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This post is a guide to things to see and do in Greenwich Village, including where to hear live music, where to dine, shop and more. This is one neighborhood you simply must explore, either on your own or with us on one of our pay-what-you-wish guided walking tours. We’ve also created a self-guided tour included in this post below. You can use it on your smart device or download and print it as a PDF. We also a have a GPS audio tour for download as well!
Generally referred to as “the Village”, this large area is bounded by 6th Avenue on the west and 4th Avenue on the east, 14th Street on the north and Houston (pronounced how-stun) Street on the south.
The neighborhoods that surround Greenwich Village are the West Village (west of 6th Ave.), the East Village (east of 4th Ave.), SoHo (south of Houston St.) and Chelsea above 14th Street.
There is plenty of transportation to this neighborhood as it is one of the most popular areas in New York City.
Be sure to read out blog posts:
M3, M8, M20, M55. TIP: Most Hop-on/Hop-Off buses will have a stop near Washington Square Park. To see if a bus tour is right for you, read our post, Which New York Bus Tour is Best?
Greenwich Village has so many sights and things to do, you could spend days here. We decided to put together a self-guided tour as a way of showing you the historical highlights of the neighborhood.
Should you have more time to wander – we’ve included some optional stops. The duration is between 90-120 minutes to complete. The distance covered is approximately 1.5 miles (2.2 km).
For a more in-depth exploration of the area, we recommend taking either our guided tour or our GPS audio tour. This tour begins at Waverly Place and continues throughout the Village ending near Washington Square Park.
Click the map to enlarge.
In the 1960s, at a time it was still dangerous to be openly gay, the Stonewall Inn was one of the very few bars that were ‘safe’ for gay patrons. On June 28, 1969, tensions between the police and the gay community resulted in a riot that went on for three nights. This was a breakthrough moment in the Gay Civil Rights Movement and one year later, on June 28, 1970, the first Gay Pride Parade in New York was held. Learn more in our post on The Stonewall Inn Riots.
For a fun evening out, check out Marie’s Crisis Cafe, named for The Crisis Papers written by American Founding Father Thomas Paine who died at that location in 1809. Across the Street is Arthur’s Tavern, where you can see rhythm & blues, Dixieland jazz & more inside a circa-1937 tavern. (For other music venues in the Village, see below).
The gated entry between #10 and #12 Grove Street bet. Bedford and Hudson Sts.
Peek in the gates at this narrow entryway to one of the Village’s best-kept secrets. The brick row houses at the back of the courtyard were originally built in 1854 to house workers at a nearby a factory. They weren’t so pretty back then. Now, houses in this quiet enclave cost over $2 million.
90 Bedford St at the corner of Grove St.
You won’t find Central Perk on the ground level of this six-story apartment building. Here, you’ll find The Little Owl restaurant instead. It’s impossible to believe that an oft-unemployed actor, a barista, a masseuse and a graduate student all lived in this impossibly expensive part of town, but that’s Hollywood for you. Find out some interesting nuggets of information on our free Greenwich Village Walking Tour.
86 Bedford St. (58 Barrow St.)
If you are wondering why there is no sign for this restaurant, go around the corner to Barrow Street and look for the arched gated entryway that leads into a courtyard. Chumleys is at the back of the courtyard. Once a speakeasy that served booze to authors like William Faulkner, Eugene O’Neill, and John Steinbeck, it’s now a restaurant. Chumleys is allegedly the birthplace of the professional kitchen term “86” (which means cancel that order). Find out the whacky story behind this on our tour.
75 1/2 Bedford St.
This sliver of a building is just 10 feet (9m) wide. It was built on what used to be a carriageway of the home next door. Many notable people have lived there over the years including Pulitzer Prize winner Edna St. Vincent Millay. (See the plaque on the house). If you aren’t already shocked that people would live in such a small home, you will be when you learn how much it cost: it’s most recent owner in 2011 paid $4.2 million.
