In a food-crazed city, the West Village still manages to be the epicenter of all things culinary. Seemingly every single charming, tree-lined block brings another hip restaurant, with tiny spaces typically filled to the brim with gorgeous people. Plus, there's a little bit of everything: from authentic French fare to Italian eateries practically
made for carb-lovers.
If you want to see what makes New York (and its culinary scene) so great, there's no doubt this 'hood should be your first stop. Just make sure your stomach is empty!
The Little Owl At this tiny little spot, you almost feel like you're dropping in to chef Joey Campanaro’s own dining room. The homey Mediterranean cuisine is served brunch, lunch, and dinner, and includes plenty of small plates to share. You'll invariably hit a wait at brunch, but you can keep yourself busy with a stroll around this especially picturesque corner of the West Village, or by watching tourists snap pictures of the building that was used as the exterior for the Friends apartment building.
The Little Owl, 90 Bedford Street (at Grove Street); 212-741-4695. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Tertulia Since most restaurants in the West Village are constantly cramped, this Spanish restaurant and its castle-like high ceilings are a welcome relief. Once you’re transported to Asturias by the interior, enjoy the tapas and shared plates. The eatery frequently combines heavy meats like Ibérico ham and smoked pig cheek with sharp flavors like fried, cured lemon or lime aioli.
Tertulia, 359 Sixth Avenue (at Washington Place); 646-559-9909. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Quality Eats Downtown from it's older sibling, Quality Meats, Quality Eats offers a more dressed-down experience at more friendly prices. The cheapest cut of steak is $19, and while that doesn't come with side (and trust us, you'll want to get sides), that's a lot less than you'll be asked to cough up at similar institutions. And, unlike other steak joints, they also offer an amazing patty melt, as well as a brunch worth skipping steak for — the bacon and monkey bread appetizers are enough to make a meal out of happily. Quality Eats, 19 Greenwich Avenue (at West 10th Street); 212-337-9988. More
Jack's Wife Freda Located amid a bustling row of restaurants between Bedford and Bleecker, Jack's Wife Freda's second outpost retains all the charms of the original SoHo location, with (sometimes) just a bit more room and less waiting. The bar here is also roomier, meaning you can grab a chair, order a drink and a few of their share plates (the salt and pepper eggplant is addictively tasty) and enjoy the West Village sunlight as it blows in on the breeze. Jack's Wife Freda, 50 Carmine Street (between Bedford and Bleecker); 646-669-9888. More
The Clam Here, being clammy is a good thing. You can eat yourself straight through to the main course on only that specific bivalve, from raw clams to clam dip to clam chowder and even a clam strip-topped burger. But there is more to offer here than shellfish: an excellent wine list and attentive staff, as well as a non-seafood option or two, is enough to please everyone.
The Clam, 420 Hudson Street (at Saint Luke's Place); 212-242-7420. Photo: Courtesy of @ tastesbetterhere. More
Rosemary's Five years after its opening, Rosemary's farm-to-table, Italian-inflected experience is still going strong. Regulars rave about the light-as-air focaccia, gorgeous interiors, and popular brunch service. If you don't wan to queue up on a Saturday or Sunday, try the weekday breakfast. Early risers can reward themselves with Rosemary's egg and cheese on brioche or Italian breakfast, served with fresh burrata, any day of the week.
Rosemary's, 18 Greenwich Avenue (between Charles ad 10th Street); 212-647-1818. Photo: via @mariahvuorensola. More Read More
Analogue We're serious about our craft cocktails, which is why we feel right at home at Analogue. Here, you can grab a drink (or two) you won't mind savoring and sit back and relax in the retro-chic atmosphere. Music is either live (though there's never a cover charge) or records playing on the vintage Hi-Fi player. Since you'll definitely want to sip your way through several of the tempting drinks on offer, consider ordering some bar snacks, too. The small bites, like devils on horseback (dates wrapped in back), charcuterie, and crostini, are the perfect thing to peck on as you live you enjoy a brief respite from the modern world right smack in the heart of one of New York's busiest neighborhoods. Analogue, 19 W 8th St (between 5th Avenue and MacDougal Street); 212-432-0200. More
A Salt & Battery At this long-standing fish and chips shop in the West Village, nearly everything under the roof gets a deep-fry before landing in your basket. In addition to classic fish and chips ("No French fries here!" the menu warns), you can get fried shrimp, sausage, and even a Mars Bar. But, of course, you're here for the authentic English experience, so pick any of the four fishes on offer, make it a combo meal with chips, dose it in malt vinegar, and dig in .
