The Best Italian Restaurants In The West Village

There's bucatini on every block, but here are the spots to prioritize.
A table covered in plates of grilled octopus, salad, anchovy toast, and pasta.

photo credit: Teddy Wolff

The West Village has roughly one Italian restaurant per capita. These include special-occasion places where you can drink wine that costs $10 per cubic centimeter as well as a bunch of weeknight restaurants with sub-$20 spaghetti and soundtracks that lean heavily on Dean Martin. The next time you need help choosing from the vast selection, consult this ranking of our top picks.



West Village

$$$$Perfect For:Date NightPrivate DiningSmall PlatesWalk-Ins
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Via Carota is mostly walk-in-only, and every single night you’ll find people lined up in the entryway, waiting for a table with a quiet desperation. Waits can be anywhere from one to three hours, and it confuses us emotionally to say that, yes, this place is worth a three-hour wait. The cacio e pepe is the best in the city, the garlicky chopped steak is richer and more compelling than the majority of non-chopped steaks, and sometimes you just feel like sitting in a dark room with taxidermy, rustic wooden cabinets, and the occasional actor who once starred alongside Scarlett Johansson.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

The original I Sodi was housed in a compact space on Grove Street with very little elbow room. Now, the restaurant is in a larger location around the corner on Bleecker, and, other than the fact that there’s now twice as much seating, nothing’s really changed. Other than the many-layered lasagna that always looks like it's going to tip over and break a few floorboards, the Tuscan food is still simple, understated, and heavily reliant on olive oil. Bring someone who enjoys quiet conversations and minimalist farmhouse decor, and order the pappardelle al limone.

Everything at Don Angie a little different, from the cheese-covered chrysanthemum salad and large-format lasagna for two, to the cocktail with paremsan-washed gin and the notably large bathroom with a heavy sliding door that’s somewhat hard to lock. If you’re tired of your standard amatricianas and cacio e pepes, come here. The food is creative, the space is sleek and date-night-appropriate, and, while reservations are tough, the bar is saved for walk-ins.

If you're celebrating something, and you know, deep down, that you absolutely need to eat Italian food in the West Village, go to L’Artusi. The upscale dinner-party ambiance is perfect for an anniversary or a night out with your in-laws, and the pastas are near-flawless. Get the simply dressed spaghetti, pair it with the garlicky beef carpaccio, and round things out with the roast chicken. Yes, every other restaurant in a 20-block radius serves some type of roast chicken, but the buttery version here is a non-optional order. L'Artusi is one of the largest Italian spots in the area, but seeing as this is the West Village, decent reservations tend to be nonexistent. The solution? Sit at the bar.

It’s entirely possible that whoever built Malaparte used a checklist for cute, casual Italian spots. Just look at the brick walls, the stubby wine glasses, and the charmingly distressed wood furniture. Like the room, the food here is simple yet elegant, and it's better than what you'll find at the majority of casual Italian spots in the city. Get a pizza for the table, then have some spaghetti al carbonara or a plate of chewy pasta coated entirely in bright green pesto. Malaparte isn't doing anything especially new or mind-blowing, but, after one visit, you'll wish you lived closer.

Barbuto used to be on Washington Street in a space with big garage doors that would open in the summertime. Now, the restaurant is a little further west on Horatio Street, and it's pretty much the same. So if you never made it over to the original iteration, plan a meal here. The famous chicken with salsa verde is still on the menu, and it's still something you should eat. We're also fans of the stuffed, cheesy meatballs and smoked salmon pizza that makes you feel like you're eating in Beverly Hills circa 1984. The big, industrial space is fun and lively, and reservations are actually pretty attainable.

Fiaschetteria's East Village location is one of our favorite places to eat pasta in that neighborhood, and their West Village outpost is a similarly nice spot to nerd out over fresh parpardelle. The walk-in-only space only has around seven tables, all of which have views of the open kitchen, where spaghetti is rolled by hand and pasta is cut and tossed with duck ragu. There’s usually little to no wait for a table, so keep this restaurant in mind for last-minute dinners with a friend or date.

Anton's—billed as a "New York Cafe"—isn't 100% Italian, but a whole section of its menu is dedicated to “Macaroni." So the influence is pretty clear. This old-school restaurant on Hudson Street is decorated with oil paintings and lots of dark wood, and it’s perfect for when you want to drink a martini and eat some pasta by candlelight. The bucatini that comes absolutely stuffed with bacon is our top choice, but the spaghetti anchoiade is another intelligent route, as long as you don’t mind having a mouth that smells like anchovy.

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight Dinner


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If you've been to Lil' Frankies in the East Village, you already know what to expect from Daddies. This place is from the same owner, and it's a great choice for a casual night out when you'd like to eat some pizza with dense, puffy crust, or perfectly simple spaghetti limone. Get in and out for under $40, and enjoy some baroque curtains and ostentatious chandeliers while you’re at it. If it’s warm out, grab a table on the streetside patio.

One of the newer additions to the West Village Italian scene, Tivoli Trattoria is a cute place where you can always get a reservation. If you’d like to visit the Amalfi Coast, but don’t quite have the funds, come here and enjoy some reasonable pasta in a pastel room that looks like a beachside cabana. Most of the entrees—like chicken limone, linguine scampi, and various pizzas—cost between $20-$25, and they all get the job done. It’s also worth noting that there are a lot of good gluten-free options.

Some of the places on this ranking are too fancy, pricey, or intimidating for a weeknight. Malatesta is not. This unpretentious restaurant just wants you to be happy and eat a solid plate of gnocchi, maybe even at a table on the sidewalk. The dining room has vintage posters, scuffed tile floors, and handwritten menus, and most things cost less than $20. You'll probably see a small crowd waiting for tables when you arrive, but don't let that scare you. The wait times usually aren't too bad, and the relatively reasonable prices are worth a small amount of lingering.

Arthur & Sons leans heavily into the old-school Italian American aesthetic, and it's a fun time all around. Yes, a plate of rigatoni with vodka sauce will cost you $30, but this is the West Village. The overheads are not insubstantial. Also, the portions are large, and you can listen to Frank Sinatra and sit in a booth as you enjoy some creamy, mushroom-packed veal valdastano. Not every dish is a winner, but if you stick to the red-sauce basics, and toss in some cocktails, you'll have a fun group dinner.

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