The Odeon. Photo: Alex Lopez
Many of Tribeca’s neo-Renaissance industrial buildings have been converted into cushy condos, boutiques, restaurants and hotels. The neighborhood is largely populated by young families, artists and affluent types employed in the nearby Financial District, so it’s well suited to support a variety of blue-chip eateries. The Odeon is a classic canteen serving cocktails and burgers, and Bubby’s is a comfort food haunt that’s thrived for decades. Bouley is known for luxury and a seasonal tasting menu. Global choices also abound: there’s high-end Indian food at Tamarind, sophisticated Korean at Jungsik and Shanghai-style dishes at the chic China Blue, plus the Laotian-inspired bistro Khe-Yo. The Greek is a cozy taverna for traditional, healthy Mediterranean fare. And if a vegetable-focused diet is your goal, Little Park is superb. See below for 10 more options, which are especially bustling during the Tribeca Film Festival.
There’s an elegant minimalism to Drew Nieporent’s restaurant Bâtard. Chef Markus Glocker is Austrian, but his beauteous Michelin-starred cuisine is Modern European. He organizes his tasting menus into two, three or four courses, and also offers an à la carte menu. Signature dishes include an inspired octopus pastrami with mustard, al dente risotto with rabbit sausage and crispy dorade with roasted shrimp. For dessert, the duck-egg crème brûlée with seasonal sorbet is a must. The excellent waitstaff includes a sommelier with deep knowledge of the Burgundy-focused wine list.
This retro bar-restaurant looks like it’s been around since Frank Sinatra’s heyday, but only dates back to 2015. Its walls are crammed with beer ads, vintage album covers and racy posters. Early in the week, it’s a snug place to hang out with a friend or a laptop; as Friday approaches, so does the party scene. At brunch, eggs and pancakes provide ballast for bottomless $20 drinks. At lunch and dinner, the American menu features cheesy onion soup, spicy fish tacos, burgers and piles of crunchy fries. The partners behind Belle Reve are nightlife aces also involved in Employees Only and Macao Trading Co.
Photo: Bret Cline
Distilled New York
Distilled is a watering hole with an industrial design—its open-plan dining room and bar affording plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy elevated pub food. Chef Shane Lyons used to work at Momofuku Noodle Bar. Gochujang jazzes up his twice-fried chicken wings, and fish sauce vinaigrette laces his crispy brussels sprouts with peanuts. There’s a genuine sense of hospitality, including a welcoming gesture of free popcorn sprinkled with “magic dust”—a savory, addictive powder of garlic, cumin, nutritional yeast and sea salt.
This coffee bar’s large, contemporary space has gentle lighting, private nooks and communal tables, providing lots of sockets and Powermats (wireless charging spots) built into wooden tables. In addition to hot and cold drinks, Gotan serves fresh pastries and breakfast/lunch options like oatmeal with poached fruit and coconut milk, house-cured salmon on a bialy, fattoush salad with feta, and sandwiches variously stuffed with honeyed squash and ricotta, brisket or Brooklyn-cured ham.
Photo: Noah Fecks
Locanda Verde melds food, fashion, celebrity and business. It’s a suave Italian restaurant where guests can unwind over breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner or drinks. Andrew Carmellini (Lafayette, The Dutch, Little Park) has been overseeing the kitchen since it opened in 2009, and his food is as solid and satisfying as ever. Creamy, fluffy sheep’s milk ricotta with sea salt and herbs, spread on crostini, is a great way to start any meal. Steak tartare with black truffle and hazelnuts, lamb meatball sliders and wood-fired garlic chicken for two are other standouts. Deborah Racicot’s desserts are killer.
Restaurant Marc Forgione
Marc Forgione’s New American food is playful and delightful, making his namesake bistro a lively experience. The 19th-century building was once a butter factory, and the dark, masculine space is divided in two—a bar area with a sharply dressed after-work crowd and a dining room for quieter meals. Look for good cocktails, chili lobster with Texas toast, a 28-day dry-aged bacon cheeseburger and tasty gifts from the kitchen to welcome you and say goodbye. The menu changes frequently.
Some of the most scrumptious French food and wine in NYC are on hand at this unassuming bistro. The urban-rustic interior features a wide marble bar where the staff pours natural, lesser-known wines into delicate long-stemmed glasses for the sort of sophisticate who says “I’ll have the panisse” without having to ask first what it is (it’s fingers of fried chickpea dough). Chef Frédéric Duca’s small plates menu changes often—but there might be a mushroom tart with onion confit, white asparagus from Provence and scallops in hazelnut crust.
Photo: Abbie Sophia
Drew Nieporent and Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Grill has been a neighborhood mainstay since 1990. Abstract expressionist artworks by the actor’s father festoon the walls of the spacious dining room, illuminated by theatrical fixtures that look like bejeweled sombreros. Since the former warehouse complex holds film production offices, it’s common to see industry types taking meetings at tables or going over scripts at the mahogany bar. The traditional American menu of salmon, chicken and steak has some Italian inflections in dishes like fried calamari and fettuccine with a hearty ragu of lamb, veal and bacon.
Strangely enough, the age-old Walker’s is the most hopping spot in Tribeca. At lunch, after work and into the evening, there’s a boisterous crowd gathered at the bar. Tables are peopled with locals and firefighters from the station across the street, which is famous for being featured in Ghostbusters. Since the 1880s, the tin-ceilinged establishment has served as a restaurant and bar, and was christened Walker’s—after an owner—in 1987. Big, meaty, char-grilled burgers and fries are the most popular order. There are also salads, hummus with pita, and a tasty portobello mushroom sandwich with goat cheese.