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Monday, 17 March 2014

3BM Wanders: Top 16 Spots In and Around Soho, NYC


We always find that the very best way to get to know someone else's city is to pull on a pair of our most comfortable boots and get wandering. Don't get us wrong, we research and plan to the nth degree whenever we travel, but sometimes the real gems are the ones we stumble across just around the corner from the spot that we're actually looking for.  

So, on last month's trip to New York, after the London Mice had crammed all their new purchases into their bulging cases and zipped off to the airport in a shiny black town car, I decamped to a friend's apartment on the edge of Soho and immediately set out to explore the neighbourhood. Six days later and I'd somehow managed to cram in a myriad of eating, drinking and making my credit card beg for mercy at restaurants, cafes, shops and bars all around the area. So if you're in NYC anytime soon, here're my top places to shop, eat and get pampered in and around Soho... 


The Munch Bunch


Narcissa 

The Standard, East Village's brand new restaurant, Narcissa takes the humble vegetable and lifts it to dizzying heights (there are plenty of carnivorous options too but its the green stuff that's really sublime). We loved the jerk-spiced rotisserie-grilled sweet potato and the dangerously-moreish carrot fries with JalapeƱo dip. Definitely not just one for the veggies.

Narcissa
21 Cooper Square
New York
+1 212-228-3344
(pin A on the 3BM Soho map)


The Mercer Kitchen 

An oldie but a goodie, this basement beauty served up the very best burger of my trip - an epic example of the American classic stuffed to bursting with perfectly cooked patty, avocado, pepperjack cheese and the mysterious but lip-smackingly great Russian dressing... To top it off we spied Justin Theroux (AKA Mr Aniston) drinking at the bar!

The Mercer Kitchen
99 Prince Street
New York
+1 212-966-5454
(pin C on the 3BM Soho map)

 
A little piece of Paris in the heart of Soho, Balthazar is a buzzing Brasserie serving up mouthwateringly scrumptious French classics with a hefty side of people watching. We stopped by for breakfast and I devoured an American-sized portion of brioche French toast with berries, bacon and maple syrup - Ooh la la yum!
 
Balthazar
80 Spring Street
New York
+1 212-965-1414
(pin E on the 3BM Soho map)
 

Cafe Gitane

Another French fancy, this time with a Moroccan twist. There are a couple of these cafes scattered around the city - the NoLita branch is a small but perfectly formed boho-chic cocoon of cosiness. The Avocado toast is the star of the show - creamy, salty, chili-spiked amazingness!

Cafe Gitane
242 Mott St
New York
+1 212-334-9552
(pin I on the 3BM Soho map)


 
One very snowy, bitterly cold morning I stumbled across this little cafe while I was waiting for a shop to open. What a find! With a gluten-free, vegan menu packed with deliciously virtuous juices, salads and snacks, this place feels more LA than NYC. The coconut yoghurt parfait and smashed avocado toast benedict are crazy amazo!
 
The Butcher's Daughter
19 Kenmare Street
New York
+1 212-219-3434
(pin L on the 3BM Soho map)


Katz's Deli
The setting for 'that scene' from When Harry Met Sally. Pretty touristy but the bagels are beyond awesome and highly likely to induce an "I'll have what she's having" sigh of delight... 

Katz's Deli
205 E Houston Street
New York
+1 212-254-2246
(pin N on the 3BM Soho map)

 
 
One word - pancakes. These are the pancakes dreams are made of. Huge, fluffy, scrumptious pancake dreams! I popped by for lunch and the lunch stuff was all very good but completely overshadowed by the king of pancakes! Absolutely Pantastic!
 
Clinton St. Baking Co. & Restaurant
4 Clinton Street
New York
+1 646-602-6263
(pin O on the 3BM Soho map)
 

Back Forty West
Another stumbled-upon spot - Back Forty West is a farm-to-table restaurant and the ideal place to perch at the long blonde-wood bar with a cocktail (the Tequila Flower is a must try) or snuggle in the corner with a bowl of hearty goodness. We lunched light with a bowl of the brussel sprout and bacon soup (true fact: brussel sprouts are the it-food of the moment in NYC).  