7. Former site of C.I.A. covert LSD experiments
81 Bedford St.
In the Cold War era, the CIA attempted to create a “truth serum” to use on captured spies. C.I.A. scientists began experimenting in CIA labs with the hallucinogenic LSD. As the program, called MK-Ultra, grew and so an apartment at this building was leased and used to observe experiment participants under the influence of LSD. This program and any similar programs were stopped in 1966. A Netflix docu-drama series Wormwood chronicles the MK-ULTRA experiments.
38 Commerce St.
This 180-seat Off-Broadway theater was started in 1924 by Edna St. Vincent Millay and gained its fame for putting on ‘ahead-of-its-time’ plays. It is the city’s oldest continuously running an off-Broadway theater. Not sure what off-Broadway is? See our post explaining the difference between Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.
10 Leroy St./10 St. Luke’s Place
This house was used for the exterior shots of the Huxtables’ brownstone which was, on the show, located at 10 Stigwood Place in Brooklyn Heights. No such street exists in Brooklyn Heights! So you won’t see it on our Brooklyn Heights Tour but you will see many other homes of famous real people!
243 Bleecker St.
Several generations of Italian families have created delightful pastries and are well known for their cannoli, tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough, filled with a sweet, creamy ricotta cheese filling.
25 Carmine St. corner of Bleecker St.
Offering mass in both Italian and English, this beautifully appointed church was built in the early 1900s to serve the large Italian immigrant community that lived in the southern part of Greenwich Village.
115 Macdougal St. bet. Bleecker & West 3rd Sts.
Having fueled the careers of many individuals in the Beat, Folk, and Rock ‘n‘ Roll generations, Café Wha? is a “must see” for anyone interested in the Greenwich Village scene of the 1950s, and ’60s. Read more about Cafe Wha? here.
Most of the buildings surrounding Washington Square Park belong to the university. In 1831, NYU was founded as the first public university in New York City. It is now a private university with one of the highest tuitions of any university in the country at $41,000 per year! Their School of Law building on the corner of MacDougal Street and Washington Square South is especially lovely. Look for the NYU purple flags everywhere.
Between 10,000 and 20,000 bodies were unearthed to create this park, which becomes one of the City’s archetypical monuments, and the site of many TV and movie scenes over the years. From the character who designed the arch, Stanford White, to the characters who frequent the park, like the Pigeon Man, Washington Square Park is not to be missed. This park is the ultimate place to people watch. For more details on the Park and what to see there, check out our post, Washington Square Park.
23-29 Washington Pl. bet. Washington Square East & Greene St.
In 1911, in the sweatshop factory on the top floors of this building, a fire broke out. It rapidly spread and within the hour 146 low paid workers, mostly young immigrant women, were dead. Some leaped to their deaths from the windows to escape the blaze. The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire was a turning point in workers’ rights. Laws were enacted and unions formed to protect workers’ safety.
Small lane just north of Washington Square North, between 5th Ave. and University Place.
These quaint row houses on a cobblestoned lane were built as horse stables in the rear of the exclusive row houses that face Washington Square North. They are now used by New York University. The Mews are public so walk through and enjoy the historic charm.
52 W. 8th St. bet. 5th & 6th Aves.
This world-class recording studio was commissioned by Jimi Hendrix and his desire to have a studio with both a mellow atmosphere and state-of-the-art equipment. Tragically, Hendrix spent only two and a half months recording at the Electric Lady Studios in the summer of 1970. On September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix died from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. Among the musicians who have recorded here are the Rolling Stones, The Clash, and David Bowie, whose final album before his death, BlackStar, was made here.
If you have time to spare and would like to wander the Village, we recommend these sites, marked in purple on the map.
1. Mark Twain House
14 West 10th St bet. 5th and 6th Aves.
This circa-1850s brownstone house is one of the spookiest houses in New York City. It may look pretty on the outside but legend has it that some of the spirits of the 22 deaths that have occurred here have not left the premises. The most famous resident was author Mark Twain, who lived there for a year in 1900 (see the plaque on the building). Even though he died in Connecticut, one resident reported seeing a specter resembling Twain.
