Where to Eat, Drink & Stay in the Financial District

By Kathy Buccio | May 31, 2018 | Lifestyle

When you think of New York’s Financial District, you think New York Stock Exchange, endless financial institutions, and City Hall. The neighborhood is so much more than that, and it has gone through a revitalization in the last few years, making it one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods that many call home. Whether taking a stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge or taking in historic sights like Trinity Church (Alexander Hamilton is buried here, and no, he can’t get you Hamilton tickets), FiDi is booming and showing no signs of slowing down. In addition, the neighborhood has grown exponentially as an arts and culture hub, with new, trendy restaurants, shopping (hello Brookfield Place and Westfield), and even installations along Battery Park. Take the nearest train into the Oculus, and kick off your lower Manhattan adventures where skyscrapers and unparalleled views of the city await.

Where to Stay

The Beekman

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The Beekman Hotel

Take a step back in time to the Victorian Golden Age of downtown New York when you book a stay at the iconic Beekman. The grandeur of the hotel’s nine-story atrium and skylight dating back to it’s origin in 1881, is a sight to be seen. It also happens to be perfectly situated amongst some of the Financial District’s most visited sites- like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Oculus, and another landmark, the Woolworth Building. Another perk? The hotel houses two hotspot restaurants helmed by James Beard Award-winning chefs—Keith McNally’s Augustine which serves up French favorites, and Tom Colicchio’s American-driven Temple Court. The 238 rooms on property are nicely lit and furnished with velvet furnishings that give the space a romantic and vintage feel. If you’re lucky enough to snag a penthouse, do it. There are only two and they are located in the hotel’s famed “turrets” and have rooftop terraces overlooking One World Trade Center and City Hall Park. You can’t get anymore NY than that. 123 Nassau St., 212-233-2300

Gild Hall

Lower Manhattan has been upping it’s ’cool appeal’ in recent years and luxe boutique hotel, Gild Hall, has definitely been a bonus to the resurgence of the Financial District. The sleek, Aspen-influenced space is a welcoming and vibrant addition to the neighborhood. Supple tufted leather couches and banquettes, antler chandeliers, and a plethora of stacked books and hung photographs around the lobby and upstairs area, give the hotel a cozy-yet adventurous vibe that kind of makes you want curl up in a blanket or have a nice glass of red. You can actually do that when you visit the hotel’s tucked away romantic wine bar, La Soffitta, which boasts a specifically curated collection of Italian wines. Keeping with that Italian theme, grab some dinner at Felice Ristorante, the hotel’s Tuscan-inspired restaurant. Rooms are rich and bold in browns, black, and gold. The leather headboard is robust and elegant and really stands out as the statement piece of the room (unfortunately you can’t take it home with you). 15 Gold St., 212-232-7700

The Assemblage John Street

The latest addition to the Financial District’s hotel landscape, is a unique concept brought to you from the folks of NoMad’s Assemblage. John Street House, offers 79 hotel rooms, or ‘apartments,’ bringing the ‘co-living’ concept to fruition for those guests looking to feel right at home. While John Street's desired apartment living rooms are designed for long term stays, they are also intended for travelers looking for a relaxing and zen-like weekend getaway. Rooms are equipped with full kitchens and large living areas for maximum comfort. The hotel also offers a yoga studio, sound meditation, Tea Ceremony, and a rooftop. John Street House also has five floors of co-working spaces available to both members (there are six different tier memberships available for anyone looking to join) and guests, encouraging an environment of interconnection and community living- which basically means you better like your neighbor. 17 John St., 646-859-5013

Where to Eat

Westville

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Westville

Fresh and seasonal has hit FiDi with it’s new Westville location right smack in the heard of the hustle and bustle of the neighborhood. Come for simply prepared American fare that is full of flavor thanks to fresh ingredients and a farm to table experience. Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, Westville offers such classics such as the crispy vegan quinoa and artichoke chopped burger with chopped kale, alfalfa sprouts, avocado with homemade coconut sriracha ranch on a vegan potato roll. The shitake mushroom and burrata scramble is also a favorite. Brunch tends to get crowded, so make sure you arrive early to snag a table and order all the mimosas you please. 110 Wall St., 212-741-4780

Fraunces Tavern

You get a little American history with your meal when you dine at the iconic Fraunces Tavern in the Financial District. Open since the 18th century, the restaurant, which also boasts a museum as well, is the oldest in New York City. It also happens to be the spot where George Washington delivered his farewell address after the revolution (he also enjoyed the restaurant’s chicken pot pie, which is still on the menu). Patrons will get a taste of the American Revolution and early American history the moment they step into the oak-paneled room with it’s 18th century windows. Enjoy classics like Porterhouse Steak, traditional fish and chips, and Scotch Egg made with the restaurant’s own three sausage blend. Whiskeys are a plenty, with over 200 different whiskeys and a beer selection that includes over 140 craft beers—just like our founding fathers would have liked it. Make sure to visit the museum before or after your meal and soak up some history lessons before you go. 54 Pearl St., 212-425-1778