A Salt & Battery, 112 Greenwich Avenue (between 12th and 13th streets); 212-691-2713. Photo: via @what_did_jp_eat. More
dell'anima There's more space at sister restaurant L'Artusi, but dell'anima's worth the wait — and occasional squeeze between crowded tables. We don't have a bone to pick with anything on the menu, really. But we could make a meal out of the bruschette. You can order them individually, which is the perfect way to taste your way through all on offer, from
dell'anima, 38 8th Avenue (at Jane Street); 212-366-6633. Photo: via NYC Blog. More
Mary's Fish Camp Mary's Fish Camp opened in 2001 to give New Yorkers a taste of owner Mary Redding's Florida youth. However, it's a rather New England dish that stands out for us: world-class lobster rolls, served with a side of fries. But don't leave without considering the homespun dessert roster like chocolate sundae or out-of-this-world blueberry cobbler. Mary's Fish Camp, 64 Charles Street (at West 4th Street); 646-486-2185. More
Nisi Estiatorio This charming Greek eatery is cozily tucked within the heart of the West Village. Serving up authentic and flavor-filled nosh with a side of blue and white seaside vibes, Nisi Estiatorio is a welcomed escape from the surrounding darker wooden haunts. Although it's hard to go wrong with any of the decadent dishes, the Lobster Moussaka with zucchini and a creamy béchamel sauce is a must. Oh, and also the pan-fried Saganaki cheese — divine. Nisi Estiatorio, 302 Bleecker Street (between Grove and Barrow Street); 212-727-7463. More
The Happiest Hour How do you make happy hour even better? Add a paper umbrella, of course. At the Happiest Hour, you can get your fill of tiki drinks and cheap bear starting at 5 p.m. during the week, 2 p.m. on the weekends. Their burgers, a clear nod to the style made popular by the likes of Shake Shack and In 'N' Out, are, as it turns out, another way to make those precious post-work hours even better. The Happiest Hour, 121 W. 10th Street (At Greenwich Avenue); 212-243-2827. More
Joe's Pizza Forget fancy pizzas (what Joe's website refers to as "string-bean, asparagus covered, wild turkey surprise pizza"). Here, it's the classic pies generations of New Yorkers adore. And, in a city full of places selling hot, cheap slices, Joe's still reigns supreme. No frills (or salads, or garlic knots either), but one bite of their classic cheese slice proves you won't even miss them. Joe's Pizza, 7 Carmine Street (between 6th and Bleecker); 212-366-1182 More
Falafel devotees spill onto the sidewalk to snag Taim's fried-to-order goods. The pita sandwich is a classic, but the mixed falafel platter has something for everyone. It's a sample of three falafel flavors (green, red, and harissa) served with hummus, tabouli, and Israeli salad. Oh, and the fries, served with saffron aioli, are totally addcitive.
Taim, 222 Waverly Place (between West 11th and Perry Streets); 212-691-6101. More
It doesn't get more quintessentially farm-t0-table than Blue Hill. The Michelin-starred spot sources most of its ingredients from its own upstate farm. A four- or six-course tasting menu changes daily and with the seasons. Reservations open a month in advance, and you will have to plan that far in advance to secure a table. It's not cheap, but it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Blue Hill, 75 Washington Place (between 6th Avenue and MacDougal Street); 212-539-1776. Photo: Courtesy of Blue Hill. More
Pommes Frites Nothing can keep a good fry down. Just over a year after the original location was destroyed in a building explosion, the new Pommes Frites opened on MacDougal street. Formerly an East Village institution, the new West Village space has the same simple menu of fries (in three sizes) and dips, dips, dips for days. In a stretch of cheap restaurants meant to appeal to the broke and hungry NYU crowd, it's still a standout.
Pommes Frites, 128 Macdougal St. (Between W. 3rd and Bleecker); 212-674-1234. Photo: via @seungtek_l. More
The Beatrice Inn Reading the menu at the Beatrice Inn, you may feel like you have indeed wandered into a country inn straight from a Brontë sister's novel: lamb neck, beef cheek, and wild boar can all be found there. But then, at the bottom, a note: "The kitchen is happy to accommodate vegan [and] vegetarian options upon request." And then you remember: there's no wild and wet moor outside, just the West Village. The cocktail menu, complete with a mezcal and chai-infused vermouth drink, will also remind you the refining influences of the big city aren't far away. The Beatrice Inn, 285 West 12th Street (at West 4th Street); 212-675-2808. More
Untitled At The Whitney At the Whitney's new(ish) location, American art still takes center stage. But in the lobby at Untitled, food is the main attraction — and is elevated to an art form of its own. With a focus on seasonal veggies and inventive cocktails, it's the perfect place to linger after visiting an exhibit, but also a worthy destination in its own right, even if you don't squeeze in a retrospective or two beforehand.
