I used to work in SoHo and on my lunch breaks would sometimes go to the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe for a bite to eat at the cafe and to browse books. The space itself has an old world feel to it because of the hardwood floors, the wooden staircases, and wooden bookshelves. It's a nice escape from the busy SoHo sidewalks that can get clogged with fashionistas and tourists alike. They also rent out the space for events including the popular The Moth StorySLAM, author readings, and even weddings!
The best thing about it is that 100% of the proceeds go to Housing Works, an advocacy group with a mission to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through lifesaving services and entrepreneurial businesses. All of the merchandise is donated and the staff is made up of volunteers.