Locals Know Best: Things to do in West Village

Looking for things to do on Saturday in West Village? We asked Emily, a top NYC local and avid foodie, to drop some local knowledge on how to best experience the neighborhood. If you like shopping, food, drinks and dancing, this post is for you. Welcome to the West Village.

Hi Emily, tell us about yourself!

Hi! I’m Emily, and I’m a NYC local expert — specifically, the West Village. I make a living in ad sales, but my passion is exploring the city. You can find me riding my bike on the West Side highway, sipping a spicy basil margarita at Bar Six, or inhaling focaccia at Rosemary’s. I also love real estate, so I’ve taken to peeking into open houses in the neighborhood on weekends and fantasizing about where I’ll live when I win the lottery. I write a blog about New York restaurants at www.wasabipeanut.net and you can find me on Instagram @wasabipeanut.

What do you love about West Village?

The West Village is classic NYC. It’s known as one of the fancier neighborhoods due to the insane rents in the area — so it attracts some of the best restaurants, bars, and shopping in the city. You can escape the crowds here — the tree-lined streets can only be described as idyllic. There’s access to the waterfront, with a beautiful bike path and running trails, as well as retail that rivals any 5th avenue strip. No trip to New York is complete without a stroll around the streets of the West Village.

If a like-minded person had one night out in West Village, what would you recommend they do?

Your night in the West Village should start in the afternoon, so you can explore the shopping on Bleecker Street, and wander the maze of criss-crossing streets, looking at the beautiful townhouses. Most people think luxury brands only have flagship stores on 5th avenue — not so. There’s a ton of places to pop into on Bleecker — Burberry, Jo Malone, Intermix — without the midtown crowds.

Stop for lunch at neighborhood favorite Tartine, which, praise Beyonce, is BYOB — and CHEAP. If you’re more into sweets, head to Magnolia Bakery for one of their signature cupcakes. Finish it off with a taste of truffle cheese at Murray’s Cheese Bar, and you’re checking all the boxes.

If you’re into real estate, like me — walk to West 11th and Washington to take a look at the Palazzo Chupi — it’s a bright pink condominium built on top of a horse stable in the style of an Italian palazzo. While you’re there, maybe pop into the Spotted Pig for a beer — a New York institution. It’s known for one of the best burgers in New York, and is part-owned by Jay Z.

For happy hour, Greenwich Avenue cuts diagonally through the north side of the neighborhood, and has something for everyone. You can go low-brow and comfy at Wogie’s — a Philly-style bar serving a variety of beers, and my absolute favorite dive in the city — but if the weather’s nice, I’d start at Gottino for a glass of wine in their beautiful back garden.

For dinnertime, you can’t go wrong at Rosemary’s. Rosemary’s sources much of their produce from their personal roof garden, located directly above diners at this Italian trattoria. The focaccia, cavatelli, and house vegetables are all consistently outstanding.

To start picking up the pace a bit, head for drinks at Wilfie & Nell’s. It’s considered the best singles bar in the city — everyone is friendly and attractive, and the vibe is casual. Once you’re finished flirting with strangers, convince your favorite to come with you to Café Wha. Wha is an underground club that plays live music every single night — and you’ll be dancing wildly within minutes. There’s no signal down here, so make sure you’ve closed out any other meet-up plans before entering.

Once you’ve worn yourself out at Wha, it’s time for a nitecap at one of my favorite late-night spots — Daddy O’s. A favorite of chefs, you’ll find a cool, sometimes tattooed crowd with small cocktail tables and inventive drinks. Their tater tots are one of my favorite junk food dishes in the city.

Welcome to my neighborhood.

Love, Emily (@wasabipeanut)

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