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Do you live in a place where a lot of tourists go but you have never “toured” the area yourself? SAME!
I live in New York (and have lived all over New York) but I’ve never really done any of the “typical” sightseeing things in the city, especially SoHo.
Of course, I’ve been to 34th street for numerously; I’ve gone on the sightseeing bus tour as a kid (and unfortunately got separated from my grandma at one point smh), and even spent some time watching the Lion King on Broadway… but these were all done when I was a child.
Since I’m now an adult, I want to have some ADULT fun! Plus, so many new things have come about since those golden years lol
I decided for my birthday to go on a 3-day staycation with my honey in one of the best rated hotels aka PUBLIC hotel and do ALL of the things in SoHo (yes, it’s the hotel with the neon escalator)!
Let me just say, my birthday weekend was an absolute success 🙂 . I loved it so much that I wanted to share my experience with you, so you can get the most out of your SoHo trip!
…First things first, let’s talk your travel options before we get into the meat of it (*claps hands in seriousness*).
You can use a taxi service to get around, Uber/Lyft, take the subway, drive your own car, or walk! With driving your own car, parking is scarce in NYC, and you’ll wait for HOURS for free parking to become available.
If you’re not too stubborn or worried about costs, you can pay for overnight parking at a parking garage but it’s not cheap ($60-$75/night). We opted to drive in from Long Island and pay for overnight parking. We could’ve taken the LIRR (or Long Island Railroad) and then take the subway but I hate public transportation.
It was my birthday weekend…so the birthday girl gets what she wants (and I’ll cry if I want to lol).
For our own convenience, all the destinations listed in the itinerary were under 20 minutes walking distance from our hotel and ended up being the BEST finds we could’ve dreamed of. Personally, I’d rather not walk for over 30 minutes during a New York heat wave with streets filled with crowded people. It’s so hot and humid in certain areas, so be mindful if you decide to travel to New York during the Summer.
Now… time to check out this itinerary to make your trip 10x more fun while out and about in SoHo!
When I tell you, this place is a hidden oasis…
There are no signs on the hotel to identify it and as you walk up to the entrance, the hotel AND the walkway leading from the sidewalk is covered in greenery. Big, beautiful trees, plant covered archways and trellises along the building. It felt like you were in a whole other world, not in NYC, just casually entering a magical garden. Suffice to say, I was in awe.
Then you walk through the carousel doors and are greeted by a neon escalator and a sexy a** scent that you can smell through every inch of the hotel.
It wasn’t overpowering but I’ve noticed many hotels have a signature scent they pump throughout the building and this one was…top notch. The décor of the main areas were very modern and luxurious continuing into all of the suites as well.
It was the most bougie hotel I’ve ever been in and the true Leo in me was in love with every second of it!
Address: PUBLIC Hotel, 215 Chrystie St, NY, NY 10002
We All Scream for The Museum of Ice Cream
The Museum of Ice Cream is one of the newer experiences that you can have in New York that will keep you entertained and you won’t leave hungry!
Their “exhibits” are on a 3-level playground of fun and immersive activities, including their well-known sprinkle pool. You also get to enjoy different types of ice cream, milkshakes, and sweets throughout the day and learn about their history (while taking plenty of Instagram-worthy selfies in front of their creative backdrops).
For tickets starting at $36, what more could you want in an all-you-can-eat ice cream museum?
Address: Museum of Ice Cream, 558 Broadway, NY, NY 10012
Walk the Belgian Block Roads to Rubirosa
This little hole-in-the-wall was OFF the charts (it’s so good, Harry Styles has even been here)!!
It’s a quaint Italian restaurant but tables fill up quickly because the food is astronomical. We made the mistake of not reserving a table but as luck would have it, we walked in, they told us the wait would be about an hour, and as we were walking out (upset and hangry), seats at the bar became available!!
I was originally going for their tie-dye pizza that I’ve heard nothing but great things about (pesto, tomato, and vodka sauce) but ended up falling in love with everything that touched my lips.
Every bite I took of the appetizers, the pizza, the dessert (omg, that bread pudding…): I could not stop moaning and raving about how delicious it all was. It was probably getting obnoxious at some point, but I did not care (still don’t). It was amazing and it had to be told all around the world!
Just two things I regret: not getting half-and-half toppings on our pizza because I was indecisive and should’ve just gotten #BOTH and also not trying any of their homemade pastas (they make them fresh daily so I’m 100% going back for seconds).
Address: Rubirosa, 235 Mulberry St, NY, NY 10012
“Sneak-In” to PDT or Garfunkel’s (Speakeasy Bars)
You don’t actually sneak in, but you do need a secret passcode to gain entrance to these speakeasy, cocktail bars: Please Don’t Tell, or PDT for short, and Garfunkel’s. You instantly feel like you’re back in the Prohibition Era sneaking around for your next drink!
PDT is located inside of a hot dog spot, Crif Dogs. If you spot an old-school telephone booth that looks like it’s straight outta London then you’re in the right place!
Go inside of the telephone booth, follow the instructions on the phone by diaing a specific number, and a host should open a hidden door ready to greet you (don’t you love cool spots like this?)!