Untitled, 99 Gansevoort Street (between Washington Street and 10th Avenue); 212-570-3670. Photo: Courtesy of Untitled. More
Loring Place Former chef at NYC's darling ABC Kitchen, Dan Kluger's Loring Place in the West Village is a farm-to-table dream. With a strong focus on seasonal produce, the fare here is fresh and the digs are bright, crisp, and modern. Share a smattering of the star small plates along with one of the veggie-centric pizzas. Our favorites? The crispy spiced cauliflower, Brussels sprouts with apple; avocado, and honey-mustard vinaigrette; the kale pie with mushrooms, sevillano olives, and a squash-tomato sauce.
Loring Place, 21 W. 8th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenue); 212-388-1831. Photo: Via @ loringplacenyc. More
Chumley's Former speakeasy turned West Village dining destination, the upgraded Chumley's is chocked full of old New York vibes, good eats, and even better times. Dishing out elevated bar fare (e.g. bone marrow burgers and pretzels with salmon roe) in addition to a few finer options (e.g. hamachi crudos and steak tartare), this hidden gem is worth the reservation-only wait.
Chumley's, 86 Bedford Street (between Grove and Barrow Street); 212-675-2081. Photo: Via @ nomnomdiary. More
Decoy Created by the same bunch who brought us Red Farm, Chef Joe Ng and partner Ed Schoenfeld put an artfully playful spin on prix fixe peking duck with aptly named Decoy. A small and rustic-chic dining destination, this spot is tucked away within the heart of the West Village. We're currently dreaming of the oxtail dumplings, foie gras with strawberry tarts, and the Kat'z pastrami triangles. Oh, and washing all of that down with a fancy duck-themed cocktail too.
Decoy, 529-1/2 Hudson Street (at Charles Street); 212-691-9700. Photo: Via @ rfdecoy. More
Babbo Mario Batali's famed West Village Italian haunt Babbo has been whipping up the snazziest in city pasta since 1998. The elegant two story carriage house offers an abundance of flavorful dishes with polish and precision. Reservations are a must — as is the beef cheek ravioli.
Babbo, 110 Waverly Place (at Washington Square West); 212- 777-0303. Photo: Via @ infatuation_nyc. More
Via Carota This no-reservations Italian gem is a must visit for your next cozy meal. The staff is attentive and well-versed in pastas and apértifs, the dishes are decadent, and the setting is candlelit-casual brilliance. Be sure to arrive early, sip a glass of vino while you wait, and order the Cacio e Pepe before the evening ends.
Via Carota, 51 Grove Street (between Bleecker Street and 7th Avenue); 212-255-1962. Photo: Via @ fancyfoodpics. More
Sweet Revenge Sweet Revenge is the next phase of the ‘00s cupcake trend: sweet treats paired with wine and beer. How was life bearable before a pumpkin spice cupcake paired with a nice moscato spumante? And if you're in need of some non-sugary sustenance, the comfort-food at this spot has you covered — try the chicken potpie or the Brie and fig panini.
Sweet Revenge, 62 Carmine Street (between Varick and Bedford streets); 212-242-2240. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Scarpetta Located on the outskirts of the Meatpacking District, Scarpetta's scene is swanky and the menu directly matches that luxurious quality. The pasta dishes are appropriately obscene in their richness (e.g. agnolotti stuffed with bone marrow or ravioli packed with duck). So order up a plate or two — all the better to fit into your clubbing dresses.
Scarpetta, 355 West 14th Street (at 9th Avenue ); 212-691-0555. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Wallflower A restaurant where you go with a fresh blowout and a "lewk" —that is to say, this place is pretty. Think cocktails with delicately garnished rims and dishes plated to perfection. The petite space specializes in French country cuisine, and is most famous for tuna tartare with a truffle vinaigrette. Decadence.
Wallflower, 235 West 12th Street (at Greenwich Avenue); 646-682-9842. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
L’Artusi Squint and you can almost imagine you’re in a dark, sexy ristorante on the Italian riviera. If the blue-and-white decor and garlic fragrance doesn’t transport you, the pastas—made of only the best, simplest, most delicious ingredients—will do it. Don’t miss the sides, like the crispy, crunchy potatoes.
