As one of the busiest neighborhoods in New York City famous for it’s shopping, SoHo (south of Houston) is unsurprisingly home to some fantastic restaurants too. Locals and tourists alike have to re-fuel between hopping from store to store!
For an indulgent brunch– The Dutch is famous for their fried chicken for good reason. At brunch time, the Hot Fried Chicken is paired with melt-in-your-mouth Honey Butter Biscuits and Slaw. At $32 it is very expensive but can certainly be shared. To pair, the Dorothy Caesar Bloody Mary is made with gin, clamato, coriander salt and a shucked oyster. If you miss brunch and make it for lunch, they also make a great lobster roll!
For the classic SoHo experience – Balthazar is somewhere I’ve dined at since my first ever visits to the city with my family. This bustling French brasserie backed by restauranteur Keith McNally has been around since the ’90s and hasn’t dwindled in popularity since – it’s always crowded, all day every day! While it’s not somewhere to go every week necessarily, it’s a place you need to check off your list of iconic NYC restaurants.
For absolutely any occasion – The Mercer Kitchen is one of those reliable go-to restaurants that everyone will love. Tourists, locals and celebrities alike gather here for it’s chic atmosphere, great service and delicious menus. Some of my favorite dishes include the Sashimi Salmon with Crispy Sushi Rice, Steamed Shrimp Salad, Truffle Pizza, Butterscotch Pudding and Warm Madeleines. Yum!
For a business meeting – Sant Ambroeus serves a contemporary take on Milanese cuisine, which to me translates as being a bit more modern in it’s offerings as compared to Bar Pitti for example. The stylish fellow diners and very professional service allows for a comfortable atmosphere to have more formal conversation, and the menu offers a variety of choices to please anyone. I find them to be very consistent as well, likely due to the fact that they have multiple locations in the city (and now Palm Beach too!).
For a beautiful setting – NoMo Kitchen is bright and breathtaking by day, and romantic by night. It’s one of the most picturesque restaurants in the city in my opinion, and fortunately the food is good too!
For catching up with friends – Galli may be cozy and candlelit by dusk, but it’s also very lively and energetic. To me it’s a restaurant where I would go to indulge in a comforting bowl of pasta and a bottle of red wine over deep conversations, friendly networking or intense story telling.
For special occasions and celebrations – Raoul’s was one of the most memorable meals I’ve had in the city. I was initially drawn to the restaurant because of a caramel dessert dome I saw on Instagram…I know. I thought it was so cool, and had to order it for myself. But first for the meal itself… The steak tartare with a quail egg was an incredible first impression – I highly recommend it! For dinner, I ordered a special and my boyfriend ordered the Skate Grenobloise. I also hear their Steak au Poivre is top notch. Now for the highly-anticipated dessert. I ordered the caramel dome without knowing exactly what it was called…it wasn’t on the menu. The server said it is by special order only and you need to notify the restaurant in advance, “but are you celebrating something tonight?” We smiled and she walked away. We waited, and waited, then she came out with a candle on a dessert topped with the caramel dome! Everyone was saying congratulations and happy birthday around us, as we were laughing, and she leans in and says, “Happy President’s Day” (it was Feb. 15th). Everyone was looking at us, and our dessert obviously. Sometimes you just have to ask – you never know! The fig cake underneath the dome was delicious too, by the way. Little did I know, my (now) boyfriend asked me to be his girlfriend that next day. I suppose we were celebrating after all!
For a nightcap after Raoul’s, check out Pegu Club nearby!
*Note, for all of these restaurants, it is important to make a reservation in advance. All of them are on OpenTable, my favorite place to book!
You may think I left out some popular places, so I wanted to share the restaurants I didn’t include and why. Charlie Bird, La Esquina and Le Coucou are three places I have not yet tried and are on my wishlist for my next visit. Anywhere else I should add? Boqueria I covered already here, but they have another location in SoHo. Lastly, I was not impressed by the food or service at the popular Little Prince, though it was quaint, or Sadelle’s, popular for their bagels. They may be Instagram-famous for their charming exteriors and food presentation, but my experience wasn’t to par (maybe yours will be better).