Located in downtown Manhattan, SoHo is a neighborhood that stands out for its history of distinctive architecture.
SoHo is well-known for its variety of stores ranging from hip, upscale boutiques to domestic and foreign chain store outlets.
The name, which is an amalgam referring to the neighborhood “South of Houston,” was originally used by city planner Chester Raskin in a 1963 city planning study.
Since the 1970s, the neighborhood has been home to a slew of artist lofts and galleries.
In addition to being well known for its exquisite cast-iron façade and cobblestone streets, the area serves as a picturesque background for crowds congregating at upscale eateries and nightlife venues.
Similarly, SoHo is home to Leslie-Lohman Museum, the world’s first museum dedicated to LGBTQ art.
With the creative atmosphere created by the neighborhood resident artists, you will fall in love with SoHo and will want to visit every corner of this place.
Things to do in SoHo
1. Museum of Chinese in America
Situated in SoHo, New York City, Museum of Chinese America is a 12,500-square-foot museum. It walks you through the history of the first Chinese in the United States and the hardships that each generation faced.
It spans the cultural gap between historic Chinatown and the modern art scenes of SoHo and Nolita by being located in lower Manhattan.
The location of MOCA’s headquarters represents the institution’s evolution from its beginnings as the neighborhood Chinatown History Project to its evolving identity as the nation’s foremost national Chinese American history museum.
Although the museum is small, it doesn’t fall short of rich exhibits.
The permanent exhibitions take you through the history of the Chinese people and their influence in America.
As you descend to the lower level through one of the six doors into the courtyard, you will see various stories and faces of Chinese immigrants who have immigrated throughout history.
In fact, it is both illuminating and enlightening in showing the racism and xenophobia Chinese people faced when coming to America.
Furthermore, the permanent exhibition revolves around an interior courtyard that has been purposefully kept unaltered, creating a conflict between the old and the new while providing a timeline of Chinese Americans’ history from the 1800s to the present.
Depending on the time you come, you will also see traveling exhibits too. In fact, you might get to see exhibits on Chinese medicine.
Finally, don’t forget to stop by the gift shop for some cool gear and nice literature.
Address: 215 Centre St, New York, NY 10013, United States
2. New York City Fire Museum
Located in the Soho Village area of New York, New York City Fire Museum is an amazing museum with an interesting collection of fire fighting paraphernalia.
With its old-styled design and bright red color doors and windows, the museum is just difficult to pass by unnoticed.
The museum explains the history of firefighting in New York City, including advances in equipment and how firefighters were organized prior to the formation of the FDNY.
Furthermore, you will discover one of the most significant collections of fire-related art and artifacts from the late 18th century to the present.
Some of the displayed items are different fire engines, starting from the very basic ones showing their evolution.
You will also see various other artifacts like fireman’s costumes, helmets, decorations, etc.
In short, there is just a lot to see in this three-story building.
The piece depicting the gallantry of the New York Fire Department in coping with the 9/11 attack and their martyrdom is a must-see. It is dedicated to the 343 firefighters who died on September 11th.
In summary, every portion of New York City Fire Museum enhances the respect for brave firemen and you should definitely add this to your list of things to do in SoHo.
Address: 278 Spring St, New York, NY 10013, United States
3. Black Tap SoHo
If you want a great place to grab a burger or share a shake with friends, come to Black tap.
The restaurant began as a sixteen-seat burger restaurant in the SoHo district, with inspiration from vintage luncheonettes.
Black Tap is a well-known brand serving burgers and shakes in Asia and the United States.
The theme of the burger joint is the nostalgia of having a shake and a burger as a kid.
The burger and chicken sandwich options at Black Tap are fantastic! But their enormous shakes are their crowning glory!
These delectable cocktails (shakes), which come with a large cup of ice cream coated in frosting and sprinkles and a giant slice of cake on top, is just what individuals with a sweet tooth need.
Back Tap NYC transports you to the period of iconic music and hip-hop while providing some of the city’s best burgers, extravagant milkshakes, and a wide range of specialty beers.
Because this place excels at creating the right atmosphere, you can even come here with your date.
