West Village Eats: Where to Eat Near IFC Center

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Photo via Tertulia

Since opening its doors in 2005, IFC Center has become one of the best arthouse movie theaters in Manhattan, showing everything from Oscar-winning features and shorts to rare independent films and brilliant ongoing repertory programs. Whether you’re escaping the summer heat and hiding away with Christian Petzold’s fascinating Phoenix or coming for a weekly midnight movie, you’re sure to work up an appetite soaking up all that cinema. With an overwhelming number of dining options in the West Village to choose from, knowing just where to have a meal can be stressful. To help, here are five great restaurants near IFC Center.

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Photo via Murray’s

Murray’s Cheese Bar 

264 Bleecker St., New York, NY

From the good folks that brought you the cheese sensation Murray’s, the Bleecker Street companion Murray’s Cheese Bar offers some of the most rich and delicious food in the neighborhood. Come for a bite before a movie and order a large glass of red wine paired with a well-curated cheese plate and return after for a hearty Murray’s melt or refined mac & cheese. 

What to Order: Murray’s Melt, Mac & Cheese, Cheese Bar Sliders, Kale Sprouts
Distance from IFC Center: A 3 minute walk

Cornelia Street Cafe

29 Cornelia St., New York, NY

Since 1977, Cornelia Street Cafe has been a beacon for the West Village’s thriving creative community. From artists and actors to poets and patrons, this beloved landmark serves up delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day in a cozy and welcoming cafe setting. Come for dinner and feast on their steak frites and return after you take in a movie for a cocktail and live jazz.

What to Order: Steak Frites, Eggs Benedict, Bistro Burger
Distance from IFC Center: Less than a 3 minute walk

Home

20 Cornelia St., New York, NY

This intimate and inviting West Village staple features a delectable seasonal menu in a romantically rustic setting. Dine under the stars in their garden patio or cozy up inside with tried and true favorite dishes like the mac n’ cheese and pork belly. Make sure to save room for their heavenly chocolate and butterscotch puddings or their flourless chocolate cake.

What to Order: Pork Belly, Mac n’ Cheese, Heirloom Tomato Salad
Distance from IFC Center: A 2 minute walk

paella

Photo via Tertulia

Tertulia

If you’re in the mood for sophisticated and unique Spanish cuisine, Chef Seamus Mullen has you covered at Tertulia. From award-winning seafood tortas and flavorful cured meats to their praised paella, this charming rustic restaurant is sure to satisfy your post-movie cravings and become your new go-to for exquisite Spanish fare in the neighborhood. (359 6th Avenue)

What to Order: Tosta Matrimonio, Paella del Huerto
Distance from IFC Center: A 2 minute walk

Pearl Oyster Bar  

18 Cornelia St., New York, NY

Reinventing “beach food” for the refined palates of the West Village, Pearl Oyster Bar is one of Manhattan’s best restaurants for satisfying seafood cravings. Choose from a to-die-for lobster roll, fried oysters and seafood stews, and order a glass of wine and spend your lunch or dinner in this cozy and quaint Cornelia Street spot chatting about the movie you just watched.

What to Order: Lobster Roll, Fried Oyster Roll, Little Neck Clams
Distance from IFC Center: A 2 minute walk

The Best of Midtown Manhattan: Where to Eat Near Bryant Park

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Photo: John Gillespie

Bryant Park is something of an oasis in Manhattan—the New York Public Library and wide open space (when not occupied by an ice skating rink) offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of midtown. That the park is dangerously close to Times Square means that most of its surrounding food options are counter-serve chains, ranging from Starbucks and Panera to Le Pain Quotidien and Pret A Manger. There’s no shortage of sandwiches and salads, but what if you’re looking for food that’s more than just fuel? Here’s our pick of restaurants near Bryant Park, from one-of-a-kind sandwicheries to authentic Asian eats and a taste of old New York.

Cafe Zaiya

1073 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY

Located on the second floor of the bookstore Kinokuniya, Cafe Zaiya is more of a Japanese bakery than anything else. Though cream puffs and flaky, donut-like pastries are the speciality, the café, which has a nearby location close to Grand Central, is a go-to for lunch with savory options like premade bento boxes and onigiri, seaweed-wrapped rice balls.

Good for: To-go Japanese lunch

What to get: One of the bento boxes, a to-go lunchbox with any combination of fish, meat, rice, and vegetables.

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Photo: Bento box at Cafe Zaiya (credit: Stu Spivack)

Untamed Sandwiches

43 W 39th St, New York, NY

If you’re a sandwich eater, you can thank Untamed Sandwiches for saving you from the banality of fast-casual lunch chains. Since opening its doors in January 2015, this specialist of slow-braised meat has been drawing armies of desk job folk during peak lunch hours for sandwiches, hearty and creative in both name and ingredients. The wood-lined space is casual and small with less than 20 stools, split between a communal table and window seating. It’s open for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner, so you might as well stop by on a hungover Friday morning for an egg sandwich.

Good for: Workday lunch, to sit or to go

What to get: The Hot Goldie, beef short-rib, red onion, sweet and sour cabbage, black pepper aioli on ciabatta roll

Keen’s Steakhouse

72 W 36th St, New York, NY

Of all the New York steakhouses dotted around Midtown Manhattan, Keen’s is the one to try for a taste of old New York. It’s been around since 1885, and everything about the place resembles a traditional dinner club, from the white tablecloths and wood-paneled walls to its mutton chops and creamed spinach specialities.

Good for: A classy steak dinner

What to get: Go surf and turf with an order of oysters and the legendary mutton chop.

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Photo: Keen’s Steakhouse (credit: Edsel Little)

Ootoya 

141 W 41st St, New York, NY

If you’re craving Japanese and have time to sit and stay a while, consider Ootoya, an outpost of a Tokyo izakaya chain. The menu features the Japanese equivalent of comfort food, specializing in set menus consisting of a main dish like breaded and deep-fried pork or chicken, served with miso soup, rice, pickled vegetables, and egg custard. There’s sushi, soba, udon and more, making it a one-stop shop for a well-priced and satisfying Japanese meal.

Good for: Reasonably-priced sit-down lunch or dinner

What to get: Tonkatsu teishoku (set meal with breaded pork loin) or homemade soba

Szechuan Gourmet

The name might be ordinary, the outdoor facade drab, and the interior basic, but Szechuan Gourmet on 39th Street is one of New York’s most authentic spots for spicy cuisine. You don’t come here for General Tso’s chicken (though it is on the menu and very good), but for fiery Szechuan specialities.

21 W 39th St, New York, NY

Good for: A casual sit-down for hot and spicy authentic Chinese

What to get: The tea-smoked duck, sliced pork belly with chili leeks, and ma po tofu with chili-minced pork.