Neighborhood: SoHo
Address: 224 Lafayette St.

There may be no more 'SoHo' a restaurant in SoHo than Jack's Wife Frieda, a cafe smack-dab in the center of the 'hood, as evidenced if anything by its constituency: Actors, fashion designers and editors, photographers, socialites, millionaire startup dorks, the service industry, globetrotting Europeans and South Americans, and that's the weekday crowd (weekends, especially at brunch, are less charmingly marked by Murray Hill gaggles having impromptu Birthright reunions en masse). But a constituency it is, for Jack's Wife Frieda is the kind of place it's hard not to become a regular at. Owners Dean and Maya Jankelowitz have an absurdly charming way of making everyone feel like family, be it your first time or your fifth visit this week, which is to say nothing of the menu: a wonderful mix of South African and Mediterranean soul food covering everything from peri peri chicken to matzoh ball soup, and a totally perfect burger with fries so good, models regularly risk their livelihoods over them. It'd be a great restaurant anywhere, but under that striped little awning between Spring and Kenmare, it was a new classic from the moment it arrived. Go, now, and make yourself at home. —Foster Kamer