We love scouting and sharing the best places to stay, see and eat with your family around the globe, but sometimes nothing beats playing at home. Passported co-founder Henley Vazquez dishes on the spots to know and love in her downtown New York neighborhood, Tribeca.
My neighborhood is seriously well caffeinated — there are so many good cafes. For your grab-and-go cup, consider either of the Kaffe 1668 outposts on Greenwich St, Hugh Jackman’s philanthropic Laughing Man cafe, the Smile inside the must-visit Shinola store, or grab a table and some pastries at the new Maison Kayser cafe.
Breakfast & Brunch
For a sit down breakfast, Bubby’s is the classic and has a loyal local following. Go early to avoid the worst of the wait, order any of the egg dishes and don’t miss the pancakes from the kids’ menu for your minis. Like most Tribeca restaurants, there’s a no stroller policy, so plan ahead if you have young babes who are likely to hit naptime as you eat. There’s always stroller parking just outside. Cercle Rouge is our go-to for a long brunch with friends, mostly thanks to the balloon maestro in the back room who will keep your kids entertained with balloon characters and magic tricks.
For picnic fixings, grabs bagels and sandwiches at Zucker’s en route to the riverside parks, or, honestly, hit the cold bar at the huge Whole Foods on Greenwich St. Or, for a more leisurely lunch, snag a table at the always good Locanda Verde inside the DeNiro–owner Greenwich Hotel (a Passported fave, especially for a parents-only staycation) or Edward’s, which is always fun and serves a mean hamburger and posh grilled cheese.
Dinner with Kids
We love Terra, which is Italian but serves more than just piles of pasta, and has a great wine list. Blaue Gans is a year-round favorite for delicious schnitzel, while Roc is our go-to for Italian in the summer months; the outdoor tables and location near the park make it a favorite with lots of local families.
Try and score a table at Little Park, inside the revamped Smyth hotel. If you can’t, eat from the bar menu in the lounge area. It all comes from the same kitchen and the burger is insane. On tree-lined Reade Street, Marc Forgione is a favorite for American classics in a romantic setting, and we’ll always love Mr. Chow for dim sum, cocktails, good service and even better people watching. For pre- or post-dinner drinks, try Smith and Mills, Another Room, or Odeon, where an order of their homemade donuts is essential.
Tribeca does a good neighborhood park. Washington Market Park has three separate play areas for different age groups, so you can stick your babes in the sandbox or let your schoolagers tear around the playground or grassy patches. On the river, Pier 25 is like the neighborhood’s backyard (especially once it’s cooled off in fall) and has a mini golf course, too. My neighborhood secret is little Teardrop Park across the highway in Battery Park City. Hidden between a cluster of tall buildings, it’s always really quiet but has an awesome slide, huge sand pit and rocks to clamber over. For mini soccer stars, head to the fields at Warren St and the West Side Highway. There are always informal kick abouts going and everyone is welcome to join.
On rainy days, we’ll hit the Children’s Museum of Art just north of Tribeca, or do a Shake-Shack-and-movie combo at Regal Cinemas Battery Park. We haven’t been yet, but everyone says the new One World Observatory deck is well worth the steep ticket price.
For basics and brands there’s Brookfield Place, a new, posh mall on Vesey Street, but Tribeca is better known for its handful of great boutiques. I love Shinola on Franklin St, a perfectly curated little store where you always end up buying something. The monogrammable notebooks make good gifts. Valley Tribeca is a go-to for casual streetwear, jeans and T-shirts. For kids’ stuff, Babesta has a good mix of gear, toys and clothes, and there’s also a big Polarn o Pyret for stylish Swedish duds.