The much-anticipated opening of the new Whitney Museum of American Art today (May 1) is attracting swarms of guests, who will undoubtedly stop into the museum’s restaurant Untitled. But the Meatpacking District boasts some of the best bites and drinks in town. Here’s what you’ll want to check out in between all of that art crawling.
Part meat shop and part tapas eatery, El Colmado Butchery offers fresh takes on all kinds of protein.
Chef Seamus Mullen’s newly-opened El Colmado Butchery feels like walking into a tapas bar with a New York butcher shop feel. The quaint space is the perfect spot to share some Spanish-inspired small plates and other meat-centric dishes—afterward, you can take some prime and off-cuts of fresh meat home. 53 Little W. 12th St., 212-488-0000
The brunch scene at The Standard Grill is perfect for indulging in classic favorites and people watching.
You can always spot the stylish set at The Standard Grill's prime tables, which makes weekend brunch here quite the scene. But don’t forget about the food because the American bistro fare is taken seriously and well worth the wait. 848 Washington St., 212-645-4100
Barbuto started serving its roasted chicken with salsa verde well before the roast chicken craze.
Before roast chicken became trendy, chef Jonathan Waxman’s Roasted JW Chicken and Salsa Verde was already his signature dish at Barbuto. The juicy, flavor-packed roasted bird is complemented perfectly by the California-style salsa verde. 775 Washington St., 212-924-9700
This always-packed West Village eatery attests to April Bloomfield's masterful dishes, like the burger with roquefort cheese.
There’s almost always a wait at The Spotted Pig, but once you’ve secured a table or seat at this gastropub, April Bloomfield’s cooking is worth it. The chargrilled burger with roquefort cheese and a generous serving of shoestring fries is a popular dish you can’t miss. It’s everything you want in a burger—perfectly cooked, just the right size—and more. 314 W. 11th St., 212-620-0393
The cozy space offers the perfect spot for catching up with friends or warm conversation.
Upholstery Store: Food and Wine is a cozy, intimate space perfect for grabbing a glass of wine. Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner created a seasonally-driven small plates menu that is on point with wine director Leo Schneemann’s expertly-curated selection of reds and whites. 713 Washington St., 212-929-6384
Pizzetteria Brunetti churns out perfect Neapolitan pies, thanks to its wood-burning brick oven.
Pizza maestro Jason Brunetti’s pies come out of a hot wood-burning brick oven just the way Neapolitan pies are supposed to at Pizzetteria Brunetti. Expect a thin-crust pie with quality ingredients that stays crispy on the edges until the very last bite. 626 Hudson St., 212-255-5699
CATCH highlights mouthwatering seafood dishes like the gigantic Cantonese lobster.
The buzzy scene at CATCH is great for group dining, thanks to the large-format dishes from new executive chef John Beatty. Items such as a 50-day dry-aged bone-in ribeye and a 2.5-pound Cantonese lobster are ideal for sharing. 21 Ninth Ave., 212-392-5978
Death Ave features a charming outdoor patio with plush seating and decadent snacks.
Hit up Greek eatery Death Ave’s patio garden for a weekly outdoor movie night on Mondays, where you’ll enjoy snacks, cheese, and drinks as select films play in the bamboo-filled space with terracotta-hanging lanterns and views of the High Line. Seating starts at 7 p.m. and each movie is shown at 8 p.m. Call to make reservations. 315 10th Ave., 212-695-8080
Spice Market boasts Southeast Asian-inspired dishes like the Salmon Cha Ca La Vong, served with noodles and peanut broth.
Spice Market started the revival of the Meatpacking District with a menu—originally designed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten—that borrows from Southeast Asian cuisine. Guests can expect dishes boasting a variety of flavors, from spicy to sweet, to keep you surprised all evening long. 403 W. 13th St., 212-675-2322
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF MARKUS MARTY (THE STANDARD); CLAY WILLIAMS (THE SPOTTED PIG); FACEBOOK.COM/SPICEMARKETNEWYORK