It’s no secret that New York City is one of the culinary capitals of the world, food happens here. But sometimes, it can feel almost daunting with literally thousands of incredible restaurants, how is one to choose?
Making a choice remains difficult even when you narrow it down to a specific neighborhood⸺such as the West Village, one of the trendiest, most high-class neighborhoods in the city and a mecca for fine dining.
With Italian, French, American, Chinese, Asian-Fusion, Japanese Peruvian, and so many more cuisines, the possibilities for fine dining are endless.
Thankfully, I’m here to help! With my lengthy experience of tasting and rating experimental foods and innovative classics, I’m breaking down all the best West Village restaurants. Check out my list of the best restaurants in West Village below.
51 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
Mamma mia, I love some good Italian food. In the West Village, just east of the iconic Friends Apartment, Via Carota is one of the best places to eat if you want to experience some fantastic Tuscan and European cuisine.
Combining the incredible talent of chefs Rita Sodi and Jody Williams, the menu at Via Carota features authentic Italian and European fare. They stay away from the cliche pasta dishes seen at most Italian American restaurants in favor of seasonal vegetable dishes, seafood, and meat.
While you enjoy your Sicilian meatballs or grilled octopus, you will get to enjoy a fantastic cityscape view of the West Village through Via Carota’s many windows.
The scenery was an exceptional part of the Via Carota experience… not to forget their great European-style appetizers, of course!
228 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014
The second entry on our list is a classy trattoria that serves upscale clientele⸺this isn’t for Friday night with the fellas. But if you’re able to get yourself into a nice button-down shirt, you won’t be disappointed with L’Artusi’s stunning offerings.
L’Artusi’s strength is that, while it’s primarily an Italian restaurant, it also offers excellent upscale favorites.
That means that whether you’re in the mood for their pici nero (pasta with crab, calabrian chili, garlic, tomato, and nori breadcrumbs) or the L’Burger (served with taleggio cheese, a chili aioli, heirloom tomato, and arugula), you’re in for a meal that’s out of this world.
St Tropez West Village
304 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
St. Tropez West Village’s website claims that it’s the best French restaurant and wine bar in SoHo and West Village and to be entirely honest, I’m not inclined to disagree.
On my last visit to West Village, I wanted to see if I could get French food that would give less a taste of Paris and more of the southern Riviera, and boy howdy, St. Tropez did not disappoint.
St. Tropez puts a premium on an extraordinary dining experience, featuring seasonal dishes inspired by the South of France.
That’s the reason for choosing to serve such decadent meals, from the entrees, such as – my personal favorite – grilled octopus with eggplant caviar to the main courses like the Angus beef stew.
Combining these rich flavors with their warm, wood-paneled dining room will make you feel like you’ve been in St. Tropez your whole life.
Anton’s Café & Wine Bar
570 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
Anton’s has a great retro vibe, complete with a nostalgic café and a menu filled with classic items. Housed within a Greek revival building that dates back to the 1850s, this vintage-style restaurant features American cuisine with European influences.
Key menu items include pork chops, shellfish, and seasonal vegetable dishes. And as an added bonus, Anton’s doubles as a fantastic wine bar, with over 550 bottles to choose from.
Overall, Anton’s is a good choice if you have a taste for old-school food and dining experiences.
While the menu is always subject to change, there are definitely some mainstays that are worth checking out, especially their menu basics, like the omelet and the bouillabaisse a la Manhattan.
Boucherie West Village
99 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
Boucherie West Village emphasizes doing the traditional French dining experience extraordinarily well, and they don’t disappoint.
Located in a building that formerly housed the Circle Repertory Theater, the spacious restaurant has various seating options, all of which make you feel like you’re in fin-de-siecle Paris (and who wouldn’t want to be there!).
The menu is equally expansive and not cheap by any means⸺especially on the Pieces de Boucher section, which, as its name implies, sports some very high-quality meats. But if you can cough up $92 for the faux-filet bercy, we can assure you that it’s worth every penny.
