36 Hours in Greenwich Village
Few areas of New York City captivate in the way that Greenwich Village does. Even if you’re just taking a quick weekend trip, you can hit the highlights without spreading yourself too thin, and get a sense of what makes one of Manhattan’s most sought-after neighbourhoods flourish.
When you arrive Friday evening, you’ll undoubtedly be a little peckish, and you’re in the right place for everything from a toothsome slice of pizza to a full farm-to-table meal!
Venture to Cornelia Street, where Pó is always a lovely choice. Savour dishes like White Bean Ravioli or the Veal Picatta with artichokes, capers, lemon and escarole. If you’re feeling extra ravenous, start off your meal with the Polpetta de Carne, meatballs with tomato sauce and caciocavallo, or, the Pó cured Tuna, white beans, artichokes, and chili-mint vinaigrette.
After dinner, meander to Christopher Street where you can shoot pool, have an inexpensive drink, and listen to live jazz at Fat Cat. Although this joint is something of a dive bar, its charm is sure to win you over.
Start your day off with breakfast at the Washington Square Diner, whose omelettes and hearty morning dishes will satiate even the hungriest eater! The size of their meals can easily provide enough energy for a full day of sightseeing.
Purchase a copy of The NY Times and venture to Father Demo Square, where Villagers gather to read, relax, and bask in inner-city nature. The centrally-located Greenwich Village Park is named after Father Antonio Demo, a former pastor of the Our Lady of Pompeii Church, whose stunning Italianate building sits at the corner of Bleecker and Carmine Streets.
A cup of Joe may be in order for a quick pick-me-up! Pop into Café Angelique, a charming coffee house serving espresso, café au lait, cappuccino, and other caffeinated beverages. If you’re peckish, you can indulge in a chocolate croissant or an almond brioche, or choose from a selection of sandwiches.
Now that you’ve had your caffeine and sugar fix,make your way to the Washington Square Arch (at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Waverly Place). You can take the popular Edgar Allan Poe tour of Greenwich Village which shows you many of the neighbourhood’s don’t-miss sites and spots – plus the stories behind them! On this tour you’ll get a great taste of the Village by visiting the hangouts of legends such as Dylan Thomas, Jimi Hendrix, and Lenny Bruce. Walk the same streets as Edgar Allen Poe and Bob Dylan, and experience the energy and bohemianism of Washington Square Park, which is still a hub for the city’s avant-garde residents.
Late afternoon is an ideal time to wander up and down Bleecker Street, a shopping destination for both buyers and browsers. Drop by stores like Michael Kors, Cynthia Rowley’s CUrious, and Murray’s Cheese –– NYC’s favourite cheese emporium. Dozens of retailers line this hip Village Street, and even if you’re not a shopper, the people-watching can’t be beat.
Begin your night on the town with a glass of Chenin Blanc or Pinot Noir at Amelie wine bar. Need a snack? Salmon Tartare with cornichon, caper berries, scallions, dill, black sesame oil, lemon zest, and cherry tomato is a light, healthy option. For carb lovers, the flatbread topped with portabella mushrooms, arugula, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, and shaved Parmesan will tide you over until dinner hour.
Keith McNally’s Minetta Tavern is a quintessential village restaurant – plus it cooks one of the best burgers in town! The prime dry-aged Black Label is an extraordinary hamburger, and the accompanying frites are crisp and perfectly salted. If you’re a non-meat eater, don’t worry. Minetta serves mussels, Trout Meuniere and other meat-free dishes. Minetta Tavern stays busy and securing a seat on a weekend could be a challenge. You can, however, hang out in the bar until a spot is available. You will have equally as good service at the bar, and a lively social scene for the duration. Sip on a martini while you wait.
Rise early and head to Bagels on the Square, known for its array of cream cheese flavours and some of the freshest bagels around. If you’re craving protein, opt for the bacon, egg and cheese on a toasted bagel, which will give you plenty of energy for the trip home! Before departure, head north and munch on breakfast while you stroll on some of the neighbourhood’s most beautiful streets: Charles, Perry, and Bank.
About the author
Tracy Kaler is a lifestyle writer and founder/editor of the popular New York City blog Tracy’s New York Life. Her writing has appeared in publications like BrickUnderground, Business Insider, Metro New York, Homeaway.UK, and on other blogs and websites. She lives on the Upper West Side, and when she’s not blogging, you can find her wandering the streets of NYC.