Neighbourhoods: oh, the brownstones vibe around Greenwich Village
Manhattan can be hectic, with the never ending array of high rises, the constant traffic noise and the odd roadworks left and right. So, to find yourself in an area that is more residential, cosy and cute is indeed a bit of a hard one. Luckily, Greenwich Village and West Village (oh that's even cuter!) come to the rescue when you want to get away from it all.
Yes, rent space can be a bit more expensive down here and the brownstones are more or less occupied by owners (not your average international migrant!), but with so many different restaurant options and other attractions around, you're bound to enjoy yourself when you next visit!
Washington Square Park and NYU
Jazz clubs and Off-Broadway Theaters come plenty in this neighbourhood amid the brownstones and New York University buildings. At its heart is Washington Square Park, where people mingle around the central plaza all day long with various attractions on display. Rainbow flags attest to the neighborhood's LGBT-friendly vibe. Think Coffee and its heigh ceiling vibe has been an old time classic for students in need of a quick caffeine fix, although in recent years many other specialty coffee places have popped up like Third Rail Coffee.
During lunch pop by Claudette for some light Med-inspired bites. When the sun is out (and temperature allows) it's also nice to get a place by their terrace right outside. If you're looking for something heavier then J.G.Melon's burgers should be your top choice, although they only open for lunch Friday through Sunday. The list for dinner is way longer with many different restaurants and bars around, although 4 Charles Prime Rib is my favourite one - a classic 1930s low-ceiling jazz-style joint serving the best burger ever! And to top that off, a delicious egg-yalk carbonara!
Walking south of the Meatpacking District and Chelsea is a real treat. When the streets no longer have numbers but real names and the brownstones get to become the norm, that's when the West Village vibe kicks in. Bleecker street is a must if you're into doing a bit of shopping, albeit more commercial than the rest of the Village, but if you really wanna explore then it's best you go down Hudson street and make your way in.
The vibe gets a bit busier during the weekend as patrons start to flock in for some brunch bites - Buvette and its French fare is a classic! As for the rest of the week, Minetta Tavern, Bar Pitti and Domo Domo are all great choices for some after-work dinner. The choices are endless although the most classic of them all is Carbone - a real high-glam Italian experience.
- Washington Square Park - numerous spots in this nice historic park, known for its stately arch and prime people-watching
- NYU buildings - walking around these blocks of NYU buildings feels almost like a campus. The vibe you get is really good if you're up for a quick break from the busy streets of Broadway
- Monocle shop - always good to swing by the hip shop and checking out their latest inventory of goods. If not, pick up your monthly magazine copy
- "Friends" apartment - a TV series favourite and by now an old time classic, this is the facade of the building shot as the exterior of Monica's apartment
- 4 Charles Prime Rib - cosy vintage feel steakhouse by Brendan Sodikoff, serving the best burger in town (and carbonara!). Read our full review here
- Sushi Katsuei - go for their omakase menu which is outstanding, especially for the price paid. Reservations are a must (only over the phone I'm afraid!)
- Domo Domo - modern-accented Japanese place featuring nice rolls and a great variety of other dishes - best to sit by the bar at the very back!
- Carbone - high-end Italian restaurant in a very glam space. Make sure you get a reservation weeks ahead!
- Bar Pitti - perfect Italian fast food; whatever pasta you try you'll love! And you may also spot some glam figures!
- Claudette - perfect for brunch if you feel like getting a French vibe of the countryside. Delicious shakshuka eggs! Read our full review here
- Buvette - perfect brunch spot for an early weekend morning (so that you can avoid the queue). Get their goat's cheese and sun-dried tomato scrambled eggs! Read our full review here
- Charlie Bird - hip and sophisticated Italian brunch spot with great variety of dishes! Read our full review here
- Fairfax - retro decoration and a laid back atmosphere in this cosy little all-day café
- Dominique Bistro - Parisian-style cafe serving some very good wine in a tasty ambience. Read our full review here
- Blue Note - legendary jazz club where you need to book in advance in order to get the best seats in this small low-ceiling joint