Schilling

This Austrian-Mediterranean bistro from Michelin-starred chef, Eduard Frauneder (from Edi and Wolf), is an eclectic culinary gem in the heart of lower Manhattan. Expect to be blown away with signature dishes such as the Wiener Schnitzel (Heritage Pork, Potato Salad, Cucumber Salad) or the fail-proof Schilling Burger. Crispy Brussel Sprouts are also a must! Cocktails are Viennese-inspired and fun (and encouraged), like the Ciao! Vienna made with Gra’it Grappa, Disaronno, Oregat, Passion Fruit & Mint or definitely try the C&M Fizz (Lemon Infused Vodka, St. Germain, Cucumber, Coriander & Soda). Schilling’s is a foodie’s dining dream in the Financial District. 109 Washington St., 212-406-1200

Where to Drink

The Dead Rabbit

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The Dead Rabbit

It’s hailed as one of the world’s best bars in the world for a reason. The Dead Rabbit, a twist on the traditional Irish pub, is three floors of libation innovation. On the ground floor, you’ll find a traditional Irish watering hole, complete with Irish whiskeys, Irish coffee, and the best Guiness (so they say). On the second floor, patrons will find The Parlor, a cocktail den with some of the best mixed drinks creation (hey, it’s what they’re known for). Coat that belly with some bar food (like their Bangers and Mash or Lamb Shepherd's Pie) because you’ll definitely want to try more than one cocktail. Start with the Talk of the Devil made with Argentinian Gin, American Navy Strength Gin, Bianco Vermouth, Mint, Honeydew, Lemon, Champagne. Then move on to the Baby Face (Reposado Tequila, Rhum Agricole, Togarashi, Guava, Lime, Peach Bitters) it’s a must try. The third floor is open for more private, intimate gatherings- like with 64 of your closest friends! Stay for the festive vibes—it’s just as good as the drinks. 30 Water St., 646-422-7906

The Malt House

Craft beer aficionados have a new establishment to swig some drinks. The Malt House has landed in the Financial District and locals couldn’t be happier. The lofty space, with it’s distinctive bar display and contemporary American tavern interior, is the ideal spot for after happy hour, date night, or Sunday brunch. The Malt House has a vast selection of beers on tap, as well as local beers like a Montauk Wave Chaser IPA or Brooklyn Sorachi Ace. There’s also a great cocktail list for those that like their spirits. My suggestion? Order a Barely Legal (Illegal Mescal, Orange liqueur, honey ginger and lime). Stop by for the happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and take advantage of $1 oysters, $5 draft beers. For the avid brunchers, get bottomless cocktails for $18 when you purchase an entree. Happy Drinking! 9 Maiden Ln., 646-682-7577

Sugar Momma

At Sugar Momma, the spotlight is on all the leading ladies kicking ass and taking names in a neighborhood dominated by money and men in suits. It’s the new kid on the block, but don’t expect it to disappoint. Located inside the Hole in the Wall Coffee Shop, Sugar Momma is a sexy yet playful cocktail den for those who love 90’s hip hop and secret atmospheres, basically a much needed addition to FiDi. There are 11 cocktails on the menu and all like their signature Momma’s Martini made with Absolut Vanilla Vodka, passion fruit puree, and prosecco or the Punching Rum (Pyrat Rum, Malibu, Amaretto, orange juice, pineapple juice, grenadine and bitters) which will surely hit you hard. When you get hungry, there are tasty dishes to munch on like the Edamame and Avocado dip or the Shrimp and Crab crackers. At Sugar Momma, it’s all about the experience. 15 Cliff St., 212-602-9991

What to Do

9/11 Memorial and Museum

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9/11 Memorial

Take a few hours of your day to witness and share the stories of hope, love, and resilience of those who lost their lives in the terrible tragedies of 9/11. Start at the 9/11 memorial, which is free to the public and bears the name of every life lost on both February 23th, 1993 and September 11th, 2001. The two memorial pools, take up eight of the 15 acres that once was occupied by the twin towers and serves as a reminder of lives lost but never forgotten. The museum itself is made up of three parts- before 9/11, the day of 9/11, and what happened after 9/11. The events are told through first person accounts, artifacts, multimedia displays, archival footage and other narratives. Visitors will immerse themselves not only in the events of the day, but in the lives and stories of those that perished. 180 Greenwich St., 212-312-8800

South Street Seaport

The restoration of the South Street Seaport is bringing droves of New Yorkers back to the historic center that was once was billed ‘ a tourist trap’ by many. The Seaport, which has been in existence since the 17th century and served as a vital means of trade outpost between the old and the new world, has become an epicenter for dining (think big name such as Jean-Georges and David Chang), shopping, NY culture, and beyond. There’s even an IPic Theater amongst all the wine bars, eateries, and designer-brand stores that line the cobblestone streets. The Seaport is helmed by the eye-catching Pier 17, with it’s waterfront views, rooftop access, and another food hall set to open sometime this year. Pop in for brunch at Cowgirl Sea Horse, pick up a pair of vintage jeans at Rialto Denim Project, or just come a great a brewsky at The Garden Bar and take in the views of the Brooklyn Bridge. 89 South St., 212-732-8257

Oculus

Four million dollars later, and lower Manhattan has it’s world famous Oculus, designed by Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava. The Oculus is the piece de resistance of the World Trade Center transportation hub, which serves as a connection between NJ PATH trains and the city subways. It’s stark white bone structure is the centerpiece of the center, and also holds ample retail and dining options (Westfield World Trade Center) for both locals, tourists, and it’s thousands of commuter to enjoy. The Oculus, built to resemble a bird in flight, is quickly becoming one of the most photographed landmarks in the city. 33-69 Vesey St. (World Trade Center Station)



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