The West Village is a charming Manhattan neighborhood that just so happens to be one of our favorite places to skip around the streets. Not only does it have a rich history of music and the arts, it’s also home to the birthplace of Gay liberation and is filled with some of our favorite spots to hangout, grab a bite to eat, and just enjoy being in NYC.
Lucky for you, next time you find yourself among the streets of this quaint neighborhood, you’ll know exactly where to go and what to do. Here’s our ultimate guide to the West Village:
Table Of Contents
Best Things To Do in West Village
If you’re looking to get involved in the arts and culture of the West Village a museum is the perfect place to head to–and thankfully the West Village has got a few pretty great ones. Some of our favorites include:
1. Whitney Museum of American Art
The Whitney Museum of American Art, also known as “The Whitney,” is an art museum devoted to the art of the United States. They feature a full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. And, of course, they’re one of our favorite museums in NYC.
📍 99 Gansevoort St.
2. Museum of Illusions
If you’re in the mood to have some fun and also feel like your eyes are playing tricks on you, this museum won’t disappoint. It’s filled with exhibits meant to deceive the eye including kaleidoscopes and holograms, plus tilted and reverse rooms that are bound to make you dizzy in the best way possible.
📍 77 8th Ave.
New York City is one of the most unique places in the world–it’s a place where quaint cobblestoned streets and relaxing coffeeshops mesh into stunning outdoor oases and a lively, nightlife, and the West Village is no exception! Here are some of our favorite spots in this neighborhood that you have to visit for yourself.
3. The High Line
The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated park, greenway, and rail trail created on a former NYC Railroad spur. It offers stunning views of NYC and with tons of greenery and benches along the way makes for the perfect place to relax and enjoy the weather.
Plus it recently received a new $50 million extension that gives pedestrians a safe connection between Penn Station’s Moynihan Train Hall and the High Line!
📍 From Gansevoort St. in the south to 34th St. in the north
4. Comedy Cellar
Founded in 1982 by then stand-up comedian, and current television writer/producer Bill Grundfest, The Comedy Cellar is a comedy club in NYC where many top New York comedians perform.
Plus, if you’re interested in giving the comedy thing a go yourself, they also offer stand-up comedy classes!
📍117 MacDougal St.
5. Smalls Jazz Club
If you’re looking for a no frills place to enjoy live jazz, Smalls Jazz Club is your spot. The spot was founded in 1994 by Mitchell Borden, and they’ve since grown to have an international reputation that draws fans from all over the world.
You can see what events are going on on their website.
📍 183 W 10th St.
6. Washington Mews
Washington Mews is a private gated street between Fifth Avenue and University Place just north of Washington Square Park that makes you feel like you’ve transported straight to Europe. The charming cobblestoned street is lined by historic carriage houses covered in twisting wisteria and ivy, and was once home to horse stables (hence its name) until they were later converted into studios.
📍 Connecting Fifth Ave. & University Place
Best Restaurants in West Village
We’ll skip past the whole “NYC has the best food in the world” spiel and just get right down to it–if you’re hungry and looking for a tasty bite to eat that will leave you satisfied, look no further than these mouthwatering West Village restaurants.
7. Via Carota
One of our favorite Italian restaurants in NYC hands down has got to be Via Carota. Inspired by the 17th-century villa in the hills near Florence which chef Rita Sodi once called home, visitors are treated to old-world Italian roots, life style, food, and décor.
One thing we will say is that this spot is notoriously one of NYC’s hardest reservations to score, but the cool thing is if you can’t get a res yourself you can actually take Via Carota home with you! More on that here.
📍 51 Grove St.
8. Perry St
Jean-Georges’ Perry St combines relaxed elegance and tranquil vibes with stunning Hudson River views and mouthwatering dishes. Dishes showcase an impressive blend of French, American, and Asian influences and ingredients, creating an overall dining experience you won’t forget.
📍 176 Perry St.
9. Joe’s Pizza
Joe’s Pizza was established in 1975 by Joe Pozzuoli, originally from Naples, Italy, and they’ve been offering the classic New York slice for over 47 years. A must-visit West Village institution, they’re cookng up some of the best pizza we’ve ever had.
Even cooler–at 75 years old Joe Pozzuoli still owns and operates the restaurant to this day.
📍 7 Carmine St.
10. Petite Boucherie
Though there’s a larger version of Petite Boucherie in a different area of the West Village, Petite Boucherie is too cozy to pass up. Nestled on a cute corner, this Parisian spot is as romantic as it is delicious, serving up brunch, lunch, and dinner.
📍 14 Christopher St.
11. Drift In
One of our favorite waterfront dining restaurants in NYC, Drift In mimics the island feel and atmosphere of both Grand Banks and Island Oyster. In the warmer months you can dig into delicious dishes such as sustainable oysters, wild-caught seafood, and burgers and cool down with drinks like watermelon frosé and tropical cocktails.
📍 389 West St.