Address: 529 Broome St, New York, NY 10013, United States
4. Children’s Museum of the Arts
This museum of art is a terrific stop for budding little artists in SoHo.
The Children’s Museum of the Arts was established in Lower Manhattan in 1988.
The museum introduces kids and families to top-notch contemporary art exhibitions and professional artist-led art-making workshops.
Similarly, children and artists collaborate to produce ambitious works of art that are shared with their communities and the rest of the world at the Children’s Museum of the Arts.
The gallery and the workshops make up both halves of the experience.
The gallery hosts a number of shows that are engaging enough for kids to spend some real time looking at and engaging with the artwork.
While the gallery is great, the workshop attracts the interest of young lads more.
At the workshop, each of these mediums—screen printing, oil painting, clay, collages, sculpture, animation, and sound art—is offered with varying degrees of guidance from the incredibly amiable and entertaining staff.
There’s also the Clay Bar, where children could literally sit at a bar and make a thematic clay creation with the assistance of a designated staff member.
Be aware that some sessions need signing up in advance due to space restrictions, so make sure you confirm.
Address: 103 Charlton St, New York, NY 10014, United States
5. Dos Caminos, SoHo
Want something tasty and different? Then why not try Mexican delicacies at Dos Caminos?
Dos Caminos delivers to New York City the energetic essence of Mexico City.
Located in the SoHo district, Dos Caminos is a Mexican eatery that offers an expanded menu of traditional Mexican cuisine.
In addition to the expanded menu of traditional Mexican cuisine, they also serve more than 100 different types of delectable tequila cocktails.
You will get the opportunity to taste Asada tacos, exquisite margaritas, fresh guacamole, and genuine quesadillas cooked in the manner of Mexico City
Whether you are coming for lunch, supper, or weekend brunch, you are in for a treat.
During the summer, one of the restaurant’s outdoor tables serves a frozen prickly-pear-cactus margarita, which is perfect for sipping while people-watching.
Similarly, the lounge and bar also offer a happy hour every day from Monday through Friday.
The eatery is open from 10:30 am to 11:00 pm from Sunday through Tuesday, while it is open till midnight on Wednesday and Thursday. However, on Fridays and Saturdays, they close at 1:00 am.
Address: 475 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012, United States
6. Leslie-Lohman Museum
New York City is an inclusive community and the addition of the Leslie-Lohman museum took it a step further.
Since 1969, this New York City institution has significantly promoted gay and lesbian art.
The museum’s founding may be traced back to Fritz Lohman and Charles Leslie when they sponsored a gay artists’ art exhibition in their loft in the SoHo district.
Moreso, this museum in the SoHo district is the only art gallery in the entire world devoted to displaying and preserving LGBTQ art.
Six to eight domestic and foreign art exhibitions are presented annually at the museum.
Offerings include retrospectives of a single artist and themed exhibits on topics like “art and sex along the New York waterfront.”
A large portion of the artwork is from the museum’s collection.
Similarly, the permanent collection of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art has approximately 6,000 artifacts spanning more than three centuries of gay and lesbian art.
You can also check the website for details on other queer-focused lectures, readings, movie screenings, and performances held in the space.
While the Leslie-Lohman Museum does not charge admission; however, you can donate.
Address: 26 Wooster St, New York, NY 10013, United States
7. Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
The housing bookstore cafe is a hidden gem located in the heart of SoHo.
The bookstore is a charming bookshop providing various genres of books.
Over the past ten years, Housing Works Bookstore Cafe has become a New York tourist hotspot and downtown institution.
Furthermore, the store has high ceilings and a mezzanine for additional books, giving it the appearance of an old-fashioned bookshop.
The bookstore cafe is an amazing place to hang out with friends, relax, and shop for the best selection of books, movies, and music in New York City.
There is a quiet cafe in the back. Even people who don’t read will appreciate the cafe’s ambiance.
The special events held here, and the fully equipped cafe available here, make it a nice place to unwind and learn.
Many fantastic new releases are available, organized by genre, for roughly half the price of the original list price.
Address: 126 Crosby St, New York, NY 10012, United States
8. Museum of Ice Cream
Want to feed your sweet tooth? The Museum of ice cream is the perfect spot.