Back Forty West
70 Prince Street
New York
+1 212-219-8570
(pin P on the 3BM Soho map)

 
Credit Card Work-Out Spots

Rag & Bone

Rag & Bone is effortless New York cool in clothing form. From the perfect wear everywhere ankle boot to the butter-soft leather jacket of your dreams, Rag & Bone have it covered. But it was the denim that drew me and I think I may have found my perfect pair of jeans at long last... I arrived at the Soho boutique and gave a garbled description of what I was after to the beyond helpful and extremely patient shop assistant, half an hour later, I left with the Indigo Coronados which I've barely taken off since.

Rag & Bone
119 Mercer Street
New York
+1 212-219-2204
(pin D on the 3BM Soho map)


Ricky's 

A beauty-addicts paradise, Ricky's is crammed with every conceivable prettifying  potion, product and prop. From a rainbow of nail varnishes to a forest of false eyelashes - you'll leave with a much lighter wallet and an arsenal of new beauty booty.
 
Ricky's
590, Broadway
New York
+1 212-226-5552
(pin B on the 3BM Soho map)









 
 
 
 
 



 
The MoMA Design Store is a design-freak's temple. Every product is selected by the Museum of Modern Art's curators ranging from prints of pieces exhibited in the museum to fun kitchenwear to make even your morning cuppa stylish. The basement book department is crammed full of every art and design tome imaginable - the perfect place to while away a few bookwormish hours.
 
MoMA Design Store Soho
81 Spring Street
New York
+1 646-613-1367
(pin F on the 3BM Soho map)


American Two Shot

Imagine your uber-cool best friend put her wardrobe in an art gallery come coffee shop and let you shop it and you pretty much get the idea of awesome fashion and lifestyle boutique, American Two Shot. I discovered and fell totally head over heels with Edie Parker-esque clutch bag brand, Ashlyn'd - super swoonsome.  And best of all there's A-grade coffee ground fresh in the store to add a caffeinated kick to your retail therapy.

American Two Shot
135 Grand Street
New York
+1 212-925-3403
(pin G on the 3BM Soho map)


Creatures of Comfort

Enter Creatures of Comfort at your peril! With so many beautiful things adorning the perfectly curated racks, credit card abuse is assured and if you aren't incredibly careful bankruptcy beckons... Stocking an array of fashion deliciousness from Isabel Marant and Band of Outsiders to Raquel Allegra and Lizzy Disney, this is a veritable treasure trove of cool. 

Creatures of Comfort
205 Mulberry Street
New York
+1 212-925-1005
(pin H on the 3BM Soho map)


Erica Weiner
Total jewellery gem! Erica Weiner specialises in antique and repurposed vintage pieces but that doesn't mean blow the budget crazy prices - US$30 rings sit alongside the more expensive (but still reasonably-priced) 1909 fine jewellery collection (so-named because that was the year that Erica's grandma was born just a couple of blocks from the boutique's current location). After huge jewel dilemmas I chose the Lover's Knot Ring and a beautiful pair of raw diamond stud earrings.

Erica Weiner
173 Elizabeth Street
New York
+1 212-334-6383
(pin K on the 3BM Soho map)

 
My new favourite brand! If you thought environmentally sustainable fashion meant looking like a grubby hemp-loving hippy, be prepared for The Reformation to blow your mind! The brand uses offcuts of surplus fabric to create unique, limited edition lines of dresses, tops and tailoring. I went a little crazy and bagged three dresses, two sweatshirts and a gorgeous Pamela Love ring (the boutique stocks a brilliant selection of boho-luxe jewellery from designers like Odette & Jennifer Fisher). The brand's e-store ships worldwide for free so even if you aren't in NYC sustainable-chic is only a click of your mouse away...
 
The Reformation
156 Ludlow Street
New York
+1 212-510-8455
(pin M on the 3BM Soho map)
 

Pimpin' Preening

Valley Nails
Mani maestros, Valley Nails, will have your talons in tip top shape quicker than you can say 'cuticle'. Although regular plain old manis are on the menu as Valley specialise in nail art you should definitely get at least a little creative. We kept it low key with a pair of gold chevroned ring fingers but the girl at the station next door was getting a full set of beyond-amazing glitter ombre nails - next time we'll definitely go all out.  

Valley Nails
198 Elizabeth Street
New York
+1 212-274-8985
(pin J on the 3BM Soho map)



And to help out with the exploring, we've plotted all our Soho top spots on a little map for you - happy wandering! 

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