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A line of five story buildings in bright sunlight with cast iron pillars.
Soho’s cast-iron commercial row along Broadway.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

27 Restaurants That Prove Soho Offers More Than Just Pricey Shopping

A tourist favorite, NYC’s Soho has a number of great restaurants to rival its retailers and art galleries

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Soho’s cast-iron commercial row along Broadway.
| Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Soho has a reputation — perhaps unjustified — of having a rarified collection of expensive-but-mediocre restaurants that cater to shoppers who frequent its boutiques and art galleries. A little digging reveals a lot more restaurants of widely varying prices packed into Soho than many New Yorkers might imagine. Though the borders of the neighborhood are fuzzy, for the purposes of this map it extends between Lafayette Street and Sixth Avenue on the east and west, and Houston and Canal streets on the north and south.

Before it was the art, shopping, and pricey apartment district it is today, the neighborhood was largely industrial and commercial, filled with the cast-iron architecture of the city’s Victorian era. By the 1960s and ’70s, it had become rundown, and the stage was set for artists to move in and establish loft studios in its distinctive buildings. Galleries and boutiques followed, and finally big box stores along Broadway, attracting droves of shoppers. Now few artist’s lofts remain, but there are dozens upon dozens of restaurants, many of them excellent, and some surprisingly inexpensive.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Charlie Bird

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A perennially popular spot, Charlie Bird serves up lighter pasta creations, like agnolotti with sunchokes. Don’t miss the raw bar selection, with standouts like razor clams with fennel; among the small plates, the seasonally changing farro is a highlight. Large plates are primarily seafood- and fowl-centric, and the excellent wine selection makes this place a hospitality industry hang. The space is lined with canary yellow booths and framed boombox prints, accompanied by a hip hop soundtrack.

Tables and chairs set against a yellow banquette
Charlie Bird’s canary yellow banquettes.
Daniel Krieger/Eater New York

Niche Niche

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Niche Niche is an un-stuffy spot for wine tasting, where wine experts from restaurants all over New York City and around the country curate their favorite wine lists on different nights. Downstairs, owner Ariel Arce also oversees a basement retro jazz hangout called Special Club where blues, soul and jazz musicians perform as people sip champagne, cocktails, sake, and wine.

At Niche Niche where a bottle of wine is being poured into a glass on a tabletop.
Wine is the main attraction at Niche Niche.
Matt Taylor-Gross/Eater NY

This handsome, low-key restaurant is descended from London’s famed River Cafe, and the menu reflects a mix of Italian and French cuisine — with some Brit sensibilities thrown in. A meal should begin with a plate of panisse (chickpea fritters shaped like oversized french fries) decorated with brittle toasted sage leaves before progressing to an entree such as steamed lobster with fava beans, fried mackerel with aioli, or hanger steak chargrilled over thyme branches with potato dauphinoise and watercress. The menu changes often and the wine list is one of Soho’s best.

A sunny dining room with white tablecloth tables
King’s sunny interior.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Pepe Rosso

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Once related to a long-ago restaurant chain with branches in several neighborhoods, Pepe Rosso is one of the few still standing. It offers bargain appetizers, salads, and a long list of pastas in a corner of the neighborhood that retains much of its Italian charm, with pasta store Raffetto’s and butcher shop Pino’s Prime Meat just steps away. Homemade focaccia and grated parmesan in a tub accompany every order, and beer and wine is available — with lots of outdoor seating and a little indoors.

A plate of wide noodles with red sauce.
Spicy pappardelle with sausage.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja creates flavorful, colorful dishes that meld Tunisian, Moroccan, and Italian influences at this Eastern Mediterranean restaurant. It’s that rare brunch spot with solid food and a fun vibe; opt for the shakshuka or lamb burger. The space is especially lovely in the daytime, with ample windows in both the front, street-facing room and the greenhouse-like back area. Shuka is part of Vicki Freeman and Marc Meyer’s downtown portfolio, which also includes Vic’s, Rosie’s, and Cookshop.

A white table full of salad, spreads, pita, and skewered meat
A spread of mezze, salads, and skewers at Shuka.
Shuka

The Dutch

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This Andrew Carmellini spot serves vaguely Southern comfort food, filled with plenty of wild cards: pumpkin sundaes, kimchi fried rice flanking a hanger steak, and black sea bass with cripsy rice. Try the excellent fried chicken, served in a stainless-steel wok with honey butter biscuits and coleslaw and available for lunch, brunch, or dinner. There’s also a popular house burger, and an oyster and raw bar selection served in the oyster room, as well as on the main menu. The clubby corner space is done up in dark wood, with a handful of comfy round booths to pile into in the back.

