There are a ton of great restaurants in the West Village, but there are not a lot of great outdoor dining spaces. That statement was true in the past, and it may be true in the future, but it’s certainly not the case right now. Tons of places around the neighborhood have set up tables on sidewalks, streets, and makeshift patios, many for the first time ever. We’ll be keeping track of all of them in this guide.
You don’t want to “do brunch.” You just want to eat breakfast food in public. Go to La Bonbonniere. This cash-only diner serves perfectly crispy pancakes, big plates of bacon, and great milkshakes every day starting at 7am.
A lot of people have improved their abilities in the kitchen during quarantine, but we’d venture to guess that nobody is cooking the dishes coming out of Llama San’s kitchen. The Japanese-influenced Peruvian food, like hot soft shell crab baos with aji amarillo tartar sauce, is fantastic, and fully worth planning ahead for in order to get one of the four tables available for reservation through their website.
Malaparte is a block from the river, and it’s a great option whenever you get tired of gazing out at New Jersey like it’s an island in the Mediterranean. Their delicious pastas and relatively light pizzas are available daily from 4:30-10:30pm, and they’re also doing weekend brunch starting at noon.
Some things about eating at Rahi will feel familiar, like finishing a plate of prawn curry or goat biryani, and realizing you haven’t said a word for 30 minutes. But some things will feel new, like the live tandoori grill station cooking lamb chops and chicken legs, and the curbside stand serving fresh kulfi to-go. The seating is first come, first served, but if there’s a wait, then you can get a margarita with chamomile-infused tequila from the outdoor bar. That’s new, too.
A lot of things are anything but normal right now, but there are two things you can pretty much always count on being true. First, there will be a fairly significant wait for a table at Via Carota, and second, it’ll feel worth it once the food arrives. The outdoor seating at this Italian spot is available every day from 4-9pm.
With an abundance of little trees, colorful flowers, and yellow umbrellas, the outdoor dining setup at this West Village Mediterranean spot is pretty ideal. So much so that you may feel compelled to sign their petition to close the block to traffic, and open it for expanded seating. The first come first served tables are available every day starting at 11am.
If you’re taking a stroll through the West Village, Berimbau’s takeaway caipirinha window makes it a very useful refueling station. And if you’re looking to sit down for a full meal, then this Brazilian spot’s feijoada and baked to order pão de queijo make it a great option for that as well. Their outdoor seating, which is limited to 25 seats for social distancing, is available every day from 11:30am-9:30pm.
The Middle Eastern dumplings at Kubeh are filled with things like lamb or fish, they have the texture of matzo balls, and they’re served in soups like Persian chicken. In other words, you should be eating them in the near future. You can do so any day between 11:30am-10pm at a sidewalk table on 6th Avenue, which are first come first served except for groups of six or more.
Saying a restaurant serves Mediterranean food doesn’t tell you a whole lot. The place might serve grilled octopus or shawarma or ravioli, or in the case of Meme, all of the above. This makes it a good option when you’re eating with picky or indecisive friends, and the fact that most dishes are less than $20 means it’s a low-commitment choice as far as the West Village goes. Its outdoor patio is open daily from 12-9:30pm, with brunch on weekends from 12-4pm.
Boucherie is a restaurant in the West Village with an abundance of sidewalk seating, and plenty of French food, like duck, foie gras, and various cuts of steak. Reservations for lunch, brunch, and dinner are available through their website for tables on 7th Avenue, all of which are separated from each other by raised glass partitions.
Don Angie is only open for dinner, which is probably for the best. That’s not to say we wouldn’t very happily eat the garganelli drenched in ragu and cured pork at 11am on a Tuesday, but being at all productive afterwards, or after sharing the lasagna for two with any less than four people, seems highly unlikely. So come for dinner any day between 5-11pm, and feel free to test yourself the next day by having the leftovers for lunch. They offer some first come first served seating, but you can also make a reservation up to a week in advance through their website.
Outdoor dining is now available at this French wine bar’s Soho and West Village locations, meaning you can order multiple rounds of escargots and white Burgundy on Spring or West 4th Street. You can reserve a table through their website or by calling 917-261-4441.
Jajaja Plantas Mexicana
A quick glance at Jajaja’s menu might make you think that it’s like countless other Mexican spots serving chorizo burritos and fish tacos. But it’s not. It’s entirely vegan, with fermented bean standing in for chorizo, and hemp and flax seed battered squash replacing fish. Everything on the menu, as well as its long list of tequilas and mezcals, is being served in their backyard from 11:30am-10pm during the week, and until 11pm on weekends.
Even though you won’t be surrounded by vintage knick-knacks and a chorus of French accents, Buvette is still a very charming place to eat fluffy eggs topped with smoked salmon at breakfast, or coq au vin at dinner. Their sidewalk seating is available daily from 9am-11pm.
Brunetti is serving their Neapolitan pizzas, as well as Italian small plates like arancini and eggplant parmesan, on their front and backyard patios. The pies, which are also available with gluten-free or whole wheat crust, range from a margherita with housemade mozzarella to a carbonara version topped egg yolk and pancetta. Stop by for lunch or dinner any day except Monday.
232 Bleecker is the first full-service restaurant from the people behind the fast-casual chain, Dig, and it’s similarly focused on vegetables. But only using it as a place to get a light lunch or early evening snack would be a mistake. Their roast chicken is one of our favorites in the city, and they’re also serving pastas, rotating sandwiches, and frozen cocktails. You can reserve an outdoor table on Carmine Street for lunch or dinner Wednesday through Sunday through their website.
The next time you find yourself hungry enough to do something about it, but not quite to the point that you want a full meal, head to Lamano. Tapas like chorizo with cheese fondue or thinly sliced octopus with fried potatoes will hold you over until dinner, and they have the added benefit of being delicious.
Corner Bistro is an institution, which is likely part of the reason our Editor In Chief decided to go there for dinner on night one of NYC’s reopening. The order here is simple: bistro burger, fries, and a cold beer. Just remember to bring cash.
The Butcher's Daughter
Butcher’s Daughter is open daily from 8am-10pm, which means you can get an acai bowl before picking up your morning latte, watermelon carpaccio and cauliflower pizzas with a friend at lunch, or a burger and Kombucha sangria for dinner. You can reserve a table on Hudson Street ahead of time through their website.
When you have a craving for a meat-heavy meal, The Beatrice Inn is one of your best bets in the city. Whether you satisfy that craving with lamb, pork shoulder, dry-aged cote de boeuf, or roast duck flambe is up to you. The reservation-only seating is available for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
Ofrenda’s outdoor seating on 7th Avenue is a great spot to get some margaritas, chorizo nachos, and carnitas tacos, especially when all of those are $8 during their daily Happy Hour from 4-7pm.
Hudson Clearwater’s back patio is always one of the most pleasant outdoor dining spaces in the West Village, and right now is no exception. Make use of it with spicy eggs benedict and sugar-free smoothies at brunch, or seared duck and mezcal cocktails at dinner.
Both of this Italian spot’s West Village locations are offering first come first served outdoor seating every day starting at 5:30pm. All of the housemade pastas are excellent, and each location is offering a couple specials, like tagliolini with lobster on Christopher Street, and cannelloni filled with ricotta and spinach on 7th Avenue.
If you don’t have your own neighborhood Italian place, or if you just prefer the West Village to whatever neighborhood you live in, check out Malatesta. Sit at a table on the sidewalk, and eat some really good gnocchi while pondering a move to Washington and Christopher. They’re currently open until 3-10pm (11pm on Friday and Saturday).