Heading southeast from the West Village, you will inevitably stumble across SoHo. SoHo, short for ‘South of Houston Street,’ is renowned for its distinct architecture, including cast-iron buildings, cobblestone streets, and upscale establishments.
In the past and present, this neighborhood has been one of Manhattan’s busiest and most expensive locales. It is also home to our SoHo Showroom and Cobblestone Studio spaces.
High-fashion, designer boutiques, fancy restaurants and cafés, and art galleries and museums adorn each block. During the daytime, it is the perfect place to go on a shopping spree during the day. The hottest bars, clubs, and music venues await you at night.
Below are our must-see destinations in SoHo:
Need a place to stay? ModernHaus, formerly known as the ‘James Hotel,’ is known for its Bauhaus art-inspired, geometric design aesthetic, impressive skyline views, and well-lit rooms. Its contemporary, sleek guestrooms and suites bring you the classic New York pied-à-terre experience.
Exemplifying peak luxury, the hotel’s gallery penthouse provides a king-sized bed, a rain shower, a 12-person dining table, and an unforgettable view of the East River, the Freedom Tower, and the Manhattan Bridge.
If you are bringing young children or pets along for the ride, rest assured that this hotel is family-friendly, pet-friendly, eco-friendly, and handicap accessible. ModernHaus also has unique amenities, including babysitting, on-site dining, gyms, pools, and more.
At the heart of SoHo, you can find dozens of big-name brands and high-end flagship stores, notably Alexander Wang, Burberry, Chanel, and others. On the other hand, more affordable clothing brands and well-known department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Muji, and Zara are also located here.
Among them, you will also find smaller clothing boutiques like Flying Solo. Home to lesser-known indie fashion brands worldwide, Flying Solo is one of the biggest fashion platforms for independent designers to launch their brands. Its mission is to grow a diverse, open environment for designers to collaborate and bring small, ethical, and unique brands into the spotlight.
With 300+ current members and over 1,500+ brands on their waitlist, Flying Solo hosts showroom exhibitions and participates in runway shows during high-profile fashion events. If you are always looking for new brands and original products, you can find menswear, womenswear, accessories, and even home decor on their website.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
Don’t let the appearance of this quaint bakery fool you. Sure, it’s a stark contrast to the rest of SoHo. However, it deserves its spot in our Local Flair spotlight. Meet Dominique Ansel Bakery: the birthplace of the Cronut®.
What is a Cronut®, you may ask? It is a deep-fried pastry resembling a donut made out of croissant dough and filled with cream on the inside. The Cronut® has its cult following with fans from all over the world.
Each month, Dominique Ansel Bakery changes up the flavor of its Cronut®. To date, they have served 200+ different varieties of this pastry. None are repeated, keeping customers on their toes and encouraging them to return.
Apart from its famous Cronut®, the bakery is also known for its Blooming Hot Chocolate, Cookie Shots, DKA (aka. ‘Dominique’s Kouign Amann,’ a Breton cake and caramelized croissant), and Watermelon Soft Serve.
Customers start lining up two hours before the business opens, with lines typically lasting more than an hour, especially if you are looking to buy a Cronut®. Better come here early if you want one!
Housing Works Bookstore Café
Hungry and tired from your SoHo shopping trip? Stop by Housing Works Bookstore Café to grab a snack, sit back, and enjoy this cozy shop’s old-timey, warm ambiance.
The establishment is owned and operated by Housing Works, a grassroots organization known for its work assisting New Yorkers who have HIV/AIDs and are struggling with homelessness.
Founded in 1990, Housing Works pioneered the concept of social enterprise-businesses: a model in which for-profit businesses fund the mission of a parent, not-for-profit organization. Volunteers almost entirely staff its bookstore (yes, even the baristas!). All the books are donated, and the profits go towards funding Housing Work’s services.
Open 7 days a week, Housing Works Bookstore Café hosts free and low-cost events. It is a great place to meet friends, study, do work, or find your next read. All of its books are reasonably priced; some sell for as low as a dollar.
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art
In the 1970s, SoHo was known for its artists and iconic industrial lofts. Little did residents know that they would revolutionize the idea of urban living. Nowadays, rent has increased significantly, and few artists can afford to live in SoHo. Art galleries, however, pay homage to the area’s past and have helped pave the way for the neighborhood’s contemporary art scene.
One of them is the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art. It is the only museum in the world dedicated to LGBTQIA+ art and documenting the queer experience. The institution prides itself on being “a home for LGBTQIA+ artists, scholars, activists and allies, and a catalyst for discourse on art and queerness.”
They often host gallery exhibitions and other special events – in-person and virtually – to encourage community-building, foster empowerment, and meaningful discussions between its members on LGBTQIA+-related subjects.
Some of the museum’s latest projects include Lorenza Böttner: Requiem for the Norm, El Palomar: Schreber is a Woman, and WE ARE KIND OF MORE: Gen Z Reframes Gender and Sexuality. Open from Wednesday to Sunday, admission is free, and donations are encouraged but not required for entrance.