West Village restaurant guide: The best places to eat now

Our West Village restaurant guide points you to the best places to eat in the neighborhood, from trusty favorites to the latest hot spots.

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No West Village restaurant guide would be complete without a mention of nouveau scene-maker Gabriel Stulman, who has built a mini empire here affectionately named Little Wisco (a nod to his home state); his latest addition is new-wave sushi bar Chez Sardine. Other recent arrivals include Ed Schoenfeld’s progressive Chinese eatery, RedFarm, and Jody Williams’s exquisite bistro, Buvette, but don’t overlook popular neighborhood fixtures like Pearl Oyster Bar and The Spotted Pig. You’ll also find plenty of cheap eats and great brunch places.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to West Village

Annisa

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Last summer, Anita Lo’s ten-year-old West Village flagship, Annisa, was shut down following a fire. Earlier that year, its casual spin-off, Bar-Q, had opened and closed after a critical drubbing. Meanwhile, Lo’s Rickshaw Dumpling Bar chain had contracted to a single location. Sometimes, bad luck is the creative kick in the pants one needs.
Stripped of distractions, Lo has spent the past year rebuilding Annisa—recently reborn from the rubble—into a restaurant once

  1. 13 Barrow St , (between Seventh Ave South and W 4th St ), 10014
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Bistro de la Gare

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

There’s something to be said for a solid neighborhood restaurant, a place versatile enough for an informal bite or a special occasion. Such is the charm of Bistro de la Gare, a West Village newcomer—with picture windows and crisp off-white walls—that takes its casualness seriously. Chef-owners Maryann Terillo (Jarnac) and Elisa Sarno (Babbo) combine their experience in an approachable Mediterranean menu. A seared scallop appetizer was simply presented with toothsome fava

  1. 626 Hudson St, (between Horatio and Jane Sts)
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Buvette

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Over the past decade, Jody Williams has established a serious food-industry following. Mario Batali, with whom she worked at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, has called her one of his favorite American chefs; in 2007 restaurateur Keith McNally tapped her to open Morandi, his first trattoria.
But not every great chef is hardwired to be an empire builder. Instead of leveraging these votes of confidence into a cookbook deal, a food show and an outpost in Vegas, Williams chose

  1. 42 Grove St, (between Bedford and Bleecker Sts), 10014
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Chez Sardine

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Most successful restaurateurs debut with a bang, turning out a groundbreaking original before settling into safer crowd pleasers. Not so with Gabriel Stulman, unstoppable West Village hit-maker, whose low-key beginnings in no way indicated greater ambitions. He started small with a pair of New American spots: Joseph Leonard and Jeffrey’s Grocery, serving excellent food but making no real imprint on Gotham’s dining scene. Instead of coasting on these modest triumphs, Stulman

  1. 183 W 10th St, (at 4th St), 10014
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EN Japanese Brasserie

  • Price band: 1/4

Sibling restaurateurs Bunkei and Reika Yo give us a sense of Japanese living in this multilevel space. On the ground floor are tatami-style rooms; on the mezzanine are re-creations of a living room, dining room and library of a Japanese home from the Meiji Era. But the main dining room is where the action is: Diners sit at tables either on the periphery or around a small pond under high ceilings. Chef Koji Nakano is running with the home theme too by offering handmade miso paste,

  1. 435 Hudson St, (at Leroy St), 10014
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Fedora

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Young restaurateur Gabriel Stulman is an A-list impresario in the making, with a trio of hot eateries---including Joseph Leonard and Jeffrey's Grocery---clustered within a three-block West Village radius. His new spot, Fedora, is the most chef-focused of the bunch, matching Stulman's trademark hospitality with destination-worthy cuisine. The affable host is still at the door, converting newcomers to regulars with a smile and a handshake---but the food, for the first time, does

  1. 239 W 4th St, (between Charles and W 10th Sts), 10014
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Kesté Pizza & Vino

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

It’s getting hot in New York’s Neapolitan pizza scene, and not just because of the blazing hearths: This new pizzeria is just one of three opening this week, though the man behind Kesté, Roberto Caporuscio, carries the biggest name. President of the U.S. branch of the Association of Neapolitan Pizza Makers, Caporuscio will introduce New Yorkers to his pie expertise in an intimate, 46-seat space, with pizzas that range from the classics to original creations, such as one with

  1. 271 Bleecker St, (between Cornelia and Jones Sts)
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Mas (farmhouse)