I Sodi NYC
105 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
If you enjoy Via Carota or Saint Theo’s, then you’ll definitely have to check out Chef Rita Sodi’s tribute to Tuscan home cooking, I Sodi. This popular restaurant and bar features an unapologetically traditional Tuscan menu and a fantastic wine and cocktail list.
What makes I Sodi so excellent is its full commitment to Tuscan cuisine. As many people who have visited the region can attest, Tuscan cooking often comes down to simple but perfected dishes, such as a top-quality lasagna or a delicious grilled steak.
I Sodi is beloved by locals and celebrities alike, but the civilized environment creates a friendly but relaxed dining atmosphere that isn’t overwhelmed by the crowd.
With that in mind, it can be pretty competitive to get a reservation here, so be sure to plan well in advance if you want to try it out.
87 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
One look at Dame gives you a stellar idea of what the place is all about⸺bright colors, bright music, and bright flavors. An English seafood restaurant located right near the Houston Street subway station, Dame’s deceptively straightforward menu pulls out all the stops when it comes to English seafood.
At first, I raised an eyebrow when I read the menu’s declaration that the restaurant offered “proper” English chips, but one bite was enough to put my doubts to rest.
In addition to those gems, I recommend the stellar fish and chips, the colorful curried monkfish kebab with yogurt and peppers, and the decadent whole turbot.
103 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014
Just around the corner from 8th Avenue and 14th Street, Don Angie is a Michelin Star-boasting restaurant⸺an accolade that’s well-earned for owners, seasoned chefs, and spouses Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli.
Both Rito and Tacinelli bring a profound love for Italian-American food to Don Angie, influenced by their respective childhoods in Cleveland and New Jersey.
What makes Don Angie stick out is the bravery of its menu⸺Rito and Tacinelli aren’t afraid to mix Italian classics like prosciutto with international ingredients like papaya, sheep’s cheese, tamarind, and labneh.
My personal favorite on their menu is the only item with no description⸺not an oversight on their copywriter’s part, but a purposeful choice, as the item needs no explanation: “lasagna for two.” Molto bene indeed.
Buvette New York
42 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
Visit the other half of the Via Carota team at Buvette, Jody Williams’ “gastrotheque,” open 18 hours a day and features rich and decadent cuisine.
Buvette is a fun, and charming place to visit for indulgent treats, like anchovies and butter or rabbit dipped in mustard sauce. The menu fits a variety of mealtimes and random cravings—if you want a classy twist on the midnight sandwich, definitely try Buvette.
With Buvette’s artsy decor and satisfying menu, it’s no wonder that there’s frequently a line going out the door. Like many popular West Village spots, be prepared to wait to get a table at this darling French-inspired restaurant.
60 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011
Rahi is the first Indian restaurant on this list, and you should take that to mean that it’s the best of the best in West Village. What makes this restaurant wonderful is that it’s more than food; it’s art.
To start, the interior designer at Rahi should be given a very handsome raise because the restaurant is stunning. With murals designed by Singaporean artists Yok & Sheryo and a motif of fragmentary images that represent transcendental experiences and journeys, Rahi is just plain wonderful to be in.
And that would be enough for me, but guess what? The food is impressive, too. The menu, which comes together thanks to locally sourced New York produce, is designed to take your taste buds through a tour of India. I loved to see the innovations they had on the nation’s traditional cuisines.
I was a particular fan of the three mango cod, and it should not be overlooked.
170 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014
New York City is known around the globe as a culinary capital, but sometimes the simple neighborhood joints can get lost in all the glitz and glam. This next restaurant recognizes that fact but takes welcoming neighborhood food to the next level.
Offering an extensive menu that should please everyone in your party, even the pickiest, most indecisive eater, Joseph Leonard is a place where that pure je ne sais quoi of a wonderful meal is born.
