Here are some things you’ll find in Tribeca: baby clothing stores, the fire station where they shot Ghostbusters, men with very well-manicured facial hair. You’ll also find some great places to eat. While there are several tasting menu/special occasion spots, there are plenty of everyday restaurants, too, and they’re the main focus here.
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 full of things like blue crab crostini and pasta and roasted fish, or for a nicer brunch. They’re also open for breakfast, so you can come then too.
If you are looking for the new, hot restaurant in the neighborhood, that’d be Frenchette. This place is like if The Odeon and Balthazar had a child born in 2018, and that child was really good at cooking. Considering the number of people you’ll see wearing skin-tight leather pants here, you might not expect the food to be as good (or as buttery) as it is. But dishes from fried blowfish tails to duck frites are excellent. Frenchette is also very focused on its wine, and you should know that the list is made up of exclusively natural (and regularly kind of obscure) wines from small producers. In other words, don’t expect to find your favorite Napa Chardonnay here and know that your red wine will probably come chilled, and you’ll have a great time.
For a way more laid-back wine-drinking experience, try Terroir. Terroir used to be a chain of wine bars, but this one and a seasonal High Line location are the only two 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 whole place is incredibly friendly and unpretentious. They also project sports games regularly on a big screen in the back, if you’re into watching 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.
Do you have out-of-towners coming to visit who would very much appreciate sitting in a comfortable booth? Do you work in Battery Park and have to plan a fancy breakfast meeting? Are you simply meeting up with someone who would be really excited by the idea of eating Beetroot Tartare With Smoked Trout Roe? In all of these situations, Little Park is perfect. The menu is a home run for vegetarians, but also works well if someone wants to eat a lamb porterhouse.
Gotan is your one-stop shop for eating, meeting, and working. There’s WiFi, plus really good breakfast and lunch food - mostly sandwiches and salads with a slight Mediterranean twist. You order at the counter, but a server brings you the food on a real plate, which is nice.
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 in their 50s 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.
Holy Ground serves barbecue in a subterranean space that neither looks like it belongs in New York nor looks like it would serve barbecue. But that’s the fun of this place. Order a whiskey drink, eat some smoked chicken and beef rib, and completely forget about the fact that you’re actually just about 20 feet below West Broadway.
Located in a 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 and say yes when your date asks, “Hmm, should we share the burrata? And maybe the salmon crudo?” They also serve lunch every day, and are open until 2am most nights, and 3am on Saturdays.
Zucker's Bagels and Smoked Fish
This is the place to get a bagel and lox in Tribeca. It’s a small takeout operation, and on Saturday mornings you can expect to see an equal mix of hungover people and children carrying scooters.
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, fish tacos, and the grilled salmon.
A big, juicy tavern burger and a beer are the reasons you come to Walker’s. There are sports on TV, too.
Takahachi is the neighborhood’s go-to sushi place for high-quality but reasonably-priced fish. Although they’re not on delivery sites, they do deliver. You just have to use this new piece of technology called the telephone.
Like Ethan Hawke’s career or the city of Pittsburgh, Puffy’s Tavern doesn’t seem like much on the surface, but there’s a lot to it when you look deeper. See, to the average passerby, Puffy’s looks like a small dive bar on Hudson Street. And it is. But during lunch hours (until 5pm), they serve food from the excellent Italian sandwich shop Alidoro. The menu is shorter than that of the Soho and Midtown Alidoro locations, but you can still get a really great prosciutto and mozzarella and hot peppers concoction. These are the best sandwiches in the neighborhood, and you can eat them here or take them to go.
Nobu was once one of Tribeca’s key restaurants, but then it moved down to FiDi. Now there’s Tetsu for your pricey, sceney, dimly-lit Japanese restaurant needs. Tetsu is owned by the people behind the super-expensive Masa, and while it’s still expensive here, it costs more like $100 a person, not $600. Come here for a few drinks at the bar (they make great cocktails) and a few pieces of sushi and small plates.
The Odeon is legendary - for being a place where people like Andy Warhol and Basquiat used to hang out, and where celebrities and SNL cast members used to do a lot of cocaine in the basement. The food here is fine, but you’re mainly here to hang out over a martini and some oysters and reminisce about how much cooler New York used to be.
China Blue would be a great place to film a movie. It’s huge, and decorated in a sort of Jazz Age style, with lamps that have hanging crystals and other assorted vintage accessories. This place is owned by the same people as Midtown’s Cafe China and Williamsburg’s Birds Of A Feather, and focuses on Shanghai-style food. Get any of the dumplings, the crispy eel, and the noodles with scallion sauce and dried shrimp. If you’re not into filming movies, it’s a great option for a big group dinner or private event.
If you’re familiar with Aria in the West Village, Terra has essentially the same menu of Italian small plates. You can always get in, and it’s a useful place for a light dinner or Saturday afternoon glass of wine.
Owned by the same people behind Soho’s City Winery, this is the best place to drink while staring out at New Jersey. The food is good enough, with oysters, a solid crab roll, and a totally decent burger. But wine is the standout: the 30-page wine list at City Vineyard would be worth a trip even without the ’80s hip-hop on the speakers and the sunsets over the water.
This is a surprisingly lively, surprisingly sort of elegant Greek restaurant with excellent food, but it doesn’t get all that much attention, perhaps because it’s located in a very quiet area by the river. Use it for a date night or a group dinner. Just know that it’s a bit pricey.
Saluggi’s feels sort of like a casual suburban Italian restaurant where you would have eaten with your middle school soccer team, and it’s the best place around to get a quality takeout pizza. There are plenty of dollar slice places on Broadway, but they’re all pretty awful, unlike the very-good coal-fired pies here. While we use it mostly as a takeout operation, there are also plenty of booths, and it’s a pretty pleasant place to sit. Salads, pastas, and sandwiches are available, too.
This kind-of-healthy Australian cafe is the place to come for an acai bowl or a mushroom toast that involves both “cashew cream” and arugula pesto. Before you roll your eyes, know that Two Hands is actually quite laid-back, especially during weekday lunch and breakfast. It does get packed here come Saturday at 11:30, though, and unfortunately, they’re no longer open for dinner.
Maman is part bakery/takeout spot, part all-day restaurant. The takeout area up front is good for picking up a coffee and pastry, but we prefer the daytime restaurant in the back, which is a solid pick for a weekday lunch or brunch. They make really great chocolate chip cookies.
A bit like the fact that you’re alive and just one of 7 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.
Come to Grandaisy for one thing in particular: a slice of Roman-style pomodoro pizza. This bakery also makes sandwiches and various pastries, but the square pomodoro slice is one of the best pieces of carb below Canal Street.
You know that neighborhood Italian place that has white tablecloths covered in paper, where they might give kids crayons to draw with? But it’s still sort of a nice place? Where you’d bring grandparents? That’s Gigino, a handy, always tasty and always accessible Italian restaurant. As previously stated, this is a great place to come with kids.