Go To Imperial Coffee House For The Experience, Stay For The Budget Burger Deluxe


When you walk into the Imperial Coffee House, you feel like you’re stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting, but then the men behind the counter start their schtick and you’re back in NYC. This is perhaps the least fancy place to eat lunch in Tribeca, and the prices are also some of the cheapest downtown with the menu topping out at $8. This is the place to go for a no-frills meal of greasy food. 

I would recommend sitting at the counter if you can, to get the full experience of the place. The men working there are a well-oiled machine, yelling orders to each other (no computers or even written tickets here), flipping burgers, cracking eggs, plating and packing up food and ringing them up. A burger seemed like a safe bet here, although you can get an omelette, pancakes, fried chicken or tuna melt if that’s what your heart desires.

My burger deluxe cost me $6.25, including tax. They will ask you how you want your burger done, and it doesn’t matter because it’s a thin patty that will be cooked all the way through no matter what you say. There’s no brioche bun or heirloom lettuce and you may have to reach a couple of feet down the counter for a bottle of ketchup or mustard. The burger gets started on a flattop and finished on a grill so you get flavors from both, and it’s a juicy burger. Eat quickly, or the bun will become soggy, especially if you add ketchup or the tomato slice like I did.

Those fries were cooked to order and a little more well done than most people would probably like. I tend to like mine on the darker side, as these were, and they were also nicely crisped but you’ll have to salt them yourself.

No, this is not a destination place to eat lunch but if you want a change of pace from the fast food further up Chambers St. this is the place for you. I thought the burger was better than you would get at a fast food place, as well.

Imperial Coffee House, 108 Chambers St. (at Church), (212) 233-6593


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