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Our editors pick their favorite restaurants near Skylight Clarkson and Industria Studios.
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!).
La Sirène: 558 Broome St. at Varick, (212) 925-3061
"Its menu is comically inappropriate for fashion week, but I love La Sirène for its ultra-old-school cassoulet (the duck-fattiest version in the city)." — Lawrence Marcus, Deputy Digital Editor
Jack's Wife Freda: 50 Carmine St. near Bedford, (646) 669-9888
"I'm obsessed with the healthy-ish, quasi-vegetarian breakfasts here, especially the shakshuka. It comes in some kind of magical green sauce that's perfect for dipping toast into. I don't like orange melons but I can't explain why I'm hooked on their fresh cantaloupe juice." — Susan Choung, Books Editor
Takashi: 456 Hudson St. near Barrow, (212) 414-2929
"When I want the most outrageously flavorful and esoteric parts of a cow that I never dreamt of eating, I come to this Japanese take on Korean barbecue. Don't miss out on the uni-and-raw steak shiso wrap and killer soft serve ice cream." — Susan Choung, Books Editor
Decoy: 529 Hudson St. near Charles, (212) 691-9700
"Decoy is my holy grail for Peking duck. Not only is the skin shatteringly crisp and lacquered like a new piano, the accompanying pancakes are incredibly supple—none of that dry, store-bought nonsense." — Susan Choung, Books Editor
Chomp Chomp: 7 Cornelia St. near Sixth Ave., (212) 929-2888
"Fun and no-frills, Chomp Chomp is my go-to for Singaporean food. I always order the crunchy pasembur salad with a funky cuttlefish sambal and the Hainanese chicken rice, which has unusually crisp skin." — Elyse Inamine, Associate Editor - Restaurants
Chumley's: 86 Bedford St. near Barrow, (212) 675-2081
"Chumley's is back, and better than ever with Victoria Blamey in the kitchen. there's a cheffy but satisfying burger as well as a nice list of scotch and sodas." — Elyse Inamine, Associate Editor - Restaurants
Hudson Clearwater: 447 Hudson St. near Morton, (212) 989-3255
"I'm a fan of Hudson Clearwater! Super charming interior, plus a little grotto/patio space that's walk-in only and has ivy and strands of lights everywhere—like a little secret garden." — Hannah Walhout, Editorial Assistant
Malatesta: 649 Washington St. near Christopher, (212) 741-1207
"I love Malatesta. I used to live in the neighborhood and it's a great place to duck in from the cold for a quick bite or a lavish pasta lunch—excellent food, reasonable prices, very cozy vibe. The fish of the day is always excellent, as is pretty much all of the pasta." — Lucy Madison, Contributing Digital Editor
Delice & Sarrasin: 20 Christopher St. near Waverly Place, (212) 243-7200
"An adorable vegan creperie with a variety of sweet and savory options, ranging from the traditional to the un-ordinary. The St. Christophe, which features spinach, vegan truffle, and Emmental cheeses, vegan dry ham and raisins, is named after its Wilhelmina model-turned entrepreneur owner. Both are delicious." — Joey Skladany, Writer
Buvette: 42 Grove St. near Bleecker, (212) 255-3590
"Buvette makes you feel like you're in Paris. You want to just drink wine and get happy and graze all day." — Kate Heddings, Executive Food Editor
Barbuto: 775 Washington St. near W. 12th. (212) 924-9700
"Barbuto! Because everything is delicious at Barbuto and you always feel like you're at the center of the good food universe. And they have the best rose, too." — Kate Heddings, Executive Food Editor
Blue Ribbon Brasserie: 97 Sullivan St. near Spring, (212) 274-0404
"Blue Ribbon Brasserie is still a great late-night place for a perfect burger or an amazing shellfish tower." — Kate Heddings, Executive Food Editor
Rounding out the list, recommendations from our resident restaurant guru. Near the show venues, Food & Wine Restaurant Editor Jordana Rothman says you should check out: Buvette (42 Grove St.), RedFarm // Decoy (529 Hudson St.), The Spotted Pig (314 W. 11th St.), Charlie Bird (5 King St.), The Dutch (131 Sullivan St.), and Dominique Ansel Bakery (189 Spring St.). Brave and adventurous? About 15 minutes walk away—more in heels—Rothman's picks include Sadelle's (463 West Broadway), Via Carota (51 Grove St.), and Locanda Verde (377 Greenwich St.).
Our Deputy Editor Christine Quinlan also names Sadelle's and Locanda Verde as two of her favorite local spots—alongwith Pasquale Jones (187 Mulberry St.), Boqueria (171 Spring St.), The Wild Son ("for breakfast," she specifies) (53 Little West 12th St.), and Evening Bar (at The Smyth, 85 West Broadway).
What are some of your favorite restaurants in the west Soho area? Tell us in the comments, below!