Hudson Eats, a new food court in New York’s Financial District, is set to take over lower Manhattan’s lunch hour.
The 35,000-square-foot food court is part of a $250 million renovation at Brookfield Place — a dining, retail, and office complex that was formerly the World Financial Center. Hudson Eats is located on the second floor of the mall, mere blocks from the 9/11 Memorial — an ideal location for both office workers and tourists.
The space is huge, with 600 seats and a nearby atrium. And it’s beautiful, with superb views of the skyline and Hudson River, tall windows, white marble finishes, and leather booths.
But what makes Hudson Eats truly exciting is the food: The food court houses a dozen casual eateries, including New York favourites like Black Seed Bagel, Chop’t, Dig Inn, Dos Toros, Little Muenster, Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue, Num Pang, Olives, Skinny Pizza, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Tartinery, and Umami Burger.
Blue Ribbon Sushi and Northern Tiger will open in the fall.
Hudson Eats has set itself up as the perfect place for businessmen, locals, and tourists to grab a quick and delicious lunch. With all the excitement surrounding the Financial District’s latest hub, we had to try it for ourselves.
Hudson Eats is inside Brookfield Place, right near the World Trade Center. The food court is accessible through American Express Tower at 200 Vesey Street.
It's a bit of a hike from the subway, and you'll have to avoid construction at the World Trade Center, as well as the crowds at the 9/11 Memorial.
Prepare for another trek once you're inside the building. We followed the arrows pointing towards Hudson Eats. In addition to the food court, Brookfield Place will also house a French marketplace and six restaurants, which will open in 2015.
Hudson Eats is massive, at 35,000 square feet. Around a dozen eateries currently serve food ranging from Cambodian-style sandwiches to pulled pork. Several more joints are slated to open this fall.
Olive's, a soup and sandwich joint, is an offshoot of a beloved SoHo restaurant that's been around for more than 20 years.
Dos Toros Taqueria is another New York favourite. The burrito joint originated in San Francisco and opened a New York outpost near Union Square several years ago. There was a long line, even at 2:30 in the afternoon.
Chop't, a gourmet salad place, is located right across from Dos Toros. It was also doing big business.
Each restaurant must be able to handle the huge crowds Hudson Eats anticipates. 'There are 50,000 people who work in the building, millions of tourists and thousands of residents, so we started looking at chefs that could handle a large crowd,' Edward Hogan, national director of retail leasing at Brookfield Place, told the New York Daily News. 'We couldn't just bring in a chef who took 20 minutes to make a sandwich.'
Fortunately, there's plenty of space to hold the crowds, from tables to high marble counters. There are also larger booths for bigger parties. The space, designed by AvroKo and San Francisco architecture firm BCV, does not feel like your average cafeteria.
That's in large part thanks to the gorgeous views. The floor-to-ceiling windows make the space feel charmingly airy, and some windows look out on the boats in the North Cove.
Another one of the fast-casual spots at Hudson Eats is Black Seed Bagel, a new purveyor of hybrid Montreal-New York-style bagels and gourmet cream cheeses. The bagelry is the brainchild of Noah Bernamoff of Red Hook's Canadian-style Mile End Delicatessen and Matt Kliegman of East Village Cafe The Smile.
Num Pang Sandwich Shop serves Cambodian sandwiches with ingredients like Five Spice Glazed Pork Belly with Pickled Asian Pear and Ginger BBQ Brisket. The sandwich shop has been a favourite since it opened its first location in Manhattan in 2009.
Skinny Pizza, a design-your-own pizza spot that promises a healthier version of the standard slice, was nearby.
But we opted for Mighty Quinn's, a fast-casual style BBQ joint that started as a stall at the Williamsburg food fest Smorgasburg. A runaway hit among the BBQ obsessed, the owners opened several brick-and-mortar locations in New York City and New Jersey.
And the meat on the pulled pork sandwich was literally pulled apart right in front of our eyes, and doused with BBQ sauce. It exceptionally tender.
As we ate, we watched a line form at Umami Burger. Another California transplant that recently opened in New York, Umami Burger's West Village location has had a line since it opened a year ago. The chain's classic burger is topped with shiitake mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, a parmesan crisp, and special umami ketchup.
Tartinery had its own bar seating. The NoLiTa-based French restaurant is known for its tartines and French wine selection; the Hudson Eats outpost also serves wine.
We picked up two of Tartinery's made-to-order juices. Both the Sweet Ginger and Delicious Trio were made in front of us with fresh fruit.
On the way out, we passed the ubiquitous Sprinkles Cupcakes, another California chain that now has locations around the U.S.
In addition to the food court seating, there's additional space to eat in Brookfield Place's atrium, which has a skylight and palm trees.
We'll definitely return to this sleek new food court -- especially once Blue Ribbon Sushi and Northern Tiger Chinese food join the line-up.
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