Your Guide to SoHo
Nestled between Tribeca and Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan and only a stone’s throw away from Little Italy, Chinatown, and the Bowery lies one of New York City’s most fascinating neighbourhoods. Known as SoHo, the area spans all the way from south of Houston Street to Canal Street and between West Broadway and Lafayette. In the 1970s and 80s, SoHo was an artsy neighbourhood; today, it maintains its creative allure, but it has also developed into a prime shopping district full of luxury boutiques and fine art galleries. 🛍
Millions of people the world over have pictured themselves living in New York City, spending their days strolling through the lovely streets of SoHo with its iconic cast-iron architecture, colourful street art, and cosmopolitan vibe. What’s the next best thing to being a local? Book a stay at a hotel in NYC and set off to explore the city by foot. If this is also you, dream no more because, with our insider SoHo travel guide, you’ll feel like a lifelong New Yorker and a habitue of these streets! 😉
Without further ado, here is our list of hidden gems and top things in SoHo NYC.
Table of Contents
SoHo Photo Spots & Tips
SoHo undoubtedly exudes that quintessential NYC charm and is one of the city’s most photogenic neighbourhoods. Trust us: nothing beats walking through the area’s cobblestone streets to discover all the details.
- SoHo streets: Perhaps the best-known architectural trait of SoHo is its historical cast-iron buildings with their structural metal frames and intricate street-front façades. You can find them virtually everywhere, especially when walking down Broadway and Wooster. Some of the most impressive examples are the Roosevelt Building and the E. V. Haughwout Building, both on Broadway. These gorgeous structures will make excellent backdrops for your photos. 👌
- NYC symbols: While in the area, why not take an opportunity to include some other classic New York City symbols in your photos? We’re talking about the ever-present yellow taxis, subway entrances (the one on Prince Street has a particularly pretty entrance), and even the fire escape stairwells. These things are as iconic to New York as the Statue of Liberty itself and will make your Instagram feed pop with Big Apple charm. 🍎
- Street art: While it’s true that SoHo has become more commercial over the years, it hasn’t lost all of its original artsy magnetism. You don’t need to walk far to find incredible, kaleidoscopic murals decorating the walls of buildings. 🎨 At Rivington Street, you’ll discover Kobra’s 27 Club, a mural that pays homage to artists that died at 27, including Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, and Janis Joplin. Another eye-catching mural is Tristan Eaton’s Audrey Hepburn portrait, right beside Caffe Roma on Mulberry St.
- NOMO Hotel: A pocket of greenery in the middle of a concrete jungle, the NOMO Hotel on Crosby Street has a charming foliage archway that’s decorated with fairy lights. With its magical atmosphere, this is one of the most instagrammable spots in SoHo. After getting all your shots, check out the hotel’s conservatory-style restaurant, NOMO Kitchen. 😋
Best SoHo Activities All Year Round
SoHo is a neighbourhood bustling with life, and there are always great things to do. Here are some of our favourite activities.
- Shop ‘til you drop: When it comes down to spending the bucks, few places in New York City are as diverse as SoHo. 🛍 You’ll find everything from famous French and Italian luxury boutiques to pop-up shops, sporting brands, independent, vintage, and even punk stores. There’s no wonder why brands like Apple and Uniqlo picked this neighbourhood for their flagship stores. Still, it’s not all about fashion. For design goods, visit the shop of the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Design Store, where you’ll find homeware, kitchen tools, art books, and stationery — all in innovative, modern design. For some eccentric shopping, visit museum-style Evolution. The place feels like a cabinet of curiosity, with the shelves packed with things like framed insects, taxidermy, and even actual skulls. Eclectic, but fun. 😮
- Unusual museums: SoHo is also home to many fascinating museums. The Leslie-Lohman Museum, for instance, exhibits artworks by LGBTQ+ artists revolving around queer themes. Although the space is not that large, the institution makes the best use of it by also opening it up as a safe space for community engagement with lectures, discussions, and events. 🏳️🌈 Considered a must-see, the New York City Fire Museum is home to a collection that showcases the evolution of fire defence technology from the 18th century to modern days. Above all, the museum also pays tribute to the rich and proud history of NYFD. 🚒 Kids usually have a hard time leaving the small but enchanting Children’s Museum of the Arts, a child-centric place with ongoing exhibitions that always grasp their attention. The museum also has workshops for the little ones to get their hands dirty — literally speaking — including screenprint, oil painting, clay, collages, sculpting, and even animation and sound art. Note it’s best to book the workshops in advance.
- A Flytographer SoHo shoot: Many will argue that the best thing to do in SoHo is to simply roam its streets because that’s where the magic happens. Another excellent way to experience the neighbourhood’s vibe is booking a Flytographer photo shoot that doubles as a walking sightseeing tour. Our NYC Flytographers will show you their favourite secret places, hidden gems, and photogenic spots all while capturing your fun times. You will come away with remarkable photographs and unforgettable memories. 📸
Spring in SoHo
Spring in New York is simply divine, and there’s no better time to book a walking tour or bike around SoHo and explore its street art scene, cobblestone streets, and small but scenic parks.
You can also take a stroll down to neighbouring Greenwich Village (or simply “The Village”, as locals call it), to explore its various cafes, restaurants, and shops. Don’t miss leafy Bleecker Street, one of NYC’s most famous streets, filled with red-brick townhouses.
