"I've got 99 problems but shoestring fries at my restaurant The Spotted Pig ain't one," said famous rapper/restaurateur Jay-Z, probably. We agree they are not a problem. We also agree with eating everything in sight at these 11 other West Village eateries.
The Definitive West Village Dining Guide
Best Italian: Babbo
110 Waverly Place
Mario Batali’s fancy bi-level, amber-lit dining room has bustled with impeccable service and even better food since 1998. Tasting menus are always an option, and if you want to get in without a reservation, consider eating that beef cheek ravioli at the bar.
Best sushi: Sushi Nakazawa
23 Commerce St
The omakase at Chef Daisuke Nakazawa’s simple kitchen is a two-hour, 20-course affair and is absolutely worth it -- it’s one of the best sushi spots in the city.
Best tapas: Tertulia
359 6th Ave
Munch tapas like Ibérico ham croquettes, Brussels sprouts fried with pork belly, and house-smoked deviled eggs under exposed beams and brick. And the paella -- while not a small plate -- is very important.
Best burger: Minetta Tavern
113 Macdougal St
The widely revered, cheese-less, dry-aged Black Label Burger is drizzled with clarified butter, cloaked in caramelized onions, and sits atop a custom-made brioche bun. Sure, $28 is a lot for a burger, but it's still cheaper than a lot of other entrees in this city. Go for it once so you can say you did.
Best date spot: Aria Wine Bar
117 Perry St
The entrance is flanked by tiny, white light-covered trees, which is a magical introduction to the refined Italian share plates found inside. A one-sided, white tile countertop bar wraps around the space, making it comfortably crowded, so you’ll have no choice but to squeeze in tight with your date who hopefully doesn't fear human contact.
Best gastropub: The Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St
Walk in and order Chef April Bloomfield's chicken liver toast, Roquefort burger, or famous deviled eggs, then wait for co-owner Jigga Man to invite you up to the private dining room.
Best underground Peking duck: Decoy
529 Hudson St
The crispy-skinned, juicy Peking duck that comes with duck consommé shots and 10 pancakes is for sure cheaper in Chinatown, but free fish chips at the beginning of the meal and the excellent cocktail program make this all worthwhile. Plus, it's a RedFarm venturen so there's no second guessing the quality.
Best lobster roll: Pearl Oyster Bar
18 Cornelia St
You should have no reservations about diving into this hefty, simple, and classic Maine lobster roll at this lil’ clam shack that takes no reservations.
Best supper club: Louro
142 W 10th St
Chef David Santos dishes up creative stuff like the goat/pork belly and goat cheese burger all week long, but it’s the Nossa Mesa Supper Club that deserves special mention -- every Monday night the contemporarily decorated joint plays host to a prix fixe dinner based around a theme. Game of Thrones-inspired feasts included.
Best neighborhood spot: The Little Owl
90 Bedford St
The One With the Amazing Gravy Sliders is what they would call the episode where Ross, Chandler, and Rachel must move a couch up to a fifth-floor walk-up. Adversity persists, hilarity ensues, and then they all go eat meatballs in a little neighborhood staple that's in the same building as the Friends exterior apartment shot.
Best crazy eats and midnight ramen: Takashi
456 Hudson St
You’ve got some big balls if you order the Testicargot: cow testicles in garlic shiso butter. Sorry about that joke -- it was low-hanging fruit I just had to grab. Sorry about that one, too. Anyway, they’re good, but on a menu where so much other not-ball food exists, like secret late-night ramen on weekends, there’re better options.
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1. Babbo110 Waverly Place, New York
2. Sushi Nakazawa23 Commerce St, New York
3. Tertulia359 6th Ave, New York
4. Minetta Tavern113 Macdougal St, New York
5. Aria Wine Bar117 Perry St, New York
6. The Spotted Pig314 W 11th St, New York
7. Decoy529 Hudson St, New York
8. Pearl Oyster Bar18 Cornelia St, New York
9. Louro142 W 10th St, New York
10. The Little Owl93 Greenwich Ave, New York
11. Takashi456 Hudson St, New York
Mario Batali’s flagship restaurant is a charming former carriage house in the West Village serving high-end Italian fare with an elevated, chef-inspired twist on classic dishes. The pasta here is certainly worth the hype, like the pillowy potato gnocchi, cuddled in shreds of tender oxtail that’s been sautéed in a robust red wine and tomato-based ragu.
Chef Daisuke Nakazawa’s 20-course omakase features some of the absolute freshest sushi you will ever experience (second to Japan), as well as some of the most interesting (you can expect torches, live shrimp, and lots of rare sakes at this West Village favorite).
Tertulia serves up Spanish tapas (from Iberico ribs to grilled clams) alongside much larger platters (bomba rice with sepia, lobster, and clams) in an exposed beam- and weathered brick-heavy space on 6th Ave.
In the heart of Greenwich Village, Minetta Tavern boasts a classic oak bar, vintage photos on the walls, and supremely delicious burgers (amongst other menu items). Its Black Label Burger has quite the reputation -- it's an 8oz blend of Pat LaFrieda prime dry-aged beef, cooked until there's a nice, light crust on top, then dressed with caramelized onions on a custom brioche bun.
This cozy West Village wine bar specializes in fine Italian wine (served in tiny five-ounce glasses) and small plates like cheese and charcuterie, mushroom bruschetta, and grilled shrimp, octopus, and sardine tapas. White lights lining the entrance give it a romantic vibe, and candlelit two-person tables make it especially date-worthy.
April Bloomfield's West Village restaurant and bar is a fan-favorite among celebrities, lifetime New Yorkers, and tourists, known for its bucket list-worthy chargrilled roquefort burger with shoestring fries. The British-meets-Italian gastropub famously doesn't take reservations, but it's also open until 2am nightly, so if you can't get a table during peak dinner hours, then a late-night seat at the bar is your best bet -- and probably the most quintessential New York experience.
Located just below its sibling restaurant Red Farm, Decoy can be a tight fit, but the Decoy Chips -- which are actually fried branzino skin with black garlic dip (they're usually offered for free to start the meal) -- help immediately. Follow those with the main star; only 24 ducks are served each night , and the flavors mix traditional with fusions thanks to the sauces, including hoisin, sesame, and cranberry, and the pancakes manage to hold up to stuffing despite being incredibly thin.
Located in the West Village, this charming seafoodery is loaded with chilled seafood, small plates, and large plates, all featuring fresh ocean fare, from lobster to shrimp and, of course, oysters.
Chef David Santos's West Village joint delivers modern American eats in the form of bites, small plates & large plates, as well as a solid brunch with the likes of Bacon Maple Glazed Beignets and Chorizo Baked Eggs.
A casual neighborhood dining spot plating Mediterranean eats in Greenwich Village.
All beef, all night. Well sorta. Hit up this spot for the perfect part-Korean, part-Japanese dish featuring both Japanese and American Angus -- tongues, intestines, and anything else you can imagine -- grilled at your table. On the weekends, chow down on an influx of ramen while reading about the health benefits of the various slices of meat you might gorge yourself on via a wall mural.