Though the prices are higher than the typical neighborhood burger shack, Joseph Leonard makes up for it with food that does not disappoint. Though the food won’t change your entire perspective on what salmon is, it’s scrumptious nonetheless.
455 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
If you’re like me, dear reader, then you regularly want to just close your eyes and appear in Northern Italy. Well, Osteria Carlina won’t do precisely that, but it’ll get you pretty close.
Founded by San Carlo Osteria Piemonte restaurateur Moreno Cerutti, Osteria Carlina has everything you might want from Northern Italian cuisine, with dishes that emphasize the rich meats, decadent cheeses, and scrumptiously fresh pasta of the region.
The menu is one of the most extensive on this list, and if there’s any problem with it, it’s that you won’t be able to decide what item looks best!
However, as an aspiring-one-day-well-probably-not-but-we-can-dream vegetarian, I can heartily recommend the Spaghetti from Gragnano with “Impossible” vegan ragu with Porcini mushrooms.
Mary’s Fish Camp
64 Charles St, New York, NY 10014
Do you smell that? Is that the salt-soaked air of Cape Cod? Is this a schooner being rocked back and forth on the slate waves? Is this a fishing village by the sea? No, it’s Mary’s Fish Camp⸺but don’t worry, it’s an easy mistake to make.
Inspired by New England seafood joints, Pearl Oyster Bar has been a West Village institution, slinging the highest quality seafood rolls you can imagine for 20 years and counting.
Despite its scrappy atmosphere, however, it’s still a fine dining establishment, which means that whether their dishes are less frilled (like their pan-fried cod sandwich) or all-frills (bouillabaisse), the food is a knockout.
253 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014
Like Mary’s Fish Camp, Tartine Cafe is a West Village institution with over two decades of experience serving top-notch French cuisine. It’s a change of pace from your typical French countryside cafe, though, in that it draws on the food of French Brittany.
This means that you’ll be able to sample a whole smattering of delicious entrees, from a stellar croque madame to steak au poivres. As a bonus, drop by Tartine Cafe for either lunch or dinner⸺(almost) the same stellar food, whenever you want it.
753 Washington St, New York, NY 10014
Ever wondered what it’d be like to have your own Italian nonna right in the heart of New York City? Malaparte can provide you with that experience.
Well, that and more. One of the first things that West Village locals will recognize is that Malaparte’s scenic location seems to be pulled straight from a movie, with a warm and cozy dining room in which you can’t help but feel like a regular.
The restaurant’s menu is straight to the point, listing a range of Italian dishes with minimal descriptors. But brevity here is indeed the essence of wit. Whether it’s the pizza broccoletti e salsiccia or the gnocchi al pomodoro, there’s a world of flavor awaiting you in each bite.
649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014
This charming old-school Italian restaurant has an adorable kind of vintage look, and, like the hole-in-the-wall spots of your dreams, it’s thoroughly reliable for yummy Italian food like Spinach Gnocchi and quality sirloin steak.
Atmospherically, you can expect to enjoy a classic, Billy Joel-esque Italian restaurant vibe⸺charming, romantic, and classy through and through. I was a huge fan of homemade cheese ravioli with pink sauce⸺I mean, who wouldn’t?
420 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
From the same team as the nearby West Village dining favorite Little Owl, the Clam offers a playful focus on clams and the eastern seafood. They’re particularly interested in season and market-friendly ingredients, making it so that your eating is wholesome and sustainable.
Come to the Clam when you’re craving a welcoming atmosphere that doesn’t take itself as seriously as other gourmet New York City restaurants (and, let’s be honest, warm hospitality isn’t exactly a hot commodity in the New England seafood joints that the Clam is based on).
When it comes to the menu, you absolutely can’t go wrong with their crispy spanish octopus, which is served with grilled peaches, cherry tomatoes, fried capers, basil, and balsamic vinegar.
