SoHo (or, South of Houston Street) sits smack-dab in the center of Downtown. It’s known for its posh stores and art galleries, expensive-looking locals and celebrities, and gorgeous cast iron architecture and cobblestone streets. In short, SoHo is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan. I see more celebrities here than in any other neighborhood, and I kinda feel like one when I’m strolling down Greene or Prince Streets. Find out why you should visit SoHo, what there is to see and do, where to stay, and where to eat and shop here.
Why You Should Visit SoHo
Iconic: Shopping, art, and celebrity sightings are the iconic attractions in this posh neighborhood.
Photographic: Pastel buildings, posh residents, and cobblestone streets all make for great photo opportunities. The street doesn’t hurt at all either.
Architectural: Cast iron architecture and beaux arts style architecture are prominent in the neighborhood. Stick a magnet to one of the buildings on Greene Street if you don’t believe the facades are made of iron—and not stone.
Historic: SoHo (once called New York City’s Cast Iron District) has seen the city change drastically over the past few hundred years. Originally a swamp, it became a wealthy neighborhood after 1810. After the wealthy moved north, it became the Garment District for about 100 years. I’d recommend taking a historic walking tour of SoHo because there’s so many behind-the-scenes stories here.
Shopping/Fashion: You can just as easily snag a Chanel handbag here as you would a pair of Chinese slippers. Head to Broadway for department and chain stores (Bloomingdale’s, Uniqlo, and Aritzia), and stick to the side streets for boutiques.
Artsy: SoHo was one of the first Manhattan neighborhoods gentrified by the artist community. There are still dozens of art galleries and plenty of street art here.
Foodie: Some of the city’s most iconic restaurants can be found in SoHo, including the Dominic Ansel Bakery (home to the cronut and voted #1 bakery in the world) and Balthazar’s (famous French restaurant and brunch spot in Sex and the City). I also love Lure Fish Bar, Franelli’s, and the Chobani store.
Literary: Check out the Housing Works Bookstore on Crosby Street. They have a great selection of new and used books and a cute little café for getting lost for a few hours.
Celebrity: I’ve spotted more celebrities in this neighborhood than any other. The short list includes: Michael J. Fox, Bethenny Frankel, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Cinematic: Thanks to the gorgeous architecture, SoHo is one of the most filmed neighborhoods in New York City. Movies and TV shows like Ghost, Ghostbusters, and Will and Grace.
Like a Local: Locals head to SoHo to check out art galleries, shops, and street fairs. You’ll also see plenty of local professionals headed to work on the weekdays here.
Hotels in SoHo
If you’re thinking about getting a hotel in SoHo, you’re in luck. This neighborhood is conveniently located near subways and other neighborhoods. There’s plenty of grab-and-go food nearby, as well as many sit-down restaurants and bars. Why do you think so many celebrities live here?
Some of my favorite hotels in the neighborhood include:
Houston to the north, Canal Street to the south, Lafayette to the East, and 6th Avenue to the West.
How Much Time Does it Take to Visit SoHo?/Time Savers:
Fly-By: 30 minutes to wander through the neighborhood and take a few photos.
In-Depth: 1.5–to-2 hours for shopping, photos, and visiting galleries.
Need to Know:
Most everything in SoHo is expensive, including the restaurants and stores. If you’re looking for a bargain on food or souvenirs, head to nearby Little Italy or Chinatown.
Why You Should Skip:
SoHo is a really delightful neighborhood, full of people watching, beautiful architecture, and trendy storefronts. I don’t think you’d want to skip this neighborhood. Simply strolling down Greene Street will give you the vibe of the area. Yet if this is your first time to New York City, and you don’t have much time on your hands, you may want to stick to the attractions and areas on your must-see list.
Shopping in SoHo
Second Time Around
Check out a full list of 15 of the best stores in SoHo.
Art Galleries in SoHo
Leslie Lohman Gay Art
Restaurants/Food in SoHo
Dominique Ansel Bakery
Lure Fish Bar
Need more inspiration on how to focus only on what you love in NYC? Check out a full list of attractions.
Don’t forget to read a few articles on how to hack New York City, so you can see more, do more, and stress less!
Heads up! If you click on some of these links and make a purchase, I might get little somthin’-somthin’ for my recommendations! Luckily, I only recommend places that I know, love, and are tested by yours truly!