Tribeca, New York neighborhood guide

Short for the “Triangle below Canal,” Tribeca, New York is known for more than its legendary film fest

Tribeca
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Miciek LulkoTribeca

In the 1960s and ’70s, artists colonized the former industrial wasteland known as Tribeca, New York—or the triangle below Canal Street. These days, Tribeca’s more affordable apartments have been replaced by six-figure lofts, occupied by the rich and famous like film star Robert De Niro, a founder of the Tribeca Film Center as well as the legendary Tribeca Film Festival. De Niro is the celebrity most closely associated with the neighborhood, but the area has much more to offer including some of the city’s best restaurants, cute first-date spots, bars and stores.

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Three things to do in Tribeca, New York today

1
Takahachi Bakery
Restaurants

Takahachi Bakery

Japan gave us sushi, but the country also created green-tea desserts—and for that, we are forever grateful (and our pants are slightly tighter). Matcha-flavored sweets are just a few of the many sugary offerings at this café. You’ll drool over the matcha-and–red-bean swiss roll or the matcha crêpe. Éclairs, mousse and other French-style desserts are also up for grabs.

2
Tiny’s and The Bar Upstairs
Restaurants

Tiny’s and The Bar Upstairs

This 1810 bi-level townhouse is home to one of the most romantic dinner spots in the city.  Reserve a table on the first floor, near the crackling fireplace, for you and bae before fighting over who gets to order the pumpkin risotto. Or share the dish with a side of brussels sprouts fried with Granny Smith apples and sherry-vin–candied pecans, then treat yourselves to the warm, drunken doughnut holes drizzled with whiskey caramel and brown sugar.

3
Brandy Library
Bars

Brandy Library

The walls of this dimly lit bar-and-lounge are lined with bookshelves that contain bottles of brown spirits, not paperbacks. But the menu itself is a thick-bound anthology filled with more than 1,500 whiskey and cocktail varieties listed. Have a Don Draper night and order a flight, then purchase a stogie to enjoy on the back porch.

Best restaurants in Tribeca, New York

American Cut
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American Cut

New Yorkers pride themselves on playing it cool with celebrities; to stroll past Beyoncé and baby Blue Ivy without breaking stride is a badge of honor. So when our hometown chefs nab screen time, it’s customary not to fawn. In a city brimming with kitchen rock stars, it takes a lot more than a Food Network show to attract attention. At American Cut, Iron Chef Marc Forgione isn’t turning heads so much as laying down a safe bet. Unlike his other recent debut—Khe-Yo, the city’s first Laotian hot spot—his brassy Tribeca steakhouse delivers more of the same to a city already pumped up with marbled meat and Barolo. A spin-off of his Atlantic City original, it’s a playpen for high-rolling carnivores, suffused with wafting scents of singed fat and smoke-laced bourbon. The vast Art Deco space glimmers and glows, with shiny inlaid marble below, and brass chandeliers above. Burnished rosewood tables big enough for a poker game await hedge-funders eager to go all in on beef and booze. The menu caters to lily gilding, inviting you to top any of its wet- or dry-aged steaks with bacon ($6), foie gras ($18) or an entire Singapore-style lobster ($27). If you’re keen on embellishments, you’ll want the bone-in rib eye that’s Katz-ified into a smoky, spice-crusted pastrami steak topped with caraway butter ($44). Simplicity also earns its keep in this temple of gluttony. Chopped tableside, Caesar salad ($14) inspired by the Tijuana original impeccably balances sharp Parm and creamy yolk. An un

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Bâtard
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Bâtard

Drew Nieporent is back—well, sort of. It’s not like the revered restaurateur ever really left, operating celebrated spots like Nobu and Tribeca Grill since the ‘90s. But this latest venture returns to the hallowed halls of his restaurant past, the space that held his formative debut, Montrachet, until 2006, and most recently was home to his French fine-dining stunner, Corton, famously helmed by punctilious, Michelin-starred chef Paul Liebrandt. Following Liebrandt's abrupt departure from Corton for the Elm in August 2013, Drew Nieporent has changed gears, enlisting chef Markus Glocker (Gordon Ramsay at the London) to infuse a multicourse European tasting menu with touches of his native Austria: roasted beets "Linzer" with caramelized hazelnuts and red currants; baked turbot with egg yolk and salted pumpkinseeds; and a rabbit "flavors of bouillabaisse" with saffron ravioli and sauce rouille. France dominates the wine list, with a solid lineup of white varietals from the restaurant's namesake, Bâtard-Montrachet.

