04/21/2011 10:05 am ET Updated Jun 21, 2011

TriBeCa Film Festival 2011 Survival Guide

Fans of the Tribeca Film Festival will criss-cross town for feted new indie films, many of which are making their NYC debut. But we all know attending the festival is about more than sitting in front of the screen. There's the eating (beyond popcorn), drinking (you'll want to be an armchair critic) and if you're one of the fanatics waiting in line, searching for free bathrooms (remember to buy a coffee or politely ask first). From Tribeca to Chelsea, City's Best has rounded up the best ways to get through the 10th annual film festival.

Clearview Chelsea and SVA Theatre: The Clearview Chelsea and SVA Theatre may be neighbors, with the SVA considered more of an art house, but they share a Chelsea location. Check out Tia Pol for some of the city's best tapas. It's a sliver of a space that's usually packed, but you can order small plates of crisp patatas bravas (and many other Basque-style options) and glasses of sangria for a quick bite. There's also Jim Lahey's popular Co., which serves fancy pizzas with doughy crusts perfectly charred and topped with quality ingredients. Get there early to avoid lines. As for bathrooms, options are limited in this area, but you can check out Joe the Art of Coffee near 9th Avenue, and of course there's a Starbucks around the corner.
Tia Pol, 205 10th Ave.; 212-675-8805
Co., 230 9th Ave.; 212-243-1105

Tribeca Cinemas: Located near many festival events, Tribeca Cinemas also has budget-friendly and fancier options nearby. Locanda Verde serves affordable Italian fare in a space that always feels upbeat. Chef Andrew Carmellini's menu is full of seasonal Italian favorites, and the desserts aren't to be missed either. If you're just looking for a drink, two great options stick out. The Brandy Library offers a wide array of spirits and a perfect place to unwind any time of day, with a low-lit bar and comfortable leather seats. There's also Bubble Lounge if you're craving a glass of champagne. Check out Grandaisy Bakery or walk past the lobby at the chic Soho Grand Hotel for bathrooms.
Locanda Verde, 377 Greenwich St.; 212-925-3797
Brandy Library, 25 N. Moore St.; 212-226-5545
Bubble Lounge, 228 W. Broadway; 212-431-3433

AMC Loews Village: You'll be overwhelmed by food and drink options if you catch a show at the AMC Loews in the East Village. Comfort food hub The Smith is perfect for food or drinks; the portions are decent whether you order a mac-and-cheese or steak. Momofuku Ssam Bar is a foodie destination where everyone orders David Chang's popular pork buns. If you have a sweet tooth, consider the cookies and pies at the Milk Bar. For more casual drinking, there's the Village Pourhouse just across the street. While Ippudo, the immensely popular ramen join, is worth eating at any day, the long wait is notorious. You can always sneak past the crowds and use the bathroom downstairs.
The Smith, 55 3rd Ave.; 212-420-9800
Momofuku Ssam Bar, 207 2nd Ave.; 212-254-3500
Village Pourhouse, 64 3rd Ave.; 212-979-2337

BMCC TriBeCa PAC: Although the BMCC TriBeCa Performing Arts Center is far west and somewhat isolated, there are some options. Restaurant Marc Forgione is popular these days and worth checking out. At Viet Café on Greenwich Street, you'll find modernized Vietnamese dishes. If you don't want to walk a few extra blocks for the Brandy Library or Bubble Lounge, grabbing a drink at the TriBeCa Grill -- located on the first two floor of the Tribeca Film Center -- is a safe bet. Your best bet for a bathroom is at a McDonald's located on Chambers and Greenwich.
Marc Forgione, 134 Reade St.; 212-941-9401
Viet Café, 345 Greenwich St.; 212-431-5888
Tribeca Grill, 375 Greenwich St.; 212-941-3900

Soho Apple Store: Olive's is good for a quick bite if you want soups and sandwiches with a gourmet touch. For a sit-down meal, check out Mercer Kitchen, which may look overly expensive but is actually affordable considering it's a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant. There's no shortage of bars in Soho, either. If you want to stick close to the Apple store, popping into Merc Bar for a martini or glass of wine is an option. And if you head toward Broadway, you'll find plenty of Starbucks for a pit stop -- or a coffee to help you stay awake during your movie.
Olive's, 120 Prince St.; 212-941-0111
Mercer Kitchen, 99 Prince St.; 212-966-5454
Merc Bar, 151 Mercer St.; 212-966-2727