View of the Financial District of New York City.

City Guide / New York City

New York City Neighborhood Guide: Financial District

By Ruthie Fierberg | Oct 25, 2021

If you’re looking to move to New York City, it can be hard to decide which neighborhood in this city is the right fit for you. Better known as FiDi, the Financial District bustles with business folk during the day and then severely quiets down at night. The southernmost tip of Manhattan, FiDi extends from the West Side highway to FDR Drive. Its northern border sits at Chambers Street on the West and the Brooklyn Bridge on the East. 

Home to Wall Street as well as the offices at One World Trade, the Financial District feels buttoned up. It’s one of the cleanest neighborhoods in the borough and is riddled with history. From the New York Stock Exchange to the Federal Reserve Bank and from Stone Street to The House of Morgan, much of the architecture harkens back to the city’s birth. The area isn’t as easily navigable as other gridded neighborhoods (the street plan takes after medieval European town patterns from the colonial era), but if you choose to live here, you’ll get the hang of it very quickly. 

Thinking about moving to the Financial District? Here’s our guide to the best restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, outdoor attractions, gyms, nightlife, and transportation in the area.

Best restaurants in the area

Fun fact: Stone Street was the first street paved with stone in the whole city back in 1658. To date, it’s a pedestrian-only lane lined with some of the best restaurants in all downtown Manhattan. You’ll mostly find good pub food at places like Stone Street Tavern, The Dubliner, The Cauldron, Route 66 Smoke House and our favorite, Ulysses. Adrienne’s Pizzabar is the downtown destination for thick-crust brick-oven pies. 

Away from Stone Street, Hole in the Wall serves the most incredible brunch—go sweet with their Hole in the Waffles or savory with a Spring Bowl or Brekkie Roll. Black Fox Coffee is perfect for a simple breakfast and stellar coffee out of their flagship location. In the mood for a classic New York bagel? Leo’s is your answer. 

For lunch or dinner, Blue Park Kitchen is the healthy and responsibly sourced version of fast-casual, offering flavorful bowls like Blackened Chicken and Moroccan Carrots or build-your-own. 

Vegetarians will love Nish Nush, an all-veg spot for Israeli cuisine, from maza to the ridiculously delicious falafel burger. Feast on Mexican classics at the no-frills El Vez

Fine dining finds its niche with Schilling, which features Austrian cuisine such as classic weiner schnitzel, or Manhatta, located 60 stories above the ground with spectacular views and dishes to match. You might also try FiDi staple Harry’s.

Where to get groceries

As the center of business in New York City, the Financial District has many more grab-and-go spots than grocery stores. That said, City Market on Pine Street carries everything you could need—and high quality at that. There is a Key Food closer to Brooklyn Bridge and a Gristedes closer to the west side. You can also find supreme fresh pastas, produce, meats, cheeses, olive oils, honeys, breads, and beverages at upscale Italian grocery Eataly Downtown.

Where to get coffee

In addition to Black Fox Coffee, FiDi features dozens of outlets to satiate your caffeine fix. Five Coffee Roasters, which has locations inside Brookfield Place and at 1 Liberty Plaza, serves a brew from the green coffee bean (not the usual brown) and offers a menu of coffees sourced from 30 regions around the world. 

Blue Spoon Coffee is home to downtown’s best pour-over, while Blue Bottle Coffee serves mostly organic coffee. La Colombe has some of the best cold brew in the city, so be sure to hit up the Wall Street location. 

For a unique cuppa, you must try 787 Coffee—their beans come direct from the mountains in Puerto Rico.

Outdoor attractions

Soak in an evening promenade along the South Street Seaport, which offers some of the most spectacular views of the Brooklyn Bridge. At any time of day, the Seaport won’t disappoint with its options for eating, sipping, or shopping. 

Take an official walking tour with Black Gotham Experience, explore the historic Wavertree sailboat (which also hosts seasonal events like On Site Opera), browse the new gallery walk Magic HOUR, catch a rooftop flick at the Seaport Cinema, or enjoy live music and DJs from Seaport Sounds. 

