SOuth of HOuston. Spanning Broadway to West Houston to Canal to 6th Avenue. MAP IT
SOHO. Home to gorgeous cobblestone streets lined with high end designer boutiques, trendy restaurants, art galleries and loft style apartments. It's also a place that i have called home on and off since the ripe young age of 23 (you do the math!) and the perfect 'hood to kick off my NYC guide.
Soho can get really nuts at the peak hours of the day so i would suggest getting out and about as soon as the stores open, or taking a stroll around the streets in the early morning/ late evening, before or after the masses of people take over. It's the best time to window shop too... everything's so cheap! hehe.
FOR COFFEE/BREKKIE/ BRUNCH:
Us Aussies know good coffee and sadly it's hard to find in America. I wouldn't say the coffee here is ah- mazing but this spot is a go to for me as 1. It's right around the corner from my apartment and 2. You can sit out on the street and people watch all day long. Which, believe me, in New York is an adventure in itself!
399 West Broadway | groundsupportcafe.com
Don't be discouraged by the gritty feel of this cafe, the food here is beyond incredible. One time my husband and i decided to pop in for an impulsive brunch and we ended up ordering 2 rounds of food because it was just so damn good! (yes, there was a lot of wine consumed too) Try the avocado and radish toast. Divine.
137 Sullivan St | navynyc.com
A New York City institution and a restaurant i just can't keep off this list, Balthazar is fun at any time of the day. You may have to wait a while, especially on the weekends, but if you get there early enough just put your name down and grab a coffee or drink at the bar. The atmosphere is buzzing and after the first glass or 2, you'll be too busy taking it all in to notice the time passing.
Not keen for a sit down meal? Grab a coffee and a pastry at the bakery next door. I'm a sucker for their banana donuts and almond croissants. SO good!
80 Spring Street | balthazarny.com
LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN
I wouldn't normally add a chain store like this but it's French and they have quite a few organic and healthy options on the menu so it gets the tick of approval from me.
100 Grand Street | lepainquotidien.com
BANTER (not technically Soho but just across Houston so we're counting it!)
If you look up the word banter in the dictionary it comes up with 'the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks'. And indeed this is what you will find at this new Aussie hot spot located on the neighborhoody, tree lined, north of Houston, Sullivan Street. The guys here are incredibly warm and welcoming and of course the coffee and the food is on point (they're Aussie after all). A great spot to sit outside and watch the world go by.
169 Sullivan Street | banternyc.com
I had mixed emotions about this Paris institution moving into my hood. And just around the corner from my apartment too. I didn't need that temptation! But luckily their restaurant is just as good as their desserts and i'm more tempted by their niÃ§oise salad and french rosÃ© than i am by their macaroons these days. Great place for lunch when the weather is warm as they have a stunning outdoor courtyard. It's also super cosy in the dead of winter. Close your eyes and imagine you are sitting in the middle of Paris...
398 West Broadway | laduree.com
This little gem of a restaurant is one of my favourite spots to sit and enjoy a long lunch. It's French, chic and has 2 of my favourite things on the menu: a farm niÃ§oise and French rosÃ©. (sensing a theme here?) Perfection.
199 Prince Street | littleprincesoho.tumblr.com
These guys have been around forever and are still as mouth watering as ever. Whatever number you choose, their deliciously gluten free sourdough dosas are filled with things like tuna, tomatoes, avocado and rocket or spiced indian potatoes and spinach, and they will not disappoint. Perfect if you're looking for something super casual. Oh, my choice of chutney? Mango or cilantro. Delish!
143 Grand Street | hamptonchutney.com
Chances are you'll find my husband sitting at the sushi counter here as he frequents this place at least once a week. Offering an authentic Japanese menu in an authentic Japanese setting, it feels like you are in the middle of Tokyo, not a busy downtown neighborhood in NYC. In true Japanese fashion though, the restaurant can get very hot. Locals tip? Wear layers, no chunky sweaters.
113 Thompson Street | omen-azen.com
One of my favorite spots in the city, hands down. The design is stunning, the cocktail bar is small but oh-so-beautiful and the food is beyond delish. It's not over the top but fancy enough to warrant pulling out those 6" heels you've been dying to wear. Perfect for a date or girls night. And if the night goes well, you can always try your luck at getting into the hot new club located right next door, The Blonde.