Best Bars in West Village
Want a bar that specializes in the Italian art of drinking? Or what about a killer happy hour? Well, the West Village has got it. Or would you rather a hidden underground bar that sometimes hosts live jazz sessions? The West Village has got that too. How about a spot that attracts people from all over the world for fun Pride events? Okay yeah, you catch our drift…and you’ll definitely want to grab a drink (or ten) at one of these West Village bars.
We absolutely can’t get enough of Dante, who first opened their doors in Greenwich Village in 1915 (they’re now a registered NYC landmark!) And whether you’re looking to feast on a whole meal–we suggest the roasted branzino or skirt steak–or simply just sipping on a negroni having your main character moment, Dante is the place to be.
Oh, by the way, you can also get bottled cocktails to go!
📍 551 Hudson St.
13. Katana Kitten
Katana Kitten is a cool, bi-level bar serving izakaya fare and traditional American bites, alongside whimsical cocktails that you absolutely won’t be able to have just one of. Don’t believe us? It was recently voted one of the best bars in the world!
📍 531 Hudson St.
14. Bar Pisellino
In the heart of the West Village is Bar Pisellino from award-winning chefs Rita Sodi and Jody Williams. Dedicated to the Italian art of drinking, Bar Pisellino specializes in wine and cocktails from a collection of amari and vermouth, but also serves a delicious shot of espresso.
Diners can enjoy their apertivos indoors atop their marble counter or on the sidewalk if you’d prefer to sip your drink al fresco.
📍 52 Grove St.
15. Stonewall Inn
Of course we couldn’t create a guide to the West Village without including the beloved Stonewall Inn. The Stonewall Inn is one of the most historic gay bars in New York, serving as a go-to place for the LGBTQ+ community for years and years.
Priding itself on being the “birthplace of liberation,” this spot brings people together from all over the world for its assortment of drag shows, themed dance nights, and Pride events.
📍 53 Christopher St.
16. The Garret
For almost a decade, The Garret Group has led NYC’s bar scene with sophisticated, cleverly-executed concepts, and The Garret, the group’s original cocktail den, definitely showcases that. To enter, you need to find the hidden staircase in the back of the Five Guys at 7th and Bleecker, which will take you to the second-floor bar.
📍 296 Bleecker St.
17. Employees Only
A tarot reader’s storefront facade leads you to this speakeasy dinner club that’s, in our opinion, one of the best bars in NYC. They’ve been serving their signature variations of Manhattans and Martinis for nearly two decades in a retro-looking, Prohibition-style bar, and also serve some tasty and unique bites as well such as their Bone Marrow Poppers and Reuben Croquettes.
📍 510 Hudson St.
18. Little Branch
Behind an unmarked door you’ll find Little Branch, an intimate underground bar that sometimes hosts live jazz sessions! It’s pretty small and doesn’t fit many people, but it’s definitely a must visit. Plus, we all love a bar with a hidden entrance!
📍 20 7th Ave.
19. Angel’s Share
Angel’s Share first opened in 1993 in the East Village before shuttering in March 2022 and reopening in the West Village this past summer. The acclaimed cocktail bar has its own kitchen where it serves bites like sashimi, crudos, karaage chicken, and more, and is walk-in only.
📍 45 Grove St.
Best Shopping in West Village
Whether you’re looking for whimsical greeting cards or booze-free spirits, the West Village is full of cute and quirky shops that cover all the bases. Just don’t come after us if you wind up spending way more than you intended! Some of our fav shops in the neighborhood include:
20. Three Lives & Co
Three Lives Books is a cozy neighborhood bookshop that has been selling a well-curated selection of hardcovers and paperbacks since 1968. Incredibly charming, it’s the perfect place to hide away from the world (especially on a chilly winter’s day!)
📍 154 W 10th St.
21. Greenwich Letterpress
A West Village favorite, this adorable design studio and shop features whimsical greeting cards, announcements, and gifts. As a woman-owned business they’ve been supplying the neighborhood with adorable gifts for over 17 years, making for the perfect place to grab a cute gift for a loved one.
📍 15 Christopher St.
22. Sèchey (Temporarily closed)
Sèchey opened in the West Village in October 2022, and they’ve since been proving that booze-free mocktails can be just as tasty and enjoyable as cocktails! The shop is filled to the brim with alcoholic-free spirits, wines, and beers, and they also have an expert-guided tasting counter ranging from beer to wine to spirits!
📍 632 Hudson St.
23. Screaming Mimi’s
This upscale vintage boutique and thrift store has made a name for itself by carrying a wide selection of pieces, including designer fashions from a fashion stylist’s perspective. They even have a celebrity clientele, so you know they’ve got to be good!
📍 240 W 14th St.
24. Murray’s Cheese
Born in Greenwich Village in 1962, Murray’s Cheese serves thousands of neighborhood regulars, commuters, and tourists alike every year at their three locations. They’re a charcuterie board lover’s dream, and even offer robust education and events programming and provide catering of expertly crafted cheese boards and freshly made dishes.
📍 254 Bleecker St.
25. Pop-Up Grocer
Pop-Up Grocer is a fun grocery store puts the experience first, putting emphasis on lesser-known emerging brands across the areas of food, beverage, home, beauty, and pets. They offer both featured brands which rotate on a quarterly basis along with a selection of core items will remain constant. Learn more here.
