@Freckledfoodie's Guide to The West Village

If cooking in the kitchen is my one true love, dining out is definitely my side piece. The excitement of trying a new restaurant and sharing the experience with the ones I love, combined with the unique atmosphere and menu that every worthwhile restaurant provides, makes my stomach and heart do a happy dance. With every restaurant I dine at and enjoy, I immediately place it into a sub-category in my mind (or the ongoing 5 page note on my iPhone) and mark it for a future date. Fortunately for my friends, when I receive texts asking for restaurant recommendations for specific neighborhoods or occasions, I am always fully prepared and equipped with a quick response. With my love for sharing dining experiences of all kind and making sure all of my friends and reader's never waste a meal at an un-enjoyable restaurant, I have created a new venture on my blog: Freckled Foodie & Friends Favorites, a neighborhood guide from foodies you can trust.  These aren't your typical yelp reviews or google searches, but instead recommendations from food bloggers all over the country; people who take their food very seriously and who, I hope, you trust. Each guide will focus on recommendations from the writer's specific neighborhood, because, what's better than insight from a local!To kick things off, the first guide will be to the West Village and written by yours truly, myself. Not only is this area filled an massive amount of NYC’s top restaurants and bars, but also the place I have been fortunate enough to call home for the past 4+ years.

The West Village Guide

Thes guides include recommendations for the common situations everyone so often finds themselves in. Parents are in town? Don't take them to any average restaurant that you often frequent, do it big! Too tired or busy to cook dinner but still want something healthy? Grab some takeout that won't leave you feeling like garbage. And for the times you either need a vegetable focused meal or a good burger and fries, we've got you covered.See below for the first guide and stay tuned for many more to come!

Place to order a strong cocktail:

Employees Only

: my favorite part about cocktails bars is having the opportunity to speak with the mixologists about what type of flavors / alcohol I like and then asking them to create whatever they feel like. I swear, this is the best way to find new cocktail combinations, and this is the best place for this practice. Go-to order: whatever the bartender is feeling that includes tequila or vodka

Happiest Hour

For when you want to feel like you escaped the dirty streets of NYC and entered some Floridian themed room filled with flamingos and pineapples. Go-to order: maid to order (mint, cucumber, and lime juice) with tequila


The one bar in the West Village that few people have heard of that offers not only comfortable couches, but also a small patio out back. Go-to order: Moscow mule made with fresh ginger and served in the proper copper mug

The Garret West

Want to really confuse people? Take them to the Five Guys in the West Village, walk to the back, go up a random set of stairs, and enter a small yet incredible bar. Voila, NYC. Go-to order: the first lady (gin, cucumber, matcha green tea, lemon, egg white, fresh basil)

Best burger:

Bar Sardine

I am hesitant to include this in fear that people will learn about my best kept secret of NYC, but this is my happy place. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it, hands down best burger in the city. Go-to order (menu often changes): oysters, local burrata, and the fedora burger and fries


Spotted Pig

I dream about shoveling these fries into my mouth. This classic burger and West Village establishment is an absolute must try.  Go-to order: deviled eggs (the best you will ever have), devils on horseback, chargrilled burger (beware, this comes with a heaping serving of blue cheese that can be removed if preferred)


Corner Bistro

Want to have a great burger and probably the cheapest dinner available in the West Village? Go here. This no-frills (whatsoever) historical establishment will leave you confused how you only spent $40 for a burger and multiple beers. Plus, at the bare minimum you have the chance to get a pic under the famous neon sign. Go-to order: bistro burger with fries

Parents are in town:


The hype is real people, there is a reason this is so many people’s favorite restaurant in NYC. Attempt to snag a reservation and then order as many dishes that can possibly squeeze on to your table. Go-to order: dayboat scallops, roasted mushrooms, tagliatelle Bolognese, charred octopus, and the olive oil cake (this is a must)


Charlie Bird

: Want to eat incredible food, drink from an extensive wine list, and halfway through your dinner notice the incredible hip-hop that is playing through the speakers in the background? Me too. If so, go here and love every second of your night. Go-to order: razor clams, farro (w/ sugar snap pea, mint, pecorino, pistachio), roasted farm chicken, and the olive oil gelator (must)

Blue Hill

For the best dining experience in NYC, go to Blue Hill. This probably requires some large life event celebration (big birthday, engagement, anniversary, etc), but the price tag is worth every damn penny. From the simply perfect raw vegetables straight from the Stone Barns farm to the three separate servings of dessert, this meal will blow your mind and question everything you think you know about food. Go-to order: the menu constantly changes, but there is always one staple: the best bread and butter that will ever exist

Date night that involves getting dressed up:


The younger sister of L’artusi that so often gets ignored but deserves just as much attention. A smaller, more intimate, version serving up just as great food. Plus, if you are like me and enjoy watching the chefs of a restaurant in all of their glory, you have the option to sit at the “chef’s bar” and observe every drop of sweat that goes into making that perfect dish in front of you. Go-to order: avocado and ricotta bruschetta, charred octopus, bucatini alla arrabbiata, pork chop (this preparation changes but is consistently my favorite one in NYC), and espresso-rum almond cake


One word: chicken. This may be the main reason why you first decide to go to Barbuto, but there is also so much more. Go on a nice night when the exterior walls are rolled up (perks of having a restaurant in an old garage) and enjoy some great people watching and even better food. Go-to order: salumi plate (best one in NYC), insalata di cavolo, pollo al forno (non-negotiable), patate side