Whether you want to line your stomach before hitting the bars in West Village (or soak up the damage afterwards) or grab an inexpensive bite while checking out the best shops in West Village, there are plenty of cheap eats in the neighborhood, from Corner Bistro’s lauded no-frills burgers to some of the city’s best burritos.
RECOMMENDED: The best cheap eats in NYC
The hookup was bound to happen eventually: Beloved baker Amy Scherber has set up shop downtown right near Murray’s Cheese. It’s a dynamic duo if there ever was one. Scherber will offer her famous loaves—including that addictive raisin semolina—along with a full spread of breakfast pastries; grilled sandwiches, salads and soups for the lunch crowd, plus giant cookies and old-fashioned layer cakes. It’s open until midnight on weekends for a late-night sugar fix.
This dimly-lit lounge’s fat, broiled beef burgers, hooded in American cheese and crispy bacon ($9.75), are legendary and New Yorkers are known to wait in line for one. Though it make take a while to get your hands on the patties, dirt cheap drafts like McSorley’s Ale ($3) and Stella Artois ($4.25), and a heaping plate of shoestring fries ($2.75) should help pass the time.
Brothers Leo and Oliver Kremer bring their Food & Drink Award–winning take on Cal-Mex grub to the West Village with this spin-off of their East Side taqueria. You'll find the same short menu of simple bites made with primo ingredients, like local, antibiotic-free chicken and Cayuga Pure Organics pinto beans. Plug your protein of choice (carnitas, pollo asado, carne asada, or rice and beans) into a taco, quesadilla, "platos"or the joint's crown jewel: an overstuffed San Francisco–style burrito oozing pico de gallo. Kicking back with a Negro Modelo, Tecate or glass of sangria should be easier here: This location, outfitted with reclaimed-wood walls and a pressed-tin ceiling, is larger and will have outdoor seating.
On a cramped West Village corner sits this ode to 1940s New York, a white-walled luncheonette where cloth-capped soda jerks dole out milkshakes, lime rickeys and phosphates alongside greasy-good double-decker burgers ($7.50) and crispy salt-and-pepper fries ($3). The retro-style minidiner also serves a slew of hearty meat-and-potato platters so you can gorge on turkey and gravy, corned beef and cabbage, or fish and chips for dinner under $12. Generously scooped sundaes ($8) are decked out with Georgia peaches, caramel and bananas, splitting easily among a small group of friends—and their wallet.
Falafel doesn’t usually come in different flavors—unless it’s made by an Israel-born chef who’s worked under Bobby Flay. At her falafel and smoothie bar, Taïm, Ludo chef Einat Admony seasons chickpea batter three ways: traditional (with parsley and cilantro), sweet (with roasted red pepper) and spicy (with Tunisian spices and garlic). She pairs the terrific falafel with tasty salads like marinated beets, spicy Moroccan carrot salad or baba ghanoush, and three dipping sauces. The smoothies are exotic too—date-lime-banana, pineapple–coconut milk and a refreshing cantaloupe-ginger—and can be made with whole, skim or soy milk.
Salt + Charcoal
The menu at this Japanese restaurant in Williamsburg centers on its grilled options, from a porterhouse for two that was dry aged in a climate-controlled environment for at least 28 days ($55 per person) to smoked duck breast with balsamic soy butter ($46) to chargrilled octopus with miso garlic butter ($17). Carnivores might also be interested in the wagyu carpaccio ($22) or tartar ($26), while seafood lovers might want to try the bafun-uni shooter with a poached egg, truffle oil and caviar ($12). You can also order an assortment of sashimi ($50) or sushi rolls such as eel-cucumber ($22) or shrimp tempura with tuna and crab ($22). The drink menu also favors Japanese beverages, from bottles of Sapporo ($6) to a distilled liquor called shochu to sake infused with charcoal, lemon, shiso, coffee and other flavors ($6 each).
Venue says: “Brooklyn’s only Japanese steakhouse. Experience our super tender steaks, wide selection of seafood, Japanese inspired appetizers & full bar.”