In a city of near-constant change, neighborhoods can reinvent themselves seemingly overnight. The 1840-era cast-iron balconies, fire escapes and 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. By the middle of the 20th Century, SoHo's wide, often cobblestoned streets were morphed into gigantic (well, by New York standards) lofts, most of which were occupied by artistic up-and-comers staying in live-work collectives.
Nowadays, SoHo is better known for luxury shopping and the sleek downtown Bloomingdale's have replaced the majority of the district's residential spaces, artist-affiliated or not, and the neighborhood's trendiest galleries moved to Chelsea and the boroughs. The contemporary district's concentration of popular shops can result in crowds of consumers looking for a restorative cup of coffee, mid-day meal or evening feast – all at the same time. Fortunately, with just a bit of foresight, long lines and mediocre meals can easily be avoided. Keep your eyes peeled for our 10 favorites, where SoHo's trademark style and substance come together in one, decidedly delicious shopping break. Spanning historic bistros, neighborhood legends and quirky-cool cafes, we have a recommendation for every appetite.