Dinner and a Movie NYC Guide: IFC Center NYC Edition

The entry and sign of IFC Center in Manhattan's West Village. 

Because we love nothing more than the classic dinner and a movie night on the town, here’s is part two of Glenwood’s Dinner and a Movie Guide, each installment featuring a movie theater we frequent and an array of personally recommended, close-by dining options, from quick-bite places to more serious NYC dining. Last week we took you to the Sunshine Cinema on the Lower East Side, this week: The IFC Center, in the West Village.

Seeing a Movie at the IFC Center

Concession stand in theIFC Center in West Village in NYC.

The IFC Center NYC is located on Sixth Avenue at West Third Street, very close to Glenwood’s apartments in Manhattan. Opened 2005. Five screens.

Getting there: A, B, C, D, E, F, M trains to West 4th Street; 1 train to Christopher Street. And, really, the 6 train to Astor Place or Bleecker is pretty close as well.  

Pros: Lots of good, interesting, first-run indie movies, documentaries and foreign films, often screening exclusively at the IFC Center NYC. Plus: festivals (International Children’s Film Festival, Stranger Than Fiction, Queer Art Film Series, etc.); midnight movies (a nod to the theater’s former identity as the Waverly, which for years showed Rocky Horror at midnight to an exceptionally participatory audience); classics, retrospectives, discussions, on and on. Theater 3, though small, has probably the most comfortable seats in town. The concessions are solid; the coffee strong.

Cons: Sadly, IFC’s management has allowed the two largest theaters–1 and 2–go to hell. Seriously: it’s like a dump in these two, with many, many broken seats that are not only uncomfortable to sit in, but, especially in Theater 2, lean so far back that they make life miserable for whoever’s behind you as well. AND they all know this, but say that it’s “too expensive” to fix, basically showing disdain for their customers. This is a major flaw in what could be a truly great movie house.

Dinner Before or After on Dinner and a Movie Night

This neck of the West Village has a hundred good places to eat. Here are a few suggestions:

Joy Burger at Five Guys in NYC's West Village near IFC Center.

Joe’s Pizza 

Is this the best classic NYC slice in town? Possibly. We’ve eaten at Joe’s Pizza NYC several hundred times over the (many) years, and have always left feeling satisfied. And extremely New York-y. On Carmine Street, a few doors down from the theater.  We should also mention that right next door to Joe’s Pizza is Popbar NYC: A New Frozen Treats Shop.

Dos Toros Taqueria 

For some reason the San Francisco Mission District-style burritos served at this Dos Toros aren’t quite as good as they ones they sling at the Dos Toros Taqueria NYC in Union Square, or at Dos Toros Taqueria on the Upper East Side. But they’re still pretty awesomely good. We always get the carne asada, say “yes please” to the dollar-extra guacamole, and sit by the big front window. On Carmine Street, a few doors down from Joe’s.

Five Guys NYC

You wouldn’t want to eat Five Guys every week, but once in a while this increasingly popular chain–with its stuffed, juicy burgers and fresh, spicy-if-you-want fries–can really hit that greasy-food spot. On Bleecker and 7th Avenue AND Bleecker and Laguardia Place. NOTE: resist the temptation to eat at Joy Burger, a few blocks up from the IFC on Sixth Avenue. Mushy burgers, flavorless fries, zero love.  You can find the best burgers in NYC here.

Keste Pizza & Vino's eapolitan-style pizza on Bleecker Street.

Keste Pizza & Vino

This narrow, always-crowded spot serves excellent–and we mean among the city’s finest–Neapolitan-style pizzas in more than two dozen varieties. Chewy, salty crust; fresh, generously-laden toppings; enough variety to keep everyone happy, every time. Keste Pizza & Vino is located On Bleecker Street between Cornelia and Jones.

Noodle Bar West Village

Noodle Bar West Village’s ramen may be second-tier ramen these NYC-noodle-crazy days, but especially on chilly nights, a thick, steaming bowl at the bar here can be the way to go. Noodle Bar West Village is located on Carmine, just south of Bleecker.

Risotteria NYC

For a change of pace (and/or if you’re rolling gluten-free), Risotteria NYC has several dozen varieties of risotto, with meat, fish or vegetarian. Tasty, healthy, and satisfying. On the corner of Bleecker and Morton.

Soto Japanese restaurant's dish on Manhattan's 6th Avenue.

Fatty ‘Cue West Village

One of our favorite restaurants in town, Fatty ‘Cue West Village always delivers plate after plate of smoky, explosively-flavored delights. Everything’s excellent here–and the place is a total party during peak hours–but first-timers should definitely include the ‘cue coriander bacon among their dishes. On Carmine, south of Bleecker.

Bar Pitti NYC

A West Village classic, with reliably first-rate Italian (all the pastas are great, and we can never resist the side of spinach (trust us)), and a friendly atmosphere. On warm nights, Bar Pitti NYC has one of the liveliest outdoor seating areas around. On Sixth Avenue just south of Bleecker.


Seamus Mullen’s universally adored Spanish tapas-y Tertulia is the very definition of a hot spot these days (jammed with non-locals, hour-plus waits), but if you go early, pre-movie, you can usually get seated right away, and you’re in for a great eating adventure. On Sixth Avenue between West 4th and Washington Place.


The Japanese gem Soto serves great straight-up sushi, but the complicated dishes, both hot and cold, are even better. Not cheap, but definitely worth the splurge. On Sixth Avenue near Washington Place.

Victory Garden's goat's-milk-based soft serve ice cream in NYC's West Village.

Molly’s Cupcakes 

Molly’s cupcakes, a sweet and playful West Village cafe, serves sugary goodies in fun-tastic flavors (the butterscotch caramel! the cookie monster!) in a bright and somewhat silly space that ensures there are always plenty of teenagers on hand. Decent coffee, too. On Bleecker just east of Carmine.

Grom Gelato NYC

The Italian import, after five years in the big town, still scooping NYC’s best (or thereabouts) gelato. The Crema de Grom, with those big chunks of biscuits is a personal favorite, but you can’t really go wrong at Grom Gelato NYC. On the corner of Bleecker and Carmine.

Victory Garden 

For a different take of the frozen dessert, we highly recommend Victory Garden’s goat’s-milk-based soft serve ice cream. Both the Salted Caramel and the Chocolate Victory are a minor revelation. On Carmine just south of Bleecker.

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