SoHo NYC derives its name from its location south of Houston Street. The chic neighborhood is otherwise located north of Canal Street, east of 6th Avenue, and west of Lafayette Street (although the east and west borders are often disputed). Formerly a haven for artists and beatniks, the area is now more well-known for its commercial offerings, including world-class shopping, food, and drink.
SoHo NYC has one of the longest recorded histories in Manhattan, with Dutch settlers establishing a settlement in the area as early as the 1660s. The area became further colonized around the time of the American Revolution, and after 1800, the area became a central location for Manhattan’s wealthy and middle-class citizens.
Following the Civil War, the area became further industrialized and dominated by business and commerce. That remained the area’s primary identity until the 1950s when an influx of artists and creatives began to rent in the neighborhood and reshape its culture. Beginning in the mid-1980s, many of the artist lofts and galleries transitioned to Chelsea and other neighborhoods in bloom, replaced by the boutiques and shops that still occupy the area today.
SoHo is centrally located in a high-traffic area, and as such, is very accessible by public transit. The Spring Street stops serve the A, C, E, and 6 trains, and the Houston Street stop serves the 1 train. Additionally, the R and W trains can be accessed at the Prince Street stop.
At the cross-section of business, art, and a certain Bohemian mystique, SoHo provides the best shopping in NYC. Shoppers may choose from handcrafted merchandise at one of the neighborhood’s many boutiques, or opt for more high-end, luxury products at one of the area’s flagship retailers like Kirna Zabete, Tomorrowland, VFiles, and Madewell. After a long day of shopping, stop for a drink at Pegu Club, The Handy Liquor Bar, or Pera SoHo.
The cuisine of SoHo fits the neighborhood vibe to a T. While the fare varies from familiar Italian joints to upscale Parisian and Moroccan food, the common theme amongst restaurants in the area is that the food is going to be delicious and the environs trendy, but expect to be paying slightly more than most areas in Manhattan.
Raoul’s is one of Manhattan’s greatest gems, serving a Parisian menu with assorted French cuisine. The popular hangout is also a frequent locale for celebrities, so in addition to delicious food, you may even see some celebs. We also recommend Balthazar, a popular brasserie serving traditional French fare, and Aquagrill, an upmarket seafood restaurant and raw bar with a wide selection of oysters.
SoHo is known as one of the more expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan, so all of the beautiful amenities, classic industrial architecture, and cobblestone-paved roads come at a price. Real estate prices are expensive, and available properties are in high demand. The median asking rent is $3,600/mo and the median sale price is $2.9 million.
There’s probably not another area with a higher concentration of chic bars, restaurants, and shops in NYC. With that comes the hustle and bustle of SoHo natives, but also many tourists and visitors from other boroughs as well. Don’t expect very much peace and quiet, but the noise and high price tags are worth it to live in one of the most in-demand Manhattan.