West Village, Manhattan

I consider myself a borough broad through and through. Though I ended up in Astoria after college primarily for financial reasons, I have fallen completely in love with the area, and all other Queens and Brooklyn 'hoods where many of my friends have settled. In fact, after going to school in The Bronx, living in Queens, and socializing predominantly in BK, I've lost any desire to ever live in Manhattan at this point. However, if I were to inherit a small fortune one day, I'd probably immediately eat my words and head straight to the West Village.

I found myself roaming around its brownstone and geranium rich streets just last week, gawking at their beauty. In my opinion, there is no quainter part of Manhattan, and while it's practically impossible to say which West Village spots are "the best of the best," here's a stab at some top recs...

Food

If, for whatever reason, you only have time to make one stop for grub, then you must drop everything and eat all the cheese at Murray's Cheese Shop.

Though these other spots rock too:

  • Le Baratin: Erin and I accidentally stumbled upon Le Baratin one freezing cold winter night. It's a total Frenchie hole-in-the-wall with solid fare, a warm staff, and absolutely hilarious patrons. 
  • Aria Wine Bar: our love of wine and shared plates run deep –  and this spot delivers. 
  • Rosemary's: seriously delish Italian food. They don't take reservations, but it's totally worth the wait.
  • Alta: Spanish tapas in a dreamy, candlelit space. 
  • Empellon Taqueria: where I met my one true love: spicy cucumber margs.  

Drink

  • Wilfie and Nell: the coziest spot you could ever find for killer post-date cocktails. 
  • Fat CatVillage Vanguard: two New York jazz and live music institutions. You may spot a celeb or two while shuffleboarding.
  • The Rusty Knot: a nautical themed, no frills dive that's usually filled to the brim with hipster hotties. 
  • Blind Tiger: for when your beer snob friend is in town.
  • The Cubby Hole: one of the West Village's oldest gay and lesbian bars – "when in Rome."

Coffee/Dessert

  • Kava: by far the best coffee of the West Village. 
  • Dana's Bakery: there are no substitutes for Ladurée macarons, but Dana's don't disappoint. 
  • Sweet Corner Bakeshop: Sea. Salt. Chocolate. Chip. Cookies. Can I get an "amen"?

 Do/See

There's nothing quite like a sunset stroll along The Highline this time of year. Top the experience off by checking out one of these nearby West Village spots afterwards: 

  • The New Whitney Museum: Technically a Meatpacking address, but super close. I am seriously dying to check out the new digs, which I hear are a total upgrade from its former UES space. 
  • IFC Center: for the best in indie film. 
  • Barrow Street Theater: for some seriously awesome Off-Broadway. 

Have a reliable recommendation or sweet spot to share? Go crazy in the comments section.