• Experience downtown’s prime shopping and dining neighborhood
• Start with pastries and French café fare at a renowned brasserie
• Explore cobble stone streets lined with upscale boutiques
The London outpost of Keith McNally’s brasserie Balthazar is still white-hot after opening in late 2014, but the original location in New York’s Soho is just as relevant as when it debuted in 1997. Maybe it’s the staff, many of whom have been at the restaurant for over a decade, or the adjacent boulangerie, whose airy baguettes and rye boules could go toe-to-toe with Paris’s best; the flawless steak frites alone could keep this spot the king of New York’s food scene for another two decades. Start here for lunch and then hit the retail trail. Steer clear of the tourist-slammed big brands and hit fashion cognoscenti favorites instead: England transplant Other Criteria, Damien Hirst’s twisted take on a gift shop filled with contemporary art books, spun-paint chairs, and skull-print T-shirts.;the Apartment by the Line, an appointment-only shoppable loft, meticulously edited by a pair of stylish twins and a former editor at French Vogue, that carries rarefied wares (antique Japanese metal boxes; Swedish tea-light holders) and women’s ready-to-wear designers (Altuzarra; Lemaire); and H&M’s cool-kid offshoot & Other Stories, which showcases collab collections from Rachel Antonoff and Clare Vivier. End with an aperitivo at Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria—the Aperol spritz and house-made salumi will make you feel like you’ve landed in Rome.
A great place to start your explorations is in the heart of Soho at the Prince St. station stop. Here, you can walk around and shop at one of the many trendy upscale boutiques before you grab a bite to eat at Balthazar’s or have a glass of wine at Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria while admiring the architecture.
BALTHAZAR: 80 Spring St.; 212-965-1414; balthazarny.com
OTHER CRITERIA: 458 Broome St.; 646-762-0123; othercriteria.com
& OTHER STORIES: 575 Broadway; 646-767-3063; stories.com
THE APARTMENT BY THE LINE: 76 Greene Street, 3rd Floor; 646-678-4908; theline.com; walk ins Tuesday-Saturday 12-6pm; appointments available Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10 am-12pm
IL BUCO ALIMENTARI E VINERIA: 53 Great Jones St.; 212-837-2622; ilbucovineria.com