2. Jefferson Market Library
Corner of 6th Ave. and West 10th St.
The garden was once the site of a bustling outdoor market and the Victorian Gothic style building was constructed in 1877 as a courthouse. By 1927, the court heard only women’s cases. The women prisoners were held in the basement, and for one night, it housed actress Mae West when her stage act became too bawdy and she was arrested. By 1945 the building was out of use, but it was brought back to life in 1967 and reopened as a New York Public Library branch.
3. Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop
64 Perry St.
This is where Carrie lived in the tv series Sex and the City. Well, fans of SATC know that Carrie lived on the Upper West Side! So what exactly is going on here!?! Read more in our post Where did Carrie Bradshaw live? Also, be sure to grab a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery while you are nearby.
4. White Horse Tavern
567 Hudson St.
You won’t want to drink 18 straight whiskeys as poet Dylan Thomas did, but stop in for an afternoon repast and visit the tavern’s historical past dating back to the 1880s. If you like the White Horse Tavern, then you will definitely enjoy the bars on our self-guided Historic New York City Bar Tour.
Halloween Village Parade This famous parade heads uptown through the heart of the Village every October 31st. Among the classic witches and vampires, you’ll find massive and parade floats. Anyone in costume may join the parade which starts Houston Street and heads uptown along 6th Avenue.
Gay Pride Parade This parade is known worldwide began in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the beginning of the modern Gay Rights movement. During the month of June, the city is filled with LGBT Pride events, parties and festivals all culminating in the Parade held the last Sunday in June. One of the most colorful and spirited events in New York City.
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit This twice-yearly street fair showcases artists and craft artisans from around the world for two weekends around Memorial Day and two weekends around Labor Day. The fair runs along Washington Square’s east side and north along University Place to East 12th St.
Check out our post on Washington Square Park to find out about annual events and activities in Greenwich Village.
The Village is jam-packed with restaurants from the cheapest and yummiest to some of the most expensive and sublime. Below are a few of our favorites. For even more recommendations see our post, Best Greenwich Village Restaurants.
TIP: To combine your history and your snacking, join us on our free Greenwich Village Food Tour. If you prefer to go at your own pace, you can download our Self-guided Greenwich Village Food Tour.
Saigon Shack 114 MacDougal St. bet. Bleecker and West 3rd Sts. 212-228-0588. Tasty and inexpensive Vietnamese noodles and sandwiches in a lively atmosphere. Hours: Sun-Wed 11am-11pm; Thurs- Sat 11am-1am. CASH ONLY.
Mamouns 119 MacDougal St. bet. Bleecker and West 3rd Sts. No phone. Take-out only. This is the ultimate in cheap, amazingly good Middle Eastern food. A menu staple for Villagers and New York University students for over 4o years, you cannot beat the prices and the taste. They are open until 5 in the morning if you crave the best falafel in town in the middle of the night. Open every day 11am-5am.
Bleeker Street Pizza 69 7th Ave at the corner of Bleecker St. has been named New York’s Best Pizza several times in a row. They are best known for their Nonna pizza. Pizza can be purchased by the slice for less than $3. (Pizza lovers: See our post The Best Pizza in New York City by Neighborhood.)
Jane 100 W Houston St. bet. Thompson St. & Broadway. 212-254-7000. A casual American bistro located between Greenwich Village and Soho serving a value-priced brunch, lunch, and dinner. Hours: Mon 5:00pm-12:00am. Tue-Thurs. 11:30am – 12:00am. Fri & Sat 11:30am – 2:00am, Sun11:00am – 12:00am
Red Bamboo 140 West 4th St bet. 6th Ave & MacDougal St. 212-260-7049. A vegan restaurant whose food is so good that even the most avid meat eater will be won over. You can’t tell the difference between their vegan meatball sub and the real thing. Hours: Mon-Fri 12:30pm – 11:30pm; Sat & Sun 12:00pm To 11:30 pm.
