The other night, I was out at one of my favorite West Village restaurants, Via Carota, with a friend.
For some New York geography context, my friend lives up near the Cloisters and Fort Tyrion Park area (i.e. the very northernmost point of the city) and I call the West Village (a very downtown area) home. We had gone back and forth for several weeks about how we desperately needed to catch up but couldn't decide on a restaurant to try. Eventually, she suggested Via Carota, and I happily jumped at the mention -- their wild boar ragu is to die for.
Naturally, as any good New Yorker might do as we unfolded our many winter layers at our table, I apologized for making her travel so far from her neighborhood for dinner! I mean, 45 minutes on a train? I was basically asking her to run a marathon! (I'll pause here to acknowledge how first world problem this all is, but indulge me here.)
She looked at me, quite matter of factly, to say, "Well, you do live in the West Village -- there's just too many good spots to choose from around here."
She certainly has a point and I'll be the first to admit, it's hard to get me to leave my neighborhood (or go anywhere above 14th Street for that matter) for social and dinner events. Of course, this isn't to say I don't have plenty of favorite restaurants outside the village (I do!) but I figured for the sake of my first restaurant round up, it would make more sense to focus first on my beloved West Village.
All of this rambling story is to say: in case you're visiting soon or making plans for Valentine's Day (better hurry up!), here are my favorites in the perhaps the best neighborhood in New York (but I'm clearly very biased).
Italian: This one is highly contested -- because there are SO many good Italian spots in the village. These are just my top three (but honestly, you really can't go wrong with picking an Italian spot in these parts.
French: Like the Italian section, you can't go wrong with most French spots in the village. Oui, oui!
Date Night Spots: Just the right mood for a sexy little Saturday night. Sit at the bar at any of these spots!
Celeb Hang Out Spots: While I can't say I've personally seen celebrities at all these restaurants, it's been rumored that Robert de Niro, Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Swift like to frequent some or all of these spots. Tay Tay, if you're reading, let's grab dinner at the Waverly Inn soon! And Jake, if you're reading, let's grab dinner and we won't invite Tay Tay.
Brunch: These spots never disappoint at 11:15am and you're slightly hungover and need something decadent to fill your stomach. Expect a line for all of them though, especially Buvette.
Ambiance: These spots have a special place in my heart because their environment is so unique and different!
Miscellaneous: I wasn't sure how to bucket these, so I like to call them my wild card team.
On my radar to try: There are many gems in the village that I have still yet to try, but these guys are my top three at the moment!
Wow. Is it just me or is anyone else terribly hungry now? 🙂 Do you guys have any West Village favorites that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!