The Best Restaurants In Soho

Where to eat in a neighborhood known for tourists, high-end boutiques, and the occasional random dental clinic.
The Best Restaurants In Soho image

photo credit: Kate Previte

The general takeaway about many Soho restaurants is: “This place has been around forever, and it's still great.” And a lot of spots tend to be filled with tourists, or people who actually wait in line to get into the Supreme store. But that's to be expected. This is Soho, after all. But in addition to a few NYC icons, and restaurants with two-hour waits, you’ll find newer standbys, some solid options for groups who don't want to spend $100 per person, and a few spots where you can grab a midday, pre-shopping meal (see also, our guide to the best lunch in Soho). And if you’ve wandered into Nolita, check out our guide to that adjacent neighborhood.


photo credit: Alex Staniloff



$$$$Perfect For:Classic EstablishmentDining SoloEating At The BarPrivate Dining
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Some nights, there’s a tarot card reader at Raoul’s, at the top of the precariously steep staircase that leads to the restrooms. Other nights, there’s a random B-list celebrity having a martini in the corner, under a hodgepodge of oil paintings. You never know who you’re going to see here, but there will always be a crowd. Known mainly for its peppercorn-crusted burger, which deserves every ounce of hype it gets, this bistro has been serving highly competent French classics since 1975. If you can’t snag a reservation, put your name in for a bar seat.

La Mercerie is a restaurant embedded in the front of a high-end furniture store, and some baguette with butter here will cost you around $8. In other words, La Mercerie is peak Soho. The mostly French menu has salads, buckwheat crepes, baked eggs, and boeuf bourguignon, and the food is excellent. They have weekend brunch, and you can also stop by for a drink at Guild, their new five-seat bar, or a lunch meeting next to a $20,000 couch. Your meal won’t be cheap, but it will impress whoever you need to impress (and still be a lot less expensive than that couch).

photo credit: Blue Ribbon Brasserie



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It feels like the Blue Ribbon staff get together every January and go through a presentation called “Let’s Make Sure This Year is Exactly the Same as Last Year.” You know what they say about things that ain’t broke. This American spot is an undisputed NYC classic, and it's one of the first places we think of at 11pm when we want a meal that doesn’t involve something between two buns. Some of the go-to items are the beef marrow with oxtail marmalade, fried chicken, and anything from the extensive raw bar.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

$$$$Perfect For:Date NightDrinking Good WineDinner with the Parents

You can’t just stumble into this corner spot on MacDougal and King, unless you’re comfortable with a two-hour wait for a table. But if you reserve in advance (or arrive at 4:50pm) you can eat a steamy bowl of very al dente carbonara with enough freshly grated parmesan cheese to elicit a “do you want some pasta with your parmesan?” joke. Sit in the upstairs room to order a la carte: just like at Roscioli’s Roman counterpart, dinner there feels like eating in a deli, but a fancy one, which sells luscious tomato sauce, and perfectly marbled mortadella. Downstairs, there’s a $130 prix-fixe tasting menu with wine pairings.

It’s a good idea to make a reservation at Raku, because otherwise you’re looking at an hour’s wait for a table, even on a random weeknight at 6pm. Fortunately, you can put your name down and go shopping until it’s time for you to enjoy some of NYC’s best udon, available in both hot and cold versions, as well as some small plates. The minimalist space has a useful combination of cozy booths, bar seating, and long communal tables, and you can have a filling dinner for two here for under $100.

Spread over two stories, this dramatic restaurant has lavish chandeliers and concrete walls, and a crowd of people who treat every week like it’s Fashion Week. But you’ll also see groups of coworkers who'd rather not blow their expense accounts at a Midtown restaurant. An ideal meal at Principe consists of as many raw bar items as you can afford, and a pasta or two (try the basil tortellini in brown-butter brodo). As a bonus, the crumpet-like bread, served with goat butter and Calabrian chili oil, is possibly the best thing here, and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Altro Paradiso is from the same people behind Estela, although this place is much bigger, and it’s open for both lunch and dinner. The food is Italian, but it’s not the red-sauce kind—they serve a lot of small plates and lighter pastas, as well as larger things like steak and roasted chicken. During the day, Altro Paradiso is perfect for a lunch meeting, with lots of white marble, blonde wood and big mirrors. At night, it’s good for dates or dinner with the parents. You could also just stop by for a negroni and a bowl of pasta at the bar on your way home from work.

