Lower Manhattan’s Top Five Places to Eat Outside

09/15/2021 in
Lower Manhattan’s Top Five Places to Eat Outside

Josh Katz did an impressive amount of walking as Explorer in Chief, averaging something like 10 miles per day. He spent a lot of that time eating meals outside, testing every park, pier and plaza for picnicability — knowledge worth having for anyone visiting Lower Manhattan or looking for fresh air on their lunch break. 

Here are Lower Manhattan’s top five spots for your own al fresco setup, in no particular order, along with some nearby food tips. 

Pier 15 

On a sunny day, the grassy fields up top are havens for a picnic at any hour. On a rainy day, the bleachers below will keep you dry and full surrounded by a summer’s storm as it hits the water. You also catch a fantastic breeze, making for the most satisfying, scenic shade when it’s too hot out.  

Preferred meal: Leo’s Bagels @ 3 Hanover Square

Ferry Terminal Bleachers 

These bleachers, located in line with Wall Street, are designed for you to look at what matters most,: the water. You have a great view of the Pier 11 ferries shuttling back and forth, and at high tide, the water comes up onto the lower steps. Most spots keep you nice and separate from the water. Here, you’re perfectly immersed. 

Preferred meal: Aroi Dee Thai @ 20 John Street

Battery Park 

The people-watching in Battery Park is unbeatable. Over by the East Coast Memorial, you can sit by the water to watch fantastic street performers and Statue of Liberty cruisers come and go. Go a little further east along the water, just outside The View Restaurant, and you’ll be surrounded by fishermen. Sunrises and sunsets with the Statue of Liberty in the back never disappoint, either. 

Preferred meal: Mad Dog & Beans Mexican Cantina @ 83 Pearl St

Elevated Acre 

Ride the discrete escalators up from Water Street to this secluded haven with an opulent garden, pristine astroturf field and views overlooking the East River. 

Preferred meal: Tacombi @ 74 Broad St

Battery Park City Esplanade 

The esplanade is lined with benches, and there’s not a single bad seat along this entire lengthy stretch. No matter what, you’re in a land of leisure, perfectly situated for watching a sunset over the Hudson. Though it’s tough to pick a bench, my favorites are at the end of Rector Place. The benches form an offset arch beside the Esplanade, providing an optimal angle for people-watching without the rapid head-turning that comes with facing the water. 

Preferred meal:  Benvenuti Pizzeria @ 235 South End Avenue

Tags: eating outside, explorer in chief

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