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Live Bait

17 reviews
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$30 and under
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Low Country
Top Tags:
  • Good for Groups
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Neighborhood Gem

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Live Bait is a lively restaurant located across from New York's Madison Square Park. The restaurant is decorated in a sort of "dive-bar chic" styling. All of the d�cor looks as if it was taken from a garage sale or older restaurant, like the neon signs and corrugated steel, but it is all arranged in such a way as to be very visually appealing.

Live Bait's menu is devloped using the flavors of coastal Carolina. Between this and the restaurant's name, guests should be expecting lots of seafood options, specifically boiled crab and shrimp. Live Bait also features a raw bar where diners can order oysters, local littleneck clams, or peel and eat shrimp as either an appetizer or as their meal. It's not all seafood, though, Live Bait has several other great menu items like the fried chicken and waffles with collard greens, bacon and smoked jalape�o honey.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Low Country, Comfort Food, Creole / Cajun / Southern
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:30am - 5:00pm
Dinner: Monday- Sunday: 5:00pm - 12:00pm
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Phone number
(212) 353-2400
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Cross street
Near Madison Avenue, between Park & Broadway
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Parking details
On street parking available. Private garage available on West 21st Street.
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Public transit
6 Subway to 23rd Street.
N, R Subway to 23rd Street.
F, M Subway to 23rd Street.
1 Subway to 23rd Street.
C, E Subway to 23rd Street.
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 17 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.8based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on September 19, 2015

I decided to give this restaurant a try since I haven't had a lowcountry dish before. I ordered sweet shrimp burger and eggplant fries. They were so delicious! I enjoyed checking out the wall in the restaurant. The service was great during the lunch hours. Highly recommended!

5.0Dined on August 26, 2015

This is my go-to happy hour with friends where you can get $1 oysters and $5 for a glass of wine. And if raw is not your style, there are uber-tasty fried ones that come as sliders. Hush puppies are southern style, deep fried and tender that is true southern style. The chicken and waffles with the spicy cranberry sauce is incredible and the I would definitely like to replicate their deviled eggs at home.

If you are with a group, get a table in the back so you don't have to shout at each other as the place tends to get noisy, particularly up at the bar area.

2.0Dined on August 4, 2015

I haven't been to Live Bait for the past few years because it was just way too noisy, even on a weeknight right after work. But when I had the opportunity to dine with a family group that included two 20+ year olds, I thought they would like Live Bait. Well, they liked it but the rest of us hated it (the oldsters) because you couldn't hear the person sitting right next to you....even in the back at a table away from the bar. Needless to say, we are never returning...even with kids, teens, or anyone who cares about his/her eardrums. Oh yes, the food is quite good. The service was rather inattentive, probably because there was a table for about 20 folks right behind us....and naturally that table got all the attention.

3.0Dined on May 29, 2015

Southern/creole/cajun food is pretty good, but between the raucous bar scene and the tin ceiling, the sound level goes to 11! The four-tops are small, and we still had to shout to and strain to hear each other for 90 minutes. I'll try and remember to only go in the mid-afternoon, or late on weekdays.

My husband loved the shrimp and grits, although the portion was small. My shrimp po'boy was not traditional -- shrimp is not breaded and fried, but grilled, and roll is way too crusty and chewy. It was still tasty but I spent most of the dinner just chewing the roll. Our companions enjoyed their apps of tater T's and mac and cheese; the fried chicken was tasty but not the waffles. The sweet potato fries were way oversalted.

We couldn't take the din any longer, so retired to Madison Square Park for frozen custard from Shake Shack rather than try any of their desserts.

2.0Dined on May 15, 2015

The food was not great. As an appetizer we got the tater tots and it came with a dipping cheese on the side. They were flavorful but came to the table cold. The dipping cheese was cold so you couldn't even use it as a dip. Also received the mac & cheese and it had no flavor and tasted watery. As an entree I did the chicken and waffles completely horrible. The chicken tasted like oil, as if they just left it sitting in a batch oil. The waffle didn't taste great either. I never left so much food on a plate before. My friend had the Shrimp burger and she liked it. And it came with eggplant fries that were good also. Looking around the restaurant I saw a lot of people ordered burgers so maybe just stick to that if you decide to go.

4.0Dined on April 4, 2015

We love LiveBait, have been annual visitors for about 12 years on our trips from London.
We always drink at the bar. We love the vibe, the tunes and the feel of it being a local place, even though it's in the middle of Flatiron!
This time we ate out back as we had our teenage kids with us. The food was good and the vibe still great. The service was a little erm..... Nervous?hesitant? But my real gripe was ...... Warm white wine!!! And when I asked for an ice bucket it seemed to surprise?!? ...but look it's a minor gripe. Still love the place

4.0Dined on March 13, 2015

We came for happy hour. Enjoyed the oysters and drinks then happily stuffed ourselves with calimari and sandwiches. Everything was good so our one regret is that we didn't leave room to try the sliders which sounded delicious.
Live Bait is very loud. The ambiance is dive bar cafeteria diner. Happy hour packs the small bar in the front and you can only get a table in the large back if you make reservations and plan to order food. Table service is quick and there is always someone out on the floor looking to take away your detritus.

4.0Dined on March 12, 2015

Always great... the old burger was better before Chelsea got so chi chi... still a good lunch spot in the hood

4.0Dined on December 6, 2014

The gumbo and chicken and waffles were delicious and a lot of food for the price. Atmosphere was a bit divey but in a good way. The only complaint I have is the collards which were overloaded with red onion and there was no pepper vinegar in sight. Malt vinegar on collards should be a crime!

4.0Dined on November 21, 2014

a must for anyone visiting NYC - a great value for you $$$$$.

4.0Dined on October 16, 2014

The service was quick and I enjoyed the food. it was a noisy atmosphere but it was a chill setting to just come and eat. Nothing to over the top.

2.0Dined on August 19, 2014

but I guess I should have tempered my expectations. It is NYC after all and not Charleston.

4.0Dined on July 15, 2014

Great food and service, noice level from the bar combined with loud music made almost impossible for talk....besides that...great place

2.0Dined on June 17, 2014

Live Bait is a scruffy sports bar with a menu that emphasizes seafood. The food's preparation and presentation have no distinction, but service is pleasant. I have nothing to recommend about the place.

4.0Dined on June 10, 2014

Nice vibe as a divey bar. Cool decor related to, obviously, fishing. Fair variety of beers. Oysters were $1 a piece and they were quite good. They said they come in fresh daily and it tasted like it. We got 2 orders. Also ordered the fried pickles. Yum.

4.0Dined on February 16, 2014

Great place to kick back have a reasonable meal and some good drinks.

3.0Dined on December 22, 2013

This New York City restaurant claims to serve food from the "low country"....i.e. Charleston, SC and vicinity. Well, Live Bait has missed the mark and I say this because I know the SC low country well. I ordered the salmon platter with collards and hush puppies. They were out of salmon so I asked to substitute crab cakes. Well, they did, but it came with no hush puppies because (according to the server) when I asked for the crab cake substitute that meant that I got a crab cake dinner and that one doesn't come with hush puppies. Also, the collards they served were bland...cut in strips and tasteless, but the crab cakes were good. I also ordered a Diet Coke to drink and had to wait and wait for a refill after asking for one.