Fanelli Cafe

Sometimes progress takes a backseat to tradition. Most of the time progress means bulldozing the past and paving it over with some shiny new metal toy… Thank goodness that some SoHo person along the way decided to keep a place like Fanelli’s around, despite being surrounded by shops with $12,000 skirts and bakeries with $8 muffins. Established in 1847, this place is old. So old, in fact, that they don’t serve latte, have anything on the menu resembling arugula, and will throw you out on your ass for ordering a cosmopolitan. (That last part might not be true, but one can hope.) Serving basic pub grub, Fanelli’s makes a mean burger and serves up the brew in a laid back atmosphere that is equal parts tourist, local bohemian and casual Sunday shoppers. There are times when the place gets packed on the weekends, and even stirs up a little rowdiness, but it still remains one of the few places in this part of town in which you will not and cannot feel too fat or too underdressed (we’re not talking suit and tie underdressed, but Prada/Gucci/Versaci underdressed.) [MF]

94 Prince St. (at Mercer St.)