Eating the Big Apple – NYC Foodie Guide for Chelsea, Meatpacking, the Village & SoHo

Eating the Big Apple – NYC Food Guide for Chelsea, Meatpacking, the Village & SoHo

Are you looking for the best eateries in New York City? Where to find the perfect taco, the best brunch or one-of-a-kind pastry? This NYC foodie guide is all about the best restaurants and coffee shops in Manhattan. From delicious breakfast choices to Asian, Italian or Mediterranean cuisine. Check out our top picks for breakfast, lunch and dinner in NYC’s trendiest neighborhoods.

Whenever we’re in Manhattan, we always love to spend a few days in some of New York’s trendy neighborhoods. From Chelsea and the Meatpacking District to West Village and SoHo, there’s nothing more enjoyable for us than exploring these cool NYC neighborhoods, strolling along the tree-lined streets and looking for hidden gems. Between visiting some art galleries in Chelsea, walking along the High Line in the Meatpacking District, browsing the shops at Greenwich Village and SoHo or looking for beautiful streets in West Village, one must stop to have a bite to eat.

One of the best things about these neighborhoods which are located somewhere between midtown and downtown Manhattan, is the unique atmosphere. Each of these neighborhoods has its own character and generally speaking, this is the best place to find some of New York’s best restaurants. There’s an eclectic mix of old and new, Classic American, Italian, and Mediterranean fare, healthy joints next to French-the-more-butter-the-better bistros. This cornucopia of flavors and mixture of cultural influences is what turns these trendy neighborhoods to such a foodie hot spot! So, let’s start talking about the top places to eat in Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, Greenwich & West Village and SoHo.

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Table of Contents

Best Italian Restaurants in New York’s Trendy Neighborhoods

L’Artusi – L’Artusi is one of the best and most popular restaurants in New York City. It’s always filled with locals and tourists who come to devour some delicious Italian fare. Their dishes are both scrumptious and beautifully plated. Try the beef carpaccio, Tuscan kale, roasted beets and any of the pasta dishes. To score a table in a decent hour, you have to make a reservation well in advance. Walk-ins are welcomed but might wait more than an hour for a table (if you’re only 1-2 diners ask for a place at the bar for a shorter wait time).

Address: 228 West 10th Street (Greenwich Village) | Opening Hours: Sun-Wed 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm, Thu-Sat 5:30 pm – 12:00 am

Baboo – Another excellent choice for Italian cuisine. Most of the ingredients are brought straight from Italy, and the menu is based on traditional Italian dishes. Since its opening in 1998, it has gotten great reviews, and it’s still one of the best places in Manhattan for Italian fare. Try the goat cheese tortelloni or charred octopus. They also offer several tasting menus, including a black truffle tasting menu.

Address: 110 Waverly Pl. (Greenwich Village) | Opening Hours: Lunch: Thu-Sun 11:30 am – 2:00 pm, dinner: Sun-Thu 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Fri-Sat 5:00 pm – 11:30 pm

Osteria Morini – Another popular and well-known Italian restaurant that serves classic Italian dishes from the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy. Their pasta dishes are wonderful, and they offer flavorsome meat and cheese spreads. They have a good deal for lunch – two courses and ice cream for dessert for $ 29. It’s a good option for Italian cuisine in Soho.

Address: 218 Lafayette St. (SoHo) | Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12:00 pm – 10:30/11:30 pm, Sat-Sun 11:30  am – 11:30/10:00 pm (between 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm they serve an interim menu and on Sat-Sun they offer brunch)

Santina – The colorful design of Santina and the pretty ceramic dishes will transport you straight to the Italian Riviera. The restaurant offers a modern take on classic Italian cuisine and serves colorful and appetizing dishes such as lobster fettuccine or spicy tuna tartar. They also have a fabulous brunch on the weekends.

Address: 820 Washington St. (Chelsea & Meatpacking District) | Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11:45 am – 10:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am – 11:00 pm, Sunday 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

Rosemary’s – This Italian restaurant with a rooftop garden is all about seasonal, farm-to-table cuisine, which is reflected in the rustic and bright décor. We especially love their creative salads and delicious focaccia. The place is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Address: 18 Greenwich Ave (Greenwich Village) | Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 8:00 am – 11:00 pm, Friday 8:00 am – 12:00 am, Sat/ Sun 10:00 am – 12:00 am/11:00 pm.

Charlie Bird – To be honest, this is more of an American restaurant with an Italian touch, but thanks to the abundance of pasta dishes, we’ve decided to include it in this section. If you’re looking for good food, excellent service, and some rap music (yes, rap music), this is the place for you. Try the razor clams, the burrata with roasted beets or tortelli with roasted pumpkin and hazelnut.

