Soho restaurant guide: The best places to eat now

The Soho restaurant scene is constantly shifting—our critic-approved selection includes trusty favorites and the latest hot spots.

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Spanning everything from iconic brasserie Balthazar to more recent arrivals like Andrew Carmellini’s instant classic The Dutch and Michael White’s popular Bolognese tavern, Osteria Morini, the Soho restaurant scene is thriving. Whether you crave Jamaican jerk chicken or a standout lobster roll, you’ll find it here. There are also plenty of cheap eats and great brunch places.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Soho, New York

Balthazar

  • Critics choice

Not only is the iconic Balthazar still trendy, but the kitchen rarely makes a false step. At dinner, the place is perennially packed with rail-thin lookers dressed to the nines. But the bread is great, the food is good, and the service is surprisingly friendly. The $99 three-tiered seafood platter casts the most impressive shadow of any dish in town. The frisée aux lardons is exemplary. Roasted chicken on mashed potatoes for two, délicieux. Skate with brown butter and capers,

  1. 80 Spring St, (between Broadway and Crosby St), 10012
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Blue Ribbon Sushi

  • Critics choice

Whether you settle on a $4 bowl of make-it-yourself miso soup and some California rolls, or opt for the top-of-the-line $125 chef’s choice sushi platter, you’ll find the service equally friendly and enthusiastic at this below-street-level Soho fave. The cooked dishes (like the miso-cured aged black cod) are worthy alternatives to the sushi, which, short of dining aboard a fishing vessel, is as fresh as it gets. Order a serving of the flawless green-tea crème brûlée to end

  1. 119 Sullivan St, (between Prince and Spring Sts), 10012
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The Dutch

  • Critics choice

From the moment it opened, Andrew Carmellini’s rollicking Soho eatery seemed destined to join the ranks of neighborhood classics like Balthazar and Blue Ribbon. The virtuoso chef offers diners an exuberant gastro-tour of the American melting pot, making stops in the barrio (supple and spicy tripe with avocado, diced radish and Fritos), New England (gorgeous picked crab in horseradish-infused tomato water) and even the Mexican border (a genuine 30-ingredient red mole). That all

  1. 131 Sullivan St, (at Prince St), 10012
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Ed's Lobster Bar

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

For me, summers tend to revolve around a religious devotion to shellfish. I take regular pilgrimages to the shacks of Maine, Cape Cod, eastern Connecticut and Massachusetts’ North Shore. After visits to various seafood shrines, a Holy Trinity has emerged of all things good and unkosher: clam chowder, fried clams, lobster roll. Ed’s Lobster Bar, started by the longtime sous chef at Pearl Oyster Bar, nails all three, making any peripheral flaws fade away like a receding tide.

  1. 222 Lafayette St, (between Broome and Spring Sts)
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Lure Fishbar

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

The retro yacht interior at this sexy subterranean restaurant might make you forget you’re docked in Soho. Hit the sushi bar to compare the flavors and textures of premium catches, or grab a table for a more extensive meal. Lure’s greatest achievement is its treatment of the classics. Dishes that have become rote at so many fish-focused eateries—seared yellowtail glazed in dashi, a lobster roll stuffed with sweet meat—are executed here with the dazzling skill usually

  1. 142 Mercer St, (at Prince St)
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Miss Lily's Favourite Cakes

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Critics choice

The downtown flock colonized this buzzy Caribbean spot from the day it opened its doors, and it's been radiating heat ever since. But it’s not all scene and no substance. The gorgeous staff is warm and accommodating, and chef Bradford Thompson, a James Beard Award winner, brings real chops to Jamaica’s trademark dishes. Bypass standard-issue party grub like “jaquitos”—bland mini tacos—in favor of spicy, shell-on Middle Quarters pepper shrimp. Satisfying main courses,

  1. 132 W Houston St, (at Sullivan St), 10012
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La Sirene

  • Critics choice

Fishing nets and posters of the Côte d’Azur may not entice you into this French bistro, but the exuberant cooking of Marseille-born chef-owner Didier Pawlicki should. The chef lavishes his mussels with curried cream and apples, and his garlicky, ruby-red slices of rare hanger steak are served with a sensuous trio of sides (carrot puree,
potato gratin in a cheesy veil, and a pot of zucchini flan). A dessert of fluffy profiteroles had us moaning—very French indeed.

  1. 558 Broome St, (between Sixth Ave and Varick St)
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Osteria Morini

  • Critics choice

Chef Michael White (Alto, Marea) is one of New York’s most prolific and successful Italian-American chefs, and this terrific downtown homage to a classic Bolognese tavern is the most accessible restaurant in his stable. The toque spent seven years cooking in Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, and his connection to the area surfaces in the rustic food. Handmade pastas—frail ricotta gnocchi in light tomato cream, fat tortelli bundles oozing an absurdly rich mix of braised

  1. 218 Lafayette St, (between Broome and Spring Sts)
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Users say

2 comments
Tami
Tami

Tell me about a restaurant called balabusta; i think on or near mulberry st.