80 Spring St (& Broadway) - 212 965 1414 - Owned by Keith McNally, Balthazar is the grand sister of Pastis & Schiller's. I've never actually eaten a mean here but what a scene. Busy, buzzy, get a reservation. At night is full of Soho's glamourati during the day it's full of the next generation media moguls making deals and breaking promises.
If you're just visiting for one day or you have some swanky friends coming into town, try Balthazar.
Look for the neon sign - Spring Street (btwn Washington & West Highway)
The Ear Bar is one of the oldest pubs in the city - found on Spring St and close to the river. Cosy, warm, an old fisherman's pub with good grub: burgers, pastas, fish. When it was built in 1817 it was only 5 feet from the river now it's 300! However it’s still dark and dingy, full of old sea dog-type and carnivalesque characters.
UPDATE FEB 9th: Ear Bar remains simply unchanged. A great place to meet friends or just sit on your own. Careful with the shots! Also - smoking with your drink allowed out front.
New York's Oldest Pubs
Kittichai At The Thompson Hotel
60 Thompson St, New York 10012, 212-219-2000 - For a little bit of class, try the Kittichai at the Thompson Hotel. Named after the chef Ian Chalermkittichai, you get what you pay for and what you get is amazingly succulent food, great service, a decent cocktail bar and possible entry to the roof deck I think they call A60.
The food is Thai with an extenive range of tapas, fish, poultry and curry dishes.
Check Out Also
Thom Bar upstairs
Cafe Noir down the street
160 Prince Street - 212 925 8248 - This postcard old school bakery serves up fine cafe dishes 7 days a week 11am to 10pm every day.
It's not the menu of imaginative antipasto, salads, wraps, sandwiches and (Vesuvio Special) Panini, nor the continental breakfast choices, nor the cool old school (1920) interior, nor the fine selection of breads - it's the gang of Italians, who hang outside that makes this a special place to try.
Far far better than the tourist trap opposite with the chairs onto the street!
110 Thompson Street (btwn Prince & Spring) 212 966 5366 - Very sweet cuban restaurant with large menu of simple but well made dinners, sandwiches and mojitos.
A perfect get away from the shopping crowd for brunch (after 11.30am) or the kick off for a night around Soho. Decorated just like a Cuban cafe, the staff are friendly and the prices great!
UPDATE: Now in Brooklyn! 275 Smith Street (between Sackett & Degraw) 718 858 3980 !!
Places to go after Cubana Cafe (Day)
Walk around the shops in Soho and then head over to Nolita
Places to go after Cubana Cafe (Evening)
Thom bar at Thompson Hotel
Cafe Noir on Spring & Thompson
The Room on Thompson
171 Spring Street, Soho, 212-966-3939 - A busy and chilled Thai-fusion restaurant on the edge of Soho staffed by vibrant waitresses and filled with a lively crowd.
Like most places in NYC we had to wait 30 minutes to be seated, but it was worth every minute. The food was glorious, from the satay to the thai curry.
The Mojo drink is recommended too! I will return very often to this place.
Guy's Diary posts on Kin Khao:
FRIDAY 16th JANUARY : DOG HOUSE FOR SALE
60 Thompson St., New York, NY 10012 - The upstairs bar in the Thompson Hotel is a good stop by and I've been to some great nights there and there's oftne a DJ in the corner. Cool grown up crowd that's not afraid to party.
Guy's Diary posts about Thom Bar
FRIDAY 31st OCTOBER : FREAKY FRIDAY
MONDAY 29th SEPTEMBER : TIME TRAVEL TO SEE PETER PAN