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Jun 18, 2010 01:32 PM

Breakfast options in Battery Park City?

After some problems and a thou thrown out on an apartment rental scam from Nigeria, I have finally learned that I will be staying at 355 South End Avenue, in a complex called the Gateway Plaza at the Battery Park City.

Can you recommend a breakfast place near there? Or near the closest metro station? Good coffee is essential, food should be at least OK.

Also, I am looking for a neighbourhood sort of "every-day" restaurant if we don't feel like going somewhere to town. Can be red sause Italian, can be a burger place, anything not too Asian and quite informal.

Thank you very much for any ideas!

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  1. Your best bet for good coffee (illy) and breakfast (croque monsieur) would be Financier Patisserie at the World Financial Center. There is no seating area, but you can take it to go and eat it in the winter garden area of the World Financial Center. As a foodie who lives in the neighborhood, I almost never eat out in the area. Restaurants closest to Gateway Plaza are certainly ok, but personally I wouldn't pay money to eat at any* of them, especially when you're so close to TriBeCa and the West Village where AMAZING restaurants are abound. My suggestion is to forget about grabbing anything in your neighborhood, and just wait till you get to another neighborhood to eat. You are very close to delicious neighborhoods!

    *the only restaurant in all of Battery Park City that is worth eating in is Inatteso, which serves excellent fresh pasta and pizza. They're not formal, but I wouldn't say they're informal either. It's a bit out of the way since it's south of you, but it'd be perfect for nights you want to stay in and potentially take a nice stroll along the water.

    And forget about the overpriced, ugly, and terrible supermarket down the street from where you'll be staying (Gristede's), and go to Whole Foods on Greenwich St. instead. There is a fruit cart down the block on the corner of South End Avenue and Albany which is ok.

    Anyway, now getting back to really answering your question: I think I have a good idea of what you meant in your post regarding the "everyday" restaurant in your neighborhood. They do exist right near Gateway Plaza, but I honestly wouldn't recommend eating in them unless you absolutely have to. So, if you absolutely don't mind being overcharged for very mediocre food, for breakfast, there is Izzy & Nats (American diner) right down the block from Gateway Plaza, and George's (American diner) right outside the R train stop at Rector Street. For an average ok dinner with an amazing view of the Hudson River (sit outside if weather's nice and not too windy), go to PJ Clarke's (American burgers, fresh oysters) at the World Financial Center. There's also SouthWestNY, another restaurant in the World Financial Center where you could sit outside, although I'd personally much rather eat at PJ Clarke's than SouthWestNY (Tex-Mex). PJ Clarke's food is much better. I wouldn't really recommend SouthWestNY unless you're craving nachos or quesadillas. Again, keep in mind that these particular recommendations are only worth going to if you absolutely have to stay in the area. The best one out of this bunch is PJ Clarke's.

    How long will you be in town for? Are you looking to do any bargain shopping? If so, you're in luck as you live close to a very quiet DSW (shoes discounter; the other one in the city is always too crowded but the one in Battery Park almost never has any people in it) and Century 21 (discount department store).

    In short, my recommendations in Battery Park for:
    Breakfast: Financier Patisserie
    Ok dinner: PJ Clarke's
    Great dinner: Inatteso

    28 West St, New York, NY 10006

    Izzy & Nat's
    311 South End Ave, New York, NY 10280

    13 Replies
    1. re: Noodle fanatic

      Hi Noodle Fanatic, thanks for your advice. I knew about the Whole Foods as my landlord told me about it. I'm just going to stay for a week and I have plenty of restaurant plans, but this time, I will be there with my in-laws, and they have never been to NYC, so it will be hard for them to get used to the high energy of the city :-) and we will have to battle the jet lag as well... on the bright side, I will do a research on delivery services, I'm sure plenty of good restos deliver, and I will look at Inatesso. And I'm sure there is a Starbucks somewhere near for coffee if necessary :-) I actually quite like their coffee :-)
      Thanks for the tips on shopping as well, as a woman I would never pass the opportunity to do some clothes and shoes shopping :-)))

      1. re: sasicka

        The Starbucks is right next to the Financier Patisserie at World Financial Center. For food delivery, look into Also check out this thread with regards to delivery options in the area: It's not terrible, but it's not fantastic either. Regarding the shopping tips, keep in mind those are bargain recommendations - which means the shops aren't pretty at all, and you're just going for the discount. Have a great time! You'll be right next to the water by Hudson River Park, so bring a pair of athletic shoes if you enjoy running/biking.

        P.S. There is an Au Bon Pain across the street from your building as well... can't quite comment on their coffee but they have giant (by European standards) parmesan/asiago bagels that I'm quite fond of.

