The Best Restaurants In Meatpacking

The 10 places where you should eat in Meatpacking, if you really want to eat in Meatpacking.
The dining room at RH Rooftop Restaurant.

photo credit: Emily Schindler

There are plenty of reasons you could find yourself in the Meatpacking District. You might take your cousins for a walk on the Highline after visiting the Whitney, try on a bunch of expensive clothes you have no intention of buying, or wander in after checking out the Gansevoort Peninsula "public beach". When you do end up here, you might want to get some food. And frankly, Meatpacking isn’t on our shortlist of NYC’s best restaurant neighborhoods. In fact, the best thing about it is that you can just leave and go to Chelsea or the West Village. We thought about calling this guide “The Least Worst Restaurants In Meatpacking,” but there are a few pretty good places to eat in the area—with some great people-watching.

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photo credit: Noah Devereaux



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Old Homestead is one of the oldest steakhouses in New York, having been in operation since 1868. The three-story space is on the Chelsea/Meatpacking border, and has the look of a Presidential library. You can choose from over 15 different steaks, but there are two we recommend trying. The Porterhouse here is cooked and seasoned very nicely, but we like the ribeye best of all. It's tender, has a ton of flavor, and pairs well with the excellent garlic mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. Finish your meal with the Drug Store Old Fashioned Sundae.

Sure, this neighborhood used to be about cuts of beef, but now it’s about a lifestyle, and that lifestyle involves very luxurious cars. This restaurant is on the second floor of the Genesis car showroom, and serves upscale Korean dishes like flavorful fried black cod with glutinous rice, and an earthy kal ssakdugi with buckwheat knife noodles. You can also do their seven-course tasting menu for $185. It’s a useful spot if you need to walk-in somewhere at the last minute, and want to impress someone with fancy food, and a view of the water.

Frenchette’s bakery and cafe, located inside the Whitney museum, lives up to the exemplary French food at the original Tribeca restaurant. The bright, expansive space is surrounded by potted plants and steel-grid structures, and includes plenty of tables and high-tops. Come after you’ve seen all the exhibits, because the full-service cafe makes a meal worth sitting down for, and you’ll have plenty to talk about over things like airy pizz’ettes topped with anchovies, small-but-mighty bowls of pumpkin agnolotti, and entrees like duck confit and oxtail daube. You can get baked goods at the counter as well.

If you want to fully embrace Meatpacking, go to RH Rooftop, an American spot on the roof of Restoration Hardware. Take the all-glass elevator up past five floors of marble statues, fountains, and beds that cost as much as barely used SUVs. Eventually, you’ll reach the walk-in-only restaurant, with its own fountains and trees, and a chandelier over every table. The food is decent, and if you sit down for lunch or dinner, order the creamy burrata and the shaved ribeye sandwich on a garlic bread baguette. A better use of your time might be to just have drinks on the huge outdoor terrace, which has nice views of the downtown skyline and other rooftop bars in the neighborhood.

Pastis is like the Balthazar of Meatpacking. Both spots, which involve some of the same people, try harder to be French than an NYU sophomore smoking a hand-rolled cigarette. Both bistros are constantly packed with a combination of tourists and business meals, and both places serve very good, rich versions of French classics. At Pastis, the garlicky escargots and steak frites covered in butter are some of the best things you can eat in the neighborhood.

If you’re looking for somewhere to eat before spending your night at Le Bain, make it easy for yourself and grab dinner at the Grill on the ground floor of The Standard Hotel. They have solid steaks, decadent seafood towers, and a great pork chop smothered in a rich french onion sauce. They do the whole white-jacket server thing, but we actually enjoy this place for its breezy, casual feel, whether you sit near the big windows up front or in a dark leather booth in the back. Nothing you eat here is going to blow you away, but it’s a solid spot for a meal if you’re staying at the hotel or don’t want to deal with reservations elsewhere.

Yes, this early ‘10s model haunt (and Real Housewives favorite) is a little annoying, but we don’t actually hate it. The three-story restaurant comprises the original Catch, which focuses on sushi and seafood, Catch Steak, and the Catch Roof, where people sometimes party glamorously after dinner. Catch first came on the scene in 2011, which means there’s a little too much truffle on the menu, but if you avoid ordering anything too over-the-top, you can enjoy a decent seafood-centered dinner and impeccable service. Go for the blue crab roll, seared tuna, and just one showpiece item: the big wheel of donuts for dessert.

At this point, we can only recommend going to STK for the opposite of all the reasons it was invented. This steakhouse was once a celeb magnet, but it’s looking a little empty these days, and those white leather booths could use a good wash. But the food is actually pretty good. If you’re staying in the area and want to avoid the scene (they’re all at Catch), or can’t get a table at Old Homestead, come here before 9pm for a solid steak dinner with perfectly cooked cuts of meat, rich creamed spinach, and mashed potatoes with a crackly parmesan crust on top.

Hector’s has been around since the ’40s, and in the 2010s, it was where actual meatpackers and glittering nightlife people came together for sustenance at 4am. These days, they’re only open from 5am-3pm on weekdays, and until midnight on weekends, but it’s still a useful spot for breakfast or lunch when you want to avoid the other overpriced eateries in the area. Hector’s is as old-school as it gets—Scorsese even filmed some scenes from Taxi Driver there—and you can get a hearty plate of hash and eggs for under $15.

Fig & Olive is a perfectly fine restaurant chain where you can get a lunch of mezze or free-range chicken in between boutique hopping. The best time to come here is during the day, when light streams into the big, breezy dining room through the floor-to-ceiling windows, and all you hear is silverware clinking and soft chatter at the bar. The food is pretty basic and priced up for the area, with sandwiches and entrees ranging from $24-$42, but if The Standard Grill is too crowded, this is the next best place around to get a piece of Moroccan-spiced salmon at 1pm.

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