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Brushstroke
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Brushstroke

New York chefs, particularly of the haute French persuasion, have long held a special affinity for Japanese cooking—inspired by its zen seasonality, spare and delicate plating, and reverence for the finest ingredients from both land and sea. And like Quentin Tarantino highlighting his favorite Hong Kong directors, a few have imported chefs they admire from across the Pacific and opened restaurants for them in Gotham. In 2011, David Bouley launched his first such curatorial effort: the long-delayed Brushstroke. A collaboration with Osaka’s Tsuji Culinary Institute, the restaurant brings kaiseki cuisine—the intricate, formal multicourse meals at the pinnacle of haute Japanese cooking—into a surprisingly relaxed and accessible setting. Bouley puts the remarkable cuisine of young chef Isao Yamada at the fore here, and hasn’t muddied the waters by getting too hands-on with the place. The chefs, designers, and manager are all Japanese—and promisingly, for that matter, so are quite a few patrons. The space, by Tokyo design stars Super Potato, features an artful mix of the serene and playful—blond wood walls in the dining room giving way in the adjoining Noodle Bar to 25,000 paperback books stacked pages out so they resemble crisscrossing planks. Despite the clean, elegant cooking, there’s great energy to the place—from its breezy service and jazz soundtrack to the furious (but silent) rush in the huge open kitchen. Yamada, brought west from Fukuoka in 2005, has spent his years in

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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China Blue
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China Blue

When dapper Yiming Wang and Xian Zhang stealthily debuted Café China in 2011, it held a singularity on the spectrum of Szechuan restaurants. Neither gilded midtown warhorse, outer-borough shanty nor nouveau fusion trendsetter, the elegant spot earned a Michelin star for its boho style and fresh renditions of classic dishes. Like its older sibling, China Blue feels fashionable, but not overdressed in its 1930s decor. Wang and Zhang have switched from Café China’s chili-spiked Szechuan to the much tamer flavors of Shanghai for their sophomore effort, but they’ve retained their trademark aesthetic. The high-ceilinged, teal-swabbed dining room is unlike the city’s other exemplars of the regional cuisine (Joe’s Shanghai, Shanghai Cafe Deluxe), showcasing antique lamps, worn books and old typewriters like Art Deco calling cards. Young waiters whisk delicate, crab-rich soup dumplings ($10) to tables, while smartly dressed couples sip classic cocktails from etched-glass coupes. Where Café China relies on the one-two punch of chilies and Szechuan peppercorns, China Blue offers subtler interplays among salty, smoky and sweet. Slices of cold poached chicken ($12) go on a 24-hour bender, their soft, “drunken” flesh sloshing in a heady marinade of sweet rice wine and salty broth. Firm shreds of tofu, chicken and cured Chinese ham ($18) soak up the flavors of a brackish, smoky pork stock. The delicate sweetness of Shanghainese cuisine emerges in fried slivers of Asian swamp eel ($14),

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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More amazing grub in Tribeca, New York

Best bars in Tribeca, New York

Macao Trading Co.
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Macao Trading Co.