        1. re: Noodle fanatic

          Thanks so much Noodle fanatic! From the things you posted on the other boards, I'd like to ask you a few more questions. Which restaurant would you recommend in Chinatown for lunch? DH been to some very good restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as HongKong and he still has very fond memory. No Sechuan, not too spicy and not too fatty, please.
          Also, what is your favorite sushi place (anywhere on Manhattan)? And can you recommend a Mexican place (best in Tribeca)?

          Thanks so much!

          1. re: sasicka

            Oops, forgot to mention that Au Bon Pain is a chain sandwich shop that is not particularly great, so you probably shouldn't go there for anything other than bagels or average pastries. The only reason I mentioned it is because of its very close proximity to Gateway Plaza.

            What types of foods/dishes in particular are you looking for in Chinatown for lunch? Dim Sum? Xiao long bao? Chinese bbq meats? Congee? Wonton Noodles? Have you eaten in Chinatown in Manhattan before? (Couldn't quite tell from your other posts how well you know the city. Although I must say I'm quite envious of your jetsetting around the globe!) You mentioned that you've gone to some very good restaurants in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, so I feel the need to tell you that you might be disappointed if you expect the same level of quality in Chinatown in Manhattan. You can certainly find pretty good Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, but they wouldn't be at the caliber of dining you might be used to in Asia. Let me know more about what you're looking for so I can recommend accordingly. e.g. Do you care about the aesthetics/design/decor of the restaurant? Most (almost all) restaurants in Chinatown are very lacking in this department, just want to make sure you're prepared for this.

            Hmm... favorite sushi place... I highly recommend for you to search the Chowhound boards for this. There is a wealth of information on sushi in Manhattan and you'll get a good sense of what type of sushi restaurant you'd want to visit based on the threads. Do you prefer rolls or nigiri? Do you prefer a restaurant that only serves sushi, or a restaurant that does a good job with cooked dishes as well? How much are you looking to spend per person? My personal favorites might not be overly popular with those with a more western palate or those who are looking purely for sushi, but if you're up for sushi + something new/different (especially if you're coming from Prague?), I love Mastugen (TriBeCa) and En Japanese Brasserie (West Village).

            I wouldn't recommend any Mexican restaurants in Tribeca. The great advantage of staying downtown is that you're never more than 15 minutes away from an amazing restaurant, so don't limit yourself to just 1 area. Always always go where the best food is! (The 1 nice Mexican restaurant in Tribeca is called Centrico, but their food isn't really that great. The other Mexican restaurant is more of a take-out restaurant called the Bigger Place, which is only ok for takeout. Would not recommend either of these restaurants.) If you want good Mexican, I highly recommend the tortilla soup and tacos at the Taqueria at La Esquina (Soho), less than 10 minutes away by cab. Check out their website for more info on the 3 restaurants (Taqueria/Cafe/Brasserie) within the 1 space. My personal favorite is their Taqueria for the wide variety of tacos (13 kinds!), which is great for a cheap and quick lunch or a late night snack. The Brasserie section of the restaurant requires advance reservations and is considered one of those hidden "see-and-be-seen" scenes, which could be a plus or minus depending on what type of diner you are.

            If you're interested in some other personal favorites of mine, I recently posted a short list here:

            Happy Eating!

            P.S. You mentioned in your original post that you weren't looking for anything "too Asian"... what exactly did you mean by that? Did you mean you prefer more Americanized forms of Asian cuisines, or that you prefer more mainsteam Asian cuisines (e.g. Chinese/Japanese) vs. something more obscure like Cambodian? My palate leans more authentic Asian rather than Americanized Asian, so keep that in mind as you're reading my recommendations.

            En Japanese Brasserie
            435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

            La Esquina
            106 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

            1. re: Noodle fanatic

              Thanks for the recommendations! I was supposed to stay directly opposite from the EN Brasserie but then I found out that the apartment I rented did not exist :-) I was looking forward to eating there at least a couple of times :-) well, too bad, but maybe I will be able to go there at least once... And I made a note about Taqueria @ La Esquina, it sounds nice.

              It's mainly my husband that travels widely and frequently, because he is in academia, so he is able to choose projects and conferences in interesting places. And since a year back, when I decided that office cubicule life and unpaid overtime is not for me, I joined him on some of his trips :-)

              The reason why I asked about non-Asian restaurants in my first post was that we will be travelling with our in-laws, who are wonderful but not always very open to new things and ideas in food, so I wanted to have a simple restaurant close to hand if I needed one (this is a holiday I don't plan to spend cooking :-D).

