Greenwich Village at Night or Midnight Escapades Through The Village

Greenwich Village earned its bohemian reputation early on, and artists and free-spirits of all stripes still flock here today.

There’s a nice mix of tourists, locals, and students, and it is home to some of the oldest cafés and restaurants in the city. You could spend an entire day exploring the narrow cobblestone streets and historic landmarks and still have plenty to do, especially if it’s nightlife you’re after. So what should a good visitor do after exploring the Village in the daylight? Even after the sun goes down, the options are endless, but here’s a good place to get started.

Cocktails to start the night off right…

A photo of the Stonewall Inn - Greenwich NYYou could imbibe in a different place every night and still not make a dent in the Village’s bar scene. The best part is that there’s truly a watering hole for every taste. For an evening of wine-tasting, Amelie Wine Bar is a cozy, not-too-expensive restaurant with a wait staff knowledgeable about all things wine. The focus is heavily on French vino, but there are also several offerings from around the world. Before calling it a night, try a handcrafted cocktail form Little Branch, an underground cocktail lounge with comfortable booths and an old-fashioned, speakeasy vibe. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask for the bartender’s choice. And finally, do not miss the Stonewall Inn. Their origin as the birthplace of the modern Gay Rights movement makes them a cornerstone of American history. It’s also a fun place to dance the night away.

Restaurants to feed your foodie…

The Meatball Shop NYCSometimes a name says it all. The Meatball Shop has earned devoted fans for their variations on the much-loved dish. You can order your meatballs classically prepared with beef, but spicy pork, chicken, and even veggie options are available. While certainly not a vegetarian’s delight, the menu also offers a nice variety of non-meat side dishes. If you’re in the mood for inexpensive, vegetarian fare, Mamoun’s Falafel is another Greenwich Village fixture. For more of a sit-down vegetarian experience, try by CHLOE, which serves a fully plant-based, locally-sourced menu. As with all good veggie restaurants, they serve their own version of Mac N’ Cheese, as well as a full list of salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and homemade ice creams. Sevilla is the go-to place for tapas and sangria. Like many old-school New York institutions, Sevilla has been family-run since they opened their doors in 1941.

Theater and Entertainment for those artsy types…

Check out the listings at Barrow Street Theater. With only 199 seats, this off-Broadway venue provides an intimate setting for their eclectic mix of productions that have earned them a solid reputation for great theater. Currently showing through May 2018 is Sweeney Todd; theater-goers will enjoy sitting in the middle of a recreated pie shop, and can even opt to dine on “pie and mash” before the show. For arthouse cinema lovers, check out IFC Theater, which features a wide variety of independent movies and also champions foreign and documentary films. Check their listings for festivals and special weekly programs, too. And finally, while Cornelia Street Café is more restaurant than theater, their underground space frequently puts on an interesting selection of live musical performances, storytelling, poetry readings and more.

Coffee and Dessert to curb that sweet tooth…

A photo of Cafe Reggio - Greenwich NYCaffe Reggio has a full menu but their old-world charm makes it the perfect place to share a sampling of their delicious Italian pastries. In business since the 1927, Caffe Reggio is credited with introducing cappuccino to Americans for the first time. The Uncommons bills itself as Manhattan’s first board game café, so check it out if you’re in the mood for a coffee and also feeling a little competitive. They serve a pretty standard menu of coffee drinks (beer is also available), but the draw is their huge library of games. Mille-Feuille Bakery closes at 7:00, a little on the early side for night owls, but it’s worth it if you’re in the mood for a decadent French dessert. To top off your evening with a traditional Italian coffee drink like an affogato al caffe, which consists of vanilla ice cream with espresso poured on top, stop by Amorino. If you’re in the mood for simple-but-good, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream is the place—they make their ice cream locally in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and keep their recipe down to just a few simple ingredients.

Jazz clubs to snap and tap your feet to…

The word “jazz” cannot be uttered in this neighborhood without mentioning the Village Vanguard, who proudly proclaims to have represented “jazz across many generations and aesthetic viewpoints” since 1935. The Village Vanguard was owned and operated by one man, Max Gordon, for more than six decades. After his death, his wife Lorraine—a lifelong jazz fan and author now in her 90’s—took over, and still runs the iconic club. For a decidedly different experience, head to Fat Cat. In addition to nightly performances, patrons can drink inexpensive beer and satisfy their competitive nature in games of Ping Pong, pool, and shuffleboard. For an informal jazz club where you can pay one price and hear jam sessions all night long, try Smalls. Their intimate basement setting is just right for snapping your fingers to the music of the rising jazz artists that Smalls likes to feature.

Greenwich Village is one of New York City’s greatest neighborhoods. The only letdown you’ll experience is not getting to do everything you planned!

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