Here are some things you’ll find in Tribeca: baby clothing stores, Puffy's Tavern, the fire station where they shot Ghostbusters, and NYC's premier balloon-buying destination, the Balloon Saloon. You’ll also find some great places to eat. This guide has all the best upscale spots and everyday restaurants in the neighborhood.
Frenchette is a restaurant that we always get up for. This place seems to have one goal, and it's to make your eyes roll back into your head because you haven’t tasted anything so rich and decadent in a very long time. The menu here changes daily, but if the brouillade with escargots, cod cheeks à la diable, and duck frites are available, order all three along with a bottle from their all-natural wine list. We like to come here during peak dining hours when the room is frenetic and loud, because that energy reminds us of why we live in this city.
photo credit: Aya Kishimoto
Tasting menus can be polarizing. Sometimes, you sit for a few hours, drop a bunch of cash, and eat a parade of uninspired plates that make you feel like you’re in an exhausting meeting that you kind of want to end. But you won't feel that way at L’Abeille. Their $180 six-course tasting menu is primarily French with some Japanese touches—and we especially like the foie gras crème brûlée and the tilefish with crispy skin that you’ll want to eat all by itself. The next time you want to surrender yourself to a two-hour dinner that involves very little decision making, L'Abeille should be at the top of your list.
One White Street is very, very good-looking. As far as the eye can see, there’s a luxe surface: marble, suede, fancy wood, glossy ceramic tile. But this two-part restaurant located in a Tribeca townhouse is more than good looks. The food is impressive as well. On the upper floors, One White Street serves a reservations-only, six-course, $148 set menu, while the ground floor and outside area are à la carte. (If you're eating downstairs, don't miss the scallop skewers and the focaccia with onion jam.) The chef used to work at the Paris restaurant Frenchie, and the master sommelier is a co-founder of Verve Wine. In other words, this place is run by pros, and it shows.
At $420 a pop, Shion 69 Leonard Street is one of the most expensive omakases in the city. But the restaurant delivers on everything it absolutely must for the price: skillfully prepared fish, impeccable service, and enough food to not have to get a secret second dinner at McDonald’s. What makes the two-hour meal truly outstanding is the seven-plate otsumami course, with signature items like butterfish, horsehair crab salad, and tilefish. Come to this little omakase counter for a special occasion, but know that singing "Happy Birthday" here would be akin to doing TikTok dances in a museum. This meal demands your presence like it’s the cult leader of a silent meditation retreat.
Mena serves the kind of elegant comfort food we eat in fantasies where we dine al fresco at sunset overlooking the ocean, draped in cashmere (like we imagine Meryl Streep does on Sunday evenings). A meal at this “globally-inspired” Tribeca spot involves zero gimmicks and many delightful surprises. The four-course prix fixe menu changes every few days, but you can expect dishes like Spanish lentils with salty duck cracklings and a plate of scallops with radish. Come here with someone you’re serious about, and plan a romantic trip to whichever coastline inspired the food you wind up eating.
photo credit: Hogsalt
There are a few key things to keep in mind when you come to Au Cheval, a transplant from Chicago. First off, you’re going to wait a long time for a table. Once you do get seated, you’ll probably eat a burger and fries—and maybe a fried bologna sandwich. No matter what you order, you’ll leave wanting to immediately take a nap. But as long as you know what you’re in for, this is one of the best places to eat too much meat and drink too much whiskey, without spending too much money.
Locanda Verde is no longer the newest, hottest restaurant in the neighborhood, but it’s still one of the very best. And you still have roughly a 25% chance of seeing a celebrity here. Come for a dinner and get some pasta and steak tartare with black truffle, or stop by for brunch. They’re also open for breakfast, in case you like to start every weekday with sheep's milk ricotta.