90 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
The companion restaurant to the Clam, Chef Joey Campanaro’s Little Owl aims to offer food that’s high-brow but accessible, too. With a blend of Mediterranean and American cuisine, Little Owl provides an array of absolutely scrumptious dishes.
When I visited Little Owl, I was genuinely impressed that their American selection is just as strong as their Mediterranean fare. I highly recommend their bacon cheeseburger burger, good gravy meatball sliders, good pork chop, and their stellar swordfish sandwich.
If you’re looking to hit Little Owl, make sure to hop on it quickly because reservations go fast!
172 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014
Jeffrey’s Grocery was formerly a cafe-grocery two-in-one that has recently shifted into a full-service restaurant. My personal favorites include their relevant takes on classic seafood dishes, including their blackened arctic char and crispy squid.
But if you want to go full aquatic, then I highly recommend their raw bar, which offers a full suite of absolutely delectable oysters, shrimp, littleneck clams, albacore, and more.
In terms of atmosphere, Jeffrey’s grocery is also a wonderful choice if you’re just looking for somewhere to hang out with some friends, whether for an indulgent seafood dinner or a fine Sunday morning brunch.
615 1/2 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
The head of Sushi Teru, Chef Kou, is an Edomae-style sushi chef who grew up in Saitama, Japan, and previously worked at award-winning restaurants Kurumazushi and Sushi Ginza Onodera. So, you can trust that you’re not going to get an average, run-of-the-mill sushi experience at Sushi Teru.
What makes this spot stand out is the Edomae style, which involves a unique aging process whereby fish are made more tender and are given a deep, complex umami flavor. The menu, while sparse, is exactly as long as it needs to be⸺simple but perfect.
The restaurant’s atmosphere is that of calming minimalism, with plenty of natural light and pale wood tones, making it an excellent spot for any sushi dinner.
23 Commerce St, New York, NY 10014
Headed by a former student of Jiro Ono (subject of Jiro Dreams of Sushi), Sushi Nakazawa is a classy sushi bar whose (comparatively) cheap pricing puts other Manhattan sushi restaurants to shame.
The star of Sushi Nakazawa is the eponymous chef’s omakase option, which is relatively cheap ($150 at the chef’s counter and $120 at a table) and which allows you to try out 20 of Chef Nakazawa’s sushi masterpieces⸺and which, since it rotates every day, always promises a different experience.
Jumping from European cuisine to more American fare, Emily is the next restaurant on our list. This restaurant is actually the second location of the beloved pizza place that opened in Clinton Park in 2014, but it still features top-notch thick and cheesy, Detroit-style pizzas.
If you’re not a pizzahead, however, don’t despair! Emily also serves a burger that is, in my not-so-humble opinion, absolutely superb! Between Emily’s decadent cheese, exceptional special sauce, and a hearty pretzel bun, it’s not to be missed.
On the inside, you’ll find the West Village Emily to be just as charming as the Clinton Park location. Though the chairs and tables strike an understated Americana vibe, the classy candles and wall-mounted mirrors give the vertiginous sense that you are, indeed, in a pizza palace.
Sevilla Restaurant & Bar
62 Charles St, New York, NY 10014
Whenever I want to fantasize about living in Greenwich Village during the height of the Spanish cuisine craze, I like to visit Sevilla. Sevilla recalls the classic twentieth-century Spanish restaurant experience, complete with waiters donned in short tuxedos.
Visit Sevilla if you want old-world style and top-quality paella and chorizo. Rich scents of garlic and spices fill the air at this restaurant, and once you enter, you will be fully taken back in time.
A helpful heads up – although Sevilla does not take reservations, they recommend having one party member come about a half-hour early to discuss seating arrangements with a staff member.
Well, there you have it: a comprehensive look at where to eat in West Village. I hope that you find your socks blown off by each and every one of them, whether you’re trying a classic pizza or are getting a trip through a cuisine you’ve never even heard of.
Not interested in any of these restaurants at the moment? Check out these boozy brunch spots around NYC that you might like instead!
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!