After almost ten years and billions of dollars, the World Trade Center's transportation hub, dubbed the Oculus, has finally opened to minimal celebration.
However, many curious New Yorkers who have watched the construction of the unique looking structure over the course of ten years have since visited the space to see it for themselves.
Walking through this 'symbol of excess,' will certainly build up quite a substantial appetite, one that cannot be curbed by the meager offerings in the Financial District.
However, we've got you covered.
So the next time you meander through the Oculus and work up an appetite, head on over to these bars and restaurants.
1. Marc Forgione (134 Reade Street)
Feeling fancy after your tour of the opulent Oculus? Head up to Restaurant Marc Forgione, headed by (who else) celebrity chef Marc Forgione, who won season 3 of the Food Network's Next Iron Chef.
His food is based on available seasonal ingredients, so the menu changes frequently. However, you must order his chicken dish that is cooked under a brick, with a side of yukon potatoes and broccoli rabe. This dish has developed a following of satiated, satisfied fans.
His food does come with a pretty hefty price tag, but if you're making a day of the visit to Oculus and World Trade Center memorial, it's a great way to end your experience.
2. Benares (45 Murray Street)
After your trip to Oculus, try and keep up with new experiences and try some Indian cuisine. Head into Benares for lunch and try their prix fixe lunch option for only $12.95. For that price, you receive an appetizer and an entree. That's a deal for us.
We're loving the "Andhra Chicken Curry," with pieces of chicken cooked in a sauce with coconut, ginger, and garlic. Be sure to add some naan and rice to soak up the delicious sauce.
3. Bill's Bar & Burger (85 West Street)
Yes, we know this is in a hotel, and we're not really one for restaurants in a hotel, but you need to check out Bill's Bar & Burger after visiting Oculus. This is the newest of Bill's Bar & Burgers' three locations.
This place is typically always hopping, filled with both tourists and locals alike to chow down on a delicious burger. Try the "Fat Cat" burger with caramelized onion, american cheese, lettuce, tomato, and pickles on an english muffin.
4. Blue Smoke (255 Vesey Street)
Hungry for some delicious barbecue? Try Danny Meyers' Blue Smoke. To start off, try the "warm barbecue potato chips," served with blue cheese and bacon dip or the "smoked chicken wings," served with Alabama white sauce or tabasco hot honey.
For an entree, try the baby back ribs with sides of mac & cheese and sweet potato mash.
Heading there for brunch? Start with an order of beignets, served with a coffee and chicory creme anglaise, and follow with a "brisket burnt end sandwich" with scrambled eggs and grilled onions on a brioche bun.
5. The Irish American Pub (17 John Street)
If you've walked up an appetite for alcohol, hit up The Irish American. It's exactly what it sounds like: an Irish-American pub with a full on game room. It's a great spot to chill out after visiting Oculus. What space that serves large, tasty, and strong drinks isn't?
Looking for some grub? The food here is pretty basic for any pub, but with a little added fun. Try the Jameson infused wings or the French dip sandwich. The wings are excellent, especially for a pub. Just be prepared to eat, because like their drinks, the portions are massive.
6. Zucker's Bagels & Smoked Fish (146 Chambers Street)
Zucker's is a great option either pre or post-Oculus. You cannot leave without ordering a bagel with lox and cream cheese. The bagels are made the way a bagel should be: hand rolled and kettle-boiled prior to being baked. This gives it the quintessential bagel texture, with a shiny exterior and soft crumb.
The fish is quality and fresh. You can expect a line (as you would with spots like Russ & Daughters), but it's well worth the time. Of course, once you eat one of Zucker's bagels, you'll end up craving them for years to come.
7. Clinton Hall (90 Washington Street)
Did the trip to Oculus bore you to death? Are you still angry that the strange, insect-looking fan structure cost over $5 billion (yea, that's a billion with a "b")? Do you want to drown your anger and sorrow in beer while simultaneously improving your mood?
Head to Clinton Hall and start drinking delicious brews, eating some pretty tasty bar snacks, and playing your favorite bar and drinking games. A little beer pong anyone? Or, head outside and play mega jenga or foosball. No way you can remain sullen after an afternoon full of beer and fun.
Check out The Absolute Best Bars for the Best Happy Hour Deals in NYC.