339 Greenwich St., Tribeca
Sarabeth’s started out as a bakery in Chelsea Market in the 80s, where owner Sarabeth Levine perfected cookies, scones, and cakes (with unabashed amounts of sugar, flour, and butter). After she became legendary, she opened Sarabeth’s and basically launched the craze that is weekend brunch. Years later, it’s still hard to get a breakfast reservation at any of her roomy, all-American, restaurants, but it’s so worth it for luscious pancakes and french toast, not to mention ideal omelettes. There are additional locations in the Upper East Side, Midtown, Upper West Side, and Gramercy.
145 Duane St., Tribeca
Quiet and unassuming, this long-standing institution has one of the friendlier sushi chef staffs in downtown—there’s also plenty of bar seating. While there’s always something interesting on the daily sushi menu, we think they really shine when it comes to the cooked dishes and soba noodle salads. There’s also an outpost in the East Village and a bakery down the street.
181 Duane St., Tribeca
This small and cozy offshoot from the East Village original is exactly where you want to go when you want to dive into a hearty plate of no-fuss pasta. They don’t skimp on portions, nor do they skimp on wine pours, and it’s all really well-priced.
413 Greenwich St., Tribeca
We’re big fans of this sustainability-first spot, which is growing like crazy. The focus is on local farmers, proper sourcing, and environmental respect, which is also reflected in the hands-down delicious food. Besides the build-your-own salad bar, the bowl-centric dishes range from Mexican-inspired salads to basic cobbs—and in the true spirit of transparency, they reveal calorie content, too. Come lunchtime, the lines extend around the block.
134 Reade St., Tribeca
The candlelit room filled with wooden farmhouse tables and exposed bricks is the perfect setting for Iron Chef winner Marc Forgione's delicious comfort food, from shrimp and grits to a blackened chicken. While it's a warm and cozy destination in the winter, there's outdoor seating in the summer that's lovely, too.
377 Greenwich St., Tribeca
The best seat here is actually in the courtyard—shielded by palms, you feel truly removed from the city. The Italian food is hearty, comforting, and reliably great whether you come for breakfast or a big dinner with friends. Their private dining room is surprisingly spacious (it can hold up to 60 seated guests), but a warm stone fireplace keeps things cozy.
85 W. Broadway, Tribeca
Little Park is actually huge. It has banquet and bistro tables, plush booths, and it occupies an entire corner in Tribeca (right below The Smyth hotel). For late-night revelers, the adjoining Evening Bar is a cozy spot to sip on mixologist Anne Robinson’s inventive cocktails. To craft the most seasonally sound menu possible, Chef Andrew Carmellini tapped local farmers, foragers, and ranchers for organic produce, grass-fed meats, and heirloom grains. Come here for traditional breakfast fare as well as lunch and dinner.
157 Duane St., Tribeca
Though he was born and raised in Kansas, Chef Soulayphet Schwader grew up on his family's Laotian cuisine, and spent years traveling through Laos learning the food and culture. He later worked at Marc Forgione's restaurants and the two have now teamed up on this venture, which in true Forgione style is cozy and informal but still an upscale dining experience. Though we have little to compare Khe-yo to, from the sticky rice you start with to the shareable dishes you move onto, it's some of the best Southeast Asian we've had. Vegetarians beware, the menu is beef and pork heavy.
2 Harrison St., Tribeca
Jungsik will take any preconceived ideas about traditional Korean food and squash them. Case in point: Chef Jung Sik Yim’s version of Bibimbap is crafted from foie gras and fresh black truffles, while meat and seafood gets the molecular gastronomy treatment rather than the open fire in the middle of the table. All the fireworks aside, the home-y, yet surprisingly refined rice dishes are still the go-tos in our eyes.
428 Greenwich St., Tribeca
When the beloved owner behind Mercer Street’s Honmura An moved back to Japan, and closed his restaurant in Soho, many a foodie’s heart was broken. But the soba noodles at Azabu (formerly known as Azabu) might be just as authentic and exquisite. Beyond the noodles, which are shepherded to perfection by Soba master Shuichi Kotani, they also specialize in small plates and sushi. The uni soba is insane, as is, weirdly, the California Roll. Go for lunch, as they have a great special.
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