Last Updated on September 18, 2019 by Top Brunch Spots Staff
Soho is more than just the downtown hub of shopping in New York—there’s also the high-quality crop of Soho bars and restaurants available for you to refuel at during your retail-therapy trip. From Middle Eastern eateries and French bakeries to Italian sandwich shops and the best brunch in NYC, the neighborhood’s got a little something for everybody. Here are the best Soho restaurants NYC has to offer.
Best Soho restaurants in NYC
The Dutch draws in a crowd for the eclectic offerings of chef and owner Andrew Carmellini. Packed with everything from oysters and fried chicken to steak served over kimchi-fried rice, the menu has something for everyone. In addition to dinner, the brunch and midday menus make it the right choice for any time of day.
The graceful French spot from the prolific restaurateur Stephen Starr (Buddakan, Morimoto) and Daniel Rose, the American chef who made it in Paris with his much-loved seasonal restaurant, Spring. With vaulted ceilings, handblown chandeliers and 12-inch candles set at each table, the restaurant attracts all types for fancy date nights featuring refined French fare.
Not only is the iconic Balthazar still trendy, but the kitchen rarely makes a false step. The bread is great, the food is good, and the service is surprisingly friendly. No matter what time of day, you’re bound to have a flawless French meal making it a favorite spot for spontaneous dining.
The Bombay Bread Bar
Floyd Cardoz, of Tabla and Top Chef Masters fame, deserves major props for this Soho Indian spot. The space is a circus for the senses, with massive Pop Art murals and prints of dapperly dressed men throughout the dining room. A kingdom of carbs, this spot focuses on all things bread, including magnificent naan and kulchas.
Café Altro Paradiso
The 75-seat, split-level dining room is airy and bright, if nondescript, with bare white-oak finishes, vaulted ceilings and large windows diffusing natural light throughout. From chef Ignacio Mattos of Estela, Café Altro Paradiso offers uncomplicated Mediterranean dishes including a variety of pastas to enjoy with a glass of Italian wine from their extensive list.
Devoted in equal measure to seasonal cooking and serious wine, this West Village spot spills out onto the sidewalk with one of the most popular spots to eat outdoors (especially with raw seafood options galore). With accents of Italian flavors, the new-American menu is packed with vibrant pastas and succulent roast meats.
Formerly known as Hundred Acres, the restaurant has been completely rebranded as Shuka, filled with dishes inspired by the chef’s history with Moroccan and Middle Eastern flavors. From mezzes to kebab and heavenly baklava, the food is just as appealing as the Moroccan-influenced tiles and textiles decorating the restaurant.
Ushered out from a revolving-tray oven with an energetic “hot bagels!” bellow and stacked onto oak dowels set above the counter, glossy, boiled-then-baked bagels flicker with salt crystals and caraway seeds, with freckles of poppy and sesame overlaid across the golden exterior. To top ’em off, their seafood towers offer all the accoutrements your heart could desire.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
Dominique Ansel honed his skills as executive pastry chef at Daniel for six years before opening this American and French patisserie. While the sweet genius is know for his Cronuts, there is so many other great offerings on the menu. Caramelized croissants and madeleines are met with savory offerings, like roasted butternut squash soup and a pork club sandwich.
Jack’s Wife Freda
The 40-seat restaurant—sporting dark-green leather banquettes, brass railings and marble counters—serves homey fare, like matzo ball soup made with duck fat and a skirt steak sandwich served alongside hand-cut fries. In the morning, find Stumptown coffee, homemade croissants and a green shakshuka sure to make it onto your Instagram.
This old-school Italian sub shop—a Soho institution since 1986—was known as Melampo before an ownership change in 2001. Of the 40 plus-size grinders, crowd favorites include the Romeo: smoked chicken breast on Italian bread, slathered with Bel Paese (a semisoft Italian cheese) and hot-pepper dressing. Just be sure to order you sando by name.
Blue Ribbon Brasserie
As famous for its 4am closing time as for its long lines, this downtown haunt has been an after-hours magnet for clubbers, clocked-out chefs and ne’er-do-wells since 1992. The restaurant’s trappings—brick walls, globe lamps, slanted mirrors—reflect the bistro menu (hanger steak, escargot), but seafood is also a big focus: Look out for the raw-bar towers.
The retro yacht interior at this sexy subterranean restaurant might make you forget you’re docked in Soho. Hit the sushi bar to compare the flavors and textures of premium catches, or grab a table for a more extensive meal. While the fish is aces, the secret stars are the two burger options.
Chef Michael White (Alto, Marea) is one of New York’s most prolific Italian-American chefs, and this terrific downtown homage to a classic Bolognese tavern is the most accessible restaurant in his stable. The handmade pastas and heart-stopping meats are fantastic across the board so there is no wrong choice as a diner.