The famous, daddy-o’s, chicks, cool cats, and everyone in between are welcome at Dante’s original West Village location, Dante’s Caffe — a more than 100-year-old mainstay, where you come to “embrace life’s simple pleasures,” including its award-winning beverage program (including a b*tchin’ negroni selection), modern Italian cuisine and more.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Andrew Williams Contributing writer
West Village’s love affair with Dante began more than 100 years ago. In 1915 Caffe Dante arrived on the scene in Greenwich Village, in what was then known as ‘South Village,’ at the time a mostly Italian neighborhood.
The original location was a rendezvous for Italian immigrants, who’d order espressos, converse about politics and regale each other with tales from the old country.
Over the years, it evolved into a treasured haunt frequented by beatniks and famed actors, writers, and musicians, among them Whoopi Goldberg, Ernest Hemingway, Bob Dylan, Jerry Seinfeld, and Al Pacino.
All were welcome and “found solace in its relaxed and unpretentious environs. A place where a cup of espresso, a warm smile, or a friendly embrace epitomized life’s simple pleasures.”
The reconceived Dante’s West Village, reopened in 2015, pays homage to the beloved establishment’s golden years while infusing the brand with elevated modern Italian cuisine, world-class cocktails, and an award-winning beverage program — it’s a charming doorway to the past, preserved in part by the ‘CAFFE DANTE’ moniker emblazoning across its front windows. Etched in gold, the name is where it’s always been and where it will always belong.
The bar, named World’s Best Bar and Best American Bar by the acclaimed Tales of the Cocktail Foundation at the 2019 Spirited Awards, is no stranger to accolades. Though, the quaint space exudes the least bit of pretension and all the top-notch service.
Below the red brick above, inside its glass front, atop its brown and beige original flooring, between its pristine white walls, ceiling, and bar space, and below its wide pendant lights beats the heart of a classic.
The drink selections are highlighted by a dashing blend of signature cocktails, including the El Diablo on Tap (don julio blanco, mezcal Vida, meletti, cassis, fever tree grapefruit soda, and devil salt); Our Brooklyn Cocktail (michter’s rye, Cocchi Torino, st agrestis, luxardo, and curaçao raspberries and angostura); and the Clarified Pina Colada (Cocchi americano, banks 5 years, Wray & nephew, Nardini mandorla, coconut, pineapple).
The Summer 2022 (Cocchi rosa, arbikie strawberry vodka, amaro Santoni, clarified strawberry, strawberry, and vanilla androsé prosecco) and the Pineapple Pimm’s Cup (Pimm’s no.1, boatyard gin, Lillet blanc, cucumber bitters and London essence roasted pineapple soda) anchor their summer cocktail lineup.
Though, as with any award-winning bar worth its weight in mezcal, CYTIES could have thrown any of their countless creations on this list, including what feels like an endless choice of Negroni riffs.
The drinks are complemented by a delicious bunch and food a la carte menus, among an extensive menu of other beverages, including wine, beer, and non-alcoholic options.
As those of the beatnik persuasion would concur, this place is a gas.
The only field note Dante needs is this…
We dare you to try and leave without a coaster