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The Best Eats In New York City's West Village

mac n cheese home restaurant nyc

Photo: Home Restaurant

The West Village is known for its trendy restaurants, charming cafes, and incredible specialty food shops.In our opinion, it’s the best neighbourhood for food in Manhattan. (Disclosure: we are both West Village residents who might be a bit biased. But still.)

Though there are no definitive boundaries, the West Village is loosely defined as the area that’s bounded by 14th Street (to the north), Houston Street (to the south), 6th Avenue (to the east), and the Hudson River (to the west).

From the best burger joints to the best fine dining restaurants, these are our favourite eateries in the West Village.

Best Roast Chicken: Barbuto

775 Washington St.

Chef Jonathan Waxman is famous for his divine roast chicken and simple yet refined Italian cuisine.

In Barbuto, there's a wood-fired oven for excellent homemade pizzas.

The large and minimalistic dining room feels even more spacious during the summer months when the sliding garage doors open and diners spill out onto tables outdoors.

Best Burger: Corner Bistro

331 W 4th St.

This place is a New York institution that's perfected the art of the burger. The limited menu means that the hamburger is the focus here, and it's served either with or without cheese and bacon.

The unpretentious setting has been untouched since the Corner Bistro opened over 50 years ago.

The bargain prices and cheap beers mean that Corner Bistro is always busy -- especially since they don't take reservations.

Corner Bistro just opened another branch in Long Island City.

Best Brunch: Joseph Leonard

170 Waverly Place

Joseph Leonard serves new American cuisine in a small shabby-chic space.

Helmed by restaurateur Gabe Stulman, Joseph Leonard definitely has a cool factor and attracts a hip crowd.

Though they serve all meals, brunch is one of the best times to try the farm fresh cuisine, like avocado toast with eggs or shrimp and grits.

Best Pizza: Kesté Pizza & Vino

271 Bleecker St.

Kesté has won all sorts of awards for its chewy, airy Neapolitan-style pizza that's topped with artisanal ingredients like homemade mozzarella, truffle spread, and prosciutto di parma.

All of the pizza is cooked in a large brick oven by Roberto Caporuscio, an authentic Pizzaiola from Naples.

It opened in 2009, but it's already a neighbourhood landmark. They don't take reservations, so be prepared to wait.

Best Tapas: Las Ramblas Bar de Tapas

170 W 4th St.

Las Ramblas is an authentic tapas bar that seems like it could have come straight from Barcelona -- after all, it is named after that city's most famous street.

There's an array of classic Catalan small plates on hand, like patatas bravas (potatoes with a garlic aioli sauce) and bacalao (salted cod).

Best Trattoria: Malatesta Trattoria

649 Washington St.

Malatesta is an authentic low-key trattoria, where all the waiters are Italian and the pastas are homemade.

There are a variety of meat and fish dishes, but pasta is the thing to order here -- especially the spaghetti a la chitarra (homemade spaghetti with chopped tomatoes, basil and mozzarella). Specials are scrawled on cardboard and vary with the seasons.

The setting is cozy with simple wood tables and paper mats, and the service is friendly. In warm weather, diners spill out onto sidewalk tables.

It's moderately priced, but cash only.

Best High-End Chinese Food: RedFarm

529 Hudson St.

RedFarm is a creative, high-end Chinese restaurant that brings you innovative Chinese dishes presented in a very whimsical, playful manner.

Check out, for example, the Pac-Man ghost dumplings with the sesame seed eyes or the Katz's pastrami egg roll.

They don't take reservations, so come early to nab a table.

Best Falafel: Taïm

222 Waverly Place

The falafel at Taïm will change your life. Seriously.

The Kosher all-vegetarian hole-in-the-wall serves the best falafel in New York City -- and maybe even the world.

It's won all sorts of accolades for its falafel and has been featured on the Food Network.

Best Gelato: Grom

233 Bleecker St.

In a neighbourhood with dozens of gelato, ice cream, and frozen yogurt shops, Grom stands out from the rest.

This Italian import makes gelato on site with fresh, high-quality ingredients like pears, hazelnuts, pistachios, and whatever is in season.

The gelato is delicious, but it pricey.

Best Seafood: Fish

280 Bleecker St.

There are several noteworthy seafood and oyster joints in the West Village, but our pick is Fish, a nautical-themed eatery with a rotating list of specials and one of the best raw bar deals in the city.

The 'Red White & Blue' comes with a half-dozen Blue Point Oysters or clams and a glass of red or white house wine or Pabst Blue Ribbon, and will set you back just $8.

Fish doesn't accept reservations, but the seafood is worth waiting for.

