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Jenna’s Guide to SoHo

SoHo Broadway Initiative: Planning and Community Engagement Coordinator shares her favorite spots in the neighborhood

Editor’s note: Jenna Blakeman joined the SoHo Broadway Initiative in October 2022, initially as our Community Engagement and Planning Intern. In September 2023, she was promoted to Planning and Community Engagement Coordinator. During her time at the organization, she has served as a valuable member of the team, contributing in areas ranging from data collection and analysis to written communications, and engagement with retail stores to administrative support. We are sorry to report that she will be departing the organization on March 1, but wish her the best of luck in completing her graduate program and in her next career endeavor. She will be missed!

As a parting message to our community, Jenna has shared with us some of her favorite places in the district and vicinity. We hope you find a new favorite in the guide below!


Food Cart on the Southeast Corner of Houston and Broadway

I commute to the office from Brooklyn on the Patti Smith-approved M Train. After I get off at Broadway-Lafayette, I grab a medium drip (1 cream) and a blueberry muffin from the food cart on the southeast corner of Houston and Broadway.

Broadway Gourmet Deli

For: when you have the Monday blues and you need a Diet Coke and peanut M&Ms.


Since they opened last summer, I’ve taken up a part-time residency at Mangia’s espresso counter. Get a macchiato and rejoice over the perfect espresso-to-milk ratio.


Welcome to the stage, the Greatest Restaurant of All Time, deeply beloved, Fanelli Cafe! A UNESCO World Heritage Site. Order a croque monsieur and a Diet Coke with lemon for lunch, a cheeseburger and a glass of house red for dinner. See also: “The Bar That Has Fed SoHo for Almost a Century.”


Cheeseburger, fries, et al. See also: “22 Hours in Balthazar



On a quiet block of Mercer between Broome and Grand Streets, enter: Bibliotheque. I love it here for obvious reasons. A curated selection of first-edition books, laptop-friendly tables, and an espresso counter that turns into a wine bar after 5 p.m.

Housing Works Bookstore

A Very Fine New York City Institution. Shop for vintage accessories, rare books, and antiques. Stay for Housing Works’ lifesaving services to tens of thousands of New Yorkers living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Arts and Culture

Angelika Film Center

There is simply nothing better in this world than taking yourself to a movie on a Friday night at the Angelika after work.

Elizabeth Street Garden

Escape to a whimsical public garden in the heart of Nolita/Little Italy. The garden’s volunteers are some of my favorite people on all of Planet Earth! Learn more about the garden’s 200 year-old history and its goals for the future here.

“SoHo is the best neighborhood in the best city in the world. I am very thankful for my time at the SoHo Broadway Initiative, and for the people and places I got to know along the way. The neighborhood’s rich history of artist activism inspires and informs my passions for housing, architecture, and urban planning. I am leaving the Initiative with the promise that SoHo and its mix of residents, visitors, and businesses will continue to take care of each other for a long time.” – Jenna

Photo of Jenna in SoHo
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