As the temperatures continue to warm, New York City’s neighborhoods begin to come alive—and no place buzzes quite like SoHo. There is no place better in town to shop or people watch, SIXTY will personally attest to that. All the (enthusiastic) spending and (polite) staring can certainly work up an appetite, and so we’ve selected six reliable lunch places to make sure you keep your energy up throughout the day. Dig in, and then head out again.
Sadelle’s is an elegant reimagining of the classic New York deli. (Expect no less from Major Food Group, whose operations include the celebrated Parm, Carbone, and ZZ’s Clam Bar.) The large room has a cafeteria-like quality to it, though we mean that in the most upmarket way possible. This place is like Bergdorf’s for bagels. Make sure to snag a reservation on weekends, when it’s extremely busy. Better yet: come here for a mid-week lunch and skip the crowds altogether.
463 W Broadway, New York, NY 10012
You can’t talk about lunch (or, frankly, breakfast) in SoHo without mentioning Balthazar. Keith McNally’s iconic French brasserie has been a downtown institution since it opened in the late-1990s. The food here is solid, though decidedly not new wave in any way shape or form. Tradition rules the menu with dishes like moules frites, steak au poivre, and omelette with fines herbes. This place is a living testament to the adage “If it ain’t broke…”
80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
This Aussie-run spot is so popular it recently had to take over the space next door. Ruby’s is a go-to for locals, who all crowd into their tables for reasonable priced salads, killer burgers, and heaping bowls of pasta.
219 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
The appeal of Lure Fishbar seems positively everlasting. The seafood restaurant, operated by friend of SIXTY and restaurateur John McDonald (read more about him in our interview here), is a subterranean den of delicious sushi and more. While the food here is excellent, the scene is also a thing of note. Head here for lunch and catch a surefire contact high from all the power lunches.
142 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012
Smile To Go
If you’re looking for something easy, simple, and totally tasty, head to Smile To Go. The small shop, which is an abridged version of The Smile in NoHo, has great coffee, excellent pastries, and market-style sides. The menu changes often, but imagine healthy-ish dishes like quinoa with manouri cheese and fresh herbs, cucumber and chickpea chopped salad with lemon tahini dressing, and seared green beans with mint, basil and shallots. Always on the menu is a banana quinoa muffin, which you should definitely order.
27-11 Howard St, New York, NY 10013
Once the weather gets even nicer, people will be scrambling for the sidewalk-facing seats at Cafe Gitane. The Mott Street cafe is another cherished local staple, known for its beautiful clientele as well as its unfussy but satisfying French-Moroccan fare. Avocado toast has been over-hyped to high heaven (more on that here), but Cafe Gitane was a downtown pioneer, serving their version simply, with olive oil and red pepper flakes.
242 Mott St, New York, NY 10012
Header photo courtesy of Niklas Hermann