Best Breakfast Sandwich: Murray's Cheese

254 Bleecker St.

Murray's Cheese may be best known for its gigantic selection of cheeses and charcuterie, but locals know that it's also the place to go for a gooey egg sandwich on a weekend morning.

Our favourite is the classic Breakfast Melt, with a fried egg, bacon and fontina on an English muffin, but others swear by the equally decadent Breakfast Burrito, stuffed with two eggs, bacon, jalapeno jack, potatoes, roasted peppers and caramelized onions.

If it's nice out, enjoy your sandwich on a bench in Father Demo Square at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Bleecker Street. Just make sure you pick up some extra napkins.

Best Veggies: Rosemary's

18 Greenwich Ave.

It's impossible to find fresher vegetables than the ones served at West Village newcomer Rosemary's, which famously grows many of the veggies and herbs it serves in its rooftop garden.

The small-plates menu is made for sharing. Order up several 'verdure' like the beets with dandelion and fresh radishes, and then load up on pastas with fresh herbs and steaming hot foccacia.

Best Indian: Karahi

118 Christopher St.

For classic, no-frills Indian fare, we like Karahi, a tiny restaurant on Christopher Street that has perfected the standards like Murgh Tikka Masala and Palak Paneer.

Start your meal off with a few tandoori breads to share; order them plain or stuffed with everything from chicken to cottage cheese to garlic.

Best Wine Bar: Gottino

52 Greenwich Ave.

Gottino has one of the best Italian wine lists around, not to mention a friendly and knowledgeable staff who are clearly passionate about what they do.

If it's warm out, grab a table in Gottino's cozy backyard. Order a meat and cheese plate or a selection of the restaurant's crostini. If it's not, cozy up to the bar and strike up a conversation with the bartender, who's sure to offer up a taste of whatever wine you're itching to try.

Best Margaritas: Empellón Taqueria

230 West 4th St.

It can be tough to find a truly great margarita in New York City. Empellón Taqueria, a high-end Mexican restaurant on West 4th Street, does a pretty great job.

The cocktail menu features nearly a dozen varieties on the tequila-based classic, from a version made with fresh strawberries to a spicy concoction with 'house-smoked banana' and mezcal.

The drinks are pricey, but strong enough that one or two will last through a multi-course meal.

Best Macaroni & Cheese: Home Restaurant

20 Cornelia St.

If you're craving comfort food, stop into Home Restaurant, a cozy spot on Cornelia street that serves up feel-good fare like chicken pot pie and pork chops.

But the real star on the menu is the macaroni & cheese, a gooey, zesty affair that has won accolades from everyone from Oprah to New York Magazine.

Served in a skillet, Home Restaurant's version includes Cheddar, Asiago and dry Jack cheeses with smoked paprika. Turn it up a notch by adding bacon, and if it's not too frigid out, eat it at a table in the backyard garden under a massive heatlamp.

Best Greek Salad: Snack Taverna

63 Bedford St.

Tiny Snack Taverna on Bedford serves up one of the biggest, heartiest Greek salads in New York City.

The super-fresh ingredients, including tomatoes, red onions, Greek olives and cucumber, are given a thick chop, and the entire thing is topped with a slab of barrel-aged feta drizzled with olive oil and herbs.

At $18, the large portion is costly, but makes a great shared appetizer or healthy meal.

Best Meatballs: The Meatball Shop

64 Greenwich Ave.

The meatball shop has perfected the meatball in all its forms: chicken, pork, beef, veggie, or any combination of them all.

Try the 'naked balls' in the sauce of your choice (tomato, pesto, Parmesan cream, and more) or opt for a meatball sandwich. There are also fresh greens and vegetable specials.

The West Village branch of the local meatball-centric chain has a quaint casual setting, decorated with old black-and-white family portraits and other vintage kitsch.

Save room for the homemade ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

Best Modern Italian Food: L'Artusi

228 West 10th St.

L'Artusi is a modern Italian restaurant from the team behind Dell'Anima. It serves small plates like roasted beets, charred octopus, and a variety of homemade pasta dishes that are delicious, but not cheap.

The sleek space attracts a trendy well-heeled crowd, yet still manages to feel welcoming.

Best Romantic Meal: One If By Land, Two If By Sea

17 Barrow St.

This gorgeous restaurant was once the carriage house of Aaron Burr, the American vice president who challenged Alexander Hamilton to a duel -- and won.

With its ambient candle lighting, pink roses, piano music, and elegant table settings, One If By Land, Two If By Sea is the ultimate romantic restaurant -- New Yorkers joke about it being the 'engagement restaurant' for the number of couples who get engaged there.

There's a $90 price-fixed 3-course menu that changes with the seasons, or order the chef's 7-course tasting menu for $125.

Now check out some great restaurants in other NYC neighborhoods.

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