So You Can't Get Into the Spotted Pig? Where to Eat Instead

The Spotted Pig

The burger you aren't eating. [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

We've all been there: you're ready for your night out, have a date or some friends in tow, and...the restaurant you're going to has an hour and a half wait. Womp womp. So where do you go instead?

We're digging into our restaurant database to answer that very question. First up? The Spotted Pig, home to a legendary burger and equally legendary waits. Here are some alternatives for when April Bloomfield's deservedly popular gastropub is just too full.

Just Around the Corner

The Marrow from The Marrow

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

The Marrow, Harold Dieterle's love letter to his German and Italian heritage, isn't much of a gastropub, but there's some great food on the menu (that namesake marrow, for starters) and best of all, some open seating. On OpenTable you can find reservations for two- and four-tops at reasonable times this Friday, and that's not counting space at the bar.

Burgers Elsewhere

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There's a great burger at Bill's Bar & Burger. [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

You can't get a Spotted Pig burger but you still want a burger, damn it! We hear you, and hey, now you can get one with a topping other than blue cheese. A short walk away you'll find Bill's Bar & Burger, where the fast food-style smashed burgers come with LaFrieda beef just like the Spotted Pig's, but for far less dough. Closer in style to Spotted Pig's, but about a half mile walk away, you'll find Blue Ribbon Bakery Kitchen, a thick, straightforwardly beefy burger that's plenty good in its own right. There's Corner Bistro, too, but read our take before you head there sober.

Something Different

Beer Braised Tongue at Empellon

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

If you're willing to go for New American instead of New British, Commerce has a slightly cheaper menu with everything from biscuits and sausage gravy to short rib ravioli. (It also has one of our favorite bread baskets in New York). There's also something to be said for Empellon, which has some open seats, a similarly fun, casual vibe, an excellent menu of dressed-up Mexican food, and cocktails to make the shift in your evening just fine.

While You're Waiting

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The Mata Hari at Orient Express. [Photograph: Paul Yee]

Decided to wait for your Spotted Pig table after all? You'll need a drink while you do so. Orient Express just down the street is a cocktail bar worth visiting (we're fans of their bourbon-mezcal-ginger business), as is the bar at the Marrow.

What About You?

What are your Spotted Pig / West Village Plan B spots? Let us know in the comments.

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the New York editor and ice cream maker in residence at Serious Eats. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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