SoHo stands for south of Houston, and, as can be guessed from its name, the area lies south of Houston Street. Once the epicenter of New York’s art scene, SoHo’s cast-iron architecture, historic buildings, cobblestone streets and its deeply ingrained artistic vibe give it an ambiance that no other neighborhood in New York can even begin to compete with.
SoHo is known for its premium shopping offerings, and is home to a number of high-end brands. It is in SoHo that you will find Prada’s $40 million flagship store, as well as Hugo Boss, Stella McCartney, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, and Bloomingdales SoHo. In addition to the luxury brands, there are many different avant-garde shops in SoHo, as well as an array of eclectic boutiques. The Hat Shop is a custom hat store and full-service milliner that also sells off-the-rack pieces, while the MOMA Design Store is where you should head if you want an arty fix. The Phaidon Store has an intriguing selection of books, especially on the visual arts, while Evolution is a fascinating store to visit, although it is definitely not for the faint of heart.
While the rent in SoHo may be rapidly on the rise, especially with the increasing number of high-end brands opening flagship stores here, it is still a great neighborhood to see some inspiring art, and there are several art galleries worth visiting. The Drawing Center on Wooster Street specializes in works on paper, while Greene Naftali on West 26th Street may be hard to find, but once you do, their performance art and installations won’t fail to captivate you. L&M Arts exhibits blue-chip artists, from Pablo Picasso to Damien Hirst, while the Christopher Henry Gallery, located in a renovated church on Elizabeth Street, brings together a vibrant mix of art, design and music.
SoHo is home to some of the most beloved restaurants in the city, with everything from fresh farm-to-table delights to high-end Italian fine dining. For American comfort food, head to The Dutch on Sullivan Street, or, if you want one of the classiest burgers that New York has to offer, try Burger and Barrel on West Houston Street. Public is an innovative restaurant that is inspired by Australia and New Zealand, and serves up unusual dishes such as Kangaroo Carpaccio, while Aquagrill is considered by many to cook up some of the best seafood in the Big Apple. Carbone is a high-end Italian joint, with their Spicy Rigatoni Vodka being a firm favorite for many, while Parm is a more casual Italian eatery, serving up comforting Italian-American sandwiches. Of course, SoHo also has its own high-quality pizzerias, with the tastiest of them all being Rubirosa, as their thin-crust recipe can be traced back to many decades ago.
SoHo may have undergone many changes in the past few decades, but it is still one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city. Its charm and beauty is largely due to its history and diversity, and this is something that SoHo will likely hold on to for years to come.