Garfunkel’s is also located inside of a restaurant, but this time they’re on the 2nd floor above a burger joint, The Burgary, whose name pays a nod to the previous tenants that were felonious bankers (in which the Garfunkel’s name is also inspired by)!
Enter through the back of The Burgary and up the stairs to Garfunkel’s, where you can only gain access through a vault door (are you feeling like you’re doing illegal activities, yet?).
Both are very much worth your time of trying out while in NYC, but make sure you make reservations as seating is limited and fill up quick on a first-come first-serve basis!
Hotel Bar for Late Night Cocktails
Our hotel had a few bars, including the Cantina & Pisco Bar.
It’s a Peruvian-inspired Pisco bar (pisco is a type of brandy) that is decorated like a Caribbean jungle, while live Latin music is played by an enthusiastic ensemble. It’s truly mesmerizing and you feel like you could be in Cabo or Miami! They only offer small plates and a variety of tasty cocktails (or wine, if that’s more up your alley).
All of their crowd-pleasing cocktails have an infused Pisco as an ingredient, so it was fun to try out all of the different flavors of Pisco since we had never tried Pisco before. Listening to the live band was the cherry on top while we got a little sauced lol.
Address: PUBLIC hotel Cantina & Pisco Bar (1st floor, behind the escalators), 215 Chrystie St, NY, NY 10002
Clinton St. Baking Company
This breakfast spot is another one that I didn’t know would get so packed.
It was 10am and the wait was close to 2 hours! I couldn’t believe it, is the food really that good? I’ve seen so much of their dishes on Instagram, and it looks good but does it taste good?
I guess so since they built a takeout window right next door!
We settled for to-go and it was delicious but most things taste better when you sit down and eat it as soon as it’s made. Their milkshakes we got for the walk back to the hotel were on the money and perfect for a hot, Summer day.
If you ever go, you must try out their delicious, Boozy Mexican Coffee Milkshake (it woke me up and had me feeling soo good lol).
Address: Clinton St. Baking Company, 4 Clinton St., NY, NY 10002
Russ & Daughters Cafe
If you’d rather a lighter breakfast, bagels are always a solid choice ESPECIALLY in New York (where we do bagels best, no argument haha #SorryNotSorry).
Head over to the Famous Russ & Daughters for your most appetizing delights!
Did you know the word “appetizing” is a Jewish food tradition amongst primarily New York Jews in which appetizing is meant to be understood as “the foods one eats with bagels” (directly quoted from their website lol). Supposedly, Jewish dietary laws restrict dairy and meat products from being sold in the same establishment so bam: the creation of delicatessens (cured meats) and “appetizing” stores (fish and dairy)!
That ends the history lesson for now, but the history of Russ & Daughters’ original appetizing store (not deli) in 1914 is built into their current café’s delicious cuisine including their knishes, bagels, challah, pickled herring, smoked salmon and other smoked fish (they even sell different types of caviar, how fancy)!
Check out their full menu for way more options than you thought you could get at a deli—I mean appetizing store!
Address: Russ & Daughters, 127 Orchard St., NY, NY 10002
Rent a Citi Bike or Go on a Bike Tour
You can get a little exercise in and save money on traveling around the city by renting the Citi Bike.
You can purchase annual membership (if you plan on spending a lot of time in NY throughout the year), a day pass, or a single ride. A single ride is $3.99/trip and the day pass is $15/day and includes unlimited 30-minute rides in a 24-hour period, which is a steal!
Citi Bikes are super convenient as they’re NOT hard to find nor limited. Even though we noticed a lot of people riding them, there were still plenty available at the bike stations, waiting for their next rider.
I’m not going to lie, it’s a little scary watching how close some of these conditioned bicyclists ride around the city. They are fearless and get so close to cars and people that you really must watch your surroundings. This includes the tourists on bike tours!
Bike tours can take you to central park, the Brooklyn bridge, even New York at night (which you definitely won’t regret), it all depends on what kind of tour you want and how far the meeting point is from you.
Contrary to what many may believe, everything isn’t right next to each other in NYC. You can be in 1 part of Manhattan and it could take you over an hour just to get to another side of Manhattan, so plan accordingly!
Go Shopping & Catch a Glimpse of Some Amazing Street Art
SoHo is one of the best shopping districts in NYC. Other than 5th Ave and 34th St, Broadway is THEE place to shop in SoHo, especially at The Shops of SoHo (it’s something like a shopping mall).
They have small-time vendors and big, name brand stores such as Fendi and Louis Vuitton, so you can get plenty of diverse clothing options in a wide price range.
Also, take a quick peek at the MoMA design store. It’s the Museum of Modern Art shop that sells a wide array of modern, funky objects from kitchenware to handbags. Think…if Target and IKEA had a baby (if you don’t love Target…).
You don’t even have to be on Broadway, anytime you’re walking around SoHo (or the city, in general) it’s hard to miss those trendy, boutique shops or even well-known brands popping up in every direction!
Even more hard-to-miss is the street art posted along the sides of buildings. It’s like taking a walk through a free art gallery (and you won’t be disappointed)! Bust out that camera and start snapping away because New York’s street art is unlike any other!