Fried chicken, slaw, and small biscuits served in a metal bowl.
Fried chicken at the Dutch.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sadelle's

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Sunday bagels, lox, and schmear get theatrically updated at Major Food Group’s very expensive take on a (very much not kosher) Jewish appetizing joint. Seed-crusted bagels are stacked tall on wooden batons for the various, dramatically plated spreads of salmon, sable, sturgeon, and whitefish salad. There’s an entire caviar section, available with scrambled eggs, latkes, lobster benedict, or as a supplement to any dish. Other options include sticky buns or egg scrambles and sandwiches incorporating smoked salmon and salami.

On three separate plates, sliced fish, vegetables, and a bagel with cream cheese served in a separate metal cup.
Sturgeon and other accoutrements with bagels at Sadelle’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Raoul's

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The big, once-elusive draw at this longtime French bistro is the burger. Supposedly, a dozen patties are available each night at the Soho old-timer, and only at the bar; however, for the past few years, it’s also been available on the weekend brunch menu. It’s comprised of a peppercorn-crusted Pat LaFrieda brisket blend, seared in butter, topped with creamy Saint-Andre cheese, watercress, onions, and cornichons, and served on a challah bun from Amy’s Bread with duck fat fries and cream and cognac sauce on the side. Beyond the burger, opt for bistro classics like escargot, pate, frisee with lardons and a poached egg, or steak tartare.

Raoul’s burger with oozing cheese
Only a limited amount of burgers are served at Raoul’s.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Omen Azen

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From its founding in 1981, when Omen Azen was one of a very few restaurants in Soho, it was a hang for celebrities and artists. The list included Yoko Ono, Richard Gere, Patti Smith, and Bill T. Jones, who became regulars for the simple and elegant Japanese food. The sashimi platters have become legendary at this walk-up dining room with a jazz soundtrack, but noodles, hot pots, and tempura are also good choices.

A white plate with 10 or so sashimi selections, including tuna, uni, and mackerel.
Sashimi selection at Omen Azen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Alidoro

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This tiny sandwich shop dating to 1986 was one of the first in town to offer real Italian panini rendered on quality bread and deploying imported cold cuts and cheeses. The menu is appropriately inscrutable — it’s not the kind of place you wander in and request a roast beef on rye with Russian dressing. Instead, be prepared to study the detailed menu, offering sandwiches with names like Pinocchio, Michelangelo, and Fellini. A favorite is the Fiorello, stacked with mortadella, fresh mozzarella, and eggplant caponata.

A small white storefront with a single table in front, and two people sitting at it.
Alidoro’s storefront on Sullivan Street.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Blue Ribbon Brasserie

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This classic Soho spot has been a reliable standby in the area for decades, and is one of the city’s finer late night options — though it’s not open until 4 a.m. nightly like before. The very first outpost of the Blue Ribbon mini-empire founded by brothers Bruce and Eric Bromberg, Blue Ribbon Brasserie has been serving up classic options like raw bar platters, bone marrow with toasts, and fried chicken since 1992 in a comfortable, simple space that has attracted chefs and celebrities for years.

Altro Paradiso

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The Estela team is behind this much airier, larger restaurant, where the focus is Italian cuisine. Chef Ignacio Mattos of Estela applies his subversive style to a menu that has included riffs on cacio e pepe, a wagyu burger, and beef carpaccio. The space, just west of Soho’s boundaries in Hudson Square, is drenched in sunlight and lined with a low, handsome cognac-hued U-shaped leather seating.

Cafe Altro Paradiso ramp spaghetti.
A seasonal ramp spaghetti at Altro Paradiso.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Dominique Ansel Bakery

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Yes, people still line up early in the morning to get a Cronut in one of Soho’s great tribal spectacles, but there are plenty of other great pastries of an unusual sort that customers can grab and go. And there are sandwiches, too, made on predictably great bread from a shifting roster that includes a toasted cheese and a dijon chicken salad dotted with pistachios. Croissants with a variety of stuffings also available.

A store with a yellow awning and people sitting at tables in front.
Dominque Ansel Bakery is a Soho classic.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Famous Ben's Pizza

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Since 1977, when this corner of Soho was still largely Italian and Portuguese, Ben’s has been slinging pizza at the corner of Thompson and Spring. The array displayed behind the glass sneeze guard is impressive in its number of choices, but go for any of the thick, square Sicilian slices, which is what Ben’s does best. The sweet Palermo slice is heaped with olive-oiled bread crumbs and caramelized onions, and is available almost nowhere else in town, reflecting the style of snacking in Palermo, Sicily’s capital.

