When I first moved to the city, I lived in the Financial District (also known as FiDi). It gets a bad reputation for being super business-focused and family-oriented. “The financial district is boring, there’s nothing to do, it’s a ghost town on the weekends, only business men go out there” etc. etc.
However, after living there for a year, I can say that although some of the rumors are true, it’s actually not that difficult to find some pretty fun things to do around here! Here’s the rundown:
Just take almost any subway to get there
If you’re trying to bail on FiDi due to “train issues,” there’s really no excuse as almost every single train line runs to FiDi; even the PATH has a World Trade Center stop. Hop on literally any train (except for the L), take it to the last stop in Manhattan and you have arrived.
What to eat — from more upscale to casual
Thanks to all the businesses in the area, FiDi has some pretty great restaurants and bars, you know, for all the business meetings that happen. When it comes to food, you either have the pretty damn fancy or the fratty I-just-graduated-and-now-I-work-in-finance vibe. Whatever end of the spectrum you lean more towards, there are some great choices for both.
For the more laid back, I would suggest going to Pier A Harbor House, right on the water at 22 Battery Place. For somewhere a little fancier, head a few blocks uptown to Battery Park and get some Mexican food at South West, Chinese/Japanese at Wei West or traditional American dining at P.J. Clarke’s.
If you’re trying to keep yourself on a budget you could always play it safe with Shake Shack (yes those crinkle fries and burgers never fail a hungry human). For the bros, head to Stone Street and pick literally any restaurant, there are so many: Mad Dog and Beans for some Mexican, Beckett’s Bar & Grill, or my favorite, Adrienne’s Pizzabar.
Now for the pregame
Once you’ve filled on some great food, head to Fraunces Tavern for the pregame. The great thing about Fraunces is that they have a huge selection of beer and ciders (for you non beer drinkers) There’s this delicious strawberry beer, Fruli, which is the only beer I will drink. The place is enormous and they have tons of TV’s in case you’re worried about missing any games.
Where to go out When you’re nice and liquored up you can head back to Stone Street to Ulysses where the rest of the night is spent eating bar snacks, dancing to live music, and probably getting lost because the place is seriously huge. If you’re lucky, there will also be a pizza stand outside where you can get $1 slices (I’ve seen it like twice).
And for the best late night food aka drunchies
Around 3 a.m. they’ll start to kick people out and once you leave Stone Street, the cold and dead streets of the financial district will greet you. But don’t worry, Charly’s will be open. Walk up to Trinity and Cedar St. and take a moment to feast on some cheese fries, mozzarella sticks, and even a Philly cheese steak if you’re so inclined. After you’ve chowed down, hail a cab and head home with great confidence knowing that you have conquered the Financial District…and it was much more fun than you ever thought.