At only about three months old, the new French marketplace, Le District, in Brookfield Place is getting a lot of well-worth hype. Dubbed as the “French Eataly” (but Le District tries to stay clear of that comparison), this Financial District gem is the perfect way to get French food and experience right in New York City.
With 12 stations and three restaurants, Le District impresses both its businessmen and Battery Park local clientele for a casual lunch stop or go-to spot to stock up on next week’s groceries.
PSA: If you go to Le District, you will probably have a burning desire to eat everything in sight. Try to suppress this feeling, but if you do happen to pick up a thing from each station… well, we’re not stopping ya.
If you aren’t easily convinced and need more persuasion, here are 7 reasons you should be going to Le District:
1. Le District used a club designer to organize the layout.
So it’s basically a club. When walking around the stations, you can see that the designer had crowd control and natural flow in mind when designing the layout of Le District. It just works. There are no obnoxious narrow walkways, and it feels less crowded even during peak hours.
2. They’re building their own brand.
Le District knows who they are and who they want to be – “New York with a French attitude.” They also know that, eventually, they would like to have all items in Le District to be their own brand. So they’re ambitious. We can get on board with that.
3. There are 12 stations.
- La Boucherie: This is where you’ll find a nice piece of meat. But seriously. You can either pick out your beef to go or enjoy it cooked on the sit-down side of the station. Steak frites? S’il vous plaît.
- La Boulangerie: The bakery. This is where the bread’s at, yo. And the baguettes. And sandwiches. And more. Caaaaarbs.
- Le Comptoir: Enjoy a nice glass of wine or beer on tap, and take the cheese plate while you’re at it. There is a nice menu at Le Comptoir including finger food appetizers and more extensive, fuller plates. This bar in the marketplace has a relaxed vibe, with patrons casually sitting around the circular station.
- La Charcuterie: Here you’ll find French-style sausages as well as smoked and cured meats. Just like most stations, there is a seating area.
- Coffee: Pretty self-explanatory, but you should also know to avoid this station during early morning hours – FiDi’s finest businessmen and women wait in long lines at this station to kickstart their day.
- Delices du Chef: Peaaaace out Just Salad/Chop’t/Sweetgreen, ’cause Le District has a salad bar, too. And this station has some prepped dishes if you’d rather have some ready-made food to-go. Pro tip: the salad bar turns into a chocolate mousse bar at 3 pm. Boom.
- La Fleuriste: Your go-to station for all your flower needs. Okay, no one really has flower needs, but they’re pretty to look at and smell nice.
- La Fromagerie: Cheese. This station has 200 kinds of cheese. Perfection.
- Pâtisserie: The goods. You can get your eclair or your macarons, ice cream, crêpes, and waffles at this station.
- La Grain de Cafe: Coffee beans, yo. Pro tip: Skip the Coffee station line if you want a latte or cappuccino and come to this station instead.
- La Poissonnerie: Warning, it smells a lil’ fishy over here. Get your fish and seafood fix over hurr.
- Rôtisserie: Get some deeelish chicken here, as well as prime rib and shwarma. The seating at this station allows you to get chicken or prime rib on a baguette with a selection of sides, or you can purchase your bird to-go.
4. Le District has La Cure Gourmande – a French candy store.
Le District boasts French candy store La Cure Gourmande in its own space. The first location in the United States, this small section near the main entrance of Brookfield Place is colorful and eye-catching, with a variety of candy straight from le Français.
5. The restaurants have pretty atmospheres and crazy good food.
A photo posted by ▒ RYAN ➸ NYC ▒ (@ryeinnbearknee) on Jun 29, 2015 at 4:04pm PDT
After stocking up on some groceries along the shelves of the marketplace, feel free to sit down for a bite at any one of Le District’s three restaurants: Beaubourg, Le Bar, and L’Appart (currently invitation-only). All three dining options are definitely on the expensive side, so come to sit down with parents or save up the change from your summer internship.
6. The location is prime.
So while FiDi is not usually a typical NYC draw, it’s becoming more popular with new restaurants moving down there recently. Hey, even Eataly is moving to FiDi. Also, Brookfield Place overlooks the Hudson River, and Beaubourg and Le Bar both have outside seating which is perfect for a summer day.
Le District is in close walking distance to the 9/11 memorial, which is definitely a must-see for any visitor or regular around town. Additionally, the floor above Le District is home to Hudson Eats, which is essentially a higher-end Smorgasburg inside.
7. Le District is obviously really awesome.
If you still aren’t convinced, I do not know what to tell you, because clearly this place is the place to be. Anywhere from picking up groceries, to showing out-of-towners cool spots, to simply wanting to enjoy an afternoon, Le District is sure to please. Do yourself a favor and check it out.