Weekends in SoHo
SoHo’s eclectic legacy was epitomized in the ’70s and ’80s by a freewheeling attitude to music, film, literature, fashion, and art, making it the heart and soul of Manhattan’s creative community—Basquiat, Warhol, Haring, and Debbie Harry among them. Today it remains a nexus of art, expression, and community combining heritage with a new age of restaurants, bars, cafes, and boutiques. To help guide the way to a weekend spent eating, drinking, shopping, and experiencing art in SoHo, we share a few favorite neighborhood spots.
The places nailing coffee, bagels, and every other aspect of your morning…
There are several ways to describe Sadelle’s: bagel bakery, neo-appetizing store, and upscale New York deli. Stop in for coffee and any number of delicious creations from master baker and co-owner Melissa Weller who has done her part to highlight one of the city’s greatest food traditions—the bagel. Sadelle’s hand-rolled bagels, pastries and bread are made fresh on-site each day in a glass-enclosed bakery located in the center of the dining room while expertly sliced lox is delivered on three-tiered stands, and the aroma of hot bagels permeates the buzzing dining room. The life of a bagel is short, so move quickly when you hear Weller and her crew shouting two of the sweetest words you’ll hear all day: “hot bagels!”
463 W Broadway, New York; T. (212) 254 3000
For those seeking a caffeine hit beyond your usual cup of coffee, feed your body and mind with one of Matchaful’s matcha-based concoctions. Everything on offer is plant-based and packed with high-quality and sustainable organic ingredients. Crowd favorites include the signature vanilla zen latte and matcha avocado yogurt. Dine-in or order to go.
359 Canal St, New York; T. (646) 896 1058
For the best brunch in town with the service and ambience to match…
A modern riff on the classic American dining staple with the music to match courtesy of a coin-operated jukebox comprising a handpicked selection of 45s. The brunch menu is the perfect mix of tried-and-tested classics—the farmer’s breakfast; classic egg sandwich; buttermilk pancakes–and specialty dishes—blue crab and Yukon gold potatocakes; the SoHo burger; Croque señora—served alongside freshly roasted, fair-trade, organic coffee. The vibe here is refined retro with wood-paneling, drop lights, pink-and-black leather booths, counter service, and outdoor seating.
320 W Broadway, New York; T. (212) 965 3011
The consummate French experience: charming and sophisticated, simple yet refined—Le Coucou is one of the most sought-after brunch reservations in the city for good reason. Acclaimed chef Daniel Rose brings his personal vision of classic French cuisine and conviviality to the table. To kick-start your day, enjoy the oeufs à la crème et homard (two eggs ‘au plat,’ tomato and tarragon cream, lobster). For a power brunch, go for the filet mignon, maître d’ butter, over-easy eggs. No matter what time of day you visit Le Coucou, you will be treated to a culinary experience that feels just as special every time.
138 Lafayette St, New York; T. (212) 271 4252
Experience the culture that defines the neighborhood at these seminal spots…
The Earth Room
This sculpture, executed by esteemed artist Walter de Maria in1977, is one of the many wonders of New York City. Spread across a 3,600-square-foot gallery space in the middle of SoHo, you’ll find an interior sculpture created from 250 cubic yards of earth. De Mario brought the outside in, and in doing so, prompted viewers to explore the links between art and the natural environment. While there were originally two additional Earth Rooms, both in Germany, this is the last one remaining.
141 Wooster St, New York; T. (212) 989 5566
What goes around comes around
If there was a good karma rewards program, this shop is where you’d happily claim your points. Home to over 100,000 pieces organized by theme and boasting one of the most impressive collections in the city, expect to find stunning pieces by YSL, Pucci, Alaia, and more. Such immaculate secondhand scores are available alongside a wildly successful ready-to-wear collection launched by owners Seth Weisser and Gerard Maione. Decorated with hotel bellman carts, vintage luggage, and Havana in mind, What Comes Around Goes Around feels like a cross between Barton Fink and The Darjeeling Limited. Find a gem to make your own and then go out and pay it forward, it’s a full-circle idea here, after all.
