The scene south of Houston Street can be summed up in three words: shopping, tourists and good food. The best restaurants in Soho are easy to find, if you know where to go. Outside the surplus of sweeteries, salad shops and cheap eats, the venues that serve these superior snacks and monumental meals in the non-stop neighborhood become necessary oases from the crowed sidewalks and street vendors.
This is not, I repeat, not the Jersey Shore. Trendy 20 and 30-somethings looking for Italian specialties like Baby Riceballs: green peas, chopped meat, mozzarella, pomodoro ($12) can chow down while enjoying a “YOO, ADRIENNE!” Cocktail concocted with Ultra-premium pisco: Portón, Lime Juice, Green Tea Syrup, Becherovka, Egg White and a pinch of white pepper ($13). If it’s the Sunday dinner at mama’s house you’re missing, bring friends and an empty stomach.
45 Mercer St., gallinyc.com
Romantic couples, fashionable shoppers and group parties – oh my! The lively space hosts a variety of customers and features a ton of authentic Spanish tapas, pleasing all walks of life. One favorite, Gambas al Ajillo – Shrimp in Garlic, is shrimp sautéed in a cazuela with olive oil, garlic, guindilla pepper, lobster stock, and brandy. It is served with a side of Filone bread. ($13)
171 Spring St., boquerianyc.com
James Hotel guests and local New Yorkers mesh to make a sophisticated yet cool crowd in a relaxed atmosphere. Forget the street cart pretzel – go for the Pretzel Crusted Crab Cake with green beans, frisée, and red pepper marmalade ($19). Journey back to the year 2000, for a cocktail called “Who Let The Dog Out?”, made of Bulldog gin, mango puree, sage honey syrup, and lemon juice ($18).
23 Grand St., davidburkekitchen.com
In the 5,000-ft. greenhouse space, a more mature demographic meets for Italian meals – though young professionals pop by as well. Modeled after the Babboli Gardens in Florence, it’s easy to forget your sitting in New York City. The Tuna Crudo: jalapeño, watermelon and pine nuts is spicy and sweet. The menu’s specialty is crudo, but for something less fishy (and a little more carb-filled): the pizzas and pastas will perfectly hit the spot.
In New York, not many places feel like home – but that’s what this restaurant set out to do – if home feels like a country kitchen, of course. Antique plates and mixed glassware create a farmhouse vibe for fashionable diners, models and music industry influencers. Bar Harbor Mussels, Roasted Heirloom Carrots and Handmade Burrata are a few highlights on the menu (which focuses on veggies, small plates and a farm-to-table intention). One drink staple: Sullivan Street Sour, made with Disaronno, fresh pressed lemon juice, cherry juice, simple syrup, firewater bitters and lemon garnish will leave sippers satisfied at their (wooden) tables.
527 Broome St., facebook.com/ChalkPointNYC
If shopping and eating needs to be done at once, the small creperie has you covered. Sit and snack or stride and stuff your face with sweet, savory and/or salad selections served cone-style. The salty and sweet Chicken Teriyaki crepe has all-natural chicken breast, teriyaki sauce, carrots, corn, sliced red onion, and green with a drizzle of Eight Turn tofu sauce and the crunch of sesame ($8.75). And instead of crying over Balthazar breads, gluten intolerant individuals can rejoice (as all the crepes are gluten free).
55 Spring St., eightturncrepe.com
Mystery wine? Every bit as interesting as it sounds, every night (for $15) there is a rotating glass up for ordering. If the correct variety is guessed, diners get to take home the whole bottle (but not before a hint about the grapes’ origins are given). The restaurant’s full wine list tops off (no pun intended) around 600 – from all over the world (mostly France, but Israel, Greece, Brazil and Hungary, too). For a more direct get: the Toad in a Hole dish equals truffle butter, mushrooms and cured ham ($12), which equals delicious.
249 Centre St., compagnienyc.com
Would you rather shop or have a seat at these SoHo staples? Leave us your thoughts, feedback and food insights in the comments below!
Hilary Sheinbaum is a University of Florida graduate and Writer/Reporter/Blogger/Person.
Hilary has contributed to dozens of publications including USA TODAY, Marie Claire magazine, ELLE.com, The Village Voice, amNew York and MensFitness.com. She writes about entertainment, food and beverage, love/dating and beauty.
She has been featured on FOX News, HuffPo Live, PIX11 News, StyleBlazer.com and People.com as a Lifestyle and Entertainment Expert.