There's something for every occasion at the best Greenwich Village restaurants: whether you're an NYU student looking for quick bite between class, want a meal close to the Union Square farmer's market, or looking for inspiration for a picnic in Washington Square Park. There are high-end Japanese food counters, acclaimed falafel joints and fast-casual Neopolitan pizza havens. Whether you’re craving a platter of oysters on the half-shell or spicy rigatoni at one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC, check out our guide.
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Best Greenwich Village restaurants
After relocating its restaurant from Avenue B to Greenwich Villge, the Indian restaurant which began in Australian and brought stateside in 2015, continues to be excellent.
From tag-team chefs Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, Carbone is a Godfather hangout on steroids, more fantastical set piece than history-bound throwback. Under brass chandeliers, on navy walls, hangs brash modern art on old-school Italianate themes, curated, like the food here, by a downtown tastemaker. If the ambiance isn't reason enough, you're also in for an evening of great Italian classics and warm, attentive service.
Chaste, conscious and carne-free—such are the holistic hallmarks of vegetarian dining. And while you can depend on a meatless meal at Nix—the first fully veg-only restaurant from John Fraser, this isn't exactly a haven for all that is healthy. The veg dishes here are defined more by decadence than discipline, having no qualms about drenching any bulb, leaf or stalk in sight in dairy or fryer oil.
It’s 4am, and you have three dollars and the munchies. Take heart: Mamoun’s Falafel is there for you, day or night. Serving quality Middle Eastern food since 1971, show up late at night, when you might get a seat.
Quality Italian's chef power couple Angie Rito (Torrisi Italian Specialties) and Scott Tacinelli (Quality Meats) turn out modern Italian-American plates at this small corner trattoria in the Village. Lit solely by warm globe lights and candles at night, the romantic locale serves inventive plates like a decadent, deconstructed lasagna for two, prime rib braciole, and two-toned pasta alongside Campari- and Cocchi-based cocktails.
This Village fry shop does one thing and does it deliciously. Thicker than their French counterparts, the double-fried, Belgian-style batons—doled out in gingham-patterned paper cones—are spudsy vehicles for more than 25 exotic sauces, including sweet mango chutney, Vietnamese pineapple mayo and Irish curry. But you don’t need to slather on dressings—the golden, supercrisp frites are surefire crowd-pleasers on their own.
In his first solo spot, chef Dan Kluger (formerly chef of ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina) maintains the same voice in everything leaving the kitchen that we've grown to love. Their lunch brunch and dinner services bring in troves of West Villagers, fighting for a table. On the menu you'll find bright and fresh dishes, featuring local vegetables from the market, while adding nostagic takes on classics.
This West Village standby—opened in 1996 by former Merrill Lynch VP Adam Pomerantz—turns out superlative bagels in 15 varieties (poppy, cinnamon raisin, sesame)—best snarfed down immediately on the bench outfront.
For three decades Keith McNally’s New York restaurants have defined effortless cool, generating the sort of overnight buzz—and long-running exclusivity—institutions are made of. McNally’s Minetta Tavern, a West Village relic reborn, serves up food that is as much of a draw as the scene in which you eat it. Of course, you can't miss out on their burger: It's one of the best in the city.
Shuka is complete with a rustic yet vibrant menu inspired by the chef's travels through Spain and North Africa, as well as by her experience on the line at top Tel Aviv kitchens. The decor has likewise been rejuvenated, with Moroccan-influenced tiles and textiles to accompany a menu full of meze (fried halloumi, spicy turmeric-ginger carrots) and dishes like whole porgy with zucchini, tomatoes with a fiery zhoug sauce, and a cod tagine with potatoes, cracked olives and pickled lemon.
Ariel Arce has been quietly building a nightlife empire in Greenwich Village. There's Air's Champagne Parlor, Tokyo Record Bar, Special Club and Niche Niche. At the latter of her wine-focused restaurants, instead of making a reservation for that 7pm hot table, here, you'll want a ticket for one of the 30 seats at this supper club. At each of these one-night-only events, the meal and wine is curated by a star bartender or somm (like Olmsted's Zwann Grays); if you've been thinking about "getting into natural wine," this masterclass is for you.
More than a mere crusader for sustainability, Dan Barber is also one of the most talented cooks in town. He builds his oft-changing menu around whatever’s at its peak on his Westchester farm (home to a sibling restaurant). Once among the most sedate little restaurants in the Village, this cramped subterranean jewel box has become one of the most raucous.
A powerhouse trio—Rich Torrisi, Mario Carbone and Jeff "ZZ" Zalaznick—continues its neo-Italian-American hot streak (including Carbone and Parm) with a raw bar. The 12-seat spot highlights first-rate cocktails and crudo. At the marble bar, bartenders concoct eclectic drinks while diners explore raw fish in all forms, like East Coast oysters on the half-shell and composed crudos.
From the team behind the tiny West Village spot, Mimi and chef Efrén Hernández, Babs opens in all-caps excitement. The 55-seat restaurant focuses on charcoal-grilled French seafood and meat dishes such as a lobster wrapped in cedar wood. The name of the restaurant is an ode to co-owner Louis Levy’s grandmother, sadly not affiliated with Barbra Streisand.