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Greenwich Village - Gay Street l © Jean-Christophe Benoist
Greenwich Village - Gay Street l © Jean-Christophe Benoist
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How To Spend A Day In Greenwich Village, New York City

Picture of Dana deLaski
Updated: 18 October 2016
Commonly known as ‘the village,’ the boundaries of Greenwich Village in downtown Manhattan are often disputed. Some say it’s the area surrounding New York University, others say it stretches west to the Hudson river, still others claim it encompasses both the West and East Village. However you define this thriving neighborhood, it’s a part of town you’ll want to explore. Home to a wide variety of people, it’s one of the cultural epicenters of the city. Full of restaurants, bars, and more things to do than could ever be accomplished in one day, the intrepid Village explorer can squeeze a lot in with a bit of direction and determination.

Start your morning with a coffee from The Elk. Owner Claire Chan hails from Vancouver, bringing Pacific Northwest vibes to the east coast with her low-key spot. Grab a cup and stake out your place on the bench outside or order a full meal, the in-house chef was a contestant on Top Chef and makes a mean breakfast that’ll help you tackle the day with gusto.

For a light bite, head to Amy’s Bread and snag a pistachio croissant twist , one of the best treats around. For heartier but still-healthy fare head to Bluestone Lane Collective Café. Bluestone Lane was a pioneer in the Australian-owned café movement that’s taken over New York City, and they serve the perfect avocado toast to prove it.

Great to have one of our favorite #locals drop by as soon as she touched down back in #NYC 😋 @halcyonpowe

A photo posted by Bluestone Lane (@bluestonelanecoffee) on

Next, do some window shopping (or actual shopping) on Bleecker Street or West 4th street to walk off those breakfast calories. For Sex And The City Fans, swing by Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment facade on Perry Street and Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street. Then sample perfumes at Le Labo, a luxurious French fragrance brand. Be sure to check out Calliope, a one-of-a-kind shop full of hand-selected gems from the owner’s global travels. And finally, don’t miss The Meadow, a specialty salt, chocolate, and bitters shop that never ceases to amaze.

NYC via @rueanafel 🌎

A photo posted by THE MEADOW (@atthemeadow) on

For lunch, nothing beats a slice at Joe’s. It’s a true ‘New York slice’ that must be experienced, and it’s best enjoyed in the park across the street.

The Classic #joespizza #joespizzanyc #carmine #cheese #classic #nyc #nycnightlife #juicy #greenwichvillage

A photo posted by Joespizzanyc (@joespizzanyc) on

If Joe’s didn’t quite fill you up, grab snacks at Murray’s Cheese and have yourself a picnic in Washington Square Park. Flanked by NYU buildings, it’s an ideal place to spend a lazy afternoon. There is grass to nap on, great people-watching, and street performers providing endless entertainment.

For a more active afternoon, take a walk along the West Side Highway or through some of the West Village’s more picturesque streets, like Gay Street, Leroy Street, or Bedford Street. Quaint, quiet and full of charm, you might even forget you’re in the middle of New York City.

those #backstreets of the #westvillage #nyc #streetphotography #streetscene #streetshot #streetsofnyc #globeventure

A photo posted by Christina Nalio (@nalio413) on

Come evening, dinner options are endless. Try Lupa for Italian, Takashi for unique Japanese, or Miss Lilys for fun vibes and Caribbean food. Or for a more casual affair, Tacombi is the place for tacos and tequila.

And finally, head to The Garret for a cocktail in a ‘secret’ bar above a Five Guys, or see who’s playing at Terra Blues , a hidden gem of a blues club, and catch a show. If you’re craving a nightcap on the sweeter side of things, you’ll find the perfect scoop of gelato at Grom.

The great thing about Greenwich Village is that it’s so compact – you can wander and get lost momentarily but you’ll never stray far from the heart of this vibrant area. And while we’ve given you a list of suggestions, it’s hard to go wrong with anything in the neighborhood.