In SoHo and Greenwich Village, spring means outdoor dining and open-air markets, a great way to get in some people-watching while being a part of the local scene. 🌸
Summer in SoHo
On a bright summer day, exploring SoHo by bike is never a bad idea. This way, you can see more of the neighbourhood in less time than walking and have a better grasp of its layout. New Yorkers love to use the Citi Bike program — nowadays, riding these blue bikes is as popular as riding the yellow taxis. You can buy a day pass or even a single ride. 🚲
Need to cool off? You don’t need to go all the way to the beaches of Long Island. What about some ice cream? Or better yet — what about an entire museum dedicated to ice cream? On 558 Broadway, you’ll find the Museum of Ice Cream, featuring interactive and multisensory installations, like a giant rainbow sprinkle pool and a cookie carousel. With a quirky pink façade, this place is Instagram heaven. 🍦
Fall in SoHo
To many, October in NYC is the best time of all seasons. SoHo and its surroundings unquestionably have ideal spots to enjoy it.
In SoHo, several boutiques and major department stores receive new collections for fall, and since this is New York, everything is the latest in fashion. If shopping is not in your budget, you can still get a glimpse of the fashionable and cool crowd that always flocks to the neighbourhood.
Autumn is also excellent for a stroll outside to admire the changing colours of the foliage. Pay a visit to the beautiful Hudson River Park for this natural spectacle and admire the hues of reds, oranges, and golds up in the trees. The park also boasts gorgeous skyline views of both sides of the river. 🏙️
You can also head to Washington Square Park, which, despite the crisp and chilly weather, remains as busy as always. Every fall, the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit takes place along the east side of the park and showcases a cosmopolitan mix of fine artists and craft artisans.
Winter in SoHo
December in NYC is pure magic, and, like the rest of the city, SoHo is even more beautiful when covered in snow and dressed up for Christmas. 🎄
The area is probably the best for Christmas shopping in town because it isn’t as jam-packed as midtown Manhattan is but still has the same festive feeling. You’ll find beautiful decorations in shops and restaurants everywhere, and you might even get to hear carolling.
If it’s too cold out, check what’s screening at the Film Forum, a film house screening foreign alternative flicks and riveting documentaries since the 1970s. Believe it or not, this is the only independent, non-profit cinema in the city. You might even get a holiday classic during the season. 📽
Restaurants Near SoHo
Need a break from all the shopping? This area is also graced with some of the best restaurants in New York City. From Mediterranean food to Japanese and French, SoHo is the place!
- Black Tap: Black Tap is a true NYC institution. It all started on Broome Street, but it gained the world’s attention because of its craft burgers and delicious milkshakes. Besides good food, this old-school luncheonette-inspired venue also exudes all the hip-hop swag from the SoHo of the 80s and 90s. If you’re a beer drinker, they have an excellent variety of craft beers worth trying. Cheers! 🍻
- Balthazar: Since 1997, this romantic eatery has served traditional French delights from breakfast to dinner, and they have a delicious brunch on weekends. The menu includes classics like moules frites and steak tartare as well as more modern options like burgers and steak frites. The old-school, classic decor and busy ambiance add to the charm.
Cafes & Bars Near SoHo
Fancy a cup of coffee? Or perhaps a drink?
- Dominique Ansel Bakery: Dominique Ansel Bakery on Spring St serves delightful French treats, including the famous Cronut, an award-winning croissant-doughnut hybrid invented by chef Dominique Ansel himself. 🍩 This place is highly disputed, so you might need to stand in line for a while — but it’s all worth it.
- The Ear Inn: Another NYC classic with over two hundred years of continuous operation, this bar on Spring Street is the oldest standing bar in the city. It’s a great place to have a laid-back, fun time over a couple of beers, feeling the pace of the city. The interior is full of memorabilia and pictures, and some say the ghosts of old sailors still show up to have a drink or two. Hey, after a couple of beers and wonderful music, who’s bothered? 🤷♀️
- Butterfly: Are you feeling fancy? Then head to Butterfly, the high-end, seductive cocktail bar of the Sixty SoHo Hotel. The space is the perfect combination of sophisticated and playful, designed in the style of an intricate living room, decorated in a whismiscal stylewith different animal prints, patterns, and elements — dress to impress. 🕺
Other NYC Tips
It’s difficult to talk about New York City and not to mention other sightseeing spots outside SoHo. While visiting the Big Apple, let yourself get swept up in the magic of Broadway shows and the electric buzz of Midtown & Times Square. Also, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge while you admire the impressive skyline of Downtown Manhattan. Whether you are exploring Midtown, Greenwich Village, Central Park, or Brooklyn – you can’t go wrong when it comes to NYC neighbourhoods. 👟
For more NYC inspiration, check this guide to the best things to do in the city.
Capturing Memories in SoHo
Who would have guessed there’s so much to do in just one neighbourhood? In fact, there’s much more. SoHo, like NYC, is full of surprises. To make your visit even more memorable, book a Flytographer photo session and enjoy the experience to the fullest. 📸
“Amanda is AMAZING! She was early, outgoing, funny, professional but felt like a longtime friend at the same time. We met her in Central Park, she knows it so well. She was terrific with my girls and captured the most amazing photos for us. She had us laughing and made it so much fun. We weren’t having the best time in NY, she really helped us out a lot and made our trip so much better. I can’t wait to print every photo and put them all over our house and my office. Definitely going on our holiday cards. I will tell everyone I know that goes to NY to book with Amanda!”
“Sehee was sweet, flexible and amazing to work with! She made us feel very comfortable in front of the camera and gave clear instructions and guidance. She helped us pose but also let us take a few silly photos. She knows all the best spots to shoot and worked so efficiently. Thank you so much, Sehee!”