Joe Dobias' Favorite Restaurants in the West Village

Neighborhood Guides

Locals' guides to New York neighborhoods.

View Joe Dobias' West Village in a larger map.

Although Joe Dobias lives in the West Village, where there are plenty of trendy restaurants, the chef is all about mom-and-pop places. He and his wife, Jill, who live next to Carbone, spend most of their time at their latest restaurant Joe and Misses Doe, but they still make it to some of their favorites in the Village. While the chef, who's far from shy from expressing his opinion, says that smaller restaurants are less common these days, there are plenty of good ones mixed with others that have been around forever. Here are some of this favorites.

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Pizza: We just had it last night. My favorite slice is Joe's for New York style. In the Neapolitan style: Keste. I go on off hours usually when it's easier to get in. You feel like you're in this little space, it's really fun and they have stuff from Rome. I think it's damn good pizza. I think that in general, people over-emphasize ingredients. I think Keste gives it a good balance.

Burger: Daddy-O on Bedford and Leroy. It's been there 12 years or more now. He has an amazing jewel of a bar that's surrounded by million-dollar town houses. They don't charge $22 or $25 for a burger. It's the best in the West Village, not a gilded lily. The burgers aren't injected with anything and there's no special sauce. It's a good quality piece of meat and it's consistent. I can order a medium-rare burger and it tastes right every time.

[Photograph: Kathy YL Chan]

What's New On Serious Eats

Bakery: I like Milk and Cookies. I'm not really a sweets guy. I don't fully get frozen yogurt and stuff like that. But I do like the idea of a good quality ice cream. I like that this place is an owner-operated biz. She's not afraid to charge the prices she needs to but she's not trying to rip you off. I's her own true vision.

Coffee: I don't know like any of the coffee brewers or any of that stuff. I'm going to get flak for this, but I drink Starbucks. When I first met Jill, I drank Dunkin' Donuts. It's not that I don't like a good cup of coffee, but I don't like the long-winded explanations. They tell you can't have your milk steamed this way and that way...that's stupid. It's not something that I care to debate about. I just want my caffeine.

Breakfast: Silver Spur. It's very generically New York. You can walk in and have eggs at 12 o'clock. It's always pretty good. I don't really do a lot of breakfast. Usually I'm on my work by then.

Falafel: Other places try to do it, but it's not the same as Mamoun's. They have that spicy sauce that you have to have. It's one of those foods that's nostalgic, too. They keep the prices reasonable as well. I like the simplicity of the stuff without high design and posturing. I think they do two or three things well and they focus on them. That's why they've survived for so long.

Bar: I definitely like Daddy-O. It's my go to. It's been that way a long time. Daddy-O is the place that I go five out of six times. It's a very eclectic crowd. It bridges the gap between different groups. A lot more famous chefs than me go there, people I look up to will be there.

[Photograph: Brent Herrig]

Date night: Tertulia would be our go to. You really feel the ownership when you go there. You see Seamus there. Seamus's partner is working behind the bar. It's very comforting to see someone who cares that much to be there because it shows. The consistency and quality is there from breakfast to dinner. Kin Shop is a close second. The duck laarb is pretty much something we get every time. If we go to a place more than once, it's pretty amazing. Harold can't be in the kitchen all the time with three places, but he's around. I think he still has a connection to his places. Someone is there and they give a shit.

Italian: I love going to Po. It's a neighborhood place people go to year after year. The bartender remembers your name. That doesn't really happen too often now.