There are few streets in New York City as wonderfully rambling as those that you’ll find in the West Village. Here, the grid is thrown out in favor of corridors that amble in strange angles, stopping and starting at their own convenience. While that makes for a bit of a navigational nightmare, it adds loads to the charm factor. As many well know, dining in the West Village isn’t simply about the destination; it’s about the journey getting there. Herewith, our guide to eating around one of Manhattan’s most picturesque nabes, at the most iconic restaurants therein.
The Spotted Pig
On any given night, The Spotted Pig, from the bar downstairs to the extra tables on the second floor, is filled to the gills. Its walls lined with pig-themed paraphernalia are a reminder that New York City once did kitsch right. The food here, a combination of British and Italian, runs rich, and the bar is manned by some of the best ‘tenders in town.
314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014
Once upon a time, very late at night, Corner Bistro was the restaurant of choice for the post-midnight revelers of the Beatrice Inn. While that club—and that particular era—is long gone, Corner Bistro continues its tradition of very excellent burgers served on a paper plate, well into the wee hours.
331 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
Tea & Sympathy
Afternoon tea? Head to Tea & Sympathy, which cares less for fads than it does jam and clotted cream. Since 1991, the Greenwich Ave. cafe has been serving up the pots of steeped leaves Great Britain is known for, plus some dishes that’ll put some meat on your bones as the temperatures dip, like Welsh rarebit and shepherd’s pie.
108 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011
Cowgirl Hall of Fame
If you like your bag of Fritos with a scoop of chili inside, stride on into Cowgirl Hall of Fame, which has cornered the market on Southwestern comfort food. Diners sit at tables lined with white-and-red checkered cloths under taxidermied animals and old school portraits, which feels less West Village than it does West Texas.
519 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
The Beatrice Inn
What once was the aforementioned club, packed to the brim with chain-smoking rock stars and pin-thin models, is now an elegant dining room lined with black banquettes and white tablecloths. While many will miss the debauchery of yore, The Beatrice Inn of today offers itself as a fine, albeit much different, replacement. Chef Angie Mar bought the biz from Graydon Carter (of Vanity Fair fame) back in 2016, and has transformed it into a carnivore’s delight. Vice of another kind.
285 W 12th St, New York, NY 10014
The faded marque at La Bonbonniere might mirror signs of changing times, but this Greek diner is everlasting. The greasy spoon hasn’t changed much—if any—over the years, in decor or menu. Refreshing, indeed.
28 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014
Photo courtesy of Chanan Greenblatt