Sadelle’s serves things that you can get at any diner, like club sandwiches and omelets, but they’re the Queer Eye makeover versions of those dishes. Order a bagel, which is elaborately presented like afternoon tea, on a three-tiered tray with cucumber, tomatoes, and whitefish salad. Or a custardy french toast that is literally three-inches thick. It’s always a scene at this spot from the Carbone team, as if an A-list celebrity in a tracksuit may walk through the door any minute.

Yubu does one thing, and they do it really well. They make about a dozen varieties of rice-stuffed, sweet tofu pockets, topped with Korean ingredients. The creamy crab salad one is our favorite, but the bulgogi is a close second. Get a couple pockets for a quick snack, or around four for a full meal. Be sure to add a refreshing “sparkling ade” like the one with fermented Asian green plum. This fast-casual place has a good amount of seating in their bright dining room—unlike their original East Village location, which is takeout-only.

There are modern diners all over the city (S&P, Baby Blues Luncheonette, Thai Diner) but there’s something special about Revelie. Maybe it’s the old-fashioned soda jerk behind the counter, or the fact that they sometimes play marathons of old Baywatch episodes on the TV. Either way, it’s a stellar low-key place for a sneaky Friday lunch of clams casino, or a round of burgers and a bottle of rosé in a booth with your friends at 10pm.

Houseman is in a part of Soho that's mainly known for the mess of cars constantly trying to squeeze into the Holland Tunnel. And maybe that's why you can pretty much always get a table here. We love their bread with honey butter, and the wedge salad—but the number one reason to come here will always be the rich and juicy burger. Its gooey swiss cheese (merged with caramelized onions) comes through in every bite.

Soho has fewer sushi options than you might think, considering it's a neighborhood where hundred dollar bills outnumber public restrooms. If you’re looking for a place to order a la carte nigiri, maki, and sashimi, this iconic late-night spot is still your best option. Blue Ribbon might have the noise level of a restaurant where everything is topped with mayo and fried stuff, but the nigiri here actually leans pretty straightforward and traditional.

A group dinner or weekend brunch at Shuka won’t change the course of your life or even your month, but it will improve your day. In Soho, that’s high praise. Everyone can share flavorful Middle Eastern dishes like thick labne with toppings that change with the seasons, whipped feta with pistachio, and juicy kebabs with pita. There are plenty of vegetarian options, and almost everything costs less than $25. Shuka is a spacious restaurant with several sunny dining rooms, and outdoor tables on charming MacDougal Street. Still, spots fill up fast, so try and reserve ahead if you can.

When the urge for deep-dish pizza hits, Emmett’s is where you should go. That being said, there are other more worthwhile Chicago-style things on the menu. We’re talking about the Italian beef with a spicy giardiniera that you’ll want to dip in the residual beef drippings, and the crispy, thin tavern-style pizzas. The space is pretty small, and feels almost self-consciously dive-y, so we wouldn’t recommend Emmett’s for a big group dinner, but it works for catching up with a friend over a bottle of wine and a pie.

Meals at this elegant French restaurant can be uneven—but the few outstanding dishes and stellar service will transport you directly to the Rue des Whatever in Paris. A creamy brandy sauce is a perfect match for the delicate pike quenelle, and the lobster au poivre (the best thing here) comes with tender chunks of meat in a rich cognac sauce. Once you get past the formal setting with grand chandeliers, you’ll notice you’re surrounded by guests in Tom Ford jackets and elbow-length satin gloves who look like they’re on the way to some kind of Eyes Wide Shut party.

Balthazar is always a scene. A one vodka cocktail and a peep toe heel away from Samantha Jones scene. Next to the regulars sit Soho shoppers and Gen Z kids wearing camo bucket hats who heard about this restaurant from TikTok. It’s an undeniably weird mix for a classic French brasserie that opened in 1997—but the frenetic energy is what makes Balthazar worth visiting for a night of paying too much money for escargot and French onion soup. If you’re in the area with tiny martini stars in your eyes, check it out.

Trends are cyclical, so it was only a matter of time before Fanelli Cafe became hip again. In the mid-twentieth century, this Soho restaurant was a hangout for beat poets and musicians like Bob Dylan, and now it’s one of the preferred destinations for people who wear tiny sunglasses and oversized pants. Swing by if you want to mingle with some influencers and enjoy a roughly $30 meal that consists of very normal bar food. The little space is dark and tavern-like, and there are some tables outside, where you’ll see folks congregating on the sidewalk.

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