Gaby’s Guide to NYC (Lower Manhattan)

I’m a California girl through and through, but I LOVE a week in NYC. The energy, the food, the hotels, it’s the best! I’m there once a quarter or so for work and I soak up every single minute of it. After dozens of trips and copious amounts of research here are my all time favorite places to eat / drink / stay!

It’s a big place – and recently I’ve been staying downtown because all my meetings are in that part of town… so that said, I’m focusing on lower Manhattan! Don’t you worry – upper Manhattan and Brooklyn are coming your way soon. I just need another trip or two to flush out my list!! But here we go…

Barbuto – I’ll never tell you to order chicken at a restaurant (it’s easy enough to make it at home) but THIS place is the exception! And the sangria. EVERYTHING.

Gato – one of my favs for a post-work dinner! Octopus and Paella are must-haves.

Blue Hill – One of the most special places in the entire city! Catherine introduced me to it years ago and it’s still at the top of my list for most incredible meals of all times.

Locande Verde – my fav for an Italian inspired night out!

Shake Shack – don’t even get me started on the Shake Shack v In ‘n Out situation – a good burger is a good burger and that’s that!

Balthazar – just promise me you’ll go!!

Happy Bones – COFFEE! One of my favorite places to re-fuel in between meetings!

Morandi – more Italian. Because I’ll take it where I can get it until I devise a plan to move to Italy.

Estela – all about the small plate situation and ordering everything on the menu with a handful of friends!

Khe-Yo – this Southeast Asian inspired restaurant with Laotian roots CANNOT be missed!

Buvette – love everything about this place including the fact that it’s open late and it’s a great place to grab a night cap and a small bite or two or three 🙂

Peasant – wood fired oven. Enough said.

Four Seasons Downtown NYC – best hotel ever. And the room service menu is to die for. And that’s saying a lot because who really does room service well? The Four Seasons Downtown NYC… that’s who!

Frank – the coziest of all Italian eateries!!

Lure Fish Bar – all the fish you could possibly dream of!

I Sodi – one of those places that takes me back to Tuscany.

Seamore’s – go for lunch! It’s light and bright and perfect for a quick bite!

Quality Eats – I had to have at least one steak house right? Well… here ya go!!

Dirty French – such a fun night out! Drinks / food / service the whole nine yards. It’s loud though, so maybe don’t bring your grandparents.

Russ and Daughters – bagels and lox. You’ve gotta go once for breakfast or brunch

ABC Cocina – one of my favorite places of all times. Sophisticated Mexican food – into it!!

Le District – Imagine Eataly but all French food – and that’s Le District! So fun.

La Colombe Coffee Roasters – FUEL!

Smith and Mills – the cutest MINI restaurant / bar that you can find.

Minetta Tavern – it’s super trendy and a bit celeb-y but it’s worth it!

The Fat Radish – one word… BURGER!

The Smith – my favorite place for a breakfast meeting!

Mermaid Oyster Bar – champagne and oysters for happy hour. duh.

Hundred Acres – it’s country style cooking in the chicest of all spots!!

Arcade Bakery – one of the best places to grab a quick pastry and be on your way!

Laughing Man – they’ve got coffee but go for the tea!

Did I miss anything? Shout it out in the comments below so I can go give it a try!! There are too many restaurants and not enough days in the week to try them all. But I’m willing to give it a try!

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10 Comments

  1. I just mapped out my NYC trip this morning………………back to the drawing board! (In a GOOD way!). Thank You!!!!!

  2. Lower East Side is a blast and so many food options. Agree with many of your choices, others I haven’t tried, but will on future visits. For the best pizza, you left out Speedy Romeos. You will never be disappointed.

  3. Contra, Wildair, Sadelles (amazing bagels and lox too), Maison Premiere and Sauvage in Brooklyn if you want to head out there. Il Buco Alimentari, Le Coucou, Ladybird, Dirt Candy, Loring Place, Sant Ambroeus.

    One I wouldn’t miss is Superiority Burger. Little hole in the wall that is to die for! I would skip Blue Hill unless you can get to Blue Hill at Stone Barns near Tarrytown, NY. The NYC location is overrated in my opinion.

  4. Sarabeth’s !- Tribeca or Chelsea Market locations. Her pastries, need I say more? And it’s not just pastries.. all of it is fantastic!

  5. Hi Gaby, Funny you mentioned the Four Seadons Hotel room service …my son Drew met his wife Rosemary while working the room service night shift at the Four Seasons Hotel. They are both Culinary of America graduates and they were working as chefs at the Four Seasons. That was many years ago…..they now own their own catering business in New Jersey…..The Fruited Plain….going on 11-12 years, I think. They have some good stories to tell about some celebrities who used to stay there and would order room service….and the interesting food requests they would have.. Your New York trip sounds fun! Lucky you!

  6. I LOVE NYC!!My husband and i take semi regular trips, one place i recommend hugely is Morimoto right beside Chelsea Market, it was TO DIE FOR!! Also, Quality Meats (between 58th and 6th) is an amazing steak house.

    We have always stayed uptown Manhattan, maybe next time we will have to give downtown a try!

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