Address: 5 King St. (SoHo) | Opening Hours: Mon-Thu/Fri 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm/12:00 am, Sat/Sun 11:30 am – 12:00 am/11:00 pm

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Le Coucou – Probably the best French restaurant in NYC. This fancy French restaurant goes all out when it comes to classic French setting, and most importantly, the food. The dishes have their own little modern twist, but basically, we’re talking about classic French cuisine. Come here for exquisite French food with a higher price tag. Their lunch menu offers two Courses for $ 49, so you can take advantage of that.

Address: 138 Lafayette St. (SoHo) | Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7:00 am – 10:30 am, 11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm Sat/Sun 7:00 am – 10:00 am, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 11:00/10:00 pm

Buvette – This cozy café/bar/restaurant will transfer you straight to Paris. We especially love to come here for breakfast or lunch. It opens every day at 7:00 am, so it’s a great choice for an early breakfast. Their brioche and almond croissant are to die for! If you’re craving a proper Croque Madam or maybe some steak tartare, stop by this French bistro for breakfast or lunch.

Address: 42 Grove Street (West Village) | Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 7:00 am – 2:00 am

La Mercerie – Another must-visit place for any self-respecting Francophile is this French bistro which serves delicious French food in a beautiful setting. You don’t count calories when you visit La Mercerie, and you don’t look at the price tags of the furniture and tableware that are for sale inside (well, you can, but most likely you can’t afford it). What about the food? The food is scrumptious and delicious, a haven for butter and cream lovers who had enough of the healthy-conscious cafes around. Try the Oeuf Cocotte (baked egg with mushroom brioche) or their tasty crepes and don’t forget to have the Profiteroles Au Chocolate for dessert.

Address: 53 Howard St. (SoHo) | Opening Hours: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm daily

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Best Asian Restaurants in NYC's Trendy Neighborhoods

Buddakan – This restaurant/bar’s design is all about the wow factor with its long wooden tables, enormous chandeliers, dark atmosphere and warm lights. A mixture of the serenity of Asia with the flamboyance of 16th-century Paris. But it’s not just about the decor and unique vibe, it’s also about pleasing your taste buds. Buddakan serves delicious Pan-Asian fare inspired by multiple traditions, and it’s one of our favorite places for dinner in Chelsea. 

Address: 75 9th Avenue (Chelsea) | Opening Hours: Mon-Tue 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm, Wed-Thu 5:30 pm – 12:00 am, Fri-Sat 5:00 pm – 1:00 am, Sunday 5:00 – 11:00 pm

Raku – This small restaurant is where you’ll get the best udon soup in Manhattan. The place is usually packed, and they accept only a limited number of reservations, so try to come a little bit before or after the busy hours. They also serve quite a wide selection of appetizers such as wakame salad, tataki, gyoza and more, but you must try one of the udon-based dishes.

Address: 48 MacDougal St. (SoHo) | Opening Hours: Sun – Thu 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Fri – Sat 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Blue Ribbon Sushi – Sushi lovers have probably heard about this famous sushi restaurant where you might encounter celebrities at times. The prices aren’t low, but the food is delicious. Try the deluxe sashimi platter or any of their specials.

Address: 119 Sullivan Street (SoHo) | Opening Hours: 12:00 pm – 2:00 am daily

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Tacombi – Tacombi is an excellent choice if you’re looking for Mexican fare with hip vibes. The bright and colorful setting will transport you straight to Mexico, and the food is excellent. Order a mixture of tacos and some nachos and wash it all down with a pitcher of delicious margarita.

Address: 255 Bleecker Street (Greenwich Village) | Opening Hours: Sun-Thu: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm, Fri-Sat 11:00 am – 12:00 am

La Contenta Oeste – Another excellent option for Mexican fare in Greenwich Village is La Contenta Oeste. The chef uses Mexican ingredients and flavors but also incorporates French techniques. Try the tacos, nachos or hanger steak and wash it down with one of their fabulous cocktails. The prices are quite budget-friendly, especially during happy hour.

Address: 78 West 11th Street (Greenwich Village) Opening Hours: Sun-Wed 11:00 am – 2:00 am, Thu-Sat 11:00 am – 4:00 am

La Esquina – If you’re in the mood for some tacos, ceviche, enchiladas and other Mexican delights, stop by this unique restaurant/bar. The cool thing about this place is the sort of underground atmosphere. The restaurant is hidden under a taqueria in a dungeon-like setting. You won’t be able to tell where it is unless you do your research in advance. To get to the actual restaurant, you’ll have to be escorted by the hostess, go down the stairs and through the kitchen. Make reservations in advance.

