New York’s gastro-rep, however, is built upon bedrock: establishments that
collectively give shape to the town’s culinary character.
Which brings us to the 99 Essential Restaurants™ of Lower Manhattan.
For the inaugural edition of this list, we’ve confined ourselves to the seven square miles
of the island between 34th Street and Battery Park. Aside from that geographical constraint,
the only rule we self-imposed is that to be eligible for inclusion, a restaurant has to have been open as of January 1, 2013. Beyond that, each and every eatery is fair (fare?) game, be it pizza joint, iconic antique, neighborhood bistro, temple to the gods of gastronomy, shining star of Chinatown, hole-in-the-wall, or forward-looking game changer that challenges us to re-imagine food entirely.
Some of the restaurants that made our list are institutions, others mere babes.
Many cast a long shadow of influence by virtue of the chefs they showcase — a smaller handful by virtue of the showcase chefs they inspire. They’re the places we show off to our out-of-town guests; they’re the havens where we seek refuge when we need the restorative magic only a familiar bill-of-fare can provide.
They are what make eating in New York, well, eating in New York.
We can’t imagine downtown without them.
Zachary Feldman, Tom Finkel, Caryn Ganeles, Jessica Lee, Scarlett Lindeman, Billy Lyons, Hannah Palmer Egan, Nicole Schnitzler, Alanna Schubach, Laura Shunk
New York City is a spectacular town for dining: You can start your day at a diner, order cheap hand-pulled noodles in spicy broth for lunch, then sit down for a multi-course dinner at one of the finest restaurants in the world — without leaving Lower Manhattan.
The city presents a dining landscape that’s constantly changing, and the inexhaustible
churn of restaurants is part of what makes eating in New York such a fabulous adventure:
The world looks here to see what comes next, and each new eatery offers a possible answer, even if it only survives a few months.