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 9.5 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.
The Beatrice Inn used to be a restaurant, then it became a nightclub, then it turned into a mediocre restaurant - and now it’s a great one. The new chef/owner came from The Spotted Pig, and she’s making the same kind of food over here. It’s on the heavier side, and there’s an emphasis on meat. They do duck, lamb, a few steaks, and many other animal-related dishes. (Even the creme brulée comes in a hollow bone.) So come here want to eat something good and filling in a West Village townhouse. It isn’t cheap, but it’s a cool space.
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.
Before you moved to New York, you fantasized about your life here. You imagined yourself living in an West Village studio (even if you didn’t know that you wanted to live in the West VIllage, you definitely wanted to live in the West Village), and you imagined you’d be a regular at a little neighborhood restaurant that always had a lively crowd of people. Well, you probably didn’t end up moving to the West Village, but Joseph Leonard is that restaurant. It’s more expensive and louder and harder to get a table than you imagined, but this is real life. And despite those downsides, Joseph Leonard is still one of the more fun, casual places to eat in the neighborhood. It’s underrated for a weekday breakfast.
If you ever find yourself wandering through the West Village thinking, “Isn’t there just something cool and casual I can pop into for some good Italian carbohydrates, and maybe a nice salad?” That place is Malaparte. It’s a dark little spot on Washington Street, and the vibes are always sort of just what we’re looking for. If we lived nearby, we’d be here every week. Come for some spaghetti with pesto, a pizza with prosciutto, and a simple piece of branzino.
You probably won’t want to bring your friend who only eats skinless chicken breasts to High Street On Hudson. But if you have a friend who’s going to get excited about a malfadine pasta made out of rye flour and served with duck ragu, this is a spot worth checking out. This is a restaurant for people who are serious about food, but it’s still quite casual. They’re also open all day: it’s a nice spot for a breakfast meeting, a fancy sandwich at lunch, or a full-on dinner.
If you come to 4 Charles Prime Rib, come prepared. Come prepared to eat meat, drink something strong, and to make an appointment to see your cardiologist soon. You’ll eat big hunks of prime rib, a glorious burger, and maybe even something called cacio e pepe carbonara pasta. If you’re looking to eat these kind of things in a space that looks like someone’s rich uncle’s private drinking den, it doesn’t get much better.
There are a lot of places to grab a slice in NYC, but Joe’s is a classic. It’s reliable, and it’s one of the few places where tourists and NYC residents feed side-by-side. The pizza itself isn’t anything fancy, but it’s exactly what you think of when someone says “slice of pizza.” It’s something you could imagine a teenage mutant ninja turtle eating. Go for a slice of cheese or pepperoni, and either eat it standing up or find an open bench in the park across the street.
“Fun” and “steakhouse” are not two words we often use to describe the same place. But Quality Eats isn’t like other steakhouses. It’s a fun steakhouse. Where you’ll eat in a trendy-looking room, drink some excellent cocktails, eat bacon with peanut butter, pay at most $30 for a killer piece of meat, and be offered the option of birthday cake ice cream with croutons. Guaranteed to turn you into a birthday person.
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.
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.
When you want Italian in the West Village, it can feel like anything that’s not L’Artusi is a consolation prize. But after recent visits back at I Sodi (stay tuned for a review update) we’ve come to the conclusion that this restaurant can really hold its own - while L’Artusi is modern, I Sodi feels like a real classic. The narrow, minimally-designed room and bar are always packed (but never too loud), there’s an entire negroni menu, and the super traditional food (cacio e pepe, brick chicken, lasagne) is excellent across the board. If L’Artusi is where you take that person you think you might want to marry, I Sodi is where you take the parents of that person you think you might want to marry.
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.
Faicco’s is the legendary Italian deli you’ve maybe never heard of. It’s been around since 1902 (and has been operated by the same family throughout its entire existence), and they make a G.O.A.T. chicken cutlet sandwich. This thing is probably about half the size of The Rock’s forearm - so plan accordingly. Split it with a friend or be prepared to be catatonic for the rest of your day.
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.
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.