Must-See Meatpacking District
by Christina Parrella, 09/01/2014 [Updated 04/29/2015]
Bakehouse. Photo: Marley White
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Not everything in the Meatpacking District is on a grand, glitzy scale. There are plenty of eateries that offer delicious fare in a casual setting. One such locale is Hector’s Café & Diner, a neighborhood landmark that’s been cooking up no-frills diner fare to a blue-collar crowd since 1962. The diner, supposedly used in the Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver, offers burgers, fries, mozzarella sticks, chicken wings and breakfast all day. In a similar retro vein is Bill's Bar & Burger, where you’ll find richly delicious—if cholesterol-enhancing—foods like a classic Bill's Burger, a beef patty topped with cheese and special sauce; the Fat Cat, an award-winning double-stack burger with cheese on an English muffin; and starters like loaded nachos and brisket chili.
The main draws at Dos Caminos involve fish tacos, margaritas and guacamole—the guac made fresh at your table. During the warmer months alfresco dining offers a first-row view of a parade of high fashion, with well-dressed crowds hitting the area’s boutiques and nightclubs. Another spot for Mexican cuisine, Bodega Negra, inhabits the ground floor of the Dream Downtown and serves up a remarkable variety of aged tequila in a mock Tudor-style tequila warehouse.
For downhome offerings like fried chicken and flaky apple pie, try Bubby's, though you can’t beat the home-baked goods at Bakehouse. Try the homemade almond croissants, which owner Philippe Bonsignour makes in the French tradition, using butter with a high-fat content. Its bistro fare includes wild mushroom omelets, ricotta pancakes and a burger topped with shredded duck and served on a house-made brioche bun.