Address: 114 Kenmare St (SoHo) | Opening Hours: 11:00 am – 2:00 am daily

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Best Middle Eastern Restaurants in NYC's Trendy Neighborhoods

Balaboosta – For Middle Eastern and modern Israeli flavors, check out Balaboosta, a simple and lively restaurant that is open for brunch, lunch or dinner. The décor is bright and the food is delicious. Try the Shakshuka, cauliflower with peanut tahini or chicken shawarma, and for dessert the coconut malabi or halva creme brulee.

Address: 611 Hudson St. (West Village) | Opening Hours: Mon 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm, Tue-Thu 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm, Fri 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Sat/Sun 11:00 am – 10:00/11:00 pm (note that the restaurant is closed daily from 3 -5:30)

Shuka – Another recommended place to have a Middle Eastern feast is Shuka. Visit this trendy place for brunch, lunch or dinner. Try the delicious homemade labneh, the kebab dishes and the tagine.

Address: 38 MacDougal St (Greenwich Village) | Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Sat/Sun 10:30 am – 11:00/10:00 pm (closed from 3 -5:30 pm)

Kish – Kash – From the same chef of Balaboosta, this is a cute couscous bar. If you’ve never tried North African Jewish cuisine, this is the place to go. And don’t forget to order a side dish of the tasty Matboucha (slow-cooked spicy tomato salad). This is one of the most budget-friendly places for dinner or lunch.

Address: 455 Hudson St. (West Village) | Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Sat 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, closed on Sunday

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Minetta Tavern – This is an NYC institution that just oozes old-time charm. This is the best place to go when you’re craving some meat. New Yorkers come here for the bone marrow, a good steak, and the famous black label burger.

Address: 113 MacDougal St (Greenwich Village) | Opening Hours: Lunch: Wed-Fri 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Dinner: Sun-Wed 5:00 pm – 12:00 am Thu – Sat 5:00 pm – 1:00 am, Brunch: Sat – Sun 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

The Standard Grill – This surf and turf place is known for its food and atmosphere. With its elegant décor, high-end service, and delicious food, it’s a great place to have lunch or dinner. Order one of the seafood towers from the raw bar, steak or the classic Standard burger and shoestring fries. On weekends they have a great brunch in a lovely setting.

Address: The Standard Hotel: 848 Washington Street at 13th Street (Chelsea & Meatpacking) | Opening Hours: Sun-Wed 7:00 am – 12:00 am Thu-Sat 7:00 am – 2:00 am

Mermaid Oyster Bar – Seafood lovers should definitely check out this popular restaurant/bar, which also offers great deals for happy hour (which lasts all night on Mondays). Try the oysters, tuna tartar tacos and lobster roll.

Address: 79 MacDougal Street (Greenwich Village) | Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Fri 5:00 pm – 10:30 pm, Sat/Sun 4:00 pm – 10:30/10:00 pm

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Coco & Cru – This Australian café is a great place for a healthy breakfast or a light lunch. They have a variety of breakfast dishes from açaí bowls and avocado toast to waffles and Mexican-style eggs.

Address: 643 Broadway (Greenwich Village) | Opening Hours: Mon-Thu: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm, Fri 8:00 am – 10:00 pm, Sat/Sun 9:00 am – 10:00/9:00 pm

Citizens Of Bleecker – Another Aussie coffee shop that serves healthy and yummy breakfasts and lunches. They already have a few branches in Manhattan. We loved the bright design and friendly atmosphere and the excellent selection of healthy dishes on the menu. They also have many options for vegans/vegetarians as well as gluten-free and dairy-free options on their menu. Their prices are quite friendly as well compared to the local foodie scene.

Address: Greenwich Village: 155 Bleecker St./ SoHo: 201 Lafayette St/ Chelsea: 401 W 25th St | Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30 am – 6:00 pm Sat-Sun 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Banter – One of our favorite coffee shops in the Village. It is the best place to stop for breakfast or lunch. From their excellent banana bread to healthy bowls and fresh salads, they have a great variety for every taste with lots of healthy options and gluten-free options as well! They have two branches in the area.

Address: Greenwich Village: 169 Sullivan St / West Village: 643 Hudson St | Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

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The Butcher’s Daughter – This plant-based café/restaurant is an excellent option for breakfast, brunch or lunch. The menu is strictly vegetarian with many vegan and gluten-free options. The sunny and bright setting is going to brighten up your Instagram feed, and the food is delicious. They have two branches in the area.

Address: West Village: 581 Hudson St / SoHo: 19 Kenmare St | Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 10:30/10:00 pm.

Jack’s Wife Freda – We love this coffee shop for its variety of breakfast dishes with Middle-Eastern flavors. The coffee shop was born out of a South-African-Israeli love story, and it’s a great place to grab breakfast, lunch or brunch. Many of the dishes have a Middle-Eastern twist like the rosewater waffle or green shakshuka. Other dishes also hide all kinds of flavorful surprises like the Greek salad with kale and pickled red onions. They have three branches in Chelsea, Soho and West Village.

