Our 10 Best NYC Restaurant Bathrooms


When the Royalton Hotel opened in 1988, the Philippe Stark-designed urinals doubled as a waterfall. It was one of the first times a bathroom was meant to upstage its venue. (The waterfall is gone now, done in by the hotel’s redesign.) But in the last two decades, the city has filled with restaurants where you might abandon your date at the table for the siren song of the bathroom.

But of course, bathroom preferences are personal. Everyone can agree that they should be clean and private. But do you like attendants? (We don’t, they make us nervous, and we can grab our own paper towel for free.) Do you enjoy tinkering with the remote on those amazing, gadget-filled Japanese toilets? (We do.) And do you enjoy voyeurism while peeing? (To a point.)

Read on to see our 10 best restaurant bathrooms–and don’t forget, it’s all about the bathrooms here, folks, not the food.

Presenting the runners up in no particular order…

Glass Lounge (Two-way mirror from sinks up to the street), 287 Tenth Avenue, 212-904-1580; Old Town Bar (Gigantic, vintage urinals), 45 East 18th Street, 212-529-6732; Fatty Crab UWS (Love Asian porn? Go to the bathroom.), 2170 Broadway, 212-496-2722; 21 Club (Luxe, comfortable, murals, attendants if you like that), 21 West 52nd Street, 212-582-7200; Buttermilk Channel (Ultra-clean, perfumed, motherly bathroom), 524 Court Street, Brooklyn, 718- 852-8490

Up next, our 10 best…


NYC has plenty of cool Japanese toilets, but none quite as amazing as this
winners 10 through six:

10. Sakagura (Each bathroom is made to look like a giant sake barrel; it’s very private, as you get your own barrel), 211 East 43rd Street, 212-953-7253

9. Public (Like a fancified 1950s school gymnasium, if you can imagine that; AvroKO-designed; stacks of individually wrapped soaps to steal), 210 Elizabeth Street, 212-343-7011

8. Schiller’s Liquor Bar (Old-fashioned, unisex trough sinks; white tile; pay phone), 131 Rivington Street, 212-260-4555

7. Sea Thai (Space pod private stalls; monitors with live feed to dining room), 114 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 718-384-8850

6. Bar 89 (Enormous unisex stalls with glass doors that are clear until you lock them, then they turn opaque; lights that change color), 89 Mercer Street, 212-274-0989

Soldier on to see the top five…


5. Hasaki (Gadgety Japanese toilet with seat-warmer, bidet, and air-dryer), 210 East 9th Street, 212-473-3327

4. Smith and Mills (Made from reconstructed 1900s elevator; antique railcar sink), 71 North Moore Street, 212-226-2515

3. Peep (One-way mirrored walls in bathroom so you can eavesdrop on diners from the loo; risque movies play on TVs above the sinks), 177 Prince Street, 212-254-7337

2. wd~50 (Stalls cleverly hidden behind secret-panel doors; tiled mural over the sinks), 50 Clinton Street, 212-477-2900

1. Morimoto (Japanese mechanized toilets with cyclone flush, deodorizer, bidet; trippy flower arrangement’s behind glass. Soundproof stalls.), 88 Tenth Avenue, 212-989-8883

Did we miss your favorite WC? Tell us about in the comments.


Archive Highlights