A corner of a square pie with crumbs on top and sprigs of flat leaf parsley.
Palermo slice at Famous Ben’s Pizza.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Boqueria

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This tapas bar was one of the earliest to reinvigorate that form of restaurant when it opened in the Flatiron District nearly 15 years ago, offering outstanding selections of charcuterie and cheese with Spanish flair. The Soho branch is perhaps the most comfortable, on a tree-lined street with an angular bar that is the center of activity. Recommended dishes have included grilled squid, steak served with pimentos, mixed seafood paella, and, for dessert, churros dipped in chocolate.

A metal pan of paella.
Paella at Boqueria.
Boqueria

Lure Fishbar

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The always-sceney seafood restaurant feels like a sleek yacht. The space is filled with big leather booths, striking white detailing, and glossy wood, with porthole-like windows peeking out to the street from the subterranean space. The sushi is solid — though quite pricey — with crowd-pleasers like crispy sushi rice topped with ingredients like uni and jalapeño. The seafood-dominated menu also offers classics like various shellfish tower options, crab cakes, crispy calamari, and lobster rolls.

Fanelli’s Cafe

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The quintessential Soho saloon opened in 1847, according to its website, but for part of that first century it was a grocery store. Nevertheless, a visit to Fanelli’s is to step back in time, and no place in Soho evokes the 19th century and the area’s cast-iron era more effectively. The bar food is profuse and predictable, running to burgers, shepherd’s pie, and chili con carne served with grated cheddar and sour cream. Isolated in its own pool of light, Fanelli’s has only burnished its image as a late-evening destination during the pandemic.

A bowl of red chili with cheese and sour cream.
Chili con carne at Fanelli’s Cafe.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Ba'al Cafe & Falafel

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This sleeper in the southwest corner of Soho, now a decade old and named after a Caananite god who may have been the forerunner of Beelzebub, specializes in falafel that’s freshly fried, but it also offers all sorts of other chicken and vegetable sandwiches and pita pizzas. For this expensive neighborhood, the prices are a steal, but there’s not much seating, so head to one of the nearby parks along Sixth Avenue.

A narrow storefront with a dark red awning advertising falafel and a partially bald person going in.
Ba’al Cafe’s storefront on Sullivan Street.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Lupe's East L.A. Kitchen

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A refuge of Los Angeles expats, Lupe’s offers the typical menu of that city’s Mexican-American cuisine in a brightly colored setting full of chrome and Formica. The burritos are an obvious choice, but the bill of fare also presents options such as potato-filled taquitos and steaming bowls of chile colorado and chile verde. Strong cocktails are available, too.

three rolled tacos filled with potato with rice and beans on the side
Potato taquitos at Lupe’s East L.A. Kitchen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pi Bakerie

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This branch of the mighty Artopolis — Astoria’s best Greek bakery, which closed during the pandemic — persists in a sunny Broome Street location with tables in front that are a great place to grab an espresso and a hand pie like spanakopita or galaktoboureko. Step inside the packed and antique-filled interior, and inspect the collection of cookies, pastries, casseroles, and salads, then assemble a choice selection for one of Soho’s most pleasing and relaxed lunches.

A brightly lit casserole brown on top in a round vessel.
Moussaka at Pi Bakerie.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Balthazar

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This 25-year-old Keith McNally spot is an NYC institution that reimagined what a French brasserie could look, feel, and taste like stateside. Largely influential on the city’s dining landscape throughout its two decades, Balthazar serves up a great meal at all hours, in a big, lively space, lined with massive distressed mirrors, dark wood, and red banquettes. From splurge-y breakfasts (the croissants are, indeed, excellent) to expense-account or special-occasion dinners, for which the Balthazar plateaux or steak frites are highlights, it’s a New York restaurant icon.

Slab of pate, cornichons, baby lettuces, and stewed prune.
Country pate at Balthazar.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Flipper's

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The specialty of this Japanese import — closed throughout the COVID-19 era but now somewhat miraculously reopened — are the thick spongy soufflé pancakes worth a try. While its speciality isn’t good for eating everyday, there are many other breakfast and brunch options available all day, making this an interesting pit stop until late afternoon. These include sandwiches served with good fries, boba teas, entree salads, and fried chicken with waffles.