Address: SoHo: 224 Lafayette St./ West Village: 50 Carmine St./ Chelsea: 116 8th Ave. | Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 8:30 am – – 11:00 pm, Fri-Sat 8:30 am – 12:00 am, Sun 8:30 am – 10:00 pm

West~Bourne – If you need a healthy fix of vegetables and vitamins, you’ll feel a whole lot better after visiting this vegetarian eatery. The menu is on the small scale, but the dishes are a festival of colors, creativity and flavors. Everything is super fresh and unbelievably delicious. Try the Graffiti Masala (honey-glazed eggplant over cashews, peas, and quinoa), the Sunrise Kingdom (scrambled eggs with avocado, spicy shallot labneh, pickled onions on a toasted English muffin) or Goldilocks (porridge with granola, poached blueberries and yogurt).

Address: 137 Sullivan St. | Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm daily

Sadelle’s – Sadelle’s has made a name for itself for its fabulous brunches and bagel towers. A bagel tower?! Yep, when you visit Sadelle’s, you order a bagel tower. Fresh bagels with a variety of smoked fish, fish salads and vegetables. The menu also offers all kinds of egg dishes, salads and some Jewish delights. For dessert, try the tasty cheese blintzes.

Address: 463 West Broadway (SoHo) | Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 8:00 am — 3:00 pm Fri-Sun 8:00 am — 5:00 pm

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The Doughnut Project – This place is a must for doughnut lovers. The tiny and colorful shop creates the most delicious and creative doughnuts. Some of the unique flavors include Irish Whiskey and Espresso, PB & Jelly, Chocolate ganache filled with cream, Lemon glaze and more.

Address: 10 Morton St (Greenwich Village) | Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 8:00 am -3:30 pm, Fri 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sat-Sun: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Kith Treats – Kith is a trendy clothes and lifestyle brand which was created by Ronni Fieg, a native of Queens, NYC. Fieg decided to fulfill another childhood dream and opened a concept shop that specialized in cereal. Say what?! Yes, here you can create your own milkshakes, cereal bowls and ice cream with your favorite cereal and creative toppings.

Address: 337 Lafayette St (Greenwich Village) | Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sunday: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm.

Posh Pop Bakeshop – For some coffee and gluten-free sandwiches, waffles and cakes, visit this 100% gluten-free bakery. This gluten-free bakery is known for its beautiful and flavorsome baked goods. We tried the pumpkin spice muffins and loved them!

Address: 192 Bleecker St. (Greenwich Village) | Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 8:00 am – 10:00 pm Fri-Sat 8:00 am – 11:00 pm

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Magnolia Bakery – You’ve probably heard about Magnolia Bakery before. It had provided a beautiful backdrop for many TV series, including Sex and The City. Try any of their cupcakes or their famous banana pudding.

Address: West 11th Street, 401 Bleecker St (West Village) | Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 9:30 am – 10:30 pm Fri-Sat 9:30 am – 11:30 pm

Molly’s Cupcakes – Another place for cupcake lovers is this cute shop, which is considered one of the best places for cupcakes in Manhattan. They have a great selection of old-time favorites as well as creative ones such as creme brûlée, peach cobbler, salted butterscotch caramel, and seasonal flavors. You can even create your own cupcakes and choose your favorite frosting and toppings. They have won many awards and were the winners of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Another reason to visit this cupcake shop is that a portion of their profits is donated directly to local schools.

Address: 228 bleecker St. (Greenwich Village) | Opening Hours: Mon 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, Tue-Thu 8:00 am – 10:00 pm Fri – Sat 8:00 am – 12:00 am Sun 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

Dominque Ansel Bakery – Have you heard about the cronut? It’s a fusion pastry of croissant and doughnut and Dominque Ansel invented this famous treat right here. At this spotless bakery, you will find many of Dominque’s popular and delicious creations. The most famous is the cronut, of course, but how about the chocolate chip cookie shot filled with homemade Tahitian vanilla milk, frozen s’ mores or kiwi sorbet bar? Stop by this sweet little haven for one of Ansel’s creative treats!

Address: 189 Spring St (SoHo) | Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 8:00 am – 7:00 pm, Sun 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

Balthazar – The bakery of the famous Balthazar bistro is known for its excellent baked goods, fresh rolls of bread, croissants, muffins or cakes. It’s a great place to stop for a breakfast pastry or a sandwich for lunch.

Address: 80 Spring St. (SoHo) | Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 7:30 am – 7:00 pm, Sat – Sun 8:00 am – 7:00 pm

Hopefully you’ve found our little NYC food guide helpful. One thing is for sure, you won’t stay hungry when you visit New York City. If you are foodies like us and you have any favorite places to eat in New York, recommended restaurants or favorite coffee shops, let us know in the comments so we could check them out on our next visit to the Big Apple!

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