When you walk through the West Village, you’re bound to notice a few things. For example, “This neighborhood is way more charming than all the others” and, “There are a lot of Marc Jacobs stores.” You’ll also likely find yourself noticing that there are a ton of restaurants.
There are a lot of restaurants in the West Village, and many of them are fantastic. Some just look like they’d be fantastic – remember, brick walls and hip, tiny wooden stools for chairs do not actually guarantee the food will be any good. To that end, here are the restaurants in the West Village that are absolutely worth your time. And when you’re done, check out our list of the best bars in the West Village.
L’Artusi is one of the few restaurants on The Infatuation with a 9.0 rating, thanks to the nearly always perfect Italian food, the excellent wine, the A-plus service, and the constantly upbeat scene. If you ever come across a reservation at L’Artusi, you take it.
There’s some irony to the fact that possibly the most quintessential New York restaurant of the past decade is actually a British-style gastropub. However you slice it, there’s no better place to drink, eat an incredible burger, and feel great about your life.
For a more old school, yet equally essential West Village burger experience, you’ll want to hit Corner Bistro. They have the old beat-up tavern thing down pat, and serve one of New York’s classic burgers.
The chicken at Barbuto has become legendary, and it’s worth coming for alone. The space – in an old garage on Washington Street – is also one of the city’s best.
The owner here literally saw Jiro Dreams Of Sushi and decided to bring one of his disciples to New York. The result is Sushi Nakazawa, one of the best sushi situations in the city. Make sure to sit at the sushi bar, and hopefully bring someone else’s wallet.
L’Artusi’s sibling restaurant is a little more low key and a little easier to get into. If L’Artusi is where you might go for your birthday, dell’anima is where you might go on a fourth date. Comparison aside, it’s a great restaurant on its own.
Piora’s menu pulls off one of the more unusual combinations – Italian-ish, with a Korean twist. The food is excellent, and the room – overlooking a garden – is very, very nice.
A modern Israeli restaurant from the people behind New York’s best falafel (Taim), Bar Bolonat is one of those restaurants where you can blindly point to anything on the menu and wind up happy. If you don’t want to close your eyes, go for the Zabzi Tagine, a little piece of ridiculously tasty short rib.
Predictably, there are clams on the menu at The Clam, but this is no roadside clam shack. This restaurant does some pretty impressive things with seafood, in what you could call a very “civilized” space. My mom loves this place, and yours probably will too.
We enjoy Extra Virgin for brunch, particularly if you swing a seat on the outdoor seating platform. Raised just a few inches off the street, it’s the people watching equivalent of sitting next to Spike Lee at a Knicks game. It’s solid for dinner too.
How much you will love Takashi depends on how excited you are by the prospect of cooking cuts of beef stomach on a grill in front of you. If that sounds great, you’re going to love this Japanese BBQ place. At midnight on weekends, Takashi also serves a special ramen.
Hudson Clearwater has two of the most coveted restaurant elements: a hidden entrance, and a killer back patio. Once you find your way in (the main inside room is nice too), you’ll find a solid menu of new American classics – steak, fish, burrata, oysters etc.
Long before every restaurant in town had a sea urchin pasta on its menu, Soto had a menu full of dishes made with uni. Soto has long been in the best sushi restaurant conversation, but we really love it for their selection of Japanese small plates, many of which are made with sea urchin. One thing to be warned of: the chef here is known to be pretty severe in his ways (as in, he’ll throw you out if you do anything stupid). So don’t do anything stupid.
Jeffrey’s is a great spot to hang out any time of day, any day of the week, which is why we enjoy it so much. Hit it for a weekday lunch, a weekend brunch, or for oysters and cocktails on a Tuesday night.
A casual bar-type establishment from the owner of Jeffrey’s Grocery does funky takes on regular bar food, and all of it’s pretty excellent. You’ll want to try the soy and black garlic deviled eggs and the burger, which is definitely one of the best in the neighborhood.
Fedora is also owned by Gabe Stulman, the same guy who owns the two restaurants listed just above (he owns some other places too, but we like these ones best). This one’s best suited for drinking an Old Fashioned, eating stuff like a fried pig’s head, and generally feeling awesome about yourself.
Decoy is the peking duck-focused restaurant located below Red Farm, and we prefer it to its upstairs sibling these days. Dinner here is all about duck, executed perfectly, accompanied by some other dishes and plenty of cocktails.
In a neighborhood of tiny restaurants where you’ll sit on a chair suited for a kindergarten classroom, EN Brasserie is a big, spread out place. They serve Japanese food of all types – from light sashimi dishes, to miso black cod, to wagyu beef you cook on a stone, to a multi-course tasting menu. Think of it as a more traditional, but still sceney Nobu kind of spot.
Our go-to for easy, casual, modern Italian. This isn’t a red sauce kind of joint, but it’s well-priced, serves big pours of wine, and has some fantastic pasta, most notably the famous sage butter and spicy sausage cavatelli.
Did you know there are actually reasonably priced BYOBs in downtown Manhattan that serve very good French food? Well, there’s one, and it’s called Tartine. Apparently, plenty of people do know this, because there’s usually a line out the door. Still, we love this place.