John’s of Bleecker Street 278 Bleecker St. bet. Jones & Morton Sts. John’s has been serving pizza pies since 1929 and is one of the few pizzerias still using coal-fired brick ovens, not often found in New York City pizzerias. Coal ovens create a perfect balance between a crispy thin crust and perfectly melted cheese and though John’s doesn’t serve by the slice, you will have no problem gobbling down an entire small pie between two people. Large pies with lots of toppings on the menu. Great for families or groups. Cash only. Hours: Sun-Thurs 11:30am-11:30pm, Fri & Sat 11:30am-12:00am.
Minetta Tavern 113 MacDougal St. bet. Bleecker & W. 3rd Sts. 212-475-3850. Once the locale of a speakeasy and bar frequented by authors Ernest Hemingway, Eugene O’Neill, and Dylan Thomas. Serves up Parisian steak in an American tavern environment. Attire: Smart casual suggested. Hours: Dinner Sun-Wed 5:30pm-12am, Thurs-Sat. 5:30pm-1am. Lunch Wed-Fri 12pm-3pm. Brunch Sat & Sun 11am-3pm.
Lupa 170 Thompson St. bet. Houston and Bleecker Sts. 212- 982-5089. Fun trattoria with a welcoming atmosphere. Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11:30am – 11:00pm; Fri & Sat 11:30am – 12:00am. Sun 11:30am -11:00pm
Tomoe Sushi 172 Thompson St bet. Houston & Bleecker Sts. 212-777-9346. Be prepared to wait in line for huge portions of some of the freshest sushi and sashimi around. Worth the wait. Hours: Mon 5:00 pm-11:00 pm, Tue-Fri Lunch 1:00 pm-3:00 pm. Dinner 5:00 pm-11:00 pm. Sun 5:00 pm-10:00 pm. Amex and cash only.
Babbo 110 Waverly Place bet. Washington Square North and MacDougal St. 212-777-0303. Italian cuisine owned by Mario Batali, a world-renowned restaurateur and Food Network show host. Attire: Casual Elegant. Reservations a must. Hours: Dinner Mon-Sat 5:30pm – 11:30pm, Sun 5:00pm – 11:00pm. Lunch Mon-Sat11:30am – 1:30 pm.
Blue Hill 75 Washington Place bet. Washington Square West and 6th Avenue. 212-539-1776. The menu showcases local food and is located in what used to be a former “speakeasy”. Reservations a must. Hours: Mon-Sat 5:00pm – 11:00pm, Sun 5:00 pm-11:00pm.
The Village has almost as many watering holes as it does restaurants. These are some favorites. These bars most likely have a Happy Hour, a certain time of day when many bars, pubs, lounges and even some restaurants offer drink specials such as reduced prices or ‘buy one drink, get the second one free’ (often listed as 2-for-1). For a list of websites that will help you find deals and bargains in the Village and beyond, see our Happy Hour blog post.
Blind Tiger Ale House 281 Bleecker St. at the corner of Jones St. 212-462-4682. If you love your craft beer, this is the bar for you. Their menu features 28 craft beers on tap that change regularly as well as a large list of bottled beer. Wine drinkers don’t dismay, they serve wine too. The bar food is surprisingly good. Open every day 11:30am-4am.
8th Street Wine Cellar 28 W 8th St bet. 5th Ave. and MacDougal St. 212-260-9463. A cozy, under street level wine bar that carries 20 wines by the glass and 90 wines by the bottle as well as light food to complement your wine. Open every day 4pm-2am.
Stonewall Inn 53 Christopher St. at 7th Ave. 212-488-2705. Get a drink in the always festive bar “Where Pride Began”. Open every day from 2 pm-4am.
124 Old Rabbit 124 MacDougal St. bet. West 3rd and Bleecker Sts. 212-254-0575. This bar is hard to find since it carries on in the spirit of the Prohibition era of the 1920s and replicates the feel of a ‘speakeasy’. This small underground beer bar serves more than 70 imported brews. Hours: Sun-Thu 6pm-2am; Fri-Sat 6pm-4am. Cash only.
