Delimarie — 70.2 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Delimarie is a low-cost option in that yet unnamed area where Tribeca meets City Hall and various state and federal government buildings.  It follows the standard lunch buffet model: grab a container, pick and choose among the hot and cold options, and pay by the pound.  But Delimarie is so much better than your average deli buffet place.

Deli buffets usually offer the same choices no matter where you go, and everything looks like it was made in the same offsite industrial kitchen.  Not so at Delimarie.  The entrees and vegetables looked fresher and were tastier; the salmon was moist and tasted of salmon, not some packaged sauce.  Like most delis, Delimarie also offers sandwiches to order, and like their buffet options, the sandwich options were more interesting than what you typically find on offer. More importantly, the long lines of customers waiting to order suggests that they are much better than the typical deli sandwich too.

As if that weren’t enough, Delimarie offers something that no other deli has: beignets.  And these are real beignets, made to order, that are almost as good as those you get in New Orleans (we believe there is a connection to that city).  We didn’t try them during our lunch time visit, but we had heard that they are excellent.  We did try the beignets at Delimarie’s West Village sister restaurant, Cafe Marie (a future review), and they did not disappoint.

Finally, Delimarie offers another option that most delis do not–a relatively quiet eating area that seats at least 25 (look for the stairs in the back of the space).  There was background music playing during our visit but the volume was low, and although every seat was taken, the chatter was more than manageable.  It wasn’t the prettiest space, but it served it’s purpose and it was clean.

If you are in the Tribeca/City Hall area and want an inexpensive, quick, and quiet nosh, head on over to Delimarie.  Just remember to save some room for the beignets!

HOURS

Monday through Saturday: 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (but buffet closes at 4:00 p.m., sandwiches at 5:00 p.m.)

Closed Sundays

LOCATION

Street (betw. Broadway and Church Street), New York, NY 10007

WEBSITE

No website

 

Denny’s — 71.7 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

No, this is not a joke.  We actually went to the only Denny’s in Manhattan to see what is was like.  Why? It was the Sunday before Labor Day, we were wandering around the City Hall area, and there weren’t many other options available–many places were closed.  So we thought, what the hell, let’s see if Denny’s would try to be “hip” or would look and taste like a typical suburban Denny’s.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

The answer is that in some ways this Denny’s is like any other–the menu is full of the typical list of craptastic offerings–but the space is a lot nicer than your typical Denny’s. We sat by the bar in the front of the space (that’s where they put the smaller tables).  At first we were concerned when we saw the large flat screen tv, but even though every table was taken, the space was calm. Generic pop played softly in the background and the ceilings were high, so the soundscape was perfectly fine. It was move in day at nearby Pace University, which probably accounted for the crowd.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

So how was the food?  We don’t know. It never showed up.  Nor did we see anyone else get served. The staff was apologetic, but really, it’s a Denny’s, it’s not like the kitchen got a rush order for 20 servings of lobster Thermidor.  And given that the real reason for our visit was that we became suddenly very hungry during our jaunt and entered because we assumed we would be served quickly, let’s just say we were very unhappy.  After 30 minutes of waiting, with no end in sight, we left hungrier than when we entered (and we weren’t the only ones who walked out). Was this an anomaly?  We don’t know, and we don’t care.

If you feel compelled to visit a chain restaurant in the city, at least this one isn’t loud. But unless there are no other options, go somewhere else. New York City has over 40,000 restaurants. There is no reason to visit this one.

HOURS

6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. every day

LOCATION

Street (at the corner of Spruce Street), New York, NY 10038

WEBSITE

Denny’s Nassau Street

Delimarie — 70.2 decibels

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Delimarie is a low-cost option in that yet unnamed area where Tribeca meets City Hall and various state and federal government buildings.  It follows the standard lunch buffet model: grab a container, pick and choose among the hot and cold options, and pay by the pound.  But Delimarie is so much better than your average deli buffet place.

Deli buffets usually offer the same choices no matter where you go, and everything looks like it was made in the same offsite industrial kitchen.  Not so at Delimarie.  The entrees and vegetables looked fresher and were tastier; the salmon was moist and tasted of salmon, not some packaged sauce.  Like most delis, Delimarie also offers sandwiches to order, and like their buffet options, the sandwich options were more interesting than what you typically find on offer. More importantly, the long lines of customers waiting to order suggests that they are much better than the typical deli sandwich too.

As if that weren’t enough, Delimarie offers something that no other deli has: beignets.  And these are real beignets, made to order, that are almost as good as those you get in New Orleans (we believe there is a connection to that city).  We didn’t try them during our lunch time visit, but we had heard that they are excellent.  We did try the beignets at Delimarie’s West Village sister restaurant, Cafe Marie (a future review), and they did not disappoint.

Finally, Delimarie offers another option that most delis do not–a relatively quiet eating area that seats at least 25 (look for the stairs in the back of the space).  There was background music playing during our visit but the volume was low, and although every seat was taken, the chatter was more than manageable.  It wasn’t the prettiest space, but it served it’s purpose and it was clean.

If you are in the Tribeca/City Hall area and want an inexpensive, quick, and quiet nosh, head on over to Delimarie.  Just remember to save some room for the beignets!

HOURS

Monday through Saturday: 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (but buffet closes at 4:00 p.m., sandwiches at 5:00 p.m.)

Closed Sundays

LOCATION

Street (betw. Broadway and Church Street), New York, NY 10007

WEBSITE

No website

Fika Duane Street — 72.2 decibels

Fika Duane Street

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Fika is a New York City chain of Swedish coffee shops featuring very good coffee, Swedish pastries, and chocolates (some locations also offer breakfast and lunch options).  Most of the Fika locations we have visited have lots of hard surfaces–tile, marble, glass, and metal–and the Duane Street location was no exception.  But the noise level at Fika Duane Street  was very manageable, partly due  to its high ceilings but mostly because all of the other customers were staring into laptop or cell phone screens.   That is, this location appears to have been adopted by the laptop brigade and, as a consequence, it’s almost library quiet.  Almost.  There was, of course, unnecessary and distracting background music, but the music was only noticeable because the other customers were so quiet.  Without the music we reckon the decibel reading would have come in at under 70 decibels.   Worth checking out, and try the delicious cardamom buns.

HOURS

Monday through Friday: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Closed Saturday and Sunday

LOCATION

WEBSITE

Fika