A few highlights and favorites -
|Otto, One Fifth Avenue|
• Otto Restaurant Enoteca Pizza: Washington Square resident Mario Batali has given the neighbors excellent options for informal and high dining including this popular pizza place in the landmark One Fifth Avenue building. Grab friends to share many varieties of reliably good pizza.
|North Square, 103 Waverly Place|
• On the northwest corner of the park, North Square at the Washington Square Hotel provides a good place for taking visitors, and the restaurant's Sunday jazz brunch is very popular. In addition to afternoon tea, North Square also offers $15 lunch boxes for a nice picnic in the park. The hotel's bar is particularly conducive for conversation.
|Amélie, 22 W. 8th Street|
• Also on the north side of the park, the French owners of the new wine bar Amélie have opened the Village version of their successful San Francisco bar. Extensive wine list and small plates.
|High Heat, 154 Bleecker Street (CLOSED)|
• High Heat, (CLOSED) at 154 Bleecker Street, should have a decent chance of beating a previously jinxed spot. Waldy Malouf made Beacon on W. 56th in Midtown a hit for open fire cooking, and this new spot offers high-end burgers, wood-smoked pizzas (they're great!), and an affordable wine and beer list.
• The South Village, below the park, has two good choices for falafel, gyros, and hummus - Mamoun's Falafel (MacDougal St.) and Sam's Falafel (Thompson St.). Not offering many seats, order and take your favorite Middle Eastern pita fare to the park. Next door to Mamoun's is Caffe Reggio, one of the oldest cafes in the neighborhood.
|MacDougal Street, Greenwich Village, between Bleecker and W. 3rd Streets.|
Mamoun's Falafel and Caffe Reggio are on the right.
• MacDougal Street, one of the Village's most lively streets, has seen restaurants come and go, to put it mildly. Many of the spaces are tiny, and often a novelty food pops up for the season and then fades away. Though their food choices are limited mainly to pizza and desserts, La Lanterna Caffe is a longtime popular place for cappuccino and conversation. The garden is serene.
|LaGuardia Place, east side between W. 3rd Street and Bleecker Street.|
Left to right - Favela Cubana, dacha, and Bareburger.
• LaGuardia Place now has its mojo back with three good options on the east side of the street. Favela Cubana serves up fun Cuban-Brazilian fare, and I highly recommend their ceviche. BareBurger also packs in crowds for burgers in a wide selection of meats - elk, ostrich, etc. Go ahead and order their onion rings. They do not disappoint. Excellent beers on tap also. Newcomer dacha (CLOSED) brings vodka and caviar to the Village along with standard homemade Russian cooking. Across the street, other options include Marumi, a favorite sushi place, and Tres Giovani, for reliable pizza. If it's early and you need coffee and a buttery almond croissant, wander into Mille-feuille Bakery and say, "Bonjour."
View Dining Around Washington Square Park (updated June 2012) in a larger map
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from June 11, 2012. This post will be revised and updated.