On paper, Jason Kosmas, co-owner of retro-speakeasy Employees Only, has little in common with David Waltuck, the co-owner and chef at the very elegant, very French Chanterelle. Then again, there’s not much commonality between Portugal and China either--—save the tiny peninsula of Macao. So maybe it works out that the pair has joined forces to attempt to create a culinary legacy out of Portugal’s last colonial outpost—returned to China a decade ago—with Macao Trading Co. Stylistically, there’s no question as to who’s in charge. Billy Gilroy, a co-owner, has fashioned one of Manhattan’s more dazzling settings. The dining room feels like some exotic foreign correspondents’ club, with slowly rotating ceiling fans, and a caged catwalk balcony overflowing with antique roulette wheels, trunks and other port-of-call knickknacks. Down a discreet stairway, a lounge adorned with vintage Chinese erotica hosts a few dining tables and a small bar. The cocktail menu rolls with the culinary theme, infusing the deceptively strong drinks with Asian flourishes. The “Hong Kong Cocktail” is essentially a margarita leavened by port and nutty pandan-leaf syrup, while green-tea-infused vodka and Thai basil spike the excellent “Drunken Dragon’s Milk,” frothy with coconut puree. The meal was less sure-handed. Fusion cuisine is about integration, but Waltuck’s philosophy on Macanese food seems to be “separate but equal.” Chinese and Portuguese dishes are listed in parallel on the menu. Some showcase

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Terroir Tribeca
Bars

Terroir Tribeca

This populist wine bar, with locations in the East Village and Murray Hill features a winning mix of wines on tap, rock & roll on the speakers and a hyperactive beverage list peppered with entertaining asides. Young, energetic staffers are keen to introduce drinkers to lesser-known wine-producing regions like the Canary Islands, where volcanic soil lends a smoky minerality to the 2009 Frontn de Oro ($13 per glass). You'll find most patrons nibbling on something while they drink, and you should follow suit—try veal-and-ricotta meatballs ($17) or sage-wrapped lamb sausages ($8) from chef Marco Canora.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Tribeca Tavern
Bars

Tribeca Tavern

There’s a certain ilk of New York bars that, at first glance, are decidedly ordinary—they offer nothing special in terms of drinks, decor or anything else. Somehow, though, these unassuming, often rundown spots transcend any one of a number of stereotypes and provide pub crawlers with a terrific bar experience. No place fits the bill better than TriBeCa Tavern. While the decor borders on decrepit (TriBeCa Tavern may be a contender for Manhattan’s Worst Restroom), it’s actually quite homey: Ample tables provide plenty of seating space, but the real prize is up front, where a cozy enclave provides patrons with a view of bustling West Broadway. The friendly bartenders are more than happy to whip up whatever drink you desire, though the reasonably priced draft beer, served by the pitcher, is really the way to go. The standard digital jukebox and surprisingly good sound system, like most things at this great little bar, sound better than you would’ve thought.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Ward III
Bars

Ward III

There’s much more to running a drinks destination than a great cocktail. Which explains why this austere bar nails all of its drinks but flubs so much else. The drinks list features some inspired creations, like the Singer, combining muddled raspberries and rye, and the Sweeter Heater—a tequila cocktail with white pepper, basil and hot sauce. But only the basic bar snacks—dates wrapped in bacon, flaky spinach-cheese phyllo pockets—are solid food options. It’s just as well that the rest of the grub is so hit-or-miss: The generic setting doesn’t invite settling in, anyway.

More spots to grab drinks in Tribeca, New York

Best hotels in Tribeca, New York

The Roxy Hotel

The Roxy Hotel

The true test of whether a New York hotel is cool? Whether actual New Yorkers want to go there! The Roxy easily passes that test. Beyond being a place to stay in Tribeca—one that manages to be swanky but not pretentious or intimidating—it’s a place to go in Tribeca. At any given time, there are honest-to-goodness New Yorkers hanging in the lobby (or at least chic tourists who pass for them). And speaking of chic: Super-stylish celebs with rock-star cred stay there, too; The fashion darlings of the 2016 Costume Institute Gala, Haim, hung their hat at The Roxy after spending all night with their bestie Taylor Swift. Upon check-in, you’ll get a glass of sparkling rosé (yes, please!) and a questionnaire that asks for your choice of morning paper and pillow type. (Who knew there were multiple pillow types? And why hasn’t anyone ever asked us our preference before?!? Rude.) The inside of the hotel has one of those perimeter balcony setups that’s more reminiscent of a convention-center Marriott than a downtown boutique hotel, but for the most part, the Roxy does its Tribeca Grand past proud: Comfy eclectic couches dot the lounge, a pool table sits invitingly off to the side. Everything is brown and gold and white—nothing screams, everything calms. And most important, when you retire to your room and collapse into one of the most comfortable beds you’ve ever had the pleasure to sleep in, the windows and doors are amazingly soundproof, crucial because of the all-hours hubbub outside