Address: The Shops of SoHo, 435 Broadway, NY, NY 10013
STONED Gourmet Cannabis Pizza (Cannabis Infused, For All My Stoners)
If you’re late to the scene, cannabis is the word all the cool kids are using to describe: weed, marijuana, Mary Jane, devil’s lettuce, etc.
With legalization of medical and recreational cannabis across nearly half the country, cannabis consumption lounges and dispensaries are popping up everywhere, including New York.
Do proceed with caution though as there are no laws in place yet for cannabis consumption lounges in New York, so they have no “limits” on how much THC they could provide you in each meal nor do you know the quality of the cannabis being consumed.
I like to live life on the edge every once in awhile so of course I went to STONED Pizza haha and it was GREAT!!
I could’ve done this at home with my own infused goods (as I’m a Medical Marijuana patient with experience producing butters, etc.) but it was a fun activity to have all-you-can-eat meals infused with cannabis (including the drinks) while meeting other weed connoisseurs who are elevating with you!
You’re able to bring your own cannabis goods and smoke throughout the establishment but you can also purchase pre-rolls and flower if you want (amongst other impeccable goodies like a 7-gram blunt)!
Address: STONED (requires reservation for address to be emailed to you, I’m obligated not to tell you lol)
If you’re not into getting “stoned”, try out this fantastic Australian restaurant.
Where else could you go, but NY to taste the wonders of the world without going on a plane?
Dudley’s is known for their breakfast/ brunch but don’t let that stop you from trying out their lunch options. They have small plates and platters meant to be shared with friends. It’s a super casual social spot for quick food and drinks where to don’t have to feel fancy just to eat!
Address: Dudley’s, 85 Orchard St, NY, NY 10002
Our hotel had a DOPE rooftop bar with a very fitting name, The Roof, and you could see the entire city skyline! The décor was a luxe, refined space with more than enough seating and a bar definitive of the nightlife scene in the area.
People were coming from other hotels and all walks of life just to head up to The Roof. Be aware, that although it isn’t stated anywhere, you must be dressed in a semi-formal fashion, or you won’t be allowed into the elevator.
I’m not too worried about the ladies, this is mostly for the guys: bring a pair of pants! Pack some lightweight slacks or simple dress pants just for this one night. I’m not saying this happened to us…but take it from us haha!
Another rooftop bar worth your time is the Jimmy SoHo rooftop bar located in the ModernHaus hotel, which is very similar to Public Hotel (as they are the same modern, upscale, “swanky” accommodations with amazing views).
Dominique Ansel Bakery (#Cronut)
We woke up nice and early just to make it to this bakery because I’ve heard about the #Cronut hype and the lines were wrapped around the block (Thank God, we got there early)!
When you get there, you instantly start your journey by waiting in line so try to arrive at least 15 minutes before open. The line moves quick so no groaning about the wait.
Once you’re on line, an employee will announce the monthly cronut flavor, the specials, and buying limits because of course you’d want to buy a hundred of everything but you can’t. You’re limited to 2 cronuts per order in-store but you can get around this by ordering online which increases your limit to 12 (thank me later, I love you too lol).
Here’s some deets about the Cronut: it’s a beautiful mix between a doughnut and a croissant, they only produce one flavor a month (and it may not come back!), and there is no original or plain- flavored Cronut (although the DKA comes pretty close to what I’d imagine it to be).
Dominique’s Kouign Amann, or DKA, is basically a caramelized croissant (that’s it, that’s the post haha). I bought one box and have no joke, ordered about 2-dozen since then and it’s only been a couple of weeks! They’re that good so don’t walk, run, sis!
Address: Dominique Ansel Bakery, 189 Spring St, NY, NY 10012
Relax at your hotel or Do Some More Shopping
Take some time to relax at your hotel and relish in your vacation before the countdown begins.
Or take another look at the MoMA design store because you definitely can’t browse their entire catalog in one visit!
As previously mentioned, they have a collection of housewares, but they also sell art books and art pieces if you want to bring some New York art home with you from your travels! I’ve always wanted to do that; it’s on my bucket list to bring home an art piece, big or small, from each place we travel to… I’m determined!
Sidenote: If you can’t fly home with something, check out their online store for shipping options!
Address: MoMA Design Store, 81 Spring St. A, NY, NY 10012
Tell me you’ve been to SoHo without telling me you’ve been to SoHo!
This is an absolute must on your list of places to eat. This famous Jewish deli is best known for their pastrami sandwiches, and I was SOLD once I saw how big they are (definitely sharable but you may not want to lol)!
You have not completed your trip to SoHo (or NYC for that matter) without taking a gander at this amazing eatery. When walking by around midday, we thought it was going to be much more packed than it was so that was a relief. Even with long lines, their sandwich artisans keep the line moving with prompt service!
Address: Katz Delicatessen, 205 E Houston St., NY, NY 10002
Well, that’s all folks! I hope you enjoy your trip and please share some of your favorite moments below, I love hearing about your travel adventures!
Have you ever been to SoHo or even the state of New York? What’s something you’ve always wanted to do in NYC?