Signature Dishes to Order at These Iconic Downtown Restaurants
Soho Grand Hotel

310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

(212) 965-3000 https://www.sohogrand.com

7 Iconic Downtown Dishes

Back to List

It’s an understatement to say Lower Manhattan’s dining scene is unmatched—especially when it comes to the fantastic menus, vibes, history, and the list goes on and on. You’ll find the most iconic, storied eateries below 14th Street, from a retro bistro that attracted a wild celebrity clientele in the 1980s to a cozy, old-school Italian joint that serves up some of the best pasta dishes in town. But sometimes deciding what to order at these hotspots is just as difficult as snagging a reservation. We’ll leave the resys to you, but we’re sharing the must-orders at a few of our favorite famed downtown eateries.  

Burger au Poivre at Raoul’s 

If you’re familiar with this downtown institution (est. 1975), you’ve likely heard about their showstopping burger, AKA Raoul’s Burger au Poivre. Named “the best hamburger in America” by Esquire in 2014, it’s topped with St André cheese, cornichons, and au poivre sauce, and served with pommes frites and a side of au poivre meant for dipping. The burger keeps patrons coming back for more, despite being tricky to get your hands on. At dinner, it’s not on the menu and is only available at the small bar, which is seated on a first-come, first-served basis. Only twelve burgers are available per night, so arrive early to line up before the doors open at five. Alternatively, come for brunch when the burger is on the menu and enjoy its legendary deliciousness at a table with a reservation or at the bar as a walk-in. Go crazy and pair it with a Bloody Manette (Belle Chasse vodka, tomato, Piment d’Espelette, Herbs de Provence, lardons, and cornichon). 

180 Prince St; T. (212) 966-3518

Handmade Pierogis at Veselka

Open since 1954, little has changed at this oft-packed, family-owned Ukrainian eatery in the East Village. And that’s a good thing, particularly regarding Veselka’s iconic pierogi, which you can order at breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Up to 3000 of these pillowy Ukrainian-style dumplings are handmade in the kitchen daily on weekdays. Potato and cheese is the classic, but other filling options include braised rib, goat cheese with arugula, and sauerkraut with mushrooms. Served boiled or fried (4 for $9, 8 for $17), they all come with sauteed onions and sour cream, and live up to the hype. In other words, come hungry to this East Village fixture. 

144 2nd Avenue; T. (212) 228-9682

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Veselka NYC (@veselkanyc)

Chicken Pot Pie at The Waverly Inn 

Tucked away on the ground floor of a historic Greenwich Village brownstone on the corner of Bank Street and Waverly Place is The Waverly Inn, a perma-buzzy haunt known for its excellent comfort food and glamorous vibes. The low-ceilinged saloon is atmospherically outfitted with red leather banquettes, fireplaces, and a sprawling mural by The New Yorker’s Edward Sorel featuring NYC luminaries like Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Anaïs Nin, Fran Lebowitz, and more. Sure, you might spot the occasional martini-sipping A-Lister in a moodily lit corner booth, but the real star of the Inn is the house specialty. We’re talking about their mind-blowingly good chicken pot pie. Dig into its flaky golden crust, smell the savory herbs and piping hot gravy, then prepare to die and go to heaven. 

16 Bank St; T. (917) 828-1154 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Modern Eats Worldwide (@moderneatss)

French Onion Soup at The Odeon

In the 1980s, this lively eatery’s big, neon-lit “THE ODEON” and “CAFETERIA” signs greeted visitors including Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Belushi, Robert De Niro, and Andy Warhol at 145 West Broadway on the corner of Thomas Street in Tribeca. Today, the signs are still glowing, and locals, in-the-know travelers, and the occasional celebrity flock to this warm and retro spot for great cocktails, vibes, and bistro grub. You can’t go wrong ordering the belly-warming comfort food classic—the French Onion Soup—which comes Gruyère-smothered and filled with sweet caramelized onions, croutons, and a to-die-for broth. 

