Packed with great shops, restaurants, museums, and more, a trip to SoHo is one of the best things to do on a visit to New York. Here’s our guide to things to do in SoHo.
The Basics of SoHo
There’s a very simple way SoHo got its name. “SoHo” stands for “South of Houston,” in reference to the Houston Street barrier that separates the district from the rest the island. SoHo is in Lower Manhattan and is accessible by several subway and bus lines. It’s also a lovely and scenic walk if visitors feel like walking through Manhattan. SoHo is next to several of the most exciting parts of the city. Greenwich Village is to its north and Tribeca is to the south. Continuing past SoHo to the east will bring you to the Lower East Side and Two Bridges neighborhoods.
Shopping in SoHo
SoHo boasts some of the top shopping outlets in the city. Dropping a few bucks at the area’s excellent stories is one of the best things to do in SoHo. Sneakerheads — or people who need a reliable pair after trekking through the city — should head to the Adidas Originals flagship store on Spring Street. This destination has a wide selection of the esteemed brand’s sneakers as well as a customizing station.
Right up the street from the Adidas store is the luxury Chanel SoHo outlet. This upscale store boasts a wide selection of the brand’s trademark handbags, as well as other fashion accessories.
SoHo is also an excellent outpost for anyone who wants to stock up for a trip into nature. The Patagonia store on Green Street is a superb choice for quality cold-weather and exploring outerwear and accessories. There’s also a North Face store on Wooster Street. Like Patagonia, North Face has a wide selection of outdoor clothing and must-haves.
How about a new watch while in town? The Victorian Swiss Army store on Wooster Street offers the celebrated company’s high-quality watches and accessories. These are only a few of the shopping options in SoHo. The streets of this district offer plenty of opportunities to fill up a few bags.
The Best Bars and Restaurants in SoHo
If you’re thirsty for a drink or two, the first place to stop in SoHo is Jack’s Wife Freda. The flagship location of this New York favorite mixes an intriguing blend of multicultural cuisine with a list of classic cocktails. The special cantaloupe mimosa is a must, as are the Jack’s Manhattan and Freda’s Negroni cocktails. You can find Jack’s Wife Freda on Lafayette Street.
The Spring Street institution called Balthazar is one of New York City’s finest French restaurants. This bistro has a flashy red color and offers its famous steak frites and raw bar. The iconic and lively restaurant is also known for its French onion soup and an extensive drink menu with absinthe and pastis cocktails.
Toad Hall on Grand Street is a charming outlier in SoHo. It’s a classic city dive joint with a friendly, relaxed vibe and plenty of cheap beers and stiff mixed drinks. Stop in to shoot a few rounds of pool in the back before heading out to the shops and swank of SoHo.
Burger fans will flip for the Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer joint on Broome Street. Black Tap is a happening spot with creative burger offerings. Try the “Greg Norman” with blue cheese and arugula, or the “Pizza Burger” with tomato sauce and mozzarella. There’s also a menu of sweet shakes for dessert. A burger and a shake here is one of the best things to do in SoHo.
The James Hotel on Thompson Street is home to Jimmy, one of SoHo’s best bars. This upscale lounge is located on the 18th floor of the hotel and offers extraordinary views of the city and creative cocktails. Relax and enjoy the view with a spicy Mexican chocolate truffle drink, made with tequila, dark chocolate, and red Thai chili.
If you indulge in a cigar from time to time, the SoHo Cigar Bar on Watts Street is the place to go. Pair one of their fine stogies with a mixed drink or a selection from their bourbon and whiskey menu.
Things to See in SoHo
There are plenty of cultural attractions to enjoy in SoHo. The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art on Wooster Street has an extensive collection of LGBT-themed artwork. The museum also hosts performances, events, and special exhibitions.
The Angelika Film Center on West Houston Street is one of New York’s most exceptional options for arthouse films. The theater has an on-premises cafe and shows acclaimed indie and foreign films. The Angelika also plays host to plenty of movie events with acclaimed filmmakers and performers.
On Vandam Street, the SoHo Playhouse is the spot to go for gripping off-Broadway productions. The playhouse is home to cutting-edge plays, performances, comedy shows, and other events.
The Drawing Center on Wooster Street is a unique museum that celebrates historical and contemporary drawings. It’s an ideal space to stroll through and enjoy. Be sure to check out the “Open Sessions” exhibition, showcasing up-and-coming artists.
A Trek to SoHo
Full of exciting cultural attractions and places to dine, drink, and shop, there are plenty of things to do in SoHo. Enjoy your visit!