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Hot Streets: West Eighth Restaurant Boom

The stretch of West Eighth Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues in the Village has long been known as a place of shoe shops, merely serviceable restaurants aimed at NYU students … and not much else. But this micro-neighborhood is changing quickly. First came Neta, a highly regarded modern Japanese spot; now, within the last two months, a number of bars, restaurants and cafes have opened up, with even more soon to come. Mark our words, it’s the next destination block.

 

Hot Street West 8th

 

1. Stumptown Coffee
The nationally acclaimed coffee roaster just opened in a historic building once home to Eighth Street Bookshop, a historic center of literary activity in the ’50s and ’60s. It’s Stumptown’s first stand-alone cafe in New York (and second outlet in the city; the other is in the Ace Hotel). It’s a stunning, lofty space with bookish touches and a coffee bar where you can not only choose from among Stumptown coffees, but also by which method they’re prepared–whether in a French press, in coffee-nerd gadgets like an AeroPress or in drippers such as a ceramic Bee House or glass Chemex. 30 W. 8th St., 347-414-7802, stumptowncoffee.com

2. Burger Joint
This well-loved burger joint long had a single outpost, “hidden” in the upscale Le Parker Meridien hotel. Now it’s opened a second on West Eighth, with the same basic menu of burgers and the usual sides, plus beer and milkshakes. 33 W. 8th, 212-432-1400, burgerjointny.com

3. Greenwich Project
This beautifully designed two-story townhouse opened in April as a New American restaurant under the direction of chef Carmine DiGiovanni, with a menu of creative small plates downstairs and a fine-dining dinner menu on the second floor. It’s from the same team as popular bars Mulberry Project and Vinatta Project; as such, there’s also a robust craft cocktail program, with drinks designed by mixologist John McCarthy. 47 W. 8th, 212-253-9333, projectgroupnyc.com

4. Matsunosuke
A popular Japanese bakery, with three outlets in Japan, will open its first United States location. The bakery has made a name for itself with Japanese versions of American classics, such as cheesecakes and apple pie. 58 W. 8th, matsunosukepie.com/index_en.html

5. Culture
One of the city’s best yogurt shops, Culture in Park Slope, Brooklyn, is distinguished by the fact that all of its yogurt is made in-house, as well as by its rotating flavors and toppings. Its second location is soon to open on West Eighth. 60 W. 8th, www.cultureny.com

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