Best Lunch in the West Village: Our Top Picks for a Delicious Daytime Meal

West Village is known for its hip nightlife and difficult-to-get-in restaurants. But lunchtime is the perfect opportunity to check out some of the neighborhood’s outstanding eateries with little hassle. Today we share the best lunches in the West Village.

salad with meat strips and fresh juice
The West Village offers some of the best lunches in Manhattan. Photo credit: Eiliv Aceron

Once the sun sinks below the horizon across the Hudson River or the weekend descends upon us, people from all over gravitate to the West Village. It’s New York’s most popular destination neighborhood and at night, particularly on the weekends, nabbing a table at a great restaurant (without a reservation) is a Sisyphean task. 

But during the day? Not every restaurant you’ll want to try is open for lunch, but there are a handful of excellent eateries in the West Village where you won’t have to wait hours for a table and won’t be greeted by the hostess with the question, “You don’t have a reservation?” 

Breakfast by Salt’s Cure

A very popular Los Angeles export, Breakfast by Salt’s Cure took a while for people to catch on to, but now the secret is out. On weekends, expect a line out the door. But on weekdays, not so much. The main attraction here is the oatmeal griddle cakes. They are so flavor-popping you’d swear someone back in the kitchen is sprinkling some form of edible, culinary steroids into the batter. 

fried eggs on bread with beans
Nothing says vacation more than breakfast for lunch. Photo credit: Julian Jagtenberg


Run by chef Jody Wiliams (who also, along with her partner chef Rita Sodi, runs Via Carota, Bar Pisellino, and Commerce Inn in the neighborhood). Buvette is a perennial lunchtime favorite. It’s the one place (maybe along with Via Carota) in the West Village where a daytime table cannot be taken for granted. So, if there’s a line, don’t be surprised. But it’s worth it for the Gallic-accented comfort food that the kitchen produces here. There are now outposts in Paris, London, Mexico City, and Tokyo. 

Corner Bistro

Years before the burger bug hit New York City and the rest of the universe, Corner Bistro was not-so-quietly serving up one of the best burgers on the planet. It no longer makes the “best burger” lists in the Big Apple, but that’s not because the burger here is any worse. Blame it on the ubiquity of gourmet burgers everywhere. 

Corner Bistro has become an elder statesman of the burger. And everyone who enjoys a good hamburger now and then should make a pilgrimage to this corner tavern. Which is tastefully bedecked with exposed brick and a long wooden, L-shaped bar. The Bistro Burger, topped with American cheese and crispy bacon, is the way to go. 

cheese burger with tomatoes and lettuce
Corner Bistro has been serving its delicious burgers since the earlier part of this century. Photo credit: Valeria Boltneva


“Pizza loves Emily,” is the slogan at this West Village spot that’s open every day for lunch. And you’ll love both Emily and pizza when you dig into the thick, crispy, square-shaped Detroit-style pizza here. And while pizza might be the marque attraction at Emily—understandably so—the restaurant also happens to make one of the best burgers in New York. So if you come with a dining companion, share a pizza and a burger and you’ll have had the true Emily experience. 

Hao Noodle & Tea

Brought to you by a restaurateur who has a small handful of eateries around China, Hao Noodle does what its name suggests: Chinese noodle bowls. And the kitchen does them very well here. Lunch is a slow time for the restaurant, so you may have the place to yourself and a few other diners. The dandan noodles here are some of the city’s best. They are doused in sesame and peanut sauce with some chili oil to give them some kick. Also excellent here is the hotpot beef noodle soup. Thai noodles swimming in spicy mala beef bone broth with beef ribs and cabbage. Not in the food for noodles? Hao has plenty of dim sum and dumplings on the menu too. 

noodle dish with vegetables
The noodle dishes at Hao Noodle & Tea are legendary. Photo credit: PxHere

Joseph Leonard

Open every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Joseph Leonard is the ideal West Village neighborhood restaurant. Owned by Gabe Stulman, who also owns West Village eateries Fairfax and, across the street from here, Jeffrey’s Grocery. Joseph Leonard has a classic lunch menu with a good bacon cheeseburger (on an English muffin), a fried chicken sandwich, chopped chicken liver on a baguette, and a gooey good croque madame. 


This elegant spot on West 10th Street does not only happens to be many New Yorkers’ favorite Italian restaurant in the West Village. It also happens to be in the West Village and is open for lunch. If you’re in the neighborhood around lunchtime and hungry, you’re in luck. L’Artusi is named for Pellegrino Artusi, who compiled the first top-to-bottom cookbook of the cuisine of Italy in the year 1891. 

L’Artusi, the restaurant doesn’t necessarily use that book. Though it would be a great restaurant concept to do so. But instead churns out high-quality renditions of Italian pasta staples such as bucatini all’ arrabbiata and tagliolini carbonara, among other changing menu items. 

dish food produce cuisine pasta cook
L’Artusi has been serving outstanding pasta dishes since 2008. Photo credit: pxhere

The Little Owl

There’s always a crowd standing around outside the Little Owl. That’s because the building this lovely neighborhood restaurant is housed in is the “Friends building,” as people call it. The structure was a stand-in for the apartment building where the cast of the ‘90s sitcom “Friends” lived. But do less gawking and selfie-taking at the building and grab a table here. Standouts include bucatini all’amatriciana, gravy meatball sliders – a skate Milanese sandwich. 

Mary’s Fish Camp

Mary Redding opened this lovely ideal neighborhood restaurant on the corner of West 4th and Charles Streets in the year 2000. And Mary’s Fish Camp has been very popular ever since. As the name suggests, the focus here is on fish. The menu changes with whatever is caught and available, but expect things like monkfish bao buns, an amazing seafood-loaded bouillabaisse, and pan-seared scallops with soba noodles. Red snapper-laced pozole and a sardine-stuffed banh mi are also among our favorites. 

seared dish with vegetables on blue plate
Mary’s Fish Camp can get pretty hectic at dinner, but during the day it’s significantly more relaxed. Photo credit: Valeria Boltneva


This Keith Mcnally restaurant didn’t by any means change the West Village dining scene. But it did bring in a lot more see-and-be-seen people when it first flicked on its lights in 2007. It’s not as scene-y as it used to be—but don’t be surprised to see an A-list celeb dining at a corner table. Morandi serves up Italian delights in a wood-clad, rustic atmosphere that feels thousands of miles from the tony West Village. 

Via Carota 

Run by chefs Rita Sodi and Jody Williams, Via Carota is not just the most popular Italian restaurant in the neighborhood; it’s one of the most popular restaurants in the city. Even at lunch, there might be a wait for a table. And regulars swear it’s worth it. If they’re on the menu, start with the fried stuffed olives and the bruschetta and move on to one of the ever-rotating pasta dishes or the cuttlefish and chickpeas and fried rabbit.