📍 205 Bleecker St.
Best Brunch in West Village
From French-inspired fare to everything you’d want in an old-fashioned diner the West Village doesn’t play around when it comes to breakfast and brunch. It is, after all, the most important meal of the day, and heading to one of these spots may actually be your favorite part of your day.
26. La Bonbonniere
For some of the best breakfast food in the West Village–think: french toast, pancakes, and omelets–you need to head to this French-inspired staple. Beyond the food (which comes quickly) their service is immaculate and the atmosphere will make you never want to leave.
In addition to the breakfast the rest of their menu is kick ass as well–there’s a reason it’s one of our favorite diners in NYC! Pro tip: expect to wait in line on the weekends as it can get pretty packed.
📍 28 8th Ave.
27. Waverly Diner
Another spot to grab classic diner fare is Waverly Diner. This spot is everything you’d expect an old-fashioned diner to be with their neon sign, vinyl booths, and a small counter accompanied by backless stools.
They even serve your eggs in a frying pan and like, that’s pretty cool!
📍 385 6th Ave.
Occupying several floors of a 1930s West Village townhouse, dining in Bobo makes you feel like you’ve been transported straight to a French country home. Of course your meal begins with champagne and cocktails before digging into dishes such as Parisian Gnocchi, Roasted Sasso Chicken, and Filet au Poivre.
In addition to the food the staff is super sweet and it feels like you’re dining right in someone’s home.
📍 181 W 10th St.
Best Coffee in West Village
A city without a good coffeeshop would most definitely be a sad city…but thankfully NYC isn’t that kind of city. And if you find yourself frolicking around the West Village (which, like, we don’t blame you) you’ll be sure to find yourself satisfyingly caffeinated so long as you head to one of these must-visit coffeeshops.
A jack of all trades, Fairfax is a relaxed and cozy all day cafe, wine bar, and restaurant that serves mouthwatering seasonal fare. If you’re looking for something more than just your usual coffeeshop to sit down and grab a bite to eat in the morning, this is the place to pop in, but it also makes for the ideal dinner spot.
Regardless of which dish you get you honestly can’t go wrong.
📍 234 West 4th St.
30. THE ELK
If you’re looking for a gem of a coffeeshop with a rustic vibe, THE ELK is the place to go. Along with their coffee and teas, they also sell a selection of tasty bites such as a granola bowl, breakfast burrito, and a quinoa salad. Plus, they even have a curated selection of cute home goods and gifts you can pick up alongside pantry staples.
📍 128 Charles St.
Now you already know we love spots that offer a two-in-one experience, and this coffeeshop also doubles as a florist. You can either sit inside alongside gorgeous greenery, or grab a seat outside to dine al fresco at one of their sidewalk tables. The best part–if you spot a plant you like they offer hand-delivery to all five boroughs.
📍 7 Greenwich Ave.
Best Nightclubs in West Village
Sometimes you just like, want to dance. And if that dancing involves a disco ball…even better. Thankfully the West Village is full of places to bust out your best dance moves, and these are some of our favs:
One of our fav spots to dance under a glittering disco ball is bandits, a retro-themed spot that honors traditional diner culture with a hint of tiki bar. Oh and, once you’re done dancing, be sure to order any of their signature tater tots for a post-dance snack—they’re delicious!
📍 44 Bedford St.
33. Le Bain
Le Bain is the penthouse discothèque and rooftop bar on the top floor of The Standard, High Line featuring world-famous DJs, a state-of-the-art sound system, and stunning views to dance and drink the night away. Regardless of the night (besides Monday night, in which they are, in fact, closed) it’s never a bad idea to head to Le Bain to dance the night away. Oh and, by the way, they also have a pool and crêperie.
📍 848 Washington St.
34. The Monster
For over 50 years, The Monster has provided a fabulous, welcoming establishment for the LGBTQ+ community, offering a piano bar upstairs and a basement level for dancing, music, and mingling. This energy-filled space is a must-visit–don’t believe us? Celebrities from Andy Warhol to Rupaul frequented this institution.
📍 80 Grove St.
Parks in West Village
A little fresh air does the body good, and when that fresh air involves stunning hidden gardens or crushing your friends in game of pickleball, even better. Some of the best parks in the West Village can be found below:
35. Christopher Park
Christopher Park is a national park across from the Stonewall Inn that features the Gay Liberation Monument. It’s been at the center of the LGBTQ+ rights movement since the historic 1969 uprising, and today features benches, lampposts, walkways, and numerous trees and shrubs.
📍 38-64 Christopher St.
36. Grove Court
Though not exactly a park, this stunning hidden garden is unknown to many. It was built in 1854, and though it didn’t used to be the lush oasis it is today, but there’s no denying that it is now one of the city’s many hidden gems.
📍 Grove St. and Bedford
37. James J Walker Park
If you’re looking to do more than just enjoy the great outdoors, you can head to James J Walker Park. Beyond offering shade from it’s many trees, the park also features a baseball field, bocce courts, handball courts, pickleball courts, a soccer field, and a playground.
📍 Hudson St.