Winter Restaurant Week is now in full swing. Make your reservations early and score those OpenTable points.
If you’re trying somewhere new with friends, celebrating a special occasion, or moving on from just drinks to a dinner date, we understand you might not want the night to end after the three-course meal. Possibly your reservation is a little later in the evening. Whatever the situation, we’ve got you covered with a list of some of our favorite restaurants participating and close by bars to keep the good times going.
You are unlikely to find me very far uptown, so this list is concentrated around my stomping grounds.
1. North Square
Tucked in the basement of the Washington Square Hotel, when you walk into North Square you’ll question if you should be here with your parents. If you are with your parents, you made a good choice. The restaurant provides a grownup atmosphere where you can hear each other talk and great service.
Grab a drink in the area at Kettle of Fish. Established in 1950, the bar made its name as a hangout for aspiring bohemians like Jack Kerouac and Bob Dylan. Today you’ll find an eclectic mix of people from around the neighborhood and Green Bay Packers fans.
2. Left Bank
If any New York neighborhood channels the artistic vibes of La Rive Gauche in Paris, it would be the West Village with its rich social and cultural history. The menu is New American with European influence and will not disappoint.
The best bar in the area is Automatic Slims. The antithesis of the nearby clubs in the Meatpacking District, and always a good time. This neighborhood bar is a known celeb hangout with friendly bartenders. During the week it’s low key, but don’t be surprised when the crowd gets rowdy on the weekends. Philip Seymour Hoffman was spotted here in his final hours.
3. Perry Street
Jean-Georges Vongeritche doesn’t disappoint, and Perry Street is no exception. Be prepared to travel very far west, the restaurant is on its namesake street and the West Side Highway with floor to ceiling glass overlooking the Hudson.
Employees Only is a West Village establishment with great cocktails. It’s narrow, but the long bar that accommodates the busy crowd.
The Provençal-themed restaurant stands alone in New York City’s residential Gold Coast, the seven-block stretch of Fifth Avenue between 14th Street and Washington Square Park. It’s charming, and you’d expect to see the decor on Pinterest.
There are strong options for drinks on 8th Street. Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor has a rotating selection of 24 craft beers on tap in a cozy, quiet room that feels like your living room. Analogue offers spacious seating, a knowledgeable staff, and bespoke cocktails.
5. Il Cantinori
A New York standby that first introduced the city to elevated Italian more than 30 years ago. It was also the would-be venue for Carrie’s 35th birthday celebration on Sex and the City. Unfortunately, all of her friends stood her up.
Reservoir Bar is the place to grab a beer if you don’t mind an NYU crowd. Corkbuzz is a destination for grownups with a staff of sommeliers and wine flights.
6. Bar Primi
At Bar Primi, lock down one of the comfy booths upstairs for the best seat to enjoy your pasta.
You can’t go wrong with cocktails at The Wren across the street, but you should know it gets crazy on the weekends. Von on Bleecker is a great place to meet people any night. On the weekend, go to the basement and lose track of time on sunken dance floor
When you find yourself on Avenue C, you’ll want to make a night of it. Luckily at Virginia’s, you’ll have an excellent meal and a some of the best drinking options on the east side.
The Wayland has a solid crowd any time and bartenders that know what they are doing. You don’t need to feel guilty about having a few Garden Margaritas, because kale juice. Cash-only Zum Schneider serves massive beer steins and an authentic Munich experience. Lois was the city’s first all-draft wine bar. You won’t find any bottles here, and they have a no tipping policy. Alphabet City Beer Co. can be a little sleepy but offers plush couches for intimate conversation.
I can’t go to this farm-to-table restaurant in The Standard East Village without thinking about Draco Malfoy’s mother. This vegetable heavy menu is consistently both interesting and delicious. The scene on the east side is significantly more subdued than you’ll find at Le Bain, the Boom Boom Room or The Biergarten.
There are endless drink options in the area. If you’re waiting for a table, The Scratcher is the perfect neighborhood bar. It’s easy on the wallet and only a few steps around the corner. If tequila agrees with you, go to Mayahuel for some of the best margaritas in the City. Jimmy’s No. 43 is perfect for any beer lover with an impressive selection and friendly staff that will always give you a sample. Head to Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen for happy hour deals and to mingle with the crowd.