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The 5 Best Wine Bars in the West Village, NYC: The Locals’ Pick

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2 months ago

There are few places in New York which boast such a high concentration of establishments serving incredibly well-curated wine, and that’s because West Village locals love to indulge in wine. And the best wine bars in the West Village have delivered.

We’ve curated the best of the West Village wine scene – and we’ll admit it now: it’s not always the case that the best wine and best wine experience is to be had at a wine bar. And it’s a simple reason: wine is better with food (and West Village has amazing restaurants). More often than not, restaurants with excellent sommeliers completely transform the experience and serve amazing bottles that you wouldn’t get elsewhere.

We want to take a moment to mention Anfora which was consistently mentioned by West Village locals and visitors alike. Unfortunately, Anfora permanently closed in the first quarter of 2024. We hope it’ll return to life one day so we can all indulge in their extensive list of organic wines and uncommon wines.

LELABAR

If you’re looking for an establishment that is only a wine bar, then LELABAR is your answer for one of the best wine bars in the West Village right now. Of course, like all good wine bars, they serve great food to bring out the flavors of your wine, but what the team at LELABAR does best is serve wine – and specifically the right wine for you after speaking with you about your tastes and preferences.

One of the reasons that LELABAR is so special is because, frankly, it could have been pretentious. But it simply isn’t. It’s warm, inviting, cozy – and they still do happy hour on the weekend because their target market is West Village regulars. And yet somehow this is a spot which oozes romance from the moment you walk in, so it’s perfect for an intimate date on a Saturday night.

LELABAR is right in the heart of West Village and has established itself as the go-to wine bar of the West Village at the moment. They boast a huge selection of wines by the glass; so if your drinking partner doesn’t want to try that orange wine with you, wine by the glass will solve that. (Or persuasion, but probably best to let them get their own choice.)

If we can give one crucial recommendation, it is to befriend your waitperson. The whole team is armed with the knowledge to help you get to a wine that you’ll love, and they’ll be more inclined to apply that knowledge when you speak with a smile.

Aria

Aria first built a name for itself for serving wine produced by female vintners, but that doesn’t mean the standard is somehow lowered because there is a smaller selection. Aria has curated the best wines in its category. Their wine list is as strong as any of the best wine bars in West Village and is actually very fairly priced.

If you ask West Villagers what they love about Aria, more often than not it’s the food. That might get you thinking that Aria’s food is better than its wine, but that’s not the whole story. As we mentioned earlier, no one expects the food at a wine bar to be so good, but Aria’s traditional cicchetti (essentially Venetian tapas) is incredible, especially the octopus dish (wow) – and it’s designed to complement the incredible selection of wine from around the world.

Aria is the right choice for a first date, but only if you’re willing to raise your voice. There is an amazing vibe in the tiny space that Aria occupies, but it can be quite loud. This is the West Village neighborhood staple because of its fair prices, great selection, honest service and cool vibe.

Stafili

Stafili is your choice for a casual glass of wine in the West Village. If you’re a wine aficionado, you might recognize Stafili for its Greek connection. Stafili serves a huge variety of Greek wines from Mandilaria to Yiannoudi, but they don’t stop there: there’s plenty of wines from around the world.

A slight warning: Stafili is a smaller wine bar with fewer resources. That means that your experience there can be a little inconsistent. Sometimes you have a waiter who knows the game, and other times you don’t get quite what you want. But one thing we can confirm is that the owner is a true wine lover and expert, and he makes it his mission to make sure that every glass you have is something you actually want.

It’s for this reason that Stafili is, in the books of many a West Villager, a true neighborhood gem and one of the best wine bars in the West Village.

Stafili is the suggestion to keep in your backpocket for when your friends inevitably ask for a good wine bar after walking around Meatpacking that doesn’t need a reservation. It’s not pretentious, there’s no need for a reservation, and the food comes out on a proper plate (which can be a real plus as far as wine bars go).

The design of Stafili is also very romantic. In my opinion, Stafili’s does half the work on the date night.

Libertine

Libertine is first and foremost a restaurant, but the team here has carefully selected one of the best French wine menus in the West Village. If you do it right, this is the place that draws you in with the food and keeps you coming back with the wine. Libertine is also one of the new kids on the block, having opened in 2023.

But in its short life, Libertine has managed to have quite an impact on West Villagers. It’s often heard by locals that everyone wants to try the new restaurants in the neighborhood as soon as possible because the standard is so high that even the good ones are at risk of shutting down. We think Libertine will be around for quite some time, and a good measure of that is that the food is good and the wine is good.

The best suggestion for a small meal and wine at Libertine is to order the steak tartare and a glass of red wine (speak to the team about their suggestions) to cap off an elevated West Village wine bar experience.

Entwine

If you were to visit all of bars serving wine in the West Village, we’re willing to bet that one of your favorites will be Entwine, West Village’s favorite hole-in-the-wall cocktail bar. That’s right, cocktail bar. But somehow Entwine is actually a great choice for wine.

Entwine hardly has the most extensive menu of wines, but what they do have is very considered. They’ve also created a beautiful space to soak in the live music. The whole vibe feels like it’s designed to draw you back. This is a place that wants repeat customers, not one-timers, and that means the emphasis on service and quality is paramount for them.

Entwine is located off the main drag of Hudson Street, so it’s a lot easier to get a table here than other places. It’s also got the perfect environment for springtime sipping.


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