              But since last year, I have not yet had a good sushi or any Japanese meal and I miss it so much, so I thought I'd ask you for a recommendation. The best culinary experience I had in Japan was an omasake sushi lunch and cold soba noodles. So I will try to persuade my companions to go for dinner to EN and then maybe for lunch to a soba place. You mentioned Sobaya and Matsugen - which would be better for authentic cold soba?

              As for Chinese, I don't know. My husband was in China (as I said above) but I haven't and I don't have one single idea about what should I go for. I understand that the restaurants do not have nice (or any) decor but that's absolutely fine with me. What I need is very good food. It should be sit-down, simple, not fine dining at all, but of very good taste. I have never eaten in ChinaTown before, except for very long ago, when I was a student and money was a huge issue to me, so a $5 all-you-can-eat was my idea of a safe haven :-) Now, this may sound a bit stupid, but my father-in-law does not particularly care for rice. And we would definitely eat noodles (Asian or Italian) frequently in other places. So I thought in the direction of either dim-sum or peking duck... will take your recommendations, as I don't know half anything about Chinese cuisine. It is not important to me if the taste is east-west fusion or authentic, but it should not taste really really weird to western palates :-)

              Well, thanks very much for your time. If you decide to come to Prague, I will be more than happy to point you to good eating spots.

              1. re: sasicka

                Both Sobaya and Matsugen are amazing for authentic cold soba! I would encourage you to visit both - go to Sobaya for their delicious and very reasonably priced lunch sets. They don't really have sushi there (only inari or futomaki as part of the lunch sets), but they have sashimi dons (rice bowls) that come with the lunch sets. Sobaya is much cheaper than Matsugen, so I'd reserve Matsugen for more of a special lunch/dinner (Matsugen also has a lunch/dinner prix fixe, but I don't think it successfully highlights their best items. I prefer to order a la carte). The portions at Matsugen could leave you hungry, so be prepared to spend more $ on either purchasing an extra serving of noodles, or ordering other dishes and sushi. The sushi at Matsugen is very good. Between Sobaya and Matsugen, I can't really say who has better soba... they're both very authentic and both feature handmade noodles that are very good... all I can say is the 2 restaurants are for different occasions. I can eat at Sobaya everyday (under $20-$30), whereas I go to the more upscale Matsugen when I want to treat myself to a $50 lunch. Check out both websites and reviews on Yelp and menupages for a better idea of what they're like. For some odd reason most people don't love Matsugen, but I strongly believe it's a very good restaurant.

                For dim sum, I recommend Dim Sum Go Go. My favorite there is the roast duck dumpling and the pea shoots dumpling. They also serve XO sauce, an expensive condiment, for free. (XO sauce is made of roughly chopped dried seafoods, such as scallop, dried fish and shrimp that has been cooked with chilli, onion, garlic and oil.) I haven't really gotten Peking duck anywhere in nyc - check the boards to see if someone else can help on this front. Do you visit London much? They have a dim sum restaurant there that has way better dim sum than NYC in my humble opinion. Check out Pearl Liang in Paddington if/when you're in London.

                By the way, La Esquina's Taqueria doesn't really have seats, just a few bar stools, or when the weather is nice sometimes they set up tables on the sidewalk - either way, keep in mind there really isn't air conditioning.

                Happy globetrotting! Will definitely let you know if I visit Prague.

                Dim Sum Go Go
                5 E Broadway, New York, NY 10038

                La Esquina
                106 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

                241 Church Street, New York, NY 10013

                1. re: Noodle fanatic

                  Thanks a lot! I have been to Pearl Liang in Paddington in London, and I must say that although the food was good, I was kind of unimpressed, or to phrase it better, the food was not surprising, it was bordering on just OK. I was expecting much more based on the glowing references here on Chowhound.
                  Thanks for all your advice :-)

                  1. re: sasicka

                    I think it depends on your someone who is originally from Hong Kong, I love Pearl Liang. Did you prefer Alan Yau's Yauatcha for dim sum in London? I'm interested in knowing which dim sum places have managed to surprise you. Pretty sure you'd be disappointed with dim sum in NYC in general. Reserve dim sum for another trip to Hong Kong. :)

                    1. re: Noodle fanatic

                      I have not yet tried the Yauatcha but will do that this winter and will let you know :-) otherwise will look forward to dim sum in Hong Kong, when and if I get there :-)

                      1. re: sasicka

                        I quite like Yauatcha myself. It could get expensive though. Great for a trendy night out.

            2. re: sasicka

              Coincidentally, I'd just posted this post on food in Chinatown only a moment ago:

              For Americanized Chinese with Peking duck, I'd recommend Suzie's on 163 Bleecker St (btw Sullivan & Thomson Sts). They deliver to BPC.

            3. re: Noodle fanatic

              For coffee around WFC, 1668 > Financier > Starbucks. I don't think this is even subject to personal preferences.

