If there is ever a part of NYC that is so overlooked by the people of Manhattan, it is the South Street Seaport district. Coming from someone who, after living here for five years, has only visited it once, I find myself consistently daydreaming of that one perfect fall day I spent drinking and eating my way down the cobblestone streets. Why haven’t I been back since? Great freaking question. When I met my insta-turn-real-friend Emma of @lets.eat.yall (the ultimate #foodporn account behind a girl who is always in the know of the NYC restaurant scene) and she told me she was moving to this area, I immediately knew she had to be featured on Freckled Foodie & Friend’s Favorites. Not only will I now have a checklist of restaurants to go to in this dreamy secluded spot within our busy city that I have so carelessly ignored, but it will hopefully encourage all of you to also make your way alllll the way downtown. Check out all of Emma’s favorite picks below!
Place to order a strong cocktail:
Cedar Local: located a little outside the Seaport, this place is a real gem. With a beautiful bar space, amazing selection, and curated cocktail list, it’s really my favorite place to grab a drink. Not to mention every.single.cocktail I’ve had there is always better than the last. The bartenders are always super friendly, and they serve up a mean cheese and charc board as well (with generous portions!) If you’re looking for a great bar in the true Seaport, check out Vbar. This cozy little spot blends their own wines and have a great cocktail selection as well!
Clinton Hall: Newish to the Seaport scene (opened summer 2017), Clinton Hall is hands down the spot to grab a burger in the area. When the menu features a section titled “not burgers”, you know you’ve come to the right spot. They have something for everyone (even vegetarians!), and also have their fair selection of #foodporn dishes, if that’s up your alley. It’s a huge space with great lighting- making it perfect for brunch, lunch, or dinner! Don’t forget to grab a drink while you’re there too!
Date night that involves getting dressed up:
Barbalu: So I don’t know about you, but my favorite date nights include takeout on the couch with a strong Netflix lineup. Butttt, if you’re trying to get fancy in the Seaport, Barbalu would be my recommendation. It’s the type of spot where you wouldn’t feel out of place wearing heels, but could also blend in with a nice pair of sneaks and a jacket. The Seaport doesn’t boast many “fancy” restaurants, so if you’re looking for a nicer spot downtown, I’d recommend checking TriBeCa or FiDi.
Date night where I can wear leggings:
El Luchador: No guide to the Seaport would be complete without including everyone’s favorite mobile taco spot (ok, not really that mobile- but it is housed in an old converted van!). This spot always delivers. Tacos, burritos, and bowls with no frills and a cool vibe. In the summer time they also have a great outdoor seating area! Not to mention it’s very cute and ‘grammable 😉 Make sure to get a horchata!
Girls night out:
Suteishi: Think of something better than ordering boatloads of sushi and cocktails to split with your girls, I dare you. This place has consistently great sushi with a cool, upscale-ish vibe. Located right in the heart of the Seaport with views of the Brooklyn Bridge- this spot is a real gem! They also deliver if you’re trying to girls night in 😉
Takeout without feeling like garbage:
Westville: Not even kidding I takeout here at least once a week. This is my go-to place for food that is healthy and consistently delicious. The beauty of Westville is that their menu is versatile AF, offering healthy veggie options, mac and cheese, and even hot dogs! But don’t let the versatility of the menu deter you- I promise it is all really good! If we’re being honest I have to force myself to branch out to try other takeout options because I love this place so much. Shoutout to @freckledfoodie for turning me onto Westville 😉
Beyond Sushi: Located in the newly opened City Acres Market food hall, Beyond Sushi is a plant-based sushi spot serving up rolls make from sweet potato, avocado, black beans, and pretty much any other veggie you can think of. Each roll comes with a specialty sauce (that are ALL amazing), and they also serve other vegetarian options, such as green tea noodles, dumplings, and soups. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try this place; it’s a little different but I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Van Leeuwan’s: When I say I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth, I mean it. So ya girl can TALK about some ice cream. And this place is one of my faves. Another newcomer to the Seaport scene (can you tell this area is really taking off?!), it always has new, interesting flavors along with the classics. One of my favorite parts about Van Leeuwan’s is their dairy-free options! I try to avoid dairy as much as possible due to my sensitive AF stomach, and let me just say that not all dairy free ice cream is created equal. This place hands down has the BEST dairy free ice cream…and let me just throw out there that my favorite flavor I’ve had there is actually PALEO (yes you read that correctly). But no worries for you lactose lovers, their normal ice cream is just as amazing and what keeps the crowds lining up. Just trust me, go there after dinner and try it out for yourself! Honorable mention to my literal ride-or-die Pressed Juicery. Freeze is their take on froyo and it’s literally frozen juice made from their almond milk blends and topped with almond butter, fresh fruit, coconut, cocoa drizzle and granola to your heart’s desire. So like, healthy- duh!
All things brunch:
Hole in the Wall Café: This is a cute little café that you would actually miss if you blinked while walking by. It’s a super trendy, Australian spot that serves traditional Aussie brekkie dishes, like avo mash, power grain bowls, French toast, and bacon on a clothesline (not sure if that’s traditional, but it’s damn good). They also have ahhhmazing coffee, and really cool lattes- think matcha, beet root, and golden milk. It’s super cute, healthy-ish, and good to come for breakfast, lunch, or brunch! For a more traditional brunch restaurant, check out Industry Kitchen. It’s a huge space located right on the water with great views of the Brooklyn Bridge (and phenomenal people watching). A little touristy, yes- but the food is always stellar and their cocktails kill it!