More and more companies are moving their headquarters out of Midtown and down to the Financial District. Better shops and restaurants are opening in FiDi to support the new lunchtime and happy hour crowd; which is great news for me because I live here!
Without further ado, if you find yourself downtown after work, before a movie, on a trip to One World Trade or the Statue of Liberty, here are the best places to grab a beer (or three). I took a photo of the outside of each because the Financial District is notorious for our windy streets and tiny storefronts, these pics should help you spot your place so you have less wondering around - and more drinking!
The Growler Bites and Brews
For happy hour with a group or an after dinner drink with a date.
This is my favorite spot in the Financial District for a beer. They have a strong tap list including two beers made specifically for this bar, one by Brooklyn based Sixpoint Brewery and one by Victory Brewing out of Pennsylvania.
The Growler is located on Stone Street, a restaurant packed ally filled with outdoor picnic tables and tents for the happy hour and brunch crowd.
IF you're grabbing a beer here, I'd suggest you order whatever they have on draft from Firestone Walker, an order of fried pickles and a seat outside. You won't regret it!
The Growler, 15 S. Williams Street (55 Stone Street)
If you want beer and a burger with a side of gimmick.
It's always fun to wander around the cobblestone streets of South Street Seaport. You might be tempted to stop at the newly opened Clinton Hall in the seaport but I urge you to keep walking. Just a block away you'll find a better beer selection, beer bar, and well....a little bit of a gimmick.
Ok, you gotta give this place a chance despite having one of those scan-your-bracelet-and-serve-yourself tap walls, I swear. I've never once used the tap wall but I have many times enjoyed a local beer like Grimm or other half or a less-local-but-very-awesome Hill Farmstead or Prairie at this bar. Their food is pretty typical bar food so don't bring your vegan friends, but do bring your apatite and be ready to try something new. Even if Keg229 doesn't have anything great on tap their bottle list is stocked with solid standby bottles and cans.
The best part for the friends you bring along? There is a full bar with some top shelf whisky choices.
Keg 229, 229 Front Street, South Street Seaport
CLINTON HALL (The One On Washington)
For a beer with a hungry group and diverse beer preferences.
Clinton Hall has a large rotating tap list supported by a flux capacitor, which means they mean business when it comes to serving beer. The flux capacitor controls the carbonation level and serving temperature of each keg individually making every pour a glass of perfection. They have Saison Dupont on tap regularly and I love stopping in for one!
Clinton Hall also has a huge list of awesome burgers and some other standard barfare for the burger adverse. The food is great and there is more than enough room both inside and outside for a large group.
It's worth noting the other location in the South Street Seaport does not have as strong of a beer selection.
Clinton Hall, 90 Washington, Financial District
For a pint with some historical significance.
Located on Pearl Street, just north of Battery Park Fraunces Tavern was once the meeting place for revolutionaries including Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. Famously, George Washington gave his farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolution in this building. The Tavern has maintained the atmosphere of Colonial America in the bar and the main dining room.
The beer is anything put colonial, featuring the cutting edge breweries of NYC like Other Half and Grimm along side hard to find beers from all over the country like Sucaba and Mexican Cake. Grab something on tap, but don't forget to check out the bottle list and ask your bartender what they have hiding in the back.
Fraunces Tavern, 54 Pearl Street, Financial District
Honorable mentions for Beer in the Finacial District
The Malt House
A good beer selection and pretty spacious seating area and bar are the best things about this place. Sadly their beer list doesn't always say the brewery and the servers often don't know. The food is average at best, but I do like the nachos with chicken and my fiance swears by the burger!
I would go here for the food first and the beer second. They have some great Belgian beers on their list so if you want something fancy - think tuna tartar but you want beer too - this is a good spot. It's also really close to the water, make a date out of if why don't ya ;)