With a history of activism, art, and bohemian spirit, Manhattan’s Greenwich Village is home to small businesses and big ideas. Today, the neighborhood is as diverse and inclusive as ever, housing everything from classic Manhattan landmarks to innovative young restaurants. Here we’ve profiled nine unique places sharing the Village’s streets.
Smalls Jazz Club
This music-lover favorite has been around since 1994 when it was founded by one jazz violinist, former Navy submariner, and registered nurse. Its diverse roots are still evident today—in between sets from international quartets and quintets as well as after-hours jam sessions lasting until 4 am, Smalls Jazz Club hosts vocal workshops for aspiring jazz performers. A speakeasy atmosphere lends all of these offerings a retro feel.
Caffe Reggio served the very first cappuccino in the US
Caffe Reggio takes credit for introducing the cappuccino to America in 1927. Since then, the staple of New York’s coffee culture has provided New Yorkers with an authentic European dining experience. Here, Italian staples like pasta with homemade pesto, ricotta cheesecake, and popular cannolis are enjoyed amongst Italian Renaissance artwork and on Reggio’s al fresco front patio.
Travel + Leisure, Time Out New York, and stylish Village residents are all fans of Star Struck Vintage Clothing. The 38-year-old store specializes in quality vintage clothes dating from the 1930s to the 1980s. In addition to Fleetwood Mac concert tees and couture items from Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior, this family-owned shop also sells kid-friendly board games and toys in their original packaging.
This Greenwich Village tradition was founded by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, who in 1931 began hawking their paintings in the neighborhood’s park. Today, the biannual Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit features art (fine arts, photography, sculpture, and crafts) from around the globe. Locals can attend the display—and spot the next Alice Neel and Beauford Delaney, both former exhibitors here—at no cost.
A favorite kids’ menu staple gets a grown-up twist at Sticky’s Finger Joint, where fried and grilled chicken tenders are served in inventive flavors like salted caramel pretzel and wasabi-ginger. The menu of graduated snacks features elevated classics such as truffle fries and the popular fried green beans. Its late-night hours and familiar flavorful dishes make Sticky’s a great place for kids at heart to cap off a night out.
The shelves at Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books hold everything from the poetry of William Blake to Civil Service Exam books. The compact store, which also houses Native American activist center Standing Rock East, has always been a place locals can research and practice politics—it hosted the Occupy Wall Street library in 2011 and was a headquarters for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.
People walk in front of the IFC Theatre in Greenwich Village, New York
Catch the independent, foreign, and documentary films everyone is talking about at IFC Center. In the past, offerings here have included a festival dedicated to Australian horror and a complete retrospective of Japan’s Studio Ghibli. Tip: A gamble on any of the IFC Center’s unfamiliar titles pays off thanks to its five state-of-the-art cinemas and gourmet snacks menu.
Frequent celebrity guests such as Dave Chapelle and Chris Rock make Comedy Cellar one of New York City’s most popular comedy clubs. Come for sets from The Daily Show, Inside Amy Schumer, and Broad City alums, and stay for surprise appearances by Jerry Seinfeld and Aziz Ansari.
Home to the famed Washington Arch, Washington Square Park is beloved by locals and tourists alike. This iconic landmark is unmissable for its fountain, where New Yorkers like to cool off in the summer, and its street performers, which include singer-songwriters and the occasional amateur acrobat.