I did 22 seasons in the trenches at fashion week before recusing myself to the truffle-gilded towers of food writing a couple of years ago—and besides a general feeling of being very smug (front row, obv) and mostly tipsy (Champagne, obv) one visceral memory that I'll never shake is how hungry we all were during shows. From first appointments at 8 a.m. to afterparties well past midnight, New York Fashion Week's grueling back-to-back show schedule means most reporters and editors never have a chance to sit down to a real meal at any point during the seven day marathon.
On the rare occasions we did play hooky (read: 7 p.m. midweek swimwear show, sorry) it would usually be around dinnertime, and, in those brief grateful moments before late-night runways kicked off, we'd park ourselves at the bar to inhale burgers and fries at P.J. Clarke's (during fashion week's Lincoln Center days), expense crispy rice at Koi (old school Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park, remember when?), or pray the wait wasn't too long at Pastis (RIP Pastis).
These days, NYFW has largely moved downtown to west Soho (and Brooklyn!) where there are plenty of great dining options nearby—restaurants perfect for taking a load off stiletto-bound tootsies and grabbing a great meal in between shows. I polled my colleagues here in the Food & Wine office to find out what some of our editors and writers' favorite spots are in the west Soho neighborhood. Here's what we came up with (If you want to see these restaurants on a map, just keep scrolling!).