By Shannon McNamara
One of my favorite things about living in the West Village is the number of restaurants in the neighborhood that I call “Living Room” restaurants. This type of restaurant gives you the experience of dining in a cozy, comfortable yet also elegant restaurant, but unlike other upscale restaurants that exist in New York City—each one provides a familiar and welcoming energy.
Some of my favorite “Living Room” restaurants to frequent in the West Village are:
525 Hudson Street, New York, NY
This restaurant in part reminds me of a living room because it’s the size of most New York apartment living rooms (if that). Bird Dog might be my favorite restaurant in the neighborhood because of their menu—three different prix fixe options to choose from, and every single dish on the menu is a 10/10. Personally, I recommend the three course prix fixe—if you go with two or more friends you get the chance to try nearly everything on the menu! They also offer BYOB which adds to the comfortable feeling of the restaurant. (Bonus: be sure to visit their bathroom before you leave, similar to the paintings of dogs in the restaurant, the bathroom has framed paintings of cats).
570 Hudson Street, New York, NY
Anton’s is a classic West Village spot. Always warmly lit, with great food and a bar that beckons to you from the outside. It’s the type of place that feels old without being stuffy or dust covered. They used to briefly offer $0.25 martinis and, while those are a thing of the past, the energy of Anton’s is warm and wonderful. It is a great “living room” spot and it feels like there absolutely should be a fireplace inside. One of my favorite things to do with a friend is just stop in at the bar, and order a martini and “bar bite” (the sliced round roast with horseradish might not be your first pick—but it should be, it’s incredible).
253 W 11th Street, New York, NY
Tartine is a West Village staple, and similar to Bird Dog, the ability to BYOB to this restaurant adds to the “living room” feel of it. The French food is incredible, the tree-lined street is perfect to eat on during the warmer months, and it’s a great place to go to for those “bring another couple with you” dinners when you want a great table for four. Their chicken is an especially fantastic menu item, and their portions are great.
765 Washington Street, New York, NY
Making the list, although it’s technically a bar, is Entwine. This cozy spot gives off “living room” energy with cute mis-matched furniture, couches that you would see in a home library, and an abundance of plants decorating the space (at least, in the warmer months). Sitting at the bar is great, but don’t forget about the back room and its fun furniture.
234 West 4th Street, New York, NY
Another favorite of mine is Fairfax. Their menu is on the smaller size— and it rotates seasonally—but every dish is fantastic. Their burger is a specialty, and their wine selection is great too. I’m always trying out a new wine at Fairfax and loving it. The inside is also loaded with unique decor, it feels like having your best meal of the month inside a cool antique store.
About the author: Shannon is the full-time host of a podcast called FluentlyForward, covering pop culture, entertainment news and trending topics.