Where To Have A Leisurely Lunch In Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan is New York City’s choice neighborhood for the quick lunch spot — there are plenty of places to grab a salad or sandwich to take back to your desk if you’re strapped for time. But if you’re lucky enough to take a spell for one of those leisurely lunches from the days of yore/Europe, there are some standout sitdown spots. Here are 14 favorites.
Casa Taqueria (40 Gold Street)
Whether you need some flavorful takeout or a sit-down burrito, this spicy standby at 40 Gold Street has lots of great, affordable options, including a range of tacos, burritos and tortas.
Ruchi (120 Cedar Street)
Enjoy traditional north and south Indian dishes amid simple brick-lined walls and festive hanging lanterns. Ruchi means “taste” — and with fresh ingredients and authentic ground spices, it delivers! The menu includes rogan gosh, exotic biryanis, spicy vindaloos, and a variety of kormas. For dessert, try the warm banana fritters with vanilla bean ice cream and honey.
Nish Nush (41 John Street)
For some of the best falafel in the neighborhood, head to this unassuming John Street spot, which is ripe with fresh hummus, falafel, veggies and other Middle Eastern delights.
La Parisienne Cafe (9 Maiden Lane)
Lower Manhattan’s busy and bustling crowds may gravitate towards familiar chains, but those who are in the know recognize this hidden gem on 9 Maiden Lane. Helmed by husband/wife Adrian and Julie Bruyère, La Parisienne serves breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. The menu is irresistible — favorites include a savory burrata, rich brioche French toast, their staple croque madame, avocado toast (a morning-commuter staple) and a sweet and creamy paris-brest.
Squire’s Diner (80 Beekman Street, #1)
If you’re looking for an old-school diner situation, Squire’s dishes up all the classics: omelets, pancakes, burgers, you name it.
O’Hara’s Pub (120 Cedar Street, #4)
In 1992, O’Hara’s Pub survived a devastating fire that necessitated a six-and-a-half-month-long gut renovation. In 2001, the attacks on September 11 happened about 400 feet from the bar’s front door, turning the space into a permanent de facto memorial for the 2,750 New Yorkers whose lives were lost. And in 2012, Superstorm Sandy left its mark in the form of about four feet of water stagnating in the building’s basement. And now, O’Hara’s has survived yet another New York catastrophe, coming out of the pandemic intact and ready to serve up brews and pub fare to a hungry lunch crowd.
Blue Park Kitchen (70 Pine Street)
This delicious walk-up establishment offers the rare combination of fast-casual convenience and locally-sourced produce, grains and proteins. You can take your bowl to go, or feast inside.
Dorlan (213 Front Street)
The Seaport’s Dorlan’s Tavern and Oyster Bar has oysters, burgers, brews and fried treats available for takeout, delivery and outdoor dining. Plus, they’re located on historic Front Street, so you can feel like you’re transported back in time during your lunch hour.
By Chloe (181 Front Street)
Vegan chainlet By Chloe has a wealth of plant-based lunch options, including burgers and sandwiches, pastas, salads and fries. You can order for delivery or pickup, or stop by the Front Street storefront for IRL dining.
Adrienne’s (54 Stone Street)
Adrienne’s Pizza Bar offers old-fashioned pies on historic Stone Street, with a wealth of tasty pizza options in addition to salads, sandwiches and sides. They offer indoor and outdoor seating, so you can enjoy your lunch in the sunshine if you wish.
Broadstone Bar and Kitchen (88 Broad Street)
Almost every seat in the house is along a balcony, and they have a bottomless brunch and chocolate chip pancakes to boot.
Cobble & Co. (19 Fulton Street)
Seaport staple Cobble & Co. provides your choice of cobblestone-side dining on the spacious outdoor patio or enjoying your meal indoors in the sunny, plant-filled dining room. For newbies, the menu offers chilled cocktails plus all your comfort-food cravings for the choosing. Have your pick of a generous spread of salads, burgers and sandwiches, entrees like Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Fish Tacos and Ribeye Frites and three different kinds of macaroni and cheese.
Benares (45 Murray Street)
The chefs at Benares come from all different regions of India, making it a bit of cuisinal melting pot. That’s certainly to our benefit — tasty dishes include lamb vindaloo and eggplant curry, and you can dine in for lunch.
Wattle Cafe (19 Rector Street)
This Rector Street spot is a lovely independent cafe, one that boasts excellent superfood waffles, organic bites and excellent coffee blends for all flavor profiles.
photo: Cobble & Co.