Malatesta Trattoria

Restaurants , Italian West Village
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(4 user reviews)
7 Love It
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Malatesta Trattoria
Malatesta Trattoria
The polished young people who jam this popular spot are certainly different from the adventurous sorts who once prowled these streets in drag and leather. The restaurant is noisy, inexpensive and ideal for large gatherings. Service is personable and accommodating, and the food gets better as the evening moves along (whether you have wine or not). Pear and caprese salads got things off to a so-so start. But spaghetti with tomato, basil and mozzarella is everything you want it to be: light and tangy, with a sauce begging to be sopped up with a slice of sourdough. The old souls who haunt the ever-changing Village would have related to the decadent tiramisu.
Venue name: Malatesta Trattoria
Address: 649 Washington St
New York
Cross street: at Christopher St
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 5:30–11:30pm; Sat, Sun 11:30am–11:30pm
Transport: Subway: 1 to Christopher St–Sheridan Sq
Price: Average main course: $11. Cash only
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening
Christa Sully

So I know this review is going to be considered blasphemy to a lot of my friends who adore this place, but it was not my favorite. 

I'm giving this place 4 stars, but 3.5 for food. I thought the food was good, but I didn't find anything outstanding or memorable, including the spinach gnocchi that everyone goes wild for--I just didn't love it (sorry!). 

Sidewalk seating is a strong play here, especially since it's located close to the West Side Highway on a tucked away corner. It's a prime location.

PS cash only. 

Maria M

Malatesta is a hidden gem in NYC. Located in the West Village a block away from the water, this restaurant is perfect date night spot. Though the menu isn't extensive, everything on it is fresh and delicious. Don't expect to order beer or cocktails here either - it's wine only, but there's definitely a wine for everyone. The dark lighting and old-school Italian feel gives it a very home-y feeling. This place is cash-only though, so make sure you go to an ATM beforehand. 

Pippa T

With the exception of being cash only, everything about this place is perfect for when you're looking for an old-school Italian spot that's actually affordable (and not touristy). The spinach gnocchi is legendary and will make you cry - if it doesn't, you're probably not as in tune with your emotions as you'd like to think. The atmosphere is very down-to-earth and not at all pretentious, so you can ask follow up questions about the menu and not feel insecure. Come by 6PM to put your name on the list because they don't take reservations - another con, but the staff is always so lovely that it's not a dealbreaker. Share the veal meatballs with a friend, order a bottle of wine, and voila - you have a perfect date night or casual dinner with the girls. 


In Manhattan it often can be really tricky to find a low-key, unpretentious, unstuffy and affordable place to have some traditional Italian food (especially in the West Village). That's what makes Malatesta Trattoria so awesome. Located on a quiet stretch of Washington Street (a few blocks away from Christopher Street station), the staff are chilled-out and friendly, the interiors are paired-back. We focussed on pasta - spinach gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, tagliatelle al ragu, and the ravioli al formaggio. All really good.  A perfect spot for a long weekend boozy lunch with friends (and if they're too busy, either grab a drink at Automatic Slims while you wait, or go to their sister restaurant, Malaparte, just a few blocks up Washington)