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Cosmopolitan Hotel

Cosmopolitan Hotel

Despite the name, you won’t find the pink cocktail at this well-maintained hotel in two adjacent 1850s buildings, let alone a bar in which to drink it (though there is a café). Another handy facility is a business center with two Macs that guests can use free of charge. Open continuously since the mid 19th century, the Cosmopolitan remains a tourist favorite for its address, clean rooms and reasonable rates. A wide range of configurations is available, including a suite with two queen beds and a sofa bed, ideal for families. Rooms: 126.  

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Greenwich Hotel

Greenwich Hotel

If there were one word to sum up the vibe at the Greenwich Hotel it would have to be “cozy.” Located on Greenwich Street between N Moore and Franklin Streets in Tribeca, the Greenwich Hotel is not known for its skyline views, but that’s definitely not a problem. Once inside, its dimly lit atmosphere and warm wood surroundings, far remove you from the frenetic NYC chaos right outside its door. The guest rooms are impeccably sharp, from the furnishings to the overall design: high ceilings, floors planked with thick slabs of what looks like refined barn wood, plush leather chairs, beautiful paintings and sculptures; the bedroom area was fitted with a king-size bed and fully-stocked bookshelves—the perfect getaway for the traveling reader.   The hotel boasts a pool and spa on the lower level. After weaving in and out of the Tribeca cobblestone streets burning holes through your shoes, it’s nice to come back and take a dip in a serene atmosphere. Upon entering the area, past the glass-encased gym, and through the locker room, meet the floor’s focal point: a tranquil lantern-lit pool, surrounded by a 250-year-old wood and bamboo Japanese farmhouse that was actually imported from Japan and reconstructed for the hotel.   Down in the tucked away guests-only Drawing Room bar and courtyard on the street-level—yes there’s an outdoor courtyard nestled in the middle of the hotel—sip potent cocktails while listening to the crackle from the fireplace. Head over to the hotel’s restaurant

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
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More great places to stay in Tribeca, New York

Best shops in Tribeca, New York

Best Made Co.
Shopping

Best Made Co.

After hosting a series of local holiday pop-ups, designer and founder Peter Buchanan-Smith opens his first permanent store, hawking outdoorsy goods for the nature-starved urbanite. Rugged wooden crates display colorful bags ($78–$398), while built-in racks are hung with house-brand men’s wax-coated jackets ($348–$590). A peg board shows off all the gear and tools you’ll need for outdoor survival, including handsome axes ($135–$350) that are heated and shaped by four-generation axe makers in Maine, then painted and finished locally in the NYC studio. Stock up on everyday essentials, such as wool throws ($196), Randolph Engineering aviators ($229), nature-centric how-to books ($6–$375) and solid-color cotton tees ($38). Check back often, as one new item is added weekly. You can also attend weekend workshops ($45) on field medicine or ax restoration

Nili Lotan
Shopping

Nili Lotan

Inside this designer’s hybrid store and studio, you’ll find wardrobe staples like solid scoop-neck tanks ($195) and V-neck camisoles with spaghetti straps ($195) alongside trendier garb, such as floor-length washed-charmeuse silk skirts ($395).

Shinola
Shopping

Shinola

Mixing the industrial feel of the Motor City and NYC history, the store is decorated with cool antiques, including a 1930s bronze map that used to hang in Rockefeller Center. 

Steven Alan
Shopping

Steven Alan

Steven Alan's Tribeca flagship boasts a multitude of boutique brands for men and women, including cult-inducing Rag & Bone, Band of Outsiders and Engineered Garments in addition to its bevy of handbags, accessories and shoes.

More places to shop in Tribeca, New York