Three thick pancakes covered with powdered sugar and assorted fruit.
Souffle pancakes at Flipper’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Soho Diner

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Located in a Soho Hotel, this isn’t a real diner despite its name. Rather, it’s a fanciful recreation of a diner with today’s eclectic food tastes incorporated at somewhat hiked up prices. Breakfasts excels with huevos rancheros and buttermilk pancakes, while a few unique lunch and dinner selections include a Buffalo-style beef on weck sandwich on a caraway-seeded roll slathered with horseradish sauce that few places in town attempt. This sandwich alone is enough to merit a visit.

A pie in a pot with a big puffy pastry on top.
Chicken pot pie at Soho Diner.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

BoCaphe

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The neighborhood is full of coffee bars and French bistros, but why not go for a coffee at this Vietnamese bistro, and look at it drip like a slowly leaking faucet while people watching on Lafayette Street? The menu is top notch, too, including some very engaging breakfast and luncheon fare, running to a breakfast banh mi, eggs benedict with a steamed bao instead of english muffin, avocado toast, and a simple baguette with butter.

A clear glass mug with coffee dripping into it from a metal contraption on top.
Vietnamese coffee at BoCaphe.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Antique Garage

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The decor may make it seem like a theme restaurant, with its massive hanging chandelier and walls full of bric-a-brac, but Antique Garage is a Turkish restaurant under deep cover, with a beguiling selection of grilled meats in large portions, including a fine ground-lamb beyti kebab wrapped in pita and drenched with tomato and yogurt sauces. Vegetarians will have plenty of options here, with dishes like the so-called spring roll of grilled zucchini filled with feta.

Rolls of summer squash stuffed with yellow bell pepper and white cubes of cheese, topped with fresh dill.
Zucchini spring roll at Antique Garage.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Landmark Coffee Shop & Pancake House

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Finally, a place for belt-busting breakfasts and decent burgers served with average french fries. The burgers are fine, but the breakfasts are much better than fine, with tasty pancakes not too thick or thin, eggs cooked perfectly to order, and well-buttered toast. Diners walk away sated for not much money.

Stack of pancakes, two fried eggs, three sausages, and buttered toast on a bright blue counter.
One of Landmark’s giant breakfasts.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Le Coucou

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This unabashedly luxurious French spot, in a massive, chandelier-filled space within the posh 11 Howard Hotel, serves all sorts of old-school French classics in digs that feel decidedly sexy, not stuffy. Restaurateur Stephen Starr and chef Daniel Rose, the latter of whom came from Paris’ acclaimed Spring, serve up starters that include whole lobsters, foie gras terrine, and beef tartare topped with caviar, followed by entrees such as sole Veronique and an entire rabbit. Don’t skip dessert.

A spread of dishes on plates and metal trays at Le Coucou.
A spread of classic French dishes at Le Coucou.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Charlie Bird

Tables and chairs set against a yellow banquette
Charlie Bird’s canary yellow banquettes.
Daniel Krieger/Eater New York

A perennially popular spot, Charlie Bird serves up lighter pasta creations, like agnolotti with sunchokes. Don’t miss the raw bar selection, with standouts like razor clams with fennel; among the small plates, the seasonally changing farro is a highlight. Large plates are primarily seafood- and fowl-centric, and the excellent wine selection makes this place a hospitality industry hang. The space is lined with canary yellow booths and framed boombox prints, accompanied by a hip hop soundtrack.

Tables and chairs set against a yellow banquette
Charlie Bird’s canary yellow banquettes.
Daniel Krieger/Eater New York

Niche Niche

At Niche Niche where a bottle of wine is being poured into a glass on a tabletop.
Wine is the main attraction at Niche Niche.
Matt Taylor-Gross/Eater NY

Niche Niche is an un-stuffy spot for wine tasting, where wine experts from restaurants all over New York City and around the country curate their favorite wine lists on different nights. Downstairs, owner Ariel Arce also oversees a basement retro jazz hangout called Special Club where blues, soul and jazz musicians perform as people sip champagne, cocktails, sake, and wine.

At Niche Niche where a bottle of wine is being poured into a glass on a tabletop.
Wine is the main attraction at Niche Niche.
Matt Taylor-Gross/Eater NY

King

A sunny dining room with white tablecloth tables
King’s sunny interior.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

This handsome, low-key restaurant is descended from London’s famed River Cafe, and the menu reflects a mix of Italian and French cuisine — with some Brit sensibilities thrown in. A meal should begin with a plate of panisse (chickpea fritters shaped like oversized french fries) decorated with brittle toasted sage leaves before progressing to an entree such as steamed lobster with fava beans, fried mackerel with aioli, or hanger steak chargrilled over thyme branches with potato dauphinoise and watercress. The menu changes often and the wine list is one of Soho’s best.