138 Lafayette Street | lecoucou.com
CARBONE - (Not technically Soho but it's just across the street in Greenwich Village so i'm counting it!)
This restaurant is as New York as it gets and is so much fun. Expect excellent service, to eat way too much food and to get a rude shock when the bill comes! Well worth it though. The entire experience is one not to be missed.
181 Thompson Street | carbonenewyork.com
FOR SUPER HEALTHY:
I love this place. It's unassuming, basic and 'proper' healthy. Based on the Japanese macrobiotic philosophy, Souen's food is 100% organic and they serve everything from cold pressed juices to pad thai to steamed veggies and brown rice. I could seriously eat here every day. A great spot if you need some downtime from all those extravagant dinners!
210 6th Avenue | souen.com
With locations all over the city these guys are great for a grab and go smoothie, juice or raw food breakfast, lunch or snack. My favourite smoothies are Heaven on Earth and Rainforest, and i love their raw oatmeal too. Just be mindful of the added sweeteners like agave and coconut sugar. Ask them politely to leave them out, their smoothies are sweet enough!
156 Prince Street | juicepress.com
JOE AND THE JUICE
New to the hood and giving Juice Press a run for it's money (directly across the road too!) these guys offer smoothies with things like broccoli, lemon and avocado. Just like i make at home. Perfect.
161 Prince Street | joejuice.com
VITAMIN CHICK JUICE BAR
Another relatively new organic juice bar offering pretty much the same stuff as the above; juices, raw food and snacks.
196 Spring Street | vitaminchick.com
Another great grab and go juice spot with concoctions like blue spirulina with lemongrass and strawberries with beets. The perfect way to fuel up for all that shopping you have to finish!
103 Mercer Street | pressedjuicery.co
FOR A DRINK:
A great spot in the winter as the bar vibe is warm and cosy. In the summer they have an outdoor courtyard which is super fun too. Check out one of my favorite English artists, Peter Clarke, scattered around the lobby while you're there. Woof Woof.
79 Crosby Street | firmdalehotels.com
Created by the team that brought you Moby's in the Hamptons, this Summer pop up is the perfect spot to get your kale salad and woodfire pizza fix, without having to drive all the way to the Hamptons. Oh, don't forget the have rosé on tap. Brilliant!
310 West Broadway | gilligansnyc.com
OK, so Soho is kind of dangerous when it comes to shopping! There are so many incredible labels like Isabel Marant, Iro, Rag and Bone, Zimmerman and Intermix scattered around the streets of Mercer, Green, Wooster, Spring, Prince... well, basically everywhere! But fashion aside, there are also some really fab homeware stores to meander about (which if you're not careful, can also break the bank. Believe me, i know!).
CLIC - (technically Little Italy but we're calling it Soho)
My absolute go-to for homewares, photo art, blankets, throws, furniture and coffee table books. Owned by my gorgeous friend Cristianne, who has the most incredible eye for all things warm and beautiful, (I mean, she is French after all!) , this store is well worth a visit.
255 Centre Street, New York, NY | clic.com
Another Aussie brand doing incredibly well and a recent newcomer to the 'hood (which i'm oh-so-happy about!). This store sells hand made plates, bowls, mugs, vases and gorgeous wooden cutting boards with cutlery to match. All made in Australia, obviously.
91 Crosby Street, New York, NY | mudaustralia.com
THE APARTMENT BY THE LINE
Step out of the elevator like you are stepping into your own home. Complete with lounge room, kitchen, and an enviable wardrobe, these guys really take shopping to another level. Everything you see is for sale and curated perfectly. Well worth a look, even if it's just to experience the inside of a Soho loft.
76 Greene Street, New York, NY | theline.com
Filled with everything from coffee table books to furniture, homewares, gift cards and kitchy items like an 'Andy Warhol Brillo Box candle' (yep!). This store has been a go-to of mine for years when i am looking for a gift that's 'a little different'.
81 Spring Street, New York, NY | moma.org
Photos shot in Soho, NYC by Morgan Ione Yeager