Once you enter, the first thing you taste is the “palette cleanser,” then you proceed through thrilling areas like the Sprinkle pool, Sundae room, Chocolate room, and Helium balloon room, each of which offers distinct experiences.
You get to experience 13 immersive and cutting-edge multi-sensory displays spread over three levels and 20,000 square feet at this museum.
Your entry fee grants you unlimited ice cream treats in all the featured rooms.
In addition, if you love a great picture, then every single room will blow you away with its colors and decor. So you would be able to capture some amazing pictures.
The Ice Cream Museum in New York is open from Wednesday through Monday from 10 am until 5.30 pm, while Tuesdays are still a closed day here.
Similarly, the Museum reopens for nighttime tours at 6.30 pm once the daytime hours are over.
The best part of this place is that it is also vegan-friendly.
Address: 558 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, United States
9. Kate Werble Gallery
If you are a lover of contemporary art, you will fancy Kate Werble Gallery.
In the world of New York City’s art galleries, the Kate Werble Gallery in SoHo in downtown Manhattan has undoubtedly established a reputation for itself.
When Kate Werble Gallery first opened in 2008, group exhibitions were staged there for two years, evenly spaced out between artist-run activities and performances.
In addition to showing contemporary art, the gallery also provides a subscription service that sends collectors a selection of works of art over a four-month period
The Kate Werble Gallery is typically open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Address: 136 E 73rd St, New York, NY 10021, United States
10. Maria Bonita Salon and Spa
Want to be treated like a baby? This 6,000-square-foot, two-story establishment is the getaway for a day of pampering.
Maria Bonita, which opened its doors in 2003, is the only full-service Brazilian salon that provides facials, massages, hair, nail, and waxing services in the SoHo district.
Similarly, the Maria Bonita Salon & Spa’s eclectic, upbeat atmosphere is a full-on experience that fuses fashion and art into a cozy yet formal setting.
Popular services include the Brazilian blowout, a unique straightening procedure, and deep conditioning treatments.
You will also find prenatal massages, men’s bikini waxing, and lymphatic drainage ($90).
Address: 199 Mott St, New York, NY 10012, United States
11. Cast-Iron District, SoHo
SoHo is a rather fascinating district as it holds significant historical value in the growth of New York City.
There are about 250 cast iron structures in New York City, the majority of which are in SoHo and were constructed between the middle of the 1800s and the late 1800s.
In addition, cast iron facades were not only quicker to construct than stone or brick ones but also less expensive to produce because they were cast rather than hand-carved.
Some people believe that the structural metal frames utilized in the cast iron structures of SoHo were forerunners to the skyscraper.
Address: New York, United States
12. Drawing Center, SoHo
Well, the drawing center doesn’t require much introduction, as its name indicates what to expect.
Drawing Center, a Soho institution since its creation in 1977, is both a museum and a gallery.
This Center is committed to displaying and promoting both historical and modern works on paper.
The gallery’s wooden floors and cast-iron columns are redolent of Soho’s heyday as a gallery neighborhood.
Furthermore, the center holds four group exhibitions each year that focus on the work of up-and-coming artists and one historical exhibition that showcases the work of well-known masters and lesser-known artists whose work deserves more recognition.
The center also hosts literary readings by renowned authors, including Richard Price, Mary Gaitskill, and more.
Address: 35 Wooster St, New York, NY 10013, United States
13. Jimmy at the James Hotel
Do you love the idea of a rooftop bar? or would you like to get a good aerial view of New York City? Then, you should be at Jimmy.
JIMMY is located 18 stories up on the top of The James Hotel in Soho.
With Lingham wood floors, stylish modular furniture, dark cinnamon glazed tile walls, and a working fireplace, the space was designed by David Rabin and Johnny Sweet.
Furthermore, it is encircled by 14′ windows with panoramic views of Midtown, Wall Street, and the Hudson River.
There are inviting chaise sofas to relax on and a pool on Jimmy Soho’s rooftop bar terrace where you may cool down on hot days.
In fact, many people often say Jimmy is one of the nicest rooftop pools in New York.
