Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Welcome to SoHell


17. Affirmation Arts
523 W. 37th St., nr. Tenth Ave.; 212-925-0092
By fall, Matthews Architects will complete a trellised white building that will house an art gallery and artists’ studios and provide a glowing counterpart to the Javits’s darkness.

18. Chashama Window Program
266 W. 37th St., nr. Eighth Ave.; 212-391-8151
One of art patron Anita Durst’s temporary avant-garde installation spaces, this storefront is a showcase for a rotation of dancers, artists, puppeteers, and performers. Watching the construction workers watch them is the real entertainment.

19. The End of the High Line
34th St. and Eleventh Ave.
The cause célèbre turned beloved public space looks raw up here where it terminates, with just a bolt of green visible from the street.

20. Fashion Forty Lounge
202 W. 40th St., nr. Seventh Ave.; 212-221-3628
This tinted-window storefront offers $12 panini, $8 marinated asparagus, $10 buffalo wings, a hearty drink menu, and a balcony on which to enjoy them.

21. Why Not
538 Ninth Ave., nr. 40th St.; 212-279-1699
Darts, a pool table, and a dark interior that make it an appealing daytime refuge when the sun’s just a little too bright.

22. Stitch Bar & Lounge
247 W. 37th St., nr. Eighth Ave.; 212-852-4826
Forget the trendy upstairs lounge. Downstairs is where the real people hang out and watch ESPN while eating spinach dip from a pumpernickel-loaf bowl.

23. Local West
One Penn Plaza, at Eighth Ave.; 212-629-7070
Don’t let its proximity to Penn Station put you off. The rooftop terrace has great views of city rooftops and water towers, and the nachos are generous and tasty.

24. West Bank Café
407 W. 42nd St., nr. Ninth Ave. ; 212-695-6909
The best place for eavesdropping post-curtain; actors and theater types gather at the long wood bar to dismember their colleagues’ work over tuna tartare and pan-seared salmon.

25. Empire Coffee & Tea
568 Ninth Ave., nr. 42nd St.; 212-268-1220
There’s well-priced brewing paraphernalia here, and an impressive selection of teas from all over the world, but the big draws at this wholesaler are the custom coffee-bean blends like “Truckstop Fiesta,” a smooth yet hearty combination of Brazilian French roast and Kenya AA.

26. Cupcake Café
545 Ninth Ave., nr. 40th St.; 212-465-1530
It still sells those extravagantly buttercreamed cakes and cupcakes, but in its new location, Cupcake is also the quick stop for pre-flea fueling. A large coffee and one of the hearty whole-wheat-oat doughnuts will sustain a full morning of bargain-hunting.

27. The Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market
39th St. bet. Ninth and Tenth Aves. (Saturday and Sunday, sunrise to sunset)
The relocated flea market now occupies two side parking lots and a downhill-sloping block. On the Ninth Avenue side, aggressive vendors hawk Ethiopian handbags, antique jewelry, and vintage People magazines. Toward Tenth Avenue, the items get bigger (bicycles, furniture) while the crowd gets smaller.

28. HK Restaurant
523 Ninth Ave., at 39th St.; 212-947-4208
Nurse a $3.50 side of mashed potatoes or a half-price cocktail and be glad you’re not a commuter as you watch cars jockey their way into the Lincoln Tunnel during rush hour. The $7 two-item omelette is the neighborhood’s best breakfast deal.

29. Sausage Row
No animal goes uncased along this stretch of Ninth Avenue. At G. E. Cuzins Food Market (520 Ninth Ave., nr. 39th St; 212-736-5737), there’s alligator sausage and rattlesnake alongside packs of ostrich burgers and buffalo dogs. One block south, Esposito’s Pork Shop (500 Ninth Ave., at 38th St.; 212-279-3298) follows the waste-no-part ethic by stocking up on neck bones, pork shoulders, and rib bellies. If you can only handle the Italian names you recognize, go to Manganaro’s for excellent cold cuts (488 Ninth Ave., nr. 37th St.; 212-563-5331).

30. LaDuca Shoes
534 Ninth Ave., nr. 40th St.; 212-268-6751
Here’s where Broadway comes for custom-made tap and ballet shoes that withstand professional pounding. You may not need that much expertise, but there are ready-made shoes available, too.

31. Sandwich Planet
534 Ninth Ave., nr. 40th St.; 212-273-9768
If the options overwhelm you at this everything-on-bread emporium, just let the staff pick for you; they’ve made it all before.

32. OM Factory
265 W. 37th St., nr. Eighth Ave., seventeenth fl.; 212-616-8662
Its $20 unlimited sessions for a week is a true bargain, and the studio’s seventeenth-floor location means it gets great light. The incredibly poky elevator could make you lose your serenity on the way, though.

33. Steven & Francine’s Complete Automotive Repair
527 W. 36th St., nr. Tenth Ave.; 212-977-5556
Forget MoMA’s classic-cars display: At this upscale mechanic, you can actually touch the stuff. Right now there’s a ’57 Cadillac Biarritz convertible and a ’60 Mercury Monterey on blocks. Co-owner Mark Levine just finished retooling a ’53 Army Jeep for an upstate client. The business also handles tune-ups on your ho-hum wheels.

Current Issue
Subscribe to New York

Give a Gift