Downtown Lunch: Discovering the Joys of Alidoro at Puffy's Tavern

Midtown workers shouldn’t have all the fun, so to even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the tasty stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan. He’s a great photographer (ensuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food.) This week he accidentally stumbles into a pub serving my favorite Italian sandwiches in the city.

Downtown Lunch: Puffy's Tavern

While wandering around Tribeca earlier this week, I found myself licking the windows of Chanterelle. Luckily they were closed or I would have gone in for lunch… who am I kidding I can’t afford to lunch there. The seafood sausage appetizer alone (which is delicious by the way) costs as much as two normal lunches. So I turned around and stumbled across the street into a bar where I saw large hunks of crusty looking bread and sandwich fixins calling my name. I checked out a menu which boasted “The best sandwiches in New York”. Yeah I know, you and everyone else.

I was hesitant viewing the menu, which had sandwiches in the $8-9 range. I figured they probably didn’t come with anything, and if they did it would be some tiny salad that was more for looks than actual sustenance. I asked, just to be sure.

“They come with a free beer”

WHHHAAAA? I was like really? any beer I want? She said, “Yes but you have to drink it here.. you can’t take it out obviously. This ain’t Amsterdam”

Downtown Lunch: Puffy's Tavern

Umm ok I’m not sure what that meant but I was happy to stay and enjoy something from their decent tap selection (bottles are also available.) I ended up choosing a Kelso, which is a local Brooklyn brew, and sat down while my “Sofia” was made, a salami, fresh mozzarella, artichokes, and olive paste sandwich, on a nice thick slab of ciabatta.

Downtown Lunch: Puffy's Tavern

The sandwich was delicious, filling, and well assembled on fresh Sullivan Street bakery bread. All of this for $8 with tax included! I knew I had scored a big win for downtown lunching when I noticed “Puffy’s Tavern presents Alidoro Italian Sandwiches” written on the menu. Alidoro did sound kind of familiar, so I did a quick little search on my phone and discovered that these sandwiches actually come from a pretty well known Italian sandwich shop in Soho, and that Zach had actually written about the original shop for Serious Eats. We even ordered the same sandwich! (I guess great stomachs think alike.)

Downtown Lunch: Puffy's Tavern

On a second visit, I decided to sample the $8 Daniela, made with Italian tuna, fresh mozzarella, hot peppers, and dressing. I had this one on the Sullivan Street Pizza Bianca, which is a roman style flat-bread with some salt and rosemary baked in. Another excellent creation by Puffy’s Tavern with a nice kick from the hot peppers- although I’d go with the baguette or ciabatta over that pizza bread.

The place is totally unassuming as a lunch spot, and the food menu is quite limited (kettle chips is pretty much all there is in addition to the sandwiches.) But when you can go get a sandwich for 7-9 bucks with a beer that isn’t a bud light, that’s a cool deal in my book.

Puffy’s, 81 Hudson St (corner of Harrison), 212-227-3912
Menu is served Mon-Sat 11:30-5PM

Photos and post by Daniel Krieger



  • Oh damn! That is pretty awesome. AWESOME find!!!

  • yes, it is definitely key for the free beer to not be a Bud or any of those kinds. glad to see you appreciate that like i would.

  • EXCELLENT find Daniel.
    Those sandwiches look amazing. I love Sullivan St bread!

  • whoa whoa whoa Daniel…. is Walter pre-making the sandwiches and sending them over to Puffys? How’s that work…some of them have wet dressing on them (anything with artichokes, caponata)? Are quantities limited? I want to know the logistics, man!

    p.s. Walter at Alidoro is the opposite of previous owner Allesandro. Friendly instead of surly, enterprising instead of angry.

  • The sandwiches are all made right on the spot..I’m guessing they just assemble them and use the same ingredients as Alidoro.. meaning the same tuna, same mozz.. the same hot peppers and dressing etc etc

  • Thanks Daniel… I guess Walter is kinda/sorta franchising. Hope he has better luck than the soup nazi


    Mummm I’ll have a Gladiatore please!!!!!
    - prosciutto, sopressata, fresh mozzarella, sweet peppers, olive paste

  • yeah that one looked good but I think it was the most expensive, while I like the options they had for 8 bucks.. they also have smoked chicken which I might go with next time.

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    those are real good j

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    went to puffys today. overall, the food is as described. myself and 3 friends enjoyed our sandwiches. i got a marina, on a (full-sized) piece of pizza bianca – with solid portions of sliced smoked chicken, mozz, sundried tomatoes, and fresh arugula. cmy friends had the fellini, gladiatore, and daniela – all of which were devoured completely. the place was about half-full– easy to get a table or seat at the bar. however, the tap was not working (bottles only) and our beers were definitely NOT free. they were $4 each. i’m not sure whether this special has since ended, or was only for draught beer, but just a head’s up for people heading there with the free beer in mind. still, for $12-$14 each – its a lot better quality than other spots in the financial district/tribeca. also, the music selection was good.

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