While the pool is primarily available to hotel guests during the day, everyone is usually invited to the “Pool Party Series” on weekends, starting at 3 pm.
There is a fine range of expertly created and seasonally inspired specialty cocktails, as well as wines at the rooftop bar.
In addition to the bar and pool, you will also get a good panoramic view of New York. Empire State Building is in the northeast, New Jersey is in the west, and the Freedom Tower is in the south.
In contrast to usual rooftop bars, Jimmy is open all year round. During the winter months, visitors choose to gather in the free-form conversation pit indoors, which has comfortable cushioned chairs.
Address: 15 Thompson St, New York, NY 10013, United States
14. Private Photography Tour, SoHo
If you are interested in taking amazing pictures while in SoHo, you should sign up for a special private photography tour.
The tour gives you the chance to have a professional photographer show you around the neighborhood.
Take the New York City Subway from SoHo to Brooklyn Bridge and then stroll to discover the notorious Brooklyn districts.
The 2-hour tour visits Soho and Brooklyn, with several stops at famous landmarks and tourist attractions as well as a few off-the-beaten-path locales for photos.
Take advantage of the rare chance to have your picture taken against the iconic New York City skyline while on the tour.
Address: New York, United States
15. City Vineyard
Open all year long, the city vineyard is a warm place to unwind.
The covered patio and wine garden at City Vineyard offers stunning outdoor dining with unimpeded views of the Hudson River and the glittering lights of downtown Manhattan.
In addition, this waterfront patio is the ideal place to enjoy alfresco dining, locally made wines, and inventive libations while surrounded by sprawling grapevine
You will get it all here if you want vintages, extensive wine offerings, craft beer, or cocktails.
The vineyard also offers full food and beverage service as well as breathtaking views of the New York City skyline.
Address: 233 West St, New York, NY 10013, United States
16. Private Chinatown to Soho Night Photography Tour, SoHo
Perhaps you love to get more hands and take your shots yourself? Then this tour is for you.
Although it will be nighttime photography, you will enjoy and learn a lot.
This private night tour is an amazing tour that takes you from the grand fountains in Trafalgar Square to the vibrant storefronts in Chinatown and the lit streets of Soho.
You will be led by a professional fine art photographer who will show you the ideal locations to take the best nighttime pictures.
Additionally, you will discover the art of night photography and develop your night photography skills.
Take pictures of the Piccadilly Circus neon lights and the red London buses as they pass.
Take photos while strolling through Soho’s narrow streets, which are awash in color and will inspire your night photography.
You will also get to create motion blurs and take pin-sharp pictures of prominent London sculptures and architecture.
Address: New York, United States
17. MoMA Design Store, SoHo
For a wide range of presents and design items from well-known twentieth-century designers to the most talented designers today, stop by the MoMA design store in SoHo.
Every purchase helps The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) fund ground-breaking exhibitions, a variety of educational initiatives, and the collection’s preservation
It began in 1939 at a small sales desk in the museum’s lobby and has since expanded to include a location about 50 blocks south.
You don’t have to worry as products from the MoMA Design Store have been chosen by curators because they are high-quality and imaginative.
Browse an edited selection of books on architecture and design on the bottom floor, where there is a HAY mini-market.
You can also shop for a huge selection of home furnishings. Speakers, toys, games, lighting, tech innovations, tabletop, jewelry, MUJI accessories, and more are all available too.
MoMA store, SoHo is open all through the week from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm.
Address: 81 Spring St A, New York, NY 10012, United States
18. Artists & Fleas Chelsea
For a portion of the year, the Brooklyn-based Artists and Fleas set up shop at Chelsea Market to offer items from local antique dealers, including jewelry, artwork, home décor, and clothes.
In fact, this is the go-to place for aficionados of vintage jewelry and other designer-ey pleasures.
Additionally, the market features more than 150 independent retailers ready to give you the best item.
The lively market, which is now in its 15th year of existence, just moved to one of Soho’s most historic buildings at Broome & Broadway.
Although existing for more than 15 years, it hasn’t lost any of its vigors along the way.
There’s something for everyone here. Good-tasting foods are also available for all palates. In addition, you can visit the Miznon Meditteranean street food to grab something to eat if famished.