Corner Bistro 331 W. 4th St. bet. Jane St & 12th St. 212-242-9502. A village favorite for more than 30 years known for serving one of the best burgers in town to go along with your beer. Low key, friendly staff.
Bitter End 147 Bleecker St. bet. Thompson St. and LaGuardia Place. 212-673-7030. Historic music club opened in 1961 with legendary 1960’s acts before they were legendary, including Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Jim Croce, David Crosby, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie and more. You can see a wide range of musical performances and book readings at a very reasonable cover charge in an intimate and historic atmosphere.
Village Vanguard 178 7th Ave South below 11th St. 212-255-4037.This renowned jazz club opened in 1935 and it was here that such master musicians like John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and Bill Evans recorded memorable live albums. Today the Vanguard presents a great lineup of jazz performers but you’ll pay a premium for such fine music. Most shows cost $30 per person. Reservations are a good idea.
Blue Note 131 West 3rd St bet. 6th Ave. and MacDougal St. 212-475-8592, is one of the premier jazz clubs in the world featuring well-known and respected jazz and blues performers. Be prepared to pay for the excellence of its performances.
Le Poisson Rouge 158 Bleecker St. bet. Thompson and Sullivan Sts. 212-505-FISH, offers an assortment of fun, folksy, funky music, and art and comedy shows at very affordable prices in an unpretentious environment.
Cafe Wha 115 MacDougal St. at Minetta Lane. 212-254-3706. From funk to rock, jam out night nightly with the amazing house band. Reservations are recommended.
Greenwich Village is known for its excellent off-Broadway productions and comedy clubs at affordable prices.
Cherry Lane Theatre 38 Commerce St. bet. Bedford and Barrow Sts. 212-989-2020. New York City’s oldest continuously running off-Broadway theater. Since 1924, the theatre has presented the works of Eugene O’Neill, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Clifford Odets, Sam Shepard and David Mamet. Quality productions in a historic New York landmark.
Barrow Street Theatre 27 Barrow Street at 7th Ave. 212-868-4444. Catch an off-Broadway production excellent new play or classic works like of Our Town and Waiting for Godot.
Comedy Cellar 117 MacDougal St. bet. West 3rd St. and Minetta Lane. 212-254-3480. Literally underground in a cellar, this comedy club offers a chance to see a full evening of different comics both famous and up-and-coming. See our post Stretching Your Dollar at the Best NYC Comedy Clubs which included some Village venues.
The Village is known for its independent cinema and there are a few theaters where you can find indie, classic or foreign films that you won’t find playing in mainstream theaters.
Some of the best Village shopping can be found along Bleecker Street (from LaGuardia Place to Hudson Street) and 8th Street (from Broadway to 6th Ave.) and MacDougal Street (from West 3rd Street and Bleecker). If you have the time just wander through the streets and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the array of eclectic and one-of-a-kind items you will find. For more upscale items, visit the streets beyond 7th Avenue in the West Village.
Land of Buddha 128 MacDougal St. bet. 3rd and Bleecker Sts. 646-206-9466. This small shop is one of the few authentic Tibetan/Buddhist stores in the United States. They specialize in Eastern antiques, jewelry, traditional Buddhist prayer paraphernalia, Tibetan clothing and Himalayan crafts. Very much in the tradition of the ‘alternative’ aura of the Village of the 1960s. Open every day from 12:00pm-10:00pm.
The Village Tannery 173 Bleecker St. bet Sullivan and MacDougal Sts. 212-673-5444. This longtime, well-known local store sells handcrafted leather bags, wallets, belts backpacks, tote bags, laptop bags and even takes custom orders. Though the price range is hefty, these bags will last you many, many years to come. Open every day 11:00am-11:00pm.
Hamlet’s Vintage 146 West 4th St. bet 6th Ave. and Washington Square West. 212-338-1561. When shopping in the Village it is practically mandatory to visit a vintage clothing shop. This shop will satisfy vintage connoisseurs due to its array of eras, styles and reasonable prices. Open every day 12:00pm-8pm.
