Get a Taste of the High Life at SoHo's Hottest Tables
In a city of near-constant change, neighborhoods can reinvent themselves seemingly overnight. The 1840-era cast-iron buildings that are near synonymous with the tony streets of modern-day SoHo were once occupied by grand private homes, and, later, oversized, industrialized warehouses. Later, by the middle of the 20th Century, SoHo's wide, often cobblestoned streets were transformed into gigantic (well, by New York standards) lofts, most of which were occupied by artistic up-and-comers staying in live-work collectives.
Still in vogue (and in Vogue) after nearly 20 years, Keith McNalley's ode to the Parisian brasserie is a quintessential SoHo experience.
Local Expert Tip: "Skip the scene with a takeaway basket of Balthazar's legendary breads from the onsite bakery."
Helmed by award-winning chef Andrew Carmellini, two-year-old The Dutch aims to please with haute comfort foods and killer cocktails.
Local Expert Tip: "Request a table in one of the two front rooms, which are closer to the lively bar scene and have big picture windows with great natural light."
The downtown branch of a popular Flatiron tapas bar, Boqueria SoHo brings a bit of Barcelona to Spring Street.
Local Expert Tip: "Got a group? Most tables are first come, first served, but Boqueria takes reservations for parties of six or more."
After more than ten years, Blue Ribbon remains the gold standard for downtown's best bait.
Local Expert Tip: "This dimly lit date spot is generally packed, but arrive early in the afternoon for the less-crowded lunch service."
Michael White's power lunch-ing powerhouse serves Italian cuisine straight out of Emilia-Romagna.
Local Expert Tip: "Before your meal, work up at appetite at the nearby Opening Ceremony flagship. This innovative boutique has two branches in Manhattan, as well as outposts in Tokyo and London."
If Balthazar is a Parisian glamorpuss, Raoul's is her elegant, Hermes-wearing aunt.
Local Expert Tip: "In warm weather, kick things up a notch by requesting an outdoor table in the picturesque rear garden."
Vegans and omnivores alike delight in this 1973-era eatery dedicated to fresh, healthy and -- you guessed it -- natural fare.
Local Expert Tip: "Ask about the vegetable juices and sides of the day. Spring Street Natural's daily specials are seasonal all-stars."
Style and substance, this scene-y restaurant serves top-tier Thai food in a sleek space designed by the Rockwell Group.
Local Expert Tip: "The reflecting pool in the center of the dining room may not exactly bring Chao Praya River to Broome Street, but it does make an atmospheric impression."
Sometimes, you want to go where everybody knows your name -- or at least acts like they might want to.
Local Expert Tip: "The pub can get crowded with shopping bags on Saturday afternoons, but the full menu (and best people-watching) is served up at the bar."
Go beyond the Cronut craze at this SoHo sweet spot from a Daniel and Fauchon alum.
Local Expert Tip: "Cronut-weary devotees pledge the superiority of Dominique's Kouign Amann, a croissant-like pastry encased in a crisp, caramelized crust. "
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