You should time your visit as the market is not open all year round.
Address: 88 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011, United States
19. The American Numismatic Society
If you have a keen interest in medals, currencies, or coins, you are in luck as SoHo is home to the American Numismatic society.
The American Numismatic Society is dedicated to advancing public understanding of medals, money, coins, and other related items through research.
Furthermore, the society has amassed a permanent collection of more than 800,000 items dating from 650 BCE to the present since it was founded in the year 1858.
The American Numismatic Society’s numismatic library is home to some 100,000 objects, papers, and books.
Address: New York, United States
20. Joanne Hendricks Cookbooks
Joanne Hendricks Cookbooks is a bibliophile paradise.
Located on the west side of Manhattan, Joanne Hendricks’ cookbooks is the place to go if you need vintage cookbooks.
Long before she opened her modest business, Joanne Hendricks was already assembling her collection of rare, vintage, and out-of-print cookbooks.
She also assembled vintage cocktail books, special menus, antiquated photos, and collector dinnerware.
However, in 1995, she made the decision to make the world aware of her amazing collection.
The rows and rows of worn covers seen through the window will immediately strike and catch your eye.
Vintage wallpaper and wooden shelving can be seen all over the business.
Additionally, on one wall is a classic French advertisement for a food cooperative, and on another is a black-and-white image of Woody Allen toting a massive banana.
Address: 488 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013, United States
21. BoCaPhe, SoHo
Bocaphe is SoHo’s French-inspired Vietnamese restaurant
The restaurant’s distinctive fusion of traditional flavors and cooking methods has always drawn people in.
The sleek, futuristic French designers with whom the team is so familiar served as the design inspiration for the 60-seat restaurant.
Bocaphe also provides a wide range of non-alcoholic drinks that have been carefully chosen to go well with the food.
Drinks include Hydromiel teas, smoothies, health shots, freshly squeezed juices, Vietnamese coffee (Caphe Sueda), and a Blue Ginger Latte.
Address: 222 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012, United States
22. King Restaurant, SoHo
While Bocaphe serves a french-inspired Vietnamese restaurant, King restaurant in SoHo serves French and Italian-inspired meals.
King appears plain from the outside and is situated on a corner in Soho, but once you get in, you will love it.
The restaurant is a tiny cafe that serves a daily changing menu. The menu is influenced by the flavors and cuisine of Italy and France.
Furthermore, every dinner at King starts with a posh, free bread basket. The bread is crunchy and thin.
Plain grilled hanger steak with rosemary, Long Island clams, and roast guinea bird with ricotta and lemon are some of the meals on the menu.
A limited selection of cocktails is also available, including spritzes prepared with braulio and chamomile.
The majority of the wines available on the list are also from France and Italy.
Address: 18 King St, New York, NY 10014, United States
23. Harney and Sons Fine Teas
If you’re a tea enthusiast, then you shouldn’t miss this location in SoHo.
Harney and Sons Fine Teas, which has been in business for three generations, sources, blends, and packages its own specialty tea products.
Its modest downtown Soho store sells over 300 distinct types of tea, many of which contain ingredients from all around the world.
The tea room itself is worth the trip because it has a variety of teas.
Though modest, the restaurant is excellent. The sandwiches are excellent; the curry is delicious, and the rates are extremely fair.
Similarly, tea bags, sachets, canisters of loose tea, and even returned canisters that can be filled with loose tea for a discounted price are all available for tasting before you buy.
Additionally, they provide a variety of tea-related items for sale, including filters, tea towels, honey, and spoons.
Address: 433 Broome St, New York City, NY 10013-2622, United States
Grab a coffee and a croissant from one of the many Instagrammable cafés and eateries.
You can also walk back in time along the cobblestone streets.
Come discover Soho’s true beauty in the cobblestone alleyways, cast-iron buildings, and panoramic lofts and galleries.
And if you’re looking for a fun night out and love a good cocktail, this district is your best bet.
With so many fascinating sights and things to do, SoHo has become one of the top travel destinations in the world.
This is definitely a neighborhood you do not want to miss in New York City.