1. Washington Square West/Midtown Village
The essentials: Vedge, Garces Trading Company, Vetri
The nightlife of nearby Midtown Village has helped catapult Washington Square West’s dining scene deeper into fun, trendy restaurant concepts while still maintaining the taste and tradition at some of the neighborhood’s long-standing favorites. When it comes to enjoying the scenery of Washington Square, Talula’s Garden's farm-to-table menu and earthy decor make it a favorite for brunch by the park. If you’ve ever wanted a wine-and-cheese taste through heaven, you can find it at Tria Cafe’s Washington Square West location, where you may suddenly become an expert at detecting the wine notes and cheese origins. Vegans and their meat-eating friends will both be happy at spots like Charlie was a sinner and Vedge, where veggie dishes are satisfyingly filling, but if you’re still hungry, it's best to stuff your face with pasta from Little Nonna’s and Mercato, or house-made mozzarella from Garces Trading Company. M Restaurant, housed in the Morris Hotel, offers dreamy garden views with seasonal menus. Cheu Noodle Bar serves up Japanese dishes like crab and shrimp balls and spicy tuna poke. Expect plenty of reinvented retro American classics, plus a decadent brunch menu of fried chicken buckets and lemon ricotta pancakes, at Bud & Marilyn’s. For a very special occasion, don’t overlook the prix fixe dinner at Vetri, which seats only 30 and creates custom Italian courses for each guest upon arrival.
Washington Square West’s neighboring Midtown Village also brings fantastic eating experiences to the area, such as the newer multi-level Japanese spot Double Knot, where you can choose between dozens of robataya options alongside sushi and other entrees. Tredici Enoteca is quickly becoming a favorite for Mediterranean cuisine paired with a bounty of wines, and Stephen Starr’s El Vez has a long history of serving tacos, guacamole, and margarita pitchers to very happy people.
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