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“Laid Back little Bistro on a terrific West Village Street!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cornelia Street Cafe

Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St, New York City, NY 10014 (West Village)
212-989-9318
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Ranked #474 of 12,022 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: American, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Bar scene, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: West Village
Cross street: Between W4th & Bleecker
Transit: A, B, C, D, E, F, V trains to West 4th Street. #1 to Christopher Street-Sheridan Square
Description: In 1987, on its tenth anniversary, New York City proclaimed Cornelia Street Cafe "A CULINARY AS WELL AS A CULTURAL LANDMARK." Founded by three artists, it provides food for the soul as well as the body. Upstairs there are three dining rooms, a beautiful hundred-year-old oak bar, a sidewalk cafe on one of New York's most picturesque streets, and a wood-burning fireplace for the winter. The cafe has received numerous awards for its food: Time Out's TOP 100 RESTAURANTS; the Village Voice's BEST OF NEW YORK FOOD; and a special award from the Village Arts Society for INSPIRED CUISINE. Most recently it received the Waterford Crystal Award of Distinction for BEST BY-THE-GLASS WINE PROGRAM--there are more than thirty wines available by the glass. Downstairs (honored with Zagat Nightlife's Award of Distinction) there are more than 700 performances a year. RESERVATIONS ARE FOR DINING UPSTAIRS. RESERVATIONS FOR THE DOWNSTAIRS CABARET CANNOT BE MADE ONLINE.
New York City
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Laid Back little Bistro on a terrific West Village Street!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

I hate to admit it but sometimes it's not all about the food! Don't get me wrong - our meal was quite nice but this is a place to go to for the atmosphere - quintessential Greenwich Village - a lovely quiet street - a funky somewhat "tired" Bistro. You could be in Paris if you have enough wine. I had a prix-fixe meal consisting of a goat cheese salad and moules frites. My fries were hot and crunchy and a highlight! Sometimes it's the simple pleasures in life..............my husband loved his spinach salad and his rare duck. We were happy enough that we'll come back with friends. A nice little go-to spot that's not too assuming and not too expensive.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robin H, Owner at Cornelia Street Cafe, responded to this review, December 8, 2012
I completely understand. Atmosphere can really make or break a great dining experience, which is why we work to ensure you get it all here. We'd love to see you return with some friends for a dinner out together. Don't forget that we also have musical and spoken word artists, if you're in the mood for a show with your meal. We look forward to seeing you again soon. I appreciate the fantastic review.

Take care,

Robin Hirsch - Minister of Culture/Wine Czar/Dean of Faculty
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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184 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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NYC
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Varied experiences”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

I've eaten here a number of times over the years, both for dinner and brunch. The latest was for brunch, after about 8 months of avoidance (explanation to follow). On my recent visit, we both had simple breakfast selections, which were fine although a side order of bacon came half way through the meal. Waitress was indifferent from the moment we sat down. My avoiding the restaurant has to do with the policy of not taking reservations for brunch (they do accept reservations for dinner). It is understandable if the parties are small but earlier this year I inquired if they would take a reservation for a party of 11 - "absolutely not", which seemed foolish to me. I should have asked if it was due to a no exception policy or they didn't want that many people. Obviously, our business went elsewhere because who knew how long we might have had to wait to get enough tables freed up to accomodate our group at Cornelia Street. "Elsewhere" is where I have been having brunch with friends and family 2 or 3 times a month ever since. Cornelia Street is popular so no doubt wasn't suffering because of my personal boycott but I was disappointed by their strict policy. Will I be back to Cornelia Street for brunch again? Yes, but only when I need a change from our new favorite brunch spot. There are plusses that can't be denied - it's on a great street so when the weather is nice it's refreshing to sit outside (especially because you can have your dog with you) and the food is consistently good. My most recent visit for dinner was about 10 months ago. The meal was very good, service good but rushed. Try to get seated up front - the rear dining room had an unpleasant smell but since that was earlier this year it has perhaps been corrected. I hate to rate my experiences overall as average but the experiences have been so varied - the only thing that has been consistent is the food, which has always been good.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robin H, Owner at Cornelia Street Cafe, responded to this review, December 8, 2012
I'd like to pass on my apologies for the inconsistent experiences you've had with us. Our goal is to always provide invariably good food and service. I do apologize for the stringent policy on brunch reservations. It's certainly not something I would have preferred to lose your business over. I'm happy to hear that the food has remained consistently good on each occasion, and I'll be working to make sure the service is top notch for you every time as well. My apologies once again. I truly hope we'll see you again soon.

Sincerely,

Robin Hirsch - Minister of Culture/Wine Czar/Dean of Faculty
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenock
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Dining”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

This is a great location in the heart of the Village. Varied, tasty food; good serviceWines are overpriced. Well worth a visit. Interesting to visit when there are readings by writers of their work. Sometimes Jazz played.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Great spot for brunch”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

My wife and I stopped here for a Saturday brunch. We ordered the Farmer's Breakfast and Eggs Any Style. Both were great. The eggs (scrambled) were very good, as was the warm chocalate bread. Price was as expected. Good atmosphere and in a great area to stroll.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gillingham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
314 helpful votes 314 helpful votes
“Return visit for out of towners!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

Our second visit and I can see it is going to be a regular haunt on all our visits to NYC. Both times it was for weekend brunch and what fantastic dishes we received - all washed down with gorgeous Mimosas.

Service and atmosphere is great. This is just a lovely, relaxed way to kick start an NYC day! Will return again!

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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