Downtown Gems

Any true New Yorker will be able to rattle off ten things to do in Soho that go far beyond shopping. This area is just full of life. Sure, there’s Broadway and its iconic fashion pit-stops–like Top Shop, Uniqlo, Dean & Deluca, and Zara. But there’s more to the neighborhood than meets the eye. Soho is also the backdrop to tons of your favorite movies (but you probably didn’t know it), and and it’s home to some pretty amazing restaurants. Take the N or R train to Prince Street, and get ready to explore.
 

For The Table

There’s plenty to eat and drink in Soho and its neighboring streets of Nolita and Noho. Here’s a few of our favorite, affordable spots:
 
Jack’s Wife Freda
Jack’s Wife Freda is a small, cute café-style eatery that’s perfect for people watching during brunch. And if they happen to be busy, try Café Select or La Esquina–both are just a few steps away. We love the poached eggs with tomato and haloumi!
 
The Smile To Go
For quick bites that won’t leave you wishing for a real meal, visit The Smile To Go. They cover items like rotisserie chicken or pastries, and the most delicious sandwiches. They also offer a full menu at their restaurant on Bond Street, a few blocks north.
 
Café Habana
By now, most New Yorkers have been to Café Habana for their famously delicious and cheap dishes. Their Grilled Corn Mexican Style is an absolute must, and their Cuban Sandwich is glorious. If you can stand to wait a bit, make sure you eat here.
 
Blue Ribbon Brasserie
This iconic brasserie is perfect for a memorable late-night meal. The original location, open until 4 a.m., serves everything from fried chicken to grilled calamari, or even a seafood platter, at any time of the night. All made to perfection. Only in NYC.
 

 

Window Shopping

Soho has amazing furniture stores and fancy art galleries housed in historic cast-iron buildings. They are tucked away from the main Broadway artery, which makes venturing to them a pleasure. A quiet stroll through interior design and architecture heaven is most definitely a win. A slice of the old New York can be found sandwiched between Broome Street and Canal, all along Mercer, Greene, and Wooster Streets.

 

OK, Our Favorite Stores

Soho is THE shopping destination for just about anyone who likes to peruse fashion and beyond. So we rounded up our top picks for clothing, books, and cool souvenirs to bring home.
 
COS
If it’s fashion for the everyday person that you seek, then COS is the place for you. This four-floor store boasts sharp clothing for men and women that offers value and durability over fads.
 

 
Opening Ceremony
This one makes the cut because NYC is the fashion capital of the country and Opening Ceremony is a hub for stylish threads. Stop in after a bite at The Smile To Go.
 
McNally Jackson Books
McNally Jackson is a beloved small book shop where the best magazines and books of all kinds share the shelves. Looking for books in Spanish? Or science? Or perhaps poetry? Whatever it is, they have it. If you’re ready for the full experience, walk a few blocks up to The Strand–a true NY icon.
 
MoMA Design Store
Even if you don’t make it to MoMA itself, make sure to stop by the Design Store in Soho. They carry everything from jewelry to furnishings at a wide price range, making it the perfect spot to snag a few souvenirs for the folks at home. It 100% beats cheap thrills from Canal Street!
 

Where To Stay

Soho is also home to great hotels of all shapes and sizes–and much to our pleasure, prices. We thought we’d share a few of our favorites to help you seal the deal on your next trip to NYC.



Four Points by Sheraton New York Downtown

Slightly south of the bustling streets of Soho, you’ll find Tribeca and the Financial District. Four Points by Sheraton is where you’ll want to stay when looking to get more bang for your buck. The hotel offers free wifi, proximity to subway stations, gym and fitness center, as well as nicely appointed, comfortable rooms. To top it off, the hotel is pet friendly and Ketch Brewhouse, their in-house restaurant with loads of local beers to savor.

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Holiday Inn Lower East Side

Let’s face it. How much time will you spend at the hotel anyway? If you’re looking for a comfortable, clean place to crash, then consider the Holiday Inn Lower East Side. Surrounded by bars and restaurants, shops, and that Downtown vibe that’s unique to this neighborhood, we can’t expect to be using the hotel’s fitness room–even though it’s more than decent.

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Hotel 50 Bowery

This boutique hotel located on the cusp of Chinatown is the perfect launchpad for a NYC trip. Nearby train stations, loads of shopping, and surrounded by the real New York. Accommodations are modern and stylish, the hotel offers free wifi, an outdoor terrace, and killer views from The Crown, a rooftop bar and lounge.

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Hotel Henri, A Wyndham Hotel

OK, so Hotel Henri is just a bit north of Soho, but we can’t help but recommend this place. Staying at this boutique hotel by Wyndham means modern, minimalist rooms, free wifi, express check in/out, and all the usual hotel perks: coffee, business center, etc. You can’t beat an eco-friendly, centrally located hotel with farm to table on-site dining.

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The James New York

From Chicago to New York, The James in Soho is our pick for best value hotel in the area. We love the airy interiors, light filled and modern rooms, as well as the rooftop bar and seasonal pool. They offer free wifi and complimentary light food and beverages throughout the day. They also have a gym and 24-hr room service.

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11 Howard

As stylish as Soho gets, 11 Howard is tucked in a quiet corner of Lafayette, past the big brands and providing a low-key place to get some rest in between shopping sprees. The 221-rooms are stunning, Scandinavian design inspired, modern and eco-friendly. They also score bonus points for their charity work with Global Poverty Project!

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