L’Artusi, 228 West 10th Street (between Hudson and Bleecker streets); 212-255-5757. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Cafe Cluny Here’s your perfect little bistro for a date, whether it’s the first or the fiftieth. The romantic venue is surrounded by benches so you can whisper while you wait, then go chow down on hearty French fare once inside. That goes for weekend dates, too, though they are often overrun with brunchsters then.
Cafe Cluny, 284 West 12th Street (at West 4th Street); 212-255-6900. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Spotted Pig After 12 years, this gastropub is a new classic of the New York food scene. There’s that burger and the mountain of fries, and those heavenly puffs of gnudi, but part of the allure is the clamor of decor and bodies spilling on outside the sidewalk, signaled by the big papier mache cow.
Spotted Pig, 314 W 11th Street (at the corner of Greenwich Street); 212-620-0393. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Elephant & Castle There's nothing trendy about Elephant & Castle, but that's part of its charm. If you've grown weary of dark restaurants with loud, 90's hip-hop soundtracks, consider giving this Village mainstay a try. It's been serving up pub fare and brunch since the 1970's, and, if the crowd outside on an average Sunday afternoon is any indicator, they're not stopping anytime soon. The house burger, a decadent pub-style behemoth smothered in bacon, cheddar, curried sour cream, and scallions, is reason enough to drop in. Fries aren't included, but you'll want to add them as a side — to the burger or anything else on the menu, really.
Elephant & Castle, 68 Greenwich Avenue (between Perry St and 7th Ave); 243-727-1400. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Waverly Inn The gnocchi is heavenly, the burger is divine. But you don’t come here for the food, not really. It’s all about the ambiance, the dark wood, the Edward Sorel murals, and yeah, the celebrities. There’s a “no photos” policy for a reason.
Waverly Inn, 16 Bank Street (at Waverly Place); (917-828-1154) Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Fish The food is delicious, but it’s the special deals that make Fish irresistible. There’s all-you-can-eat blue crabs for $30, or a half-dozen oysters and a drink (beer or wine) for $10. Yes, please. Another memorable aspect of this unassuming gem? Its surprising southern touches, like grits alongside red snapper or hushpuppies and collard greens with catfish.
Fish, 280 Bleecker Street (at Jones Street); 212-727-2879. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Tartine A BYOB in the wildly expensive West Village! If that doesn’t grab you, the classic French fare definitely will. There’s broiled escargot, steak au poivres, mussels and french fries, and so much more. The line can be nuts for dinner, so brunch and lunch are a deliciously good bet; if you must go in the evening — fret not. The staff is more than happy to uncork your wine while you wait.
Tartine, 253 West 11th Street (at West 4th Street); 212-229-2611. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Fedora The jaunty name suggests a jazzy throwback restaurant, and that is what you will find at this tiny sliver of a spot. Aside from the dark and dreamy decor, there are amazing cocktails and big ol' portions of delicious classics, like roasted duck breast, pork chop, and braised beef short rib.
Fedora, 239 West 4th Street (between Charles and West 10th streets); 646-449-9336. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Buvette This French-Italian gastropub is a cozy spot to hang with friends, especially for lunch. The bright, intimate space plays host to tiny shared plates, like the series of tartinettes (one with stracchino and sun-dried cherry tomatoes), or rabbit pot pie.
Buvette, 42 Grove Street (between Bleecker and Bedford streets). Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Takashi Step right up, adventurous eaters. This restaurant is theoretically Japanese and Korean, but really, the cuisine is just meat. There is a spare rib and a burger, sure, but also beef tendon, beef testicles, and even beef brain cream. And then there’s the Tongue Experience, which is not your college boyfriend’s psychedelic band. You’ll just have to eat it to believe it.
Takashi, 456 Hudson Street (at Barrow Street); 212-414-2929. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Morandi Restauranteur Keith McNally tends to be French-obsessed, but Morandi is his Italian venture. In his typical style, the menu is a creative and fun take on the cuisine, like meatballs with pine nuts and raisins ( alla siciliana), or chicken with chillies and lemon ( alla diavola). Plus there’s a whole section just for fried items. We approve.