A sunny dining room with white tablecloth tables
King’s sunny interior.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Pepe Rosso

A plate of wide noodles with red sauce.
Spicy pappardelle with sausage.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Once related to a long-ago restaurant chain with branches in several neighborhoods, Pepe Rosso is one of the few still standing. It offers bargain appetizers, salads, and a long list of pastas in a corner of the neighborhood that retains much of its Italian charm, with pasta store Raffetto’s and butcher shop Pino’s Prime Meat just steps away. Homemade focaccia and grated parmesan in a tub accompany every order, and beer and wine is available — with lots of outdoor seating and a little indoors.

A plate of wide noodles with red sauce.
Spicy pappardelle with sausage.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Shuka

A white table full of salad, spreads, pita, and skewered meat
A spread of mezze, salads, and skewers at Shuka.
Shuka

Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja creates flavorful, colorful dishes that meld Tunisian, Moroccan, and Italian influences at this Eastern Mediterranean restaurant. It’s that rare brunch spot with solid food and a fun vibe; opt for the shakshuka or lamb burger. The space is especially lovely in the daytime, with ample windows in both the front, street-facing room and the greenhouse-like back area. Shuka is part of Vicki Freeman and Marc Meyer’s downtown portfolio, which also includes Vic’s, Rosie’s, and Cookshop.

A white table full of salad, spreads, pita, and skewered meat
A spread of mezze, salads, and skewers at Shuka.
Shuka

The Dutch

Fried chicken, slaw, and small biscuits served in a metal bowl.
Fried chicken at the Dutch.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This Andrew Carmellini spot serves vaguely Southern comfort food, filled with plenty of wild cards: pumpkin sundaes, kimchi fried rice flanking a hanger steak, and black sea bass with cripsy rice. Try the excellent fried chicken, served in a stainless-steel wok with honey butter biscuits and coleslaw and available for lunch, brunch, or dinner. There’s also a popular house burger, and an oyster and raw bar selection served in the oyster room, as well as on the main menu. The clubby corner space is done up in dark wood, with a handful of comfy round booths to pile into in the back.

Fried chicken, slaw, and small biscuits served in a metal bowl.
Fried chicken at the Dutch.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sadelle's

On three separate plates, sliced fish, vegetables, and a bagel with cream cheese served in a separate metal cup.
Sturgeon and other accoutrements with bagels at Sadelle’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sunday bagels, lox, and schmear get theatrically updated at Major Food Group’s very expensive take on a (very much not kosher) Jewish appetizing joint. Seed-crusted bagels are stacked tall on wooden batons for the various, dramatically plated spreads of salmon, sable, sturgeon, and whitefish salad. There’s an entire caviar section, available with scrambled eggs, latkes, lobster benedict, or as a supplement to any dish. Other options include sticky buns or egg scrambles and sandwiches incorporating smoked salmon and salami.

On three separate plates, sliced fish, vegetables, and a bagel with cream cheese served in a separate metal cup.
Sturgeon and other accoutrements with bagels at Sadelle’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Raoul's

Raoul’s burger with oozing cheese
Only a limited amount of burgers are served at Raoul’s.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

The big, once-elusive draw at this longtime French bistro is the burger. Supposedly, a dozen patties are available each night at the Soho old-timer, and only at the bar; however, for the past few years, it’s also been available on the weekend brunch menu. It’s comprised of a peppercorn-crusted Pat LaFrieda brisket blend, seared in butter, topped with creamy Saint-Andre cheese, watercress, onions, and cornichons, and served on a challah bun from Amy’s Bread with duck fat fries and cream and cognac sauce on the side. Beyond the burger, opt for bistro classics like escargot, pate, frisee with lardons and a poached egg, or steak tartare.

Raoul’s burger with oozing cheese
Only a limited amount of burgers are served at Raoul’s.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Omen Azen

A white plate with 10 or so sashimi selections, including tuna, uni, and mackerel.
Sashimi selection at Omen Azen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

From its founding in 1981, when Omen Azen was one of a very few restaurants in Soho, it was a hang for celebrities and artists. The list included Yoko Ono, Richard Gere, Patti Smith, and Bill T. Jones, who became regulars for the simple and elegant Japanese food. The sashimi platters have become legendary at this walk-up dining room with a jazz soundtrack, but noodles, hot pots, and tempura are also good choices.