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

This fashionable spot with clean lines, chocolate tones and a warm golden glow arrived in the Village with an instant scene, courtesy of chef Galen Zamarra (formerly of Bouley Bakery). But look past flashy diners for the real excitement: a menu that focuses on seasonal and organic ingredients. A salad of sweet Maine crab and portobello benefits from a tinge of citrus, and a black-trumpet-and-chanterelle stew is topped with a delicate lasagna noodle. Organic hen, cooked with

  1. 39 Downing St, (between Bedford and Varick Sts), 10017
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Pearl Oyster Bar

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This convivial, New England–style joint was a forerunner of the city’s fish-shack trend. The outstanding lobster roll—sweet, lemony meat laced with mayonnaise on a butter-enriched bun—is Pearl’s raison d’être, but more sophisticated dishes fare equally well: A bouillabaisse features briny lobster broth packed with mussels, cod, scallops and clams, with an aioli-smothered crouton balanced on top—a great value at $20. For dessert, try a bittersweet chocolate mousse

  1. 18 Cornelia St, (between Bleecker and W 4th Sts), 10014
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Perla

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

A young chef can go only so far in the shadow of a superstar. Many of the cooks running New York’s top kitchens toil in obscurity for years—at restaurants like Jean Georges, Daniel and Babbo—keeping their egos at bay until an opportunity presents itself for a stage of their own. But Michael Toscano—who ran the kitchen at Mario Batali’s meat palace Manzo—caught the eye of the food cognoscenti even without his name on the door. His high-caliber cooking earned him plenty

  1. 24 Minetta Ln, (between Sixth Ave and MacDougal St)
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RedFarm

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

New York chefs have reimagined Korean, reinvented Italian and turned Thai on its head. But Chinese food—the best of it sequestered in the outer boroughs, the worst of it prepared behind bulletproof glass in any number of neighborhood dumps—has mostly been stuck in a traditional rut. In this context, RedFarm is indeed groundbreaking: an interpretive Chinese kitchen whose high-end ingredients and whimsical plating have helped pack the dining room since opening night.
The

  1. 529 Hudson St, (between Charles and W 10th Sts)
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The Spotted Pig

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Blame consulting chef Mario Batali and talented toque April Bloomfield for the inevitable wait at this still-hopping West Village gastropub. The burger is a must-order: A top-secret blend of ground beef is grilled rare (unless otherwise requested), covered with a heap of Roquefort cheese and plated under a tower of rosemary- and garlic-kissed shoestring fries. What better to wash that down with than the Pig’s proprietary cask-drawn ale? The best treat, however, comes last:

  1. 314 W 11th St, (at Greenwich St), 10014-23
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Takashi

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

One of the first questions you’re asked upon entering Takashi—a restaurant that focuses on yakiniku, Japan’s interpretation of Korean barbecue—is whether you eat beef. It’s smart of them to inquire, because if you don’t, you’ll probably want to leave—most menu items hinge on cattle. Despite the carnivorous focus, the meal is balanced, refined and surprisingly light, thanks to modest portions and impeccably sourced, sustainable beef. A blackboard covered in cartoon

  1. 456 Hudson St, (between Barrow and Morton Sts)
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Tertulia

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

New York is spoiled rotten with top-shelf trattorias, great casual spots for weekday Italian, where the food is fresh but not fussy, and you don’t have to think much about what’s on your plate. But most of the city isn’t as blessed with the Spanish equivalent. A few years back, chef Seamus Mullen did his bit to change that, launching his Boquerias in Soho and Chelsea with restaurateur Yann de Rochefort. The chef, who left those still thriving restaurants for health reasons

  1. 359 Sixth Ave, (between Washington Pl and W 4th St)
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Eve Langdon
Eve Langdon

You left out my favorite! Here's my review: One of The Best Sushi Restaurants in New York – Soto Restaurant in West Village Soto Restaurant at 57 6th Ave in the West Village is a treasure of culinary surprises. It isn't just sushi. The dishes at Soto make sushi maki seem as passé as a cheeseburger. It is the art of combining intricate flavors with delicate slices of raw seafood. The menu includes the best seafood, all decorated with intricate details like soy foam and custard-like sea bream. Classic dishes like Anago and salmon nigiri are cleanly prepared and made to satisfy the traditional taste palettes. Whereas exotic treats like Shima Aji, a striped jack fish sushi nigiri, the Uni cocktail, a sea urchin, cater to the more adventurous patron. Fluke Ponzu, served with ginger roots, and Sea trout Carpaccio are also popular selections. Every dish maintains the clean aesthetic and exotic taste of original Japanese cuisine. Much more on their cuisine with link to reservations at TravelWithCarnet