Where to Eat in Lower Manhattan
A delightful way to appreciate a new destination is through the cuisine on offer and Lower Manhattan serves up a fine variety of awesome establishments. Expect everything from fast food outlets to exceptional street food, fabulous cafes, brasseries, and exceptional fine dining restaurants.
The main problem is where to start. While travelling, time is often limited and the range of choices is overwhelming. But when food is a passion, you need a quick guide that picks out those little gems, so here goes; ‘Where to eat in Lower Manhattan’. Some of the places we found awesome and would not hesitate to return.
Let’s start in the renowned district of Chinatown and have a proper Chinese chow. This vibrant district has amazing eateries and just buzzes with life, in fact its bordering on mayhem.
Try the Shanghai Café for awesome hot and sour’ soup and magnificent soup dumplings. The sweet and sour chicken was seriously good and the crispy duck was fantastic.
The Shanghai Café is located at 100 Mott Street, between Canal and Hester Streets. It’s not a posh establishment (most aren’t) and don’t go expecting striking décor or impressive service; the emphasis is on food, and at that, they excel.
Another great restaurant, over the road, is the Royal Seafood at 100 Mott Street which serves classic and modern dishes. This busy restaurant has amazing Dim Sum, but all round the food is stellar. The crispy chicken with garlic was superb and the shrimp wrapped in yellow bean curd skin was excellent, crispy, and delicious. Ooh and the lobster, just fantastic.
The Royal Seafood is at 103 Mott Street, expect a bright, hectic, and busy restaurant and if you arrive at a busy time you may well have to wait. However, although the wait may occasionally be a little long, it is certainly worth it.
Great NY Noodletown
The final recommendation for delicious Chinese food in Chinatown is the Great NY Noodletown. They simply serve the best wonton noodle soup in town. The Fish Maws & Egg White Crab Meat Soup, may not be the cheapest item on the menu, but is just amazing. The roasted chicken and the roasted pork are divine.
You will find the Great NY Noodletown at 28 Bowery Street on the corner of Bayard Street in Chinatown. Again, don’t go expecting or judging this restaurant on the interior decor, the service, go for the food and enjoy an authentic, delicious Chinese meal.
Moving north of Chinatown, we enter one of the most interesting and vibrant parts of the city, **Little Italy**. Most people love pizza and if you are one of them, head to Lombardi’s
This famous pizzeria was founded in 1905, reputed to be the first pizzeria in the United States and to this day still produces a mouth-watering smoky-crusted pizza topped with San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil. The baked pizzas are still prepared at 32 Spring Street in a coal oven.
The pizza is just incredible. Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, you must put Lombardi’s on your places to visit. Full of character, a great ambiance and packed full of memorabilia.
The Ferrara Bakery
The Lepore family operates an establishment that can its roots way back to 1892. The Ferrara Bakery produces the finest Italian dishes, cakes, desserts and serves up the best coffee in their renowned café. It’s certainly worth a visit, so much delicious food to try and just amazing to soak up the ambiance.
For five generations, this landmark café in New York City’s Little Italy has been producing the finest Italian and French desserts, cannoli, sfogliatella and gelato. It’s an institution and you need to get there. Spoil yourself and order the tiramisu, ooh and the eclairs are amazing.
The Spotted Pig
After a night on the town there is nowhere like The Spotted Pig. The food and ambiance is just amazing, the food sublime.
This remarkable joint, opened in 2004, is reputed to be New York City’s first gastropub. Owned and managed by April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman.
The Spotted Pig has earned one star from the Michelin Guide for seven consecutive years. It has seriously great grub and open till 2am.
The menu is full of treats to cure or prevent any hangover. You will find this amazing venue on 314 West, 11th Street, Greenwich. The legendary Roquefort burgers served with shoestring fries are simply, mind-boggling, you cannot describe the sheer pleasure of tucking into this feast. The Cubano Sandwich with Arugula Salad is also amazing. Oh and by the way the Bloody Mary is quite exceptional.
Nearby in West Village you will discover the Italian Barbuto Restaurant. Chef and owner Jonathan Waxman creates fine Italian fare from his garage space on Washington Street.
Don’t be fooled by the description of the venue, it’s amazing, a great vibe and food to die for. Highlighting an open kitchen and unpretentious décor this restaurant is a great place to enjoy some good wholesome Italian grub.
The wine list is sensible and not overwhelming offering a fine selection of wines at very reasonable prices. We kicked off with a sangria, which was delicious.
Owner Jonathan Waxman offers two great books which are a great memento to remember a special meal, ‘A Great American Cook’ and ‘Italian, My Way’. Must say we loved the Italian, his way, Barbuto is up there as one of those priceless little gems.
Please Don’t Tell
In East Village, there is a well-known lady at a bar that makes the best cocktails in ‘da city’. You’ll find the aptly named ‘Please Don’t Tell‘ at 113 St. Marks Place.
It’s a cool place to hang-out. You gain entry through a phone booth in Crif Dogs next door. ‘Please Don’t Tell’ is certainly worth a visit, the cocktails are sublime. Be warned it gets seriously busy. By the way Crif Dogs make a serve up a mean hot dog, so while you’re there you might as well tuck in. I bet you will be back for more, they are delicious.
Get yourself over to the City Winery. It’s a wine bar, restaurant, and music venue, all in one.
This city winery offers so much: from wine tasting and pairing, great concerts, and tasty food, they even make wine.
Try the Butcher’s Table Meatballs, Braised Duck Tacos or tuck into an awesome “LaFrieda” Burger, it’s delish! The flatbreads are fantastic, in fact unbelievable. The Wolfer Dry Rose Cider is quite unique, really tastes like more.
If fine dining is your passion you certainly will not be disappointed with the line-up of fine restaurants in this magical part of the city. New York certainly has its fair share of excellent fine dining venues and Lower Manhattan does not dissapoint.
If you want to savour a meal at one of New York’s finest establishments, then head off to Blue Hill. Located at 75 Washington Place, between 6th Avenue and MacDougal Street, this restaurant offers fine dining at its best. Choose between the ‘Daily Menu’ and the ‘Farmer’s Feast’, the menus feature local food and wines and you are sure, to be blown away.
This fine restaurant offers patrons an awesome venue, incredible cuisine, and brilliant service. The wine list is incredible and you will definitely find a bottle to compliment this fine fare.
Get this gem in your diary and book to avoid disappointment. The restaurant is open Monday – Saturday from 5 pm to 11pm, and on Sundays 5pm-10pm.
It is difficult to write about the Gotham Grill without wanting to return. I must say if I had to pick a winner this is it. Every adjective that exists would be poured into the text, it’s sublime.
Head to 12th Street and you will find the Gotham Grill . Try the 28-day aged New York steak which is just as delicious as the Maine Lobster. The food at Gotham is insanely good, loved it. The Gotham Chocolate Cake is superb: what an indulgence, but worth every cent you spend and every inch you may gain.
This restaurant has too many accolades to mention here in my humble blog but this will give you the flavour. In 2010 the New York Times awarded Gotham its fifth three-star review, a distinction achieved by no other New York restaurant.
Since 2005, the restaurant has maintained a one star Michelin rating. The Gotham Grill Restaurant is consistently highly ranked in the annual Zagat Guide.
Enjoy Lower Manhattan. This is a small part of New York, but it’s vibrant, it oozes charm, excitement, and it’s a dynamic place to interact with locals, business people and fellow travellers.
We hope this blog will help you on your travels. Our next blog on New York will focus on the Midtown area of Manhattan. Till then, enjoy the Big Apple.
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