351 W Broadway, New York; T. (212) 343 1225
Rudy’s Music Soho
Rudy’s Music has been a New York City landmark since 1978. Owner and enigmatic collector Rudy Pensa has built and nurtured what he rightfully calls a “guitar gallery.” More than 100 vintage hand-built acoustic and electric guitars on wooden stands are on dazzling display over the 2,400-square-foot tri-level space and certain models even have costumed New York colors on them. Additionally, you will find amplifiers and other accessories like strings, mediators, bags, and hand-painted customized guitar straps. You don’t have to be a musician to appreciate the store, and if you do decide to stop by, chances are you’ll run into Rudy himself.
461 Broome St, New York; T. (212) 625 2557
Our favorite local go-tos for a leisurely lunch…
Lupes East LA Kitchen
Lupe’s brings a slice of East LA to West SoHo in the form of a kaleidoscopic cantina serving California-style Mexican fare as colorful as its surroundings. Marked by a neon pink sign, the interior is equally as vibrant with blue, pink, yellow, and green splashes of paint, kitsch Mexican artwork and memorabilia to enjoy as a Mexican disco soundtrack mingles with the hum of satisfied diners. As for the food, the menu promises sharp, tasty, at times a little messy, dishes that arrive laden with the usual suspects: shredded beef, seasoned chicken, refried beans, cheese, pico de gallo, creamy guacamole and more. There are plenty of options to keep vegetarians happy, too, with an entire section of the menu dedicated to veggie-based dishes. Our favorite is the tostada salad with a side of guacamole, and a watermelon juice.
110 6th Ave #1607, New York; T. (212) 966 1326
This Eastern Mediterranean go-to on MacDougal Street brings to life rustic, vibrant flavors found throughout Italy, Morocco, and Tunisia. The space is stylish with a palatial front room featuring French doors that overlook quiet MacDougal Street. The front room feels like a farmhouse; the back room a charming garden. The menu is seasonal, incorporating only the freshest local produce with highlights including the beet hummus with Nigella Seeds; grilled shrimp kebab served with pita, spiced yogurt, chermoula and charred onions; and the vegetable paella. Lastly, don’t leave without having a scoop of their gelato: toasted sesame, lemon currant sorbet.
38 MacDougal St, New York; T. (212) 475 7500
Classic New York charm and culinary ingenuity are on display at these dining spots…
Raoul’s is a New York bistro for the books, and it’s only getting better with time. Opened in 1975 by two brothers newly arrived from Alsace, France, Raoul’s quickly became a clubhouse for the art world with notables who came for the fine French steaks with crispy frites and the undemanding bohemian atmosphere. Today, the classic orders are still the draw. The steamed artichoke, the frisée salad with lardons of bacon and a poached duck egg; the organic chicken with jambalaya risotto, andouille sausage and bell peppers; the thick, tender steak au poivre with pomme frites—these are your various stages of seduction. And then there is the crowd—artsy, business and model types milling through the dark front room and atrium out the back. It’s all this and the laid-back austerity that will keep the impossibly sophisticated set coming back for generations to come.
180 Prince St, New York; T. (212) 966 3518
Just a few steps from sister restaurant and well-known Japanese spot Hirohisa with revered chef Jongin Jeong at the helm, Sushi Ikumi is arguably the highest quality, most affordably priced omakase meal in the city right now. This small—10 seats at the counter—but mighty sushi bar skews Kyoto-style, meaning the focus is on preserved and cured fish, and some bites are pressed into a box oshizushi-style. The $180 chef’s tasting menu includes roughly 14 nigiri bites, a plated dish, a rice option, and a seasonal dessert. Omakase meals typically start at the time of your reservation, so it’s customary to arrive five to 10 minutes early.
135 Sullivan St, New York; T. (917) 409 1588