Last Updated on 28th June 2019 by Sophie Nadeau
Accurately named for its location on the lower west side of Manhattan, New York’s West Village is a quaint cultural area chock-full of amazing hidden gems and secret spots situated in the Greenwich Neighbourhood district of NYC.
Compared to the famous hustle and bustle of the City That Never Sleeps, the West Village provides a calm oasis of tree-lined streets, quiet coffee shops, foodie havens, and a rich arts scene. The site of the historic Stonewall Inn and commonly referred to as an urban bohemia, the West Village is a cultural icon with tons to offer. Here are some of the best West Village secret spots!
Address | 38-64 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014, USA
While the Stonewall Inn, site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots and the subsequent epicentre of the gay liberation movement, is not an unknown spot to visit in the West Village, many overlook the Stonewall National Monument in Christopher Park. Sponsored by the National Park Service, this little square on the end of Christopher Street sits adjacent to the famed tavern.
With significant tree coverage, plenty of benches, and a curated garden thanks to its National Monument status, Christopher Park is the perfect place to relax, soak up some history, and contemplate your time in the West Village. The white statues (pictured above), crafted by George Segal and depicting two same-sex couples, add to the ambience of acceptance and universal love.
McNulty’s Tea and Coffee Company
Address | 109 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014, USA
Just a few blocks from the Stonewall Inn, still on Christopher Street, lies McNulty’s Tea and Coffee Company. If you want to step into a piece of New York City history, McNulty’s is the place to be! McNulty’s imports coffee beans and loose leaf teas from around the world, which they store and display in traditional apothecary jars.
Still in its original 1895 location, McNulty’s sports traditional scales and grinders that fill the shop with rich aromas of coffee beans. While McNulty’s is the optimal spot for your caffeine needs, it is a West Village secret spots not just because of its wares, but because of the friendly, knowledgeable employees who are always up for a chat. Check store hours here.
Address | 264 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014, USA
France doesn’t necessarily have the monopoly on good cheese; Murray’s Cheese gives traditional French fromageries a run for their money with its high-quality products and distinct American flare. In Murray’s original location at 254 Bleecker Street, where it has provided the West Village with fresh eggs and dairy since 1940, you will find a cheese counter stocked with both American and foreign staples.
In addition, Murray’s offers plenty of grab and go cheese and dairy centred items, perfect for your afternoon picnic needs (perhaps even in nearby Christopher Park)! The 254 Bleecker Street location also sports the popular Murray’s Melts, a small counter in the cheese shop where customers can order a variety of sandwiches and salads that feature Murray’s favourite cheeses.
For an even more American take on cheese, head a few doors down to 250 Bleecker Street to Murray’s Mac and Cheese. Murray’s Mac and Cheese, a celebration of the favourite American food, offers a unique build-your-own mac and cheese model, as well as innovative creations such as buffalo chicken or French onion mac and cheese.
The crowning jewel of Murray’s Mac is the option to top any mac creation with a 4 ounce Murray’s burrata for a truly cheesy experience! For full opening times of this West Village must-see, (as well as when Cheese Melts are actually sold!) check the cheese deli’s website here.
Address | 90 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014, USA
No visit to the West Village would be complete without strolling by the apartment building where Monica and Rachel lived in the mega sitcom Friends. The exterior of the building at the corner of Bedford and Grove featured prominently in the show, and while Central Perk is alas not a real place, you can pop into The Little Owl (pictured below) for a modern Mediterranean meal and pretend Rachel and Monica are pattering around upstairs.
The West Village’s culturally inclusive nature extends to its shopping scene, though its economic inclusiveness may not! Once plagued by closures and empty storefronts, five blocks of Bleecker Street in the West Village have been reinvigorated thanks to the demand for high-end shopping.
But the commercial staples haven’t stamped out the eccentric West Village charm; peppered among global commercial powerhouses like Jo Malone, Caudalie, and Maje, you can find quirky outposts like the Zena Clairvoyant Giftshop and the ever-popular Bantam Bagels brick-and-mortar.
Flanked by tree-lined streets and brownstones, Bleecker Street is the perfect place for a mid-afternoon stroll. Grab an ice cream at the Italian import, Grom, or vegan-friendly Van Leeuwen and shop until your heart (but not your bank account) is content!
Bosie Tea Parlor
Address | 10 Morton St, New York, NY 10014, USA
If you have a hankering for French pastries and need a place to rest your feet, weary from visiting all these amazing West Village locations, look no further than the Bosie Tea Parlor. Located on Morton Street and featuring over 100 loose-leaf teas, the Bosie Tea Parlor provides the old world charm one goes searching for when coming to the West Village.
Stop in for a chance to munch on a traditional Paris-Brest, or opt for something more adventurous like the Darjeeling Tart or, my personal favourite, the Raspberry Montebello. The Parlor is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and additionally offers full tea service from noon until 9 pm. Check directions to the bakery and their opening times here.
BONUS – Luke the Big Orange Dog
For the true hidden gem of the West Village, take a stroll down Morton Street and keep your eyes peeled for a large orange (fox red) Labrador peeking out from one of the window boxes. Famous among West Village natives for sticking his head out of his window and begging for pets, Luke the Big Orange Dog has gained many fans in his neighbourhood and on Instagram @mybigorangedogblog.
You can find him at his window, which is marked with a THIS IS LUKE sign, or at many dog-friendly places in the West Village! 100% worth taking the time to steal a pat, cuddle, or pic!