Most Stylish Restaurants in SoHo

March 16, 2017
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by Zagat Staff

In one of New York's trendiest neighborhoods, these popular restaurants stand the test of time — each of them has been open for more than a decade, which means they may very well never go out of style. 

Cipriani Downtown
Italian · SoHo · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

“Air kisses” abound at these “posh” Italians where “pretty people” , “billionaires” and those wanting to “feel powerful” go for “well-prepared” Italian dishes at “absurdly expensive” tabs; all offer “chic” surrounds, including a columned terrace over Wall Street and a “spectacular” perch above Grand Central’s concourse (with a take-out bakery/cafe across the street).
Balthazar
French · 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.”
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.”
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.”
The Mercer Kitchen
French · SoHo · $$$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.7

Ever “chic” , Jean-Georges Vongerichten's “still buzzy” SoHo vet in the Mercer Hotel is touted for “enjoyable” Franco-American cooking offered in “dimly lit” subterranean digs; despite some “snobbish” ‘tudes and “pricey” tabs, the “great location” and “models-’r’-us” vibe keep it ever “bustling.”
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.”
Café Altro Paradiso
Italian · 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.
Seamore's
Seafood · Little Italy · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.9

Bringing a bit of the “Hamptons” to NYC, these “modern” fish shacks from Michael Chernow (The Meatball Shop) spotlight sustainable seafood served in “awesome” fish tacos and other “tasty” bites; the “light, airy” settings have a “beachy” feel, but because they're “super-trendy” , don’t be surprised when they're “noisy" ; P.S. look out for lots of rums at the Chelsea branch's downstairs bar.
Pasquale Jones
American · NoLita · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

“Another winner” from the Charlie Bird team, this “hot” NoLita Italian “lives up to the fanfare” with “exceptional” pizzas and other “inventive” dishes from a wood-burning oven; there's a “nice buzz” in the “relaxed” space courtesy of a hip-hop soundtrack and a staff that’s like a “well-oiled machine” – but “good luck getting a table.”
Carbone
Italian · Greenwich Village · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

“Amazing twists” on “old-school” Italian cooking (including “life-changing” rigatoni) make for a serious “feast” at this “clubby” Village “destination” , where the “classic” decor, “nattily dressed” servers and “throwback” soundtrack will take you back to “Little Italy of the ’50s” ; the bill might “set off the smoke alarm” (beware the specials), but reservations still remain “too hard to get.”