Tree-lined, cobblestone streets and historic townhouses are two of the most well-known features of the West Village — a New York City neighborhood so charming and unintentionally romantic it’s hard not to fall in love with the area.
The West Village is also famous for its restaurants, making it the city's unofficial dining capital. Here, visitors can find everything from over-the-top fine dining to unexpectedly delicious dives; global cuisine ranging from Lebanese to Catalan, Singaporean to Austrian; cozy wine bars to buzzy taverns. The options can be dizzying.
To help you narrow our search, we picked six of our favorite West Village restaurants, whether you're craving a burger and fries or slurpable noodles.
Chef April Bloomfield’s star-studded tavern is a New York City favorite for the likes of Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, and other big-time celebs. But nothing here is more famous than the signature chargrilled burger with Roquefort cheese and shoestring fries (except maybe the plate of sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi).
Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's original New York City pasta spot dates back to 1998 — before the orange Croc-wearing, spaghetti-slinging chef was a major household name. Still, the restaurant remains accessible and familiar, with a slew of homemade dishes (orecchiette, pancetta) and more than a dozen pastas with high-end Italian ingredients (black truffles, lobster, bottarga di muggine) all priced under $30.
Feel important any night of the week at this special occasion sushi restaurant. Order a la carte for a selection of small plates like Kobe beef tataki with pickled wild mushrooms and blue fin toro sushi with uni and Osetra caviar. Otherwise, splurge on an episodic omakase menu, and put your trust in executive chef Sungchul Shim. For a more affordable meal at Neta, try the prix fixe lunch menus.
In a neighborhood saturated with decent Chinese restaurants serving massive quantities of General Tso’s chicken and sesame noodles, Hao Noodle stands out with its gourmet take on the country's diverse cuisines. Everything is excellent, but you'll want to head straight to the — you guessed it — noodles section of the menu. In the summer, you'll want spicy Sichuan street food-style chickpea noodle soup with minced pork. Come spring, it's got to be the Shanghainese scallion noodles with dried shrimp.
Though not technically a restaurant, the former home of culinary legend James Beard now functions as a foundation in his name. Chefs from across the country take turns helming the kitchen here almost every night of the week — but you'll need a ticket to enjoy the formal dining digs. Events start with a cocktail hour featuring multiple small bites from the chef of the evening, followed by multi-course meals with drink pairings and dessert.
At this traditional French restaurant, diners enjoy classic fare like escargots de bourgogne to massive steaks that occupy an entire page on the menu. There's also the rotating selection of plats du jour, which might include bouillabaisse or boeuf bourguignon. The design is spot-on, too, with tiled floors and a gleaming wooden bar that will make you think (at least for the duration of your meal) that you've been transported to Paris.