145 West Broadway; T. (212) 233-0507

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Odeon (@theodeonnyc)

Spaghetti al Limone at Lil’ Frankie’s

If you’re craving tasty bowls of pasta, wood-fired thin-crust pizza, and/or great wines served in a laidback setting, head to Lil’ Frankie’s, an old-school Italian joint in the East Village. If it’s your first time visiting this locals’ favorite, you must order the Spaghetti al Limone, although all the Northern Italian dishes are well worth exploring. Fresh lemon, butter, and a mountain of Parmigiano Reggiano come together for a creamy and vibrantly tangy sauce that will leave you dreaming of the matchless meal for days to come.

19 1st Avenue; T. (212) 420-4900

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by lilfrankies (@lilfrankies)

Principessa at Sant Ambroeus

Sant Ambroeus has several locations, from the Hamptons to Uptown at Sotheby’s. But its impossibly chic, celebrity-studded Soho location, replete with elegant outdoor seating that spills out onto Lafayette Street, is the place to see and be seen. Here, you’ll always find well-heeled patrons enjoying beautifully crafted cocktails, coffees, pastries, and decadent Milanese plates like vitello tonnato and cotoletta alla milanese. As for the not-so-secret must-order? That’d be the Principessa, a lemon sponge cake blanketed by vanilla pastry cream and whipped cream and topped with almond marzipan that tastes so good you just may find yourself internally shouting “La dolce vita!” after the first bite. 

265 Lafayette St; T. (212) 966-2770

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sant Ambroeus (@santambroeus)

Hot Girl Pizza at Emmett’s

You don’t have to book a flight to Chicago O’Hare Airport to satisfy your deep-dish pie craving. Just head on down to Emmett’s on Macdougal Street, where the tavern-style pies are abundant. The laidback joint was opened in 2013 by native Chicagoan Emmett Burke, who’s all about working with high-quality ingredients and artisanal pizza-making practices. The aptly named Hot Girl is a sweet ’n’ spicy standout, made with a thin, crispy crust and topped with pepperoni, jalapeños, and the chili-infused Mike’s Hot Honey, and it perfectly pairs with an ice-cold beer or three. 

50 Macdougal St; T. (917) 639-3571

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Emmett’s on Grove (@emmettsongrove)

WORDS Alex Catarinella

FEATURED IMAGE Courtesy raouls.com 

You May Also Like

The People-Watching Guide to Downtown Manhattan

art & design
bars & nightlife
stories
For unmatched people-watching head to these 5 local hangouts—plus the notable venues close by to grab a drink and a bite.

The Piano Bar Takes Manhattan

bars & nightlife
music
stories
From prohibition-era supper clubs to the new classics oozing downtown charm, we explore the city's best.

Cool Down This Summer at These Downtown Bars

bars & nightlife
stories
Whether you’re looking to sip cocktails in a motel-themed bar or prefer rubbing elbows with an artsy, martini-sipping crowd, Lower Manhattan has you covered.

The Downtown Venues Where Music History is Made

bars & nightlife
music
stories
We roundup the most vital outposts in the Manhattan music scene.

Summer Style: Your Go-To Stores on the LES

shopping
stories
If you’re looking for a perfect day, throw on a cute outfit, grab an iced beverage, and stroll the boutiques of the LES.

NYC Guide to the Best Outdoor Event Venues

food & drink
garden party
outdoor events
rooftop venues
stories
Get to know our most popular outdoor spaces, from quaint gardens to chic rooftops.

Downtown Desserts with a Difference

coffee & cafés
food & drink
stories
Inventive bakeries and specialty dessert bars to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Patti Astor was FUN

art & design
bars & nightlife
stories
Richard Boch talks to Eric Mitchell, Kenny Scharf, Jane Dickson, Amos Poe and Charlie Ahearn.
Soho Grand Hotel

310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

(212) 965-3000 https://www.sohogrand.com
Best Rate Promise