NYC Neighborhood Guide: Soho
I'm back with another NYC neighborhood guide! Last month I shared some of my favorite spots in East Williamsburg, the neighborhood that I currently call home. Since I loved writing about a place I know so well, it was pretty much a no-brainer that today's post would feature the neighborhood I've worked in for the last year and a half, Soho! When I was in high school and was able to come into the city on the weekends, I always remembered wanting to come to Soho. The crowd seemed effortlessly cool and I loved the fact that I felt like I was constantly discovering new spots. Not to mention the shopping! From gazing into the windows of high-end boutiques to rummaging through more unknown hole-in-the-wall shops, I always loved the thrill of finding an outfit fit for a New Yorker. Want to know what to do in Soho? Today I'm sharing my favorite spots for breakfast, the best bars, and of course, shopping. I hope you enjoy this post and find it helpful if you're planning a trip to NYC or if you just feel like popping downtown one weekend.
Breakfast and Brunch
Jack’s wife Freda
A can’t-miss brunch spot on Lafayette street is Jack’s wife Freda. These Mediterranean takes on American brunch classics plus the cute decor will put a smile on your face. If you can, get here early or plan to stop by on a weekday, as you may get stuck waiting in a long line of eager patrons.
New York’s Australian-owned cafes and restaurants are always gems, and Two Hands is no exception. Nestled on the border of Chinatown, this little spot is perfect for a lover of lattes and avocado toast. If the wait is too long, you can place a to-go order and devour it on a park bench, assuming NYC’s unpredictable weather is cooperating.
Home of the famous cronut, DA is a spot you should definitely check out if you have the time. Be advised that cronuts tend to sell out early, but you can also place an order ahead of time online if you have your heart set on a specific flavor. Plus, they have lots of other yummy pastries and drinks as well.
This Vietnamese restaurant is a great place to pop in for a nice, sit-down breakfast or brunch. Ease into your morning with one of their acai bowls and an iced coffee. Pro tip: if Jack’s wife Freda is too busy, this spot is just two doors down on Lafayette.
Sightseeing and Shopping
If you’re a fan of the cult beauty brand like I am (read my complete Glossier guide if you want to know more) definitely pop by the showroom to test out any of the brand’s products. Their knowledgeable showroom editors will help guide you through their skincare and beauty bestsellers and anything you want to take home is available to purchase in store.
This is my favorite Topshop I’ve ever been to (but I am heading to London this spring so I can’t wait to check out their stores). There are three floors of women’s clothing and one floor for Topman. They have sections for petite, denim, boutique, and shoes with tons of dressing rooms in addition to their personal shopping service.
& Other Stories
This & Other Stories location just makes me so happy. Whether you are there to admire all of the brand’s lovely shoes, sniff the luxurious scents from their beauty section, or try on the latest clothing trends, this brightly-lit store has it all covered.
If you’re looking for a no-frills but adorable spot to grab a cold brew, Happy Bones is perfect for you. The Broome street shop is very small and you can expect its three tables to be crowded with laptop-bearing patrons but the delicious blends and great service make it worth the visit.
The complete opposite of Happy Bones is Lauduree. Not only is the place impeccably decorated in pastel colors to immediately make you feel like you’ve been teleported to Paris for a cappuccino, but it’s also home to the delicious macarons that will make you feel like Marie Antoinette, especially if you try the Marie Antoinette flavor.
Cha Cha Matcha
If the adorable pink and lime green decor isn’t enough to draw you in, the delicious matcha drinks and soft serve will have you camped out at this shop all afternoon. The lattes, both hot and cold, are delicious paired with one of their yummy pastries. Be sure to check their Instagram feed to see if they have any special drinks on rotation.
Bell’s Coffee and Design
Home decor fans and caffeine lovers will both feel at home at Bell’s. Their coffee is strong and the store is filled with contemporary interior accents from interesting light fixtures to unique wall hangings and stationary for sale as well, so you’ll leave feeling caffeinated and inspired.
Do you like pizza? Of course you do. For a truly unique NYC experience, check out Rubirosa on Mulberry Street. My recommendation is the Tie-Dye (vodka, tomato, AND pesto sauce) or the Rubirosa Supreme (loaded with meats and garlic).
Delicatessen is the place to grab American classics like BLT’s, burgers, meatballs and more in a super contemporary space. If it’s a nice day, the restaurant will open its doors and windows to let the NYC air in. Grab a seat by the sidewalk and get ready to people-watch.
Seamore’s is a seafood lover’s dream. This adorable eatery features dishes like fish tacos and catch of the day, with happy hour drink specials. If you’re not big into fish, try hitting up this spot for brunch, as that menu will cater more to all palettes. Get there early since they don’t take brunch reservations!
I think of NoMo Soho as the ultimate Soho dining experience. Enter through the ivy-covered archway into the hotel lobby and make your way to the restaurant. Dine on delicious American bites underneath elaborate chandeliers and plan to stay awhile.
This is technically a restaurant too, but I often find myself at Lupe’s when I’m just popping in for a quick drink after work with a friend or co-worker. Enjoy a Modelo Especial or a house marg along with some chips and salsa—and if your stomach does start to rumble, do yourself a favor and order the shrimp chipotle tacos.
If you’re a lover of margaritas, you have to check out Papatzul. They have a few different flavor options (hibiscus, anyone?) served on the rocks and they’re as strong as they are delicious. Get there before 8pm to make sure you catch the happy hour deal.
Sweet & Vicious
This spacious bar with an old soul feel, is the perfect place to come with a friend or your SO for a cocktail or two. If cocktails aren’t your thing, S&V has lots of beers on tap as well as bartenders who are committed to making sure that even your bottom-shelf well drinks still taste pretty damn good.
If you’re hoping to expand your Soho bar hop beyond brews and tequila-based drinks (sorry, can’t help what I like), look no further than Lure Fishbar. This classy space is slightly hidden on Mercer street (enter through the stairs underneath & Other Stories) and is the perfect spot to disappear for an hour to with a glass of white wine and a dozen oysters.
What are your favorite spots in Soho?