Travel

West Village Specialty

Establishment neighborhood
Dominique Ansel Kitchen
137 Seventh Ave., West Village
Dominique Ansel Kitchen (sorry, no cronuts here) lends the same magic that makes open kitchens so appealing in a restaurant environment to a bakery, meaning you can watch pastry chefs construct the elaborate, brownies, Pavlovas, tarts, and a handful of savory dishes (the croque monsieur is the epitome of decadence), from scratch, right as you order them. The soft-serve window is where you’ll find Ansel’s interpretation of the ice cream sundae: A heaping pile of whole-milk soft serve in very Ansel-like flavors, like What-a-Melon Soft Serve, sprinkled with with tiny dark chocolate seeds and served with a fresh slice of watermelon. As of now, the window is operating Wednesday through Sunday.
Van Leeuwen
152 W. 10th St., West Village
Whether you’ve had Van Leeuwen on the streets of Brooklyn or parked up on Abbot Kinney, it’s instantly recognizable by its sunny yellow truck. They’re particularly famous for their vegan ice cream, a combination of cashew milk, coconut milk, cocoa butter, and carob beans that’s incredibly creamy and indulgent (and a major victory for the dairy-sensitive). They’ve got a few locations now: Greenpoint, Boerum Hill, and Williamsburg in Brooklyn; the East and West Villages in Manhattan; and the Arts District and Culver City in LA. You can always track their many food trucks on their website.
O Cafe
482 6th Ave., West Village
Good Brazilian pão de queijo is weirdly hard to come by in the city, but anyone who's had a taste of these gluten-free cheesy puffs will tell you that sniffing them out is a worthwhile cause. Not only does this Greenwich Village café churn out really good Brazilian pastries; it also sources coffee almost exclusively from Brazil, South America, and Africa. What’s more, the space itself is comfortable and welcoming, so you never feel like you and your laptop are unwanted.
Toby’s Estate
44 Charles St., West Village
This is one of few places around that roasts their own beans, which are responsibly sourced from all over the globe. Meanwhile all four Toby's Estate locations (the other three are spread out between Williamsburg, Flatiron, and Midtown) are consistently simple and comfortable in design—think communal tables, couches, and excellent lighting. Yes, it's a great set-up for work, but also worth stopping by on your day off for a simple and hearty lunch. (They also offer a random assortment of classes in everything from art to cupping.)
Murray’s Cheese Shop
254 Bleecker St., West Village
Murray's seems to import every conceivable cheese in production for public consumption, and has a staff that can happily walk you through (and sample) all of them. There are cheese cave tours offered for those who want to learn even more and delicious sandwiches—or melts—for anyone who wants more than just a few hunks of the good stuff. While they supply most of Manhattan with their cheese plate offerings, they also ship across the states. There's also an outpost at the Grand Central Market.
Murray’s Cheese Shop
254 Bleecker St., West Village
Murray's seems to import every conceivable cheese in production for public consumption, and has a staff that can happily walk you through (and sample) all of them. There are cheese cave tours offered for those who want to learn even more and delicious sandwiches—or melts—for anyone who wants more than just a few hunks of the good stuff. While they supply most of Manhattan with their cheese plate offerings, they also ship across the states. There's also an outpost at the Grand Central Market.
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