chumber

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Tourists/visitors who are nearby The Metropolitan Museum of Art should take a spin at the famous Lexington Candy Shop. Here you will find the oldest family owned luncheonette in New York City. New York City was once filled with luncheonettes but it is believed that The Lexington Candy Shop is the oldest original luncheonette running today. It is now celebrating its 90th anniversary. The Lexington Candy Shop is owned by third generation John Philis, the grandson of the original owner. Back in the 1920s people have immigrated to the US for a better life. John grandfather was an immigrant from Greece and he was a believer of the American dream. He realized that to make the American Dream come true he should go into business and this sparked the idea of The Lexington Candy Shop.

The Lexington Candy Shop was first opened up in 1929 as a candy shop where chocolate was made straight out of the basement. The shop was then renovated in 1948 where they decided to discontinue the candy and transform the candy shop into just a luncheonette. This was the last renovation every made to this shop. Today you can still see the vintage interior and machinery. It has an old school vibe with their long candy counter, green-topped stools, a row of booths and walls framed with original menus, ads, and newspapers.

They are known for there classical breakfast, egg creams, butter burger, malted milkshakes and their old-fashioned soda fountain. They traditionally make everything homemade like freshly squeezed orange juice/lemonade, soda made from syrup and seltzer and fresh coffee from coffee urns. Their menus used back in the day are still used today with minor changes. John aims to preserve the shop and to also keep his family business running. In New York City things are constantly modernizing but The Lexington Candy shop strives to stay the same.

The shop has also  been featured in multiple movies, commercials and TV shows like Fading GigoloThree Days of the Condor and The Nanny Diaries.  Some of their customers were Sir Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Matt Dillon, Tom Brokaw and Al Roker but most of the primary customers are locals. The Lexington Candy Shop an be rented for private parties and events. It has also been presented in various magazines like British Traveler magazine as “Top ten places to visit in New York City” and Travel and Leisure Family as “The perfect destination for a family breakfast.”

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