Located just a block up from the arch at Washington Square Park on Fifth Avenue is OTTO, a quintessential Italian restaurant that serves some of the most delicious and authentic Italian food in all of New York City. The lobby serves as a wine bar for more casual diners who can also enjoy cheese and charcuterie plates, while an enormous dining room seats over 150 diners. Favorites at OTTO include the truffle-egg pizza, spaghetti alla carbonara, and of course, the famed gelato, which comes in exotic flavors like ricotta, sour cream and olive oil.
Otto Enoteca e Pizzera, 1 5th Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 995 9559
Less than a block away from OTTO is Margaux, a French-inspired restaurant tucked away in the back of the vintage-chic Marlton Hotel. Upon walking into the cozy lobby, featuring a stone fireplace and plush couches, guests will feel like they have entered someone’s living room rather than a hotel. A long bar spans the length of a hallway, which then finally leads back to the gourmet restaurant Margaux. Leather booths and elegant tables fill this light, airy space, which is a strong contrast from the dark and moody bar and lounge space. Margaux features a full menu of mouthwatering appetizers, salads, homemade pastas, main dishes and desserts.
Margaux, 5 West 8th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 321 0111
Claudette is a cozy Provençal-style French restaurant located on posh Fifth Avenue. The living room-like atmosphere of this restaurant is very inviting, especially during the winter months. In the warmer summer months, there is an outdoor patio that opens up, offering a true southern France dining experience. What makes the cuisine of Claudette so unique is that the menu has traces of North African, in particular Moroccan, elements. The result of these combined cuisines is an exotic twist on classical French and Mediterranean dishes.
Claudette, 24 5th Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 868 2424
Num Pang sandwich shop opened near Union Square in 2009 and has been so successful that there are now a total of eight Num Pang venues scattered around New York City. This original location only has a couple of seats by the window, and lines of devoted customers often spill out onto the street. The cuisine of Num Pang is that of traditional Cambodian fare — sandwiches on fresh baguettes served with cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro and chili mayo. The classic sandwich is the pulled pork with spiced honey, but there are also plenty of vegetarian options like spicy organic tofu or roasted Japanese yam.
Num Pang, 28 East 12th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 646 791 0439
Another hidden Greenwich Village gem is the tiny yet historic hole-in-the-wall restaurant, Mamoun’s Falafel. This establishment has been serving mouthwatering Middle Eastern food ever since its opening in 1971 and now has six locations. Mamoun’s unassuming storefront blends in with its neighbors, but the interior feels like walking into a scrapbook; newspaper clippings of Mamoun’s success stories and an array of stickers plaster the walls. With only a few seats at a bar along the wall, lines often go out the door here as well. Both vegetarians and carnivores will find something delicious, from the famed falafels and shawarma wraps to chicken kebobs and spinach pies plus flakey filo dough desserts.
Mamoun’s, 119 Macdougal Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 674 8685
The Westville restaurant cuisine is a healthy, simple take on home cooked meals. The dishes served at Westville have the ability to transport the diner back to a carefree time and leave them feeling happy, healthy and nourished. There are traditional dishes on the menu like sandwiches, salads and burgers (all made with healthy, fresh ingredients of course), but the real star of the Westville menu is the market plate. This option allows diners to choose four different vegetable sides as a meal. Some of the most popular options are the artichoke hearts with parmesan cheese, broccoli sautéed with garlic, Brussels sprouts in honey Dijon, and fried plantains with cotija cheese.
Westville West, 210 West 10th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 741 7971
Murray’s Cheese is perhaps the finest cheese shop in all of New York City and has a long history of quality and loyalty to Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. Murray Greenberg founded the cheese shop in 1940, and the restaurant part of the shop opened in 2012. Conveniently, the two Murray’s Cheese establishments are only a few doors apart. Besides cheese plates recommended by the cheesemonger, Murray’s menu includes salads, sandwiches and burgers all accented by the delicious cheese Murray’s is famed for.
Murray’s Cheese Bar, 264 Bleecker Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 646 476 8882
With six locations throughout New York City, The Meatball Shop is clearly a favorite of New Yorkers. The cozy ambiance and walls plastered with vintage portraits inside TMS locations transport the diner back in time, while the hearty food leaves the diner satisfied. The menus are unusual in that you write on them by checking in boxes of different meatball and sauce varieties. Meatballs come in an array of meats and even have a veggie flavor. Meatball dishes can be served plain in a bowl with sauce, as sliders, or sandwiches.
The Meatball Shop, 64 Greenwich Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 982 7815
Located on Fifth Avenue and 13th Street, just a block away from Union Square, is a truly authentic Paleo restaurant that manages to make its healthy dishes in a delicious way. ‘Hu’ stands for human, with the intention that people need to get back to a more natural, human way of eating. Hu Kitchen is committed to creating mouthwatering dishes that are completely unprocessed. Hu serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a spacious, cafeteria-like setting. Hu has become a staple of Greenwich Village and is likely to continue spreading.
Hu Kitchen, 78 5th Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 510 8919
Gotham Bar & Grill is definitely the most upscale and gourmet of all the restaurants on this list. Reservations are taken months in advance at this Michelin-starred restaurant. Gotham was founded over 30 years ago and is the vision of four accomplished chefs who wanted to combine the feeling of a Parisian brasserie with a downtown New York City restaurant. The cuisine is French-American, and the restaurant has an expansive wine collection as well. Although this restaurant is definitely on the pricey end, it is an experience that all New York foodies should experience.
Gotham Bar & Grill, 12 East 12th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 620 4020