15 Gold St., Financial District
This Thompson Street hotel has a lot more personality than you’ll generally otherwise find in the Financial District, as it’s funnily-enough, inspired by an Aspen country house (and more specifically, it's designed by Jim Walrod). The lobby feels a bit like a ski lodge, there’s really good art on the walls, and the beds are topped with tartan blankets. Though its location is a little out of the way if you’re not planning on spending a majority of your time downtown, it’s not that deep into the Financial District and its rates are good for the quality.
Dos Toros Taqueria
Brookfield Place, 250 Vesey St., Financial District
Co-owned by two brothers from San Francisco—who were dismayed by the dearth of good Mexican spots in NYC—the emphasis here is on the basics: Tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and burritos-in-bowls. The ingredients are fresh and local, and the flavorings are equal parts subdued and complex. This spot is popular: There's practically one in every neighborhood.
The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park City (Closed)
2 West St., Financial District
This is a Ritz through and through with all the lavish amenities you’d expect—including sweeping views of New Jersey and the Statue of Liberty. It’s primarily a business hotel as it services the Financial District, which means it’s nice and sleepy on the weekends. There’s a really nice spa, a full-service gym, and they have Ritz Kids, a partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society, an interactive program that teaches little ones how to be good stewards of the environment.
Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar
225 Liberty St., Financial District
There are Blue Ribbon Sushi bars popping up all over the country, and while it's an impossible expectation to assume that they can keep up with sushi master Toshi Ueki's Sullivan Street original, it's definitely not a bad choice to spawn a chain. The 16-seat sushi bar at Brookfield Place is a really nice option in a sea of heavier choices, and they also do really beautiful take-out.
Andaz Wall Street
75 Wall St., Financial District
Sleek and modern, this spot is packed out with amenities, including a huge spa, a 24-hour gym, an outdoor beer garden in the summer, and meeting rooms galore. Said meeting rooms make sense because it’s buried deep in the Financial District, which means it bustles with business travelers during the week. It’s not particularly busy over weekends, which means you can get really great rates for the size and quality of the rooms.
The Hideaway Seaport
22 Peck Slip, 151 Water St., Financial District
At first glance, this looks like a laid-back bar with a good cocktail list; but the major appeal, here, is that on Sundays, they bring in Maryland Blue Crabs. These are served alongside nicer bar food than you'd expect, like truffled fries and a homemade burger. There is another downtown location in Tribeca.
225-227 Front St., Financial District
Hurricane Sandy was devastating for the Seaport; Barbarini, an adorable little Italian spot on Front Street was completely destroyed. But its owner, husband and wife Stefano Barbagallo and Adriana Luque opted to rebuild. Barbalu is just as sweet and delicious as its predecessor, offering everything from simple plates of pasta to potato-crusted salmon.
214 Front St., Financial District
Both popular and low-key, this Southern Italian spot offers the sort of classics—gnocchi, carbonara, baked branzino, plenty of pizzas—that you always want, along with some regional specialties from Calabria and Sila that make it a little exciting, too.
Seaport Studios (Closed)
19 Fulton St., South Street Seaport
This airy, loft-like shop is actually a year-long pop-up, luring a rotating cast of designers like Timo Weiland and Solid & Striped to the Seaport (and the fans that support them). It’s a gorgeous space and in close proximity to some of the area’s best spots for a quick bite, too.
72 Nassau St., Financial District
This unassuming burger joint is the sort of in-and-out spot where you dwell for all of 15 minutes: But that’s where the association with fast food stop. All the meat is sourced from family farms where the animals are humanely raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics, though they do a great veggie burger, too. And don’t skimp on the hand-cut sweet potato fries.
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