Best Restaurants in SoHo

May 22, 2018
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by Zagat Staff

Whether you work in the area, have some shopping to do, or just want to get dinner in a subway-convenient area, there are a lot of reasons why you could end up eating in Soho. So it’s a good idea to have a go-to list of restaurants in the neighborhood. Here are 18 options that should be in the running, from New York institutions to newer spots worth your time.

Aquagrill
Brunch · SoHo · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

A “mainstay” for “consistently excellent” seafood, this SoHo “institution” offers “perfectly cooked” fish and “super-fresh” oysters, plus a “fabulous” brunch; if the “low-key” dining room is “showing its age” , service remains “seamless” and the seasonal patio is a “delight.”
Osteria Morini Manhattan
Brunch · SoHo · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

The “fabulous pasta” is a “real draw” at Michael White’s “low-key” SoHo Italian where the rest of the Emilia-Romagna menu is “spot-on” too; “space is tight” in the “rustic” room, but “consistency” from the kitchen means it’s still a “winner.”
Raoul's
French · SoHo · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

“One of the last outposts of bohemian SoHo” , this circa-1975 bistro remains “jam-packed” with “seen-it-all” locals and other lovers of “just perfect” “old-style French” fare served by “pros” in “cozy, dim” digs; yes, it’s “cramped” and “not quiet” , but that’s all part of the “charm” – it’s a NY “institution” that “should be landmarked.”
King
Hudson Square · $$$

Run by expats from London, this Hudson Square Mediterranean presents a concise daily menu of seasonal plates that take a rustic slant. The light-filled corner digs sport whitewashed brick walls, a hardwood floor and a front bar mixing house cocktails with names like Marquis de Sade.
Le Coucou
French · SoHo · $$$$

Stephen Starr and star-chef Daniel Rose of the Paris hits Spring and La Bourse et La Vie are behind this high-end SoHo French in the 11 Howard hotel offering contemporary takes on classic dishes. Designed with softly toned wood and brick with white tablecloths and specially designed chandeliers, it also offers a pared-down selection of cocktails and a well thought-out wine list.
Café Altro Paradiso
Hudson Square · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

“Rock star” chef Ignacio Mattos (Estela) puts “his spin” on Italian cuisine with “fresh ingredients and innovative flavor combinations” at this “fantastic new kid on the block” in Hudson Square; the “gorgeous” setting is “open, airy and high ceilinged” , and tabs are high as well.
Shuka
Mediterranean · SoHo · $$$

In the former space of Hundred Acres by the same team, this Village locale offers an Eastern Mediterranean menu that’s strong on meze and kebabs, as well as dishes like tagines and paella. There are similarly regional wines, along with local beers and cocktails, in a space adorned with marble surfaces and Moroccan tiles.
Charlie Bird
Italian · SoHo · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

The “scene buzzes” at this SoHo “destination” for people "glamming it up” over “spot-on” American fare with Italian “twists” and an “incredible” wine list; flaunting “hip-hop inspiration” with boom-box prints and “loud beats in the background” , it’s both “accomplished” and “too cool for school.”
Blue Ribbon Brasserie
American · SoHo · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.1

The Bromberg brothers “consistently get it right” at these “beloved” New Americans where “down-home” cooking ( “wonderful” matzo ball soup, “ballin’” fried chicken) make for “comfort-food heaven” ; the original SoHo “standby” is a late-night “haunt for off-duty chefs” , while the Bakery Kitchen has “intoxicating” smells of baking bread, and though they're not inexpensive, they remain “perennial favorites.”
Houseman
Hudson Square · $$$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

A “true neighborhood” place, this Hudson Square American from a Prune veteran offers a “short, quirky” daily menu of “satisfying” fare headlined by “succulent” roast chicken; a “relaxed” crew steers the “calm” , white-brick space, which works as well for weekday lunch as “date” night.
The Dutch
American · SoHo · $$$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

“Just what one hopes for in SoHo” , this “happening” American presents chef Andrew Carmellini’s “innovative takes on classic dishes” in an “attractive” “retro setting” where “Downtown” types can “see and be seen” ; skeptics say it’s “noisy” and “expensive for what it is” , but expect “bustling” business “at all times.”
Blue Ribbon Sushi
Sushi · SoHo · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

“First-class” fish in “creative and classic” combos makes for “dazzling” sushi at these Japanese “go-tos” by the brothers Bromberg; you’ll also find brasserie favorites (like “surprisingly good fried chicken” ) at some locales, and while the SoHo original is more “minimalist” than the rest (minus the Hudson Eats counter), all will cost you a “chunk of change.”
Lure Fishbar
Seafood · SoHo · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.0

Still “trendy” and filled with “beautiful people” , this SoHo staple wins ‘em over with “fresh seafood par excellence” and a “swank” , “yachtlike” setting tucked below street level; tabs “on the pricier side” don’t seem to dampen the “active bar scene” or “challenging” decibels.
Burger & Barrel
SoHo · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.9

“Trendy” burgers, “barrel beers” and “wine on tap” collide in a “high-energy” setting at this “happy” SoHo gastropub from the Lure Fishbar folks; if it’s “loud” and “lighting's so low you can barely see your food” , that suits the “cool” crowd.
Balthazar
SoHo · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.0

Keith McNally’s “legendary” SoHo brasserie “still delivers the goods” with its “magnifique” French fare ( “blissful” breakfast, “oh such wonderful” breads) and atmosphere straight out of “Belle Époque Paris” ; it’s “always buzzing” with “locals and tourists alike” , plus a “celebrity or two” , meaning the “tight quarters” can be a “madhouse” – but that’s part of what makes it “a New York classic.”
Jack's Wife Freda
SoHo · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.9

“Simple but delicious” American fare gets a “modern” and often “Mediterranean spin” at these “well-priced” bistros, making them a “pretty-people” favorite; they’re especially “sceney” at brunch ( “if you can get in, you've made it in life” ) when the “cozy” digs fill up fast.
Sadelle's
Brunch · SoHo · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.3 · Service 3.9

The Torrisi crew has “rocked the brunch world” with this SoHo “scene” , an “ode” to “classic” Jewish appetizing appreciated for its “lux” towers of house-cured smoked fish, “fresh-from-the-oven” bagels, “to-die-for” sticky buns and more; the “airy space” becomes candlelit and “less crowded” at dinner, when the menu switches to seafood and European specialties.
La Mercerie
SoHo · $$$

This SoHo spot inside the Roman and Williams Guild design store showcases modern French food as well as all the furnishings inside (which can be ordered from its own retail menu). Natural woods, eclectic ceramics and lots of light round out the comfortable interior, outfitted with sleek banquettes, a flower stand and a grab-and-go pastry counter.