              1. re: chet steadman

                Chet - you're perfectly right, but Kaffe 1668 is a little bit of a "trek" from Gateway Plaza if you're just stumbling out of bed for a coffee and don't feel like walking a bit more.

                Kaffe 1668
                275 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007

        2. Gatehouse is a restaurant just down the block from your apt and it is good. I wouldn't travel a distance to eat there but I certainly think it is good for a local place

          2 Replies
          1. re: isarik

            Sorry, but I personally wouldn't recommend eating at Gatehouse. I'd say the quality is about the same or below an Olive Garden (a chain restaurant in the US). Really, try not to eat in the neighborhood unless you absolutely have to... and if so, the only option is Inatteso.

            28 West St, New York, NY 10006

            1. re: Noodle fanatic

              I agree with Noodle_fanatic. The only worthwhile restaurant in the neighborhood is Inatesso.

              Since it can be a walk to TriBeCa and Stone Street, both of which offer much better restaurants, I'd recommend taking the free "Downtown Connection" shuttle ( to get to those neighborhoods. In TriBeCa, I'd recommend Locanda Verde for great brunch, Megu for high-end Japanese, among the many restaurants you'll find there. On Stone Street, I'd recommend Harry's for great steak.

              Locanda Verde
              377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

              62 Thomas St, New York, NY 10013

          2. Great news sasicka - there's a great lobster roll cart at the World Financial Center right near your building this summer! I can't believe I'm just discovering it now, since I've jogged past it many times this season, but never quite realized what it was till now since there's not much signage. They also have a BBQ grill there where they grill corn on the cob. It's just lovely on a sunny day to sit al fresco at the marina, enjoying a lobster roll and beer (you can bring your own, buy from the burger cart, or buy it at the Rite Aid drugstore in the World Financial Center).

            Ed's Lobster Bar Cart
            Opens 7 days 11am-7pm
            Regular lobster roll 3oz @ $15 and 6oz @ $27
            Special: 6pm to close 6oz Lobster Roll and Soda $25

            I also enjoyed the Peekytoe Crab Roll ($12). All the sandwiches come with a bag of Cape Cod potato chips. Delicious!

            Haven't had the chance to try other items on the menu, but this review's helpful:

            Right next to it is a burger cart called Quality Burger which has pretty good burgers and hot dogs as well.

            P.S. I thought the 3oz lobster roll was not going to be enough, but it was very filling and the perfect size. (Your husband might want to get the big one if it's the only thing he's getting). Keep in mind the bun tastes very buttery, which could be a good/bad thing depending on how much you like butter. Don't worry it's not greasy/oily at all, just tastes strongly of butter. My boyfriend and I ordered 1 small lobster roll, 1 crab roll, 1 cheeseburger, and 1 hotdog to share today (which was WAY too much food, but what the heck since we're celebrating July 4th!) - only $25 per person! :)

            2 Replies
            1. re: Noodle fanatic

              Dear Noodle Fanatic, thanks for all your suggestions! I am now waiting for my flight on to San Francisco in the JFK airport and I am thinking of all the good food I have eaten and the couple of extra pounds I am taking from NYC :-)
              I must say that from your advice, I have gone to Sobaya and have ordered delivery from Inatesso. The former was good but I must say that it doesn't compare to the soba I remember from Japan... But that is to be expected :-) The latter was amasingly good, the first al dente pasta I have had from delivery service in my life :-) and the pizza was as italian as could be. The only glitch was that they haven't given me a warning that their portions are intended for 4 persons instead of one... Well, we had the pizza for breakfast as well :-)
              Otherwise we went to places like Pearl Oyster Bar, Veselka, Daisy May BBQ & Burger Joint, where I have allways wanted to go, and to Peter Luger, Katz, Pampano, Gray Papaya, where I go every time I can :-)
              Thanks again,

              Pearl Oyster Bar
              18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

              Burger Joint
              118 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

              144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

              209 E 49th St, New York, NY 10017

              1. re: sasicka

                Glad you enjoyed your time in NYC! I was just about to post on this thread to let you know that there's a Le Pain Quotidien that just opened at Riverhouse (an apartment building on Vesey St. between River Terrace and North End Avenue) in Battery Park, but alas you're on your way to SFO already. Sorry to hear Sobaya didn't meet your expectations, maybe next time you're here you can try Matsugen :) Safe travels and happy eating in SF! By the way, about the pizza portion at Inatesso, I haven't ordered the large, but I find that the small one could easily feed 2 Americans or 4 Europeans/Asians (depending on your appetite) ;) To be honest I wish their pasta portions were bigger, because it's just so yummy!

                241 Church Street, New York, NY 10013