i am fortunate for many reasons to no longer be working in the wall street area, but one of the big ones is the food options are quite poor. my old job required that i go out all the time and where to go was the never well-answered question. so just in case you find yourself in that same predicament (and there are a few fun reasons to be downtown including this winter the ice skating at the seaport) here are a few places to go for a reasonable lunch or coffee that won’t leave you miserable.
probably the best strip for eating is stone street which is not only adorable and really fabulous when the weather is nice as there are tables outside, but it also has several good options. one of the first places there, although it has gotten a bit big for its britches, and definitely more corporate, is financier. they have superb pastries if you like dainty french things, and i am fond of their croissants as well as the excellent cream cheese danish (rich and tasty and not too big). i also think they have some pretty good sandwiches and salads of which my favorites are the croque monsieur and the paninis. not too heavy but satisfying and fresh. financier, 62 stone street between mill lane and hanover square, manhattan, new york, 212.344.5600. they have another wall street location at 35 cedar street at 10 liberty plaza between pearl and william streets, manhattan, new york, 212.952.3838.
the same owners of financier opened adrienne’s pizza bar and it is also related to the well-regarded nick’s pizza in forest hills, queens. while certainly not the best pizza in new york, it is pretty darn good for downtown. the hostesses there are super friendly and warm, and very helpful in getting through what can be a long line but not usually such a long wait. their signature is the rectangular 10-slice pies made with fresh tomatoes and bubbling cheese that come with a variety of tasty toppings such as sweet pork sausage with fennel, anchovies, sweet peppers and mushrooms and easily stuffs two people. adrienne’s pizza bar, 54 stone street, manhattan, new york, 212.248.3838.
another place worth a brief mention is the brand new perle located a block away from stone street and which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A classic french bistro, perle has ambiance and is refreshingly affordable for a sit-down meal. while not a destination restaurant, if you are in the area and looking for a low-key atmosphere with classic food this will hopefully continue to be a good spot but i think it is too early to tell how well it will hold up. perle, 62 pearl street near broad street, manhattan, new york, 212.248.4848.
closer to the seaport, there are fewer reliable options so i would skip eating and just head to jack’s stir brew coffee. located along front street, another lovely cobble-stoned row next to the brooklyn bridge where the buildings were recently renovated. with a few sister shops including one in the west village, the downtown jack’s is cozy and fun, and the coffee is good. the rest of the restaurants lining the street, though appealing, are quite uneven. i think it just may take another turn of the economy before we see better food downtown. jack’s stir brew coffee, 222 front street near beekman street, manhattan, new york.