Chess Forum 219 Thompson St. 212-475-2369 This shop is the last of a dying breed. Once the Village had a number of chess shops, catering to the chess players who hung out in Washington Square Park, and also a larger clientele as well. The Forum is located at the original site of Grandmaster Nicolas Rossolimo’s Chess Studio where Bobby Fischer was a frequent visitor. You too can play for $5 per hour per person to play. Senior citizens pay $1 an hour and children always play free. Open every 11 am until midnight (or much later if the games continue!)
Book Book 266 Bleecker bet. Cornelia and Morton Sts. 212-807-0180. As the world of independent bookstores grows smaller, Book Book stands strong with great deals on new books, a bargain bestseller selection and a nice section of new York-related books. Open every day 11:0am-10:00pm.
C.O. Bigelow 414 Sixth Ave. bet. 8th and 9th Sts. 212-533-2700. Opened in 1838, the store is the oldest apothecary in America. This drugstore/cosmetics shop carries its own line of nice-smelling lotions and perfumes as well as every-day items you could buy at a chain store, but it wouldn’t be as much fun. Stepping in Bigelow is a step back in time. Open M-F 7:30 am – 9 pm; Sat 8:30 am-9 pm; Sun 8:30 am – 5:30 pm.
HOTELS AND OTHER ACCOMMODATIONS
Finding inexpensive accommodations in the center of Greenwich Village can be a challenge. Part of the charm of the neighborhood is that there are no large chain hotels. Instead, you will find smaller, intimate hotels in older buildings that have been upgraded to include the modern facilities that you desire in a hotel. These tend to run $300 a night and up. The farther away from the Village you are willing to stay, the more money you will save. For example, staying closer to Tribeca or the outskirts of SoHo at a chain hotel will cost you less and still allow you to walk into Greenwich Village in 15 minutes or less. TIP: Before you book a hotel for your trip, be sure to check out our blog post on locating cheap accommodations in New York City.
Inexpensive (Under $200 a night)
Unfortunately, it’s slim pickings when it comes to inexpensive hotels in Greenwich Village. You might find better rates at an Airbnb. Here are the two hotels under $200 a night still around.
The Jane 113 Jane Street. This hotel also has shared bathrooms to help keep the costs down (though they do have rooms with private bathrooms). Though it is on the outskirts of Greenwich Village, it is located near the High Line and the Meat Packing District in Chelsea.
Incentra Village House 32 Eighth Avenue between West 12th and Jane Sts. This very small hotel occupies two brick landmark townhouses built in 1841. Their 11 attractive studios, some with fireplaces and all with private bathrooms, have Victorian- charm and modern amenities like air conditioning, television, and coffeemakers.
Moderate ($200+ a night)
Washington Square Hotel 103 Waverly Place between MacDougal St. and Washington Square North. 212-777-9515. Location, location, location. It doesn’t get better than this in the moderate price range. Rooms are small but comfortable. With so much to do in the Village, you’ll hardly be in your hotel.
Hampton Inn SoHo 54 Watts St. near Sixth Ave. 212-226-6288 or 800-426-7866. Though closer to TriBeCa and SoHo, this modern, full amenity hotel is a 15-20 minute walk away from the central Village with several buses and subway lines right outside. It’s is a great location to explore other neighborhoods as well.
Marriott Courtyard SoHo 181 Varick St. bet. King and Charlton Sts. 212-414-8282. Like the Hampton Inn, the Courtyard SoHo is not in Greenwich Village, but it is one block south of its boundaries. The location is convenient and the rooms are what you’d expect from a Marriott, clean and decently-sized.
Expensive ($300+ a night)
The Marlton 5 West 8th St. bet. 5th and 6th Aves. This boutique, nine-story hotel is in a prime Village location with cozy rooms in a historic building with lots of character.
The Jade 52 West 13th St. bet. 5th and 6th Aves. 212-375-1300 A small boutique hotel located on a quiet street near all the action. Rooms are romantically decorated in the art-deco style of the 1920s. Worth the splurge.
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