12 Hours in SoHo, an Itinerary: Closed Set with Julie Bensman

As of late, I’ve had many friends and family swinging through town, asking for recommendations on what to do for the day (while I toil away at work and emerge only to meet them for late drinks, sigh). The neighborhood always on their bucket lists? SoHo. As a former resident, I feel confident in relaying a few downtown dos and don'ts (i.e. don't go shopping on Broadway on a weekend) and, as a reference for all guests past, present, and future, feel inclined to share my itinerary for the perfect (week)day:

10:00am: Start off with a latte and croissant at Café Select. Make it quick, though, stores open soon and it’ll be time to hit the pavement.

11:00am: Best to cross your fave Broadway stores off the list while your energy's high. Bypass the usual suspects and check out recently-opened Canadian import Aritzia, followed by the neighboring TopShop and All Saints (who just announced they’re launching a sale site!)

12:30pm: Take a culture break at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. If the mood strikes, check out the attached consignment store just south, but for a vintage furniture fix, I love the small indoor/outdoor flea market on the north side of Houston at Lafayette.


2:00pm: When the weather cooperates, lunch al fresco is a must and the 6th Avenue duel between 10 Downing and Bar Pitti rages on… that is, until mid-July when 10 Downing plans to practically double its outdoor seating space (insider info). Hence, opt for the latter.

3:30pm: After a glass of bubbles and a tuna tartare or two, aim your shopping sights a bit more boutique by hitting up Loopy Mango for little treasures you never knew you needed (but now realize you MUST own) and De Vera on Crosby. Round it out with window-shopping (or, if you’re lucky, buying) at the new Alexander Wang outpost on Grand, as well Temperley London, Chanel, and Catherine Malandrino, all just a stone’s throw away. 

6:00pm: Grab a pre-dinner Mai Tai at Lani Kai or loiter a bit longer enjoying sangria and reggae at Cafe Noir.

7:30pm: If you can snag a reso, I highly recommend The Dutch, Andrew Carmellini's latest hotspot at the corner of Prince and Sullivan. As a not-shabby-at-all backup, David Burke’s Kitchen in the James Hotel doesn’t disappoint.   

930pm: To bring a day of food and fashion full circle, take the elevator up to Jimmy. An outdoor patio, views of the downtown city skyline, and the perfect nightcap…you've done well, kid.