Editor's note: You've already seen our New York editors' neighborhood guides, in which the SE staff—Ed, Carey, Erin, and more—chat about their favorite places to eat in their own neighborhoods. But we're branching out to other food personalities. We've heard from Frank Bruni on the Upper West Side and Marcus Samuelsson on Harlem; now here's Shaun Hergatt on the Financial District, his home digs as well as the home of his restaurant SHO.
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The Financial District has long been considered a culinary wasteland: food is fast and packed to-go, or else served steakhouse-style, and drinks are almost always after work. But in 2009, as banks began to make way for media firms and post-graduate apartment complexes, Shaun Hergatt moved in and put the FiDi on the food map with a carefully constructed, Asian-accented French menu. By bringing SHO to a neighborhood that has always been, first and foremost, a business district, the two-time Michelin award-winning Australian chef inspired a dining scene that has since been inhabited by the likes of Danny Meyer, Julian Medina, the Luke's Lobster boys, and more.
Read on for Shaun's favorite spots to eat and drink in the Financial District and the surrounding neighborhoods of Battery Park City and TriBeCa (all walkable on your lunch break).
Pizza: I love grabbing a bite at Inatteso Pizzabar Casano around the corner from where I live. It is the most original Neapolitan pizza in the Financial District—the real margherita slice (brick oven!)
Coffee: Jack's Coffee is a gem along the South Street Seaport. My odd weekend stroll around the neighborhood leads me here for a large café latte brewed by a charming barista.
Bagel: My weekend breakfast favorite is Zucker's Bagels on Chambers Street. It's a Sunday routine to order bagels for breakfast and these are, in my opinion, the freshest, most perfect bagels downtown.
Breakfast: Financier Patisserie on Stone Street offers the most delicious baked breakfast items. An almond brioche with an organic green tea is fuel to start the day.
Bar: Bar Seven Five at the Andaz Wall Street offers a nice evening ambiance for those in the neighborhood after dark. I don't drink cocktails but friends who do inform me that the 'Signature75' is at the top of the list.
Takeout: Even as a chef, I do admit that there are days when I just love the convenience of delivery. My usual spot is Café Sage on John Street. This Thai restaurant serves the best ped panang (roast duck with panang curry and coconut milk).
Burger: Danny Meyer's Shake Shack in Battery Park gives me my fix for American classics. I don't make a habit to indulge in fast food but when I do it's a Double Cheeseburger washed down with Abita root beer.
Late-night eats: Harry's is a great place on Stone Street to get a late-night fix of sophisticated yet casual all-American fare, such as a tender filet mignon (which they age on the premise for 28 days) with a side of polenta fries.
Can't-miss neighborhood spot: Barbarini Alimentari on Front Street is a can't-miss spot for the freshest pasta downtown. I love introducing friends to this rustic favorite of mine. The hand-cut spaghetti sausage keeps me coming back.