For a way more laid-back wine-drinking experience, try Terroir. Terroir used to be a chain of wine bars, but this is the only one left. That’s a shame, because more neighborhoods could use a Terroir. The food is better than it needs to be (get the meatballs), and the service here is incredibly friendly and unpretentious. They also project sports games on a big screen in the back, in case you want to watch sports in a non-sports-bar environment.
The brick-walled space at Marc Forgione is ideal for a special-but-not-too-fancy occasion, like a quarter birthday or a shih tzu’s graduation from training school. Hey, it’s Tribeca. Whatever you’re celebrating, make sure it includes the chili lobster on Texas toast.
Have a situation in which you need to eat steak in a place the size of a Costco, but below Canal Street? It could happen. Plan this large steak gathering at American Cut, the area’s best steakhouse. It’s owned by Marc Forgione and does good non-steak dishes as well, in a large and accommodating space.
Belle Reve is a restaurant, bar, and place where weird things occasionally happen. And by weird we mean, there’s a good chance you could walk in here on a Wednesday night at 10pm and find a bunch of people dancing on tables. There’s also a good chance you could walk in here at the same time and find a bunch of CitiBank employees casually hanging out. You never know at Belle Reve. The food also happens to be surprisingly solid, so if you’re looking for a casual spot to mostly drink and eat some stuff that isn’t bar food, head to Belle Reve.
Located in a former carriage house right across from Locanda Verde, Smith & Mills is a cool little bar/restaurant that looks like the inspiration for a Restoration Hardware catalog. Come on a first date, have a cocktail or two, then order a bunch of oysters if it doesn't seem like you're going to run out of things to talk about. Currently, there's some outdoor seating, so this is also a good spot for when you want to sit outside, drink a glass of wine, and recap your week with a friend.
Tiny's and the Bar Upstairs
Tiny’s is really cute. And if you claim that isn’t the main reason why you come here, you’re lying. This Tribeca restaurant is located in its very own three-story, pastel pink townhouse, and the inside is filled with candles, exposed brick, and black-and-white photos. There's a little bar upstairs where you can eat some oysters and drink a martini, and there are also plenty of tables for when you want to eat a burger or a kale salad and catch up with a friend.
Edward’s is not the MVP of anything, but it’s one of Tribeca’s utility spots: a bistro that’s useful for a casual weeknight dinner or a brunch where you likely won’t have to wait. We recommend the burger, the fish tacos, and the grilled salmon with mashed potatoes.
Just like Edward's, Walker's is a Tribeca staple that's been around for decades. This old-school tavern has a big bar and a bunch of tables with white tablecloths, and it's where you should go to eat a juicy burger, drink a beer, and watch sports on TV.
In a neighborhood full of high-end restaurants, Takahachi stands out as a place where you can show up in sweats and have relatively affordable and good quality sushi. Start your meal with the beer-battered shrimp and broccoli tempura, then get the $28 sushi deluxe, which comes with eight pieces of nigiri and a tuna roll. The regular menu has a limited selection of raw fish (tuna, yellowtail, salmon, and not much else), but they always offer a rotating choice of special pieces like trout from Iceland or buri from Japan.
If you’re familiar with Aria in the West Village, then you already know what the deal is with Terra. This Tribeca wine bar is from the people, and it has a near-identical menu. If you want to choose from a large variety of sub-$20 pastas, this is where you should be. You can always get in, and it’s a useful place for a light dinner or Saturday afternoon glass of wine.
This is the best place to drink while staring out at New Jersey. The food is good enough, with options like oysters, a solid crab roll, and a totally decent burger—but wine is why you come here. The 30-page wine list at City Vineyard would be worth a trip even without the outdoor seating and the sunsets over the water.
Similar to the fact that you’re alive and just one of 8 billion people wandering the Earth each day, you might forget about Pepolino. But once you get to this homey Italian spot, you won’t need to be existential. You can just order some pappardelle with tomato sauce without thinking too hard about the meaning of life. Use this as your semi-casual Italian go-to in the area, and make use of their sidewalk seating when it’s nice out.