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New York, NY
RESERVE IN ADVANCENo
WAIT TIME WITHOUT RESERVATIONNone
HIGHLIGHTSCast Iron Historic District; designer boutiques
SUBWAYPrince St. (N, R); Spring St. (C, E); Spring St. (6); Broadway-Lafayette St. (B, D, F, M)
Given the innumerable designer boutiques, cute cafés, and trendy galleries lining its charming sett-paved streets today, it’s hard to believe that SoHo was once known as “Hell’s Hundred Acres.” But back in the 19th century, this was an area of sweatshops and gritty industrialism, which later withered even further into a crime-ridden wasteland. It wasn’t until around the 1970s that adventurous artists began setting up their studios in the then-empty industrial spaces, giving the area its artsy-cool feel and kicking off the city’s love affair with lofts. These days, expect a well-heeled, creative-type crowd and clusters of savvy tourists to be wandering the pretty streets, browsing the designer boutiques, and lunching in the cafés.
GO HERE WITH
Shopping companions; friends; a date
WHY WE LIKE IT
It’s a lovely area for café hopping and window shopping. We like to pair a leisurely weekend brunch with an afternoon of hitting the shops and galleries. Even if you’re just out for a stroll, the distinctive 19th century cast iron architecture (which can be found throughout the area, but is especially well preserved in the SoHo Cast Iron Historic District) makes for great scenery.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
SoHo’s streets can get insanely crowded on weekends.
GOOD TO KNOW
The name “SoHo” (which is short for “South of Houston”) was coined by urban theorist Chester Rapkin. The area is bounded by Houston Street to the north and Canal Street to the south and stretches from Lafayette Street in the east to the Hudson River in the west. Moving off Broadway to the east or west and heading to the southern stretches of SoHo (especially around Broome and Grand Streets) will help you to escape the tourist crowds and enable you to explore some of the area’s original independent boutiques. However, most of the area has been taken over by show-stopping designer emporiums like the Koolhaas-designed Prada shop.
All information within this website was checked for accuracy at the time of publication. But since the world moves quickly, things may have changed. Pardon us for any errors as we strive to give you the most up-to-the-minute details!