You can also wander through Battery Park, visiting the monuments and memorials, riding the bike paths, resting at the Battery Fountain, or taking a ride at the singular Sea Glass Carousel (as seen in “Younger”). This park is also where you can catch a cruise to the Statue of Liberty and/or Ellis Island. Zuccotti Park—most famous from the Occupy Wall Street movement—is an intimate home to greenery and sculptures in the area as well. 

Local gyms and workout spots

In addition to outposts of Equinox, New York Sports Club, Pure Barre, and Planet Fitness, FiDi also offers some unique workout choices. From July through September, hit up an outdoor yoga, barre, or HIIT class at the Seaport

Sage Fitness is an independent studio offering classes and private sessions of Pilates and Indian Club Swinging, optimizing upper body strength, length, and range of motion. Gloveworx offers group training and private sessions to learn real boxing techniques. You can also get your sweat on and learn to box at Bout Fight Club.

Nightlife

The Financial District is a pretty chill New York City neighborhood when it comes to nightlife. French wine bar Racines is A+, as is The Wooly Public in the famed Woolworth Building. For a dash of history with your cocktail, visit Fraunces Tavern, which offers over 200 whiskeys and 130 beers and ciders. 

The Dead Rabbit is a must-visit, with its award-winning laid-back taproom on the first floor and cocktail parlor on the second. If you’re into karaoke, Irish American Pub is ideal (but, really, only for karaoke). 

Don’t forget to check out the Rooftop at Pier 17 for a hang with gorgeous views or for the Summer Concert Series.

Things to do

In addition to the outdoor beauty of the Seaport, pop in for a visit at the Seaport Museum. Explore art, artifacts, and a maritime reference library for a sense of nautical history. Located in Battery Park, the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust offers a rich portrait of Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. From permanent collections and special exhibits to film screenings and book talks, you’ll learn a ton no matter your personal background. 

Also located downtown is the 9/11 Memorial Museum. More than the waterfall monument on the outside, the indoor museum honors those we lost on the day in 2001, the first-responders on that day and many afterward, and their families. The exhibits examine the history of attacks on the World Trade Center, the architecture of the building, the tragedy of the day, the four hijacked flights, the aftermath, and more. It’s no upper, but you can’t miss it.

If museums aren’t your thing, try Brookfield Place. The brand-new mall includes all the usual trappings plus an ice skating rink, a sailing school, and the Institute of Culinary Education. Take a Potion-Making class at The Cauldron Co—largely self-guided with vegan and gluten-free ingredient options available, it’s kitschy, but fun!

Transportation

A monthly Metrocard ($127 for 30 days) is the best bang for your buck and works for subways and buses throughout New York City. It’s rare to have a car in NYC—particularly in Manhattan. 

The Local 1 heads all the way to South Ferry, aptly named for the ferry port, but also the best stop for Battery Park. The Financial District is also connected to the Express 2/3, the Local N/R/W, the 4/5, and the J/Z (mostly helpful getting into Brooklyn). 

You can also easily take the ferry to any of the other five NYC boroughs, as well as Governor’s Island. Check out ferry routes on the NYC Ferry map. Depending on your destination, this can be quicker than the subway—and it’s certainly more picturesque!

Land a great apartment in the Financial District

If you like the idea of moving to an apartment in the Financial District, Landing offers fully furnished apartments with flexible lease terms, concierge services, seamless transfers, and all the amenities you need to start living in your new home. Browse our available apartments in the Financial District, or contact us to learn more about how a Landing membership works.

Still looking for the right NYC neighborhood for you? Browse our other New York City neighborhood guides here!

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About the author

Ruthie Fierberg

Ruthie Fierberg is an independent arts journalist, editor, moderator, on-camera host, producer, and theatrical consultant based in New York City. She is the creator and host of the podcast Why We Theater on the Broadway Podcast Network, which digs into the onstage works we love to create the offstage change we need. Find more at ruthiefierberg.com and follow her IG: @ruthiefierceberg / Twitter: @RuthiesATrain.