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Washington Square Park | © Nicholas Santasier/Pexels
Washington Square Park | © Nicholas Santasier/Pexels
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11 Reasons to Get Lost in Manhattan's Greenwich Village

Picture of Julia Goicochea
Updated: 18 August 2017
From vintage shopping to indie theaters, from specialty stores to unusual events, Greenwich Village is great for locals looking to dance to the beat of their own drum. Here, we’ve rounded up 11 reasons to lose yourself in this Manhattan neighborhood, home to bohemians, Beats, and your next big adventure.

Washington Square Park

Artist hub, favorite meeting spot, and star of countless films, Washington Square Park is a New York City icon. A popular site for protests and events, the attraction boasts interesting happenings every day. Picnic on the park’s many lawns, people-watch, or stand under the famous Washington Square Arch for a quintessential New York experience.

Washington Square Park Arch
Washington Square Park Arch | © m01229/Flickr

Dig in at the city’s trendiest restaurants

Don’t let bad food happen to you: in New York City, you never have to settle for average eats. Raise the bar at Carbone (if you can snag a table, that is), an upscale Italian-American eatery serving spicy rigatoni vodka, veal parmesan, and more. Hungry for something more wallet-friendly? At Pommes Frites, authentic double-cooked Belgian fries come piping hot and smothered in sauces like Irish curry, tequila-lime dressing, and organic black truffle.

You may discover a next big talent

Since the 1960s, when the neighborhood birthed the East Coast’s Beat movement, Greenwich Village has attracted established and amateur artists alike. From street performers to exhibitors at the 86-year old Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, you never know when you’ll meet with before-they-break artists in this area.

Go on a jazz crawl

Boasting the most jazz clubs this side of Harlem, Greenwich Village is an ideal destination for local music-lovers. The iconic Village Vanguard, Smalls Jazz Club, and The 55 Bar, all situated near one another, beg to be enjoyed bar crawl-style. Most of the area’s establishments are casual and inexpensive, freeing you to improvise your evening plans.

Village Vanguard
Village Vanguard | © Tom Marcello/Flickr

Stock up on gourmet specialty foods

Take advantage of your artisan neighbors at any of the Village’s gourmet specialty shops. Porto Rico Importing Co. has been a go-to destination for bean-loving locals for more than a century, while Murray’s Cheese stocks everything you need to craft your best cheeseboard yet. Eating in has never felt so luxe.

Catch the best indie films on the big screen

For more than a decade, IFC Center has been the benchmark for indie entertainment in New York City. Screening new releases, foreign flicks, live theatre, and much more, this Village icon is a must-visit destination for film fans everywhere. Tip: highly-curated limited series’ with themes like To Hell and Outback: Australian Horror and Short Attention Span Cinema sell out fast at this local hotspot.

Crack up at Comedy Cellar

One of the most famous stages in New York City, Comedy Cellar brings the industry’s best talents to Greenwich Village audiences. Here, creative minds behind some of your favorite TV shows, like 30 Rock and The Daily Show, deliver original standup routines. On any given night, you may catch comedy greats, such as Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer, or Chris Rock, as they test out new material.

Comedy Cellar
Comedy Cellar | © Gus Taf/Flickr

Enjoy outdoor Summer entertainment

Your perfect summer date night awaits at Sunset On The Hudson, a free waterfront concert series showcasing the city’s top jazz talents. Every Friday from June through August, the Village’s Pier 45 will be taken over by picnickers, dancers, and lovebirds enjoying live music performances and sunset views of the city skyline.

Buy vintage

This payday, take a cue from the locals and choose clothing with character. Home to a bounty of thrift and vintage shops, the Village offers outfits and accessories as unique as you are. Neighborhood favorites Star Struck Vintage and Vintage Thrift West provide perfect starting points for your #TBT-inspired adventure.

Discover the home of America’s first cappuccino

Coffee-loving New Yorkers (so, all of us) have made the pilgrimage to Caffè Reggio, a Mecca for caffeine-fiends, at least once. This Greenwich Village institution (the caffè opened its doors in 1927) is famous for being the first United States business to serve a cappuccino. Millions of pours later, the Reggio continues to live up to its legacy, serving mouthwatering Italian cafe fare and expertly-made coffee drinks.

Cafe Reggio
Cafe Reggio | © Andy Atzert/Flickr

Join in the area’s unique events

In an area home to so many, ahem, characters, you might expect some out-of-the-ordinary neighborhood events. Hosting everything from mass public pillow fights featuring thousands of participants to a famous Halloween parade where all costumed citizens are welcome to march, the area’s event calendar is one worth watching.

International Pillow Fight Day
International Pillow Fight Day | © Unsplash/Pexels