Morandi, 211 Waverly Place (between Seventh Avenue South and Charles Street); 212-627-7575. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Market Table The walls at Market Table are almost entirely windows, so you feel like you’re dining with the beautiful populace of downtown New York. The food is American, seasonal, and local. Their most popular dish? A classic roasted chicken with a sweet potato salad with hazelnut brown butter.
Market Table, 54 Carmine Street (at Bedford Street); 212-255-2100. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Joseph Leonard Unlike some restaurants in the West Village that want to be hipper-than-thou, Joseph Leonard actually aims to be welcoming and warm. With only seven tables and a straightforward menu of strip steak and roasted chicken, you might just feel like you’re at a dinner party with your new best friends. Plus, this spot is only one of the feathers in the cap of impresario Gabriel Stulman, who also owns Perla, Fedora, Bar Sardine, and Jeffrey’s Grocery (which is right across the street!).
Joseph Leonard, 170 Waverly Place (at Grove Street); 646-429-8383. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Minetta Tavern In between Mad Men binges on Netflix, put on a pencil skirt and go to Minetta Tavern, which looks like the kind of place Don Draper would swill a cocktail. One of Keith McNally’s many Francophile restaurants, this one is fancy French, with lamb tartare and pâté de foie and filet mignon au Roquefort on the menu.
Minetta Tavern, 113 MacDougal Street (between Bleecker and West 3rd streets); 212-475-3850. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Aria Wine Bar Spanish cuisine shouldn’t have all the tiny-plate fun. The most exciting dishes at this wine bar are the Italian tapas, but if you happen to be one of those people who hates sharing, all the pastas are only $12. Yep, just 12 bucks for tortellini with lobster, or mac and cheese with black truffles. And just think, we haven’t even gotten to the wine yet.
Aria Wine Bar, 117 Perry Street (at Greenwich Street); 212-242-4233.
Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Ramen Thukpa Ever had Tibetan food? “Thukpa” means noodle soup in Tibetan, but while a pic of the Dalai Lama will smile down at you from the wall, there are also Japanese and Chinese influences on this menu. Every dish is under under $10, so consider this a break from the many fancypants restaurants of the West Village.
Ramen Thukpa, 70 Seventh Avenue South (at Barrow Street); 212-929-2188. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Pearl Oyster Bar There are many oyster bars in New York City, but how many are named after an opera-singing grandma? Chef Rebecca Charles and her family spent summers in Maine, and her food is New England-inspired, which basically means it's very simple and very delicious. Many dishes are dependent on the market of the day, but the scallops and lobster roll are never a mistake, either.
Pearl Oyster Bar, 18 Cornelia Street (between West 4th and Bleecker streets); 212-691-8211. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Murray’s Cheese Bar Its cheese shop may be iconic, but you don’t have to just go for the pairing classes — although, those are awesome, too, now that you mention it. The accompanying restaurant features an array of grilled cheeses, mac and cheese, and yes, many tasting platters that come in themes like "it's all gouda" or "funkmaster." And, if the latter doesn’t make you giggle in delight, this isn't the place for you.
Murray’s Cheese Bar, 264 Bleecker Street (between Morton and Leroy streets); 646-476-8882. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Sushi Nakazawa It takes a lot for a sushi restaurant (or any new restaurant) to make a stink upon opening, but a chef from the Jiro Dreams of Sushi documentary certainly helps. Chef Daisuke Nakazawa’s 20-course omakase promises straight-up “euphoria,” so book it now for your next birthday dinner.
Sushi Nakazawa, 23 Commerce Street; (212) 924-2212. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Corner Bistro This spot calls itself the “last of the bohemian bars in West Greenwich Village,” but you don’t just go for the sight-seeing. It also has one of the best best burgers in town. With half a pound of beef, it approaches a Katz’s Deli sandwich in city lore, and it only costs $9.75. Just get in line now.
Corner Bistro, 331 W. 4th Street (at Jane Street); 212-242-9502. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More
Blenheim Hill This restaurant brings a whole new meaning to farm-to-table, because it actually has its very own farm. Up in the Catskills, Blenheim Hill tends to its cattle, grows its greens in a hydroponic greenhouse, and gets it all ready for consumption by you. The theme carries over to the space's interior, decorated with rustic wooden walls, farm equipment, and tools.
Blenheim Hill, 283 West 12th Street (between West 4th Street and Eighth Avenue); 212-243-7073. Photo: Via @yayatiiii. More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Taco Bell's New Breakfast Taco Has A Fried Egg Shell & We Don't Know What To Think How To Eat Your Way Through Harlem & Never Get Bored Where To Dine On The Upper West Side