The best restaurants in Soho

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Soho is the London neighbourhood with the most game-changing foodie hotspots. Keep to the main streets and you might miss some of Soho’s greatest places. With plenty of backstreets buzzing with secret supper clubs and the latest dining trend, the choice of where to eat here is seemingly never ending. To experience the highlights we’ve put together an edit of our favourite Soho restaurants. To stay up to date with the latest restaurant openings in London, subscribe to our foodie newsletter.

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The classic places to eat and drink in Soho


The five old-school haunts we keep going back to, from morning-coffee joints to late-night cocktail bars.

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Algerian Coffee Stores

    More coffee emporium than café, this red-fronted Soho store has been open since 1887. The candy-striped awning reveals a space packed floor to ceiling with beans and a dizzying amount of paraphernalia. Wooden drawers behind the counter are filled with every type of roast imaginable, which can be ground to taste, making the whole place smell like a cup of morning espresso. There’s also an Astoria coffee machine right in the middle of the shop for takeaway brews – at £1.20, this might just be the cheapest decent coffee in the city.

    Address: Algerian Coffee Stores, 52 Old Compton Street, Soho, London W1D 4PB


    Telephone: +44 20 7437 2480


    Website: algeriancoffeestores.com

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Maison Bertaux

    London’s oldest patisserie, on Greek Street, is run by Soho legend Michelle Wade, who was a Saturday girl here in the 1970s. Every morning the shelves in the window are stocked with freshly baked pastries and cakes, from cinnamon buns to sticky apple turnovers. Inside, everything is just left of centre – there’s kitschy details, photos of the shop in its previous iterations and a second room upstairs where art shows are held in the evenings.

    Address: 28 Greek Street, Soho, London, W1D 5DQ


    Telephone: +44 20 7437 6007


    Website: maisonbertaux.com

    I Camisa & Son

    Soho has arguably better-known Italian delis that visitors might head to. But I Camisa & Son is the real deal, patronised by locals and in-the-know regulars. Its cramped, dimly lit shop is stuffed with goodies – freshly made pasta, biscotti you can normally only find in Rome, cured meats and gooey cheeses. But the sandwiches are the main reason to visit – made in front of your eyes exactly how you’d like by the all-Italian team who pack focaccia and ciabatta with squidgy slices of fresh mozzarella, soft artichokes or silky mortadella. And they come in at under a fiver.

    Address: 61 Old Compton Street, Soho, London, W1D 6HS


    Telephone: +44 207 437 7610


    Website: icamisa.co.uk

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    The French House

    Francis Bacon and Dylan Thomas used to be regulars at this Dean Street boozer known by most as just The French. Downstairs is a classic Soho pub, which draws plenty of the neighbourhood’s biggest characters, serving only half-pints that drinkers take outside for people-watching in the street. Upstairs, there’s a surprising restaurant – French-inspired, obviously – serving hearty food. We especially like the creamy goat’s cheese plastered on a slice of toast and topped with confit garlic and cheesy, stringy aligot – mashed potato with cheese, essentially. Upstairs, there’s a surprising restaurant – known as Upstairs at The French House – serving hearty and obviously French-inspired food.

    Address: 49 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 5BG


    Telephone: +44 20 7437 2477


    Website: frenchhousesoho.com

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Quo Vadis

    Worldly-wise bohemian with all the latest gossip

    Quo Vadis is one of Soho’s original kingpins, opening in Karl Marx’s former abode in 1926 to become a thriving part of Italian London, attracting celebs such as Max Beerbohm and Jimmy Durante, and has always been one of the best restaurants in London. It’s been through several incarnations since, including a period in the Nineties under the combustible ownership of Marco Pierre White and Damian Hirst. But it really hit its stride in 2012 when owners Sam and Eddie Hart brought in the charismatic Jeremy Lee as head chef, who had built up quite a following at the Blueprint Café. This August, Quo Vadis was renovated, re-emerging in time for its 90th birthday with a beautiful ground-floor dining room and a green-liveried member’s restaurant upstairs (sneak a peek at the black-and-white Soho mural by John Broadley, a modern Hogarth). An adjoining Barrafina tapas bar is set to soon.

    FOOD

    Jeremy Lee’s autumnal menu exudes a reassuring confidence with a slight swagger and several gamey dishes, including Victorian kickshaws — dinky pasties filled with wild rabbit — and a grouse salad with elderberries, apple and beetroot to rootle through. It’s a bit of a Marmite ingredient, but the smoked-eel sandwich, a creamy dollop of horseradish and delicate fishiness bookended by fried bread, is a punchy way to start. Hake with red mullet and hide-and-seek mussels and cockles is another long-standing favourite. There’s even retro pie and mash, and vol au vents, and oysters back on the menu. And even ‘no pudding’ types will pounce on the cloud-light profiteroles. And, go on, the pear-and-almond crumble tart with honey ice cream if you can manage it.

    DRINK

    The long list of whiskeys and aperitifs will leave you reeling, but the bar also takes its Martinis and Negronis very seriously (recently hosting a Negroni competition for the city’s bartenders). Depending on what sort of night you had before, the Eye Openers section has a twisted Bloody Mary with soul-sauce, and a Collins made with Coke-ish chinotto liquor.

    By Rick Jordan

    Address: Quo Vadis, 26-29 Dean Street, London W1


    Telephone: +44 20 7437 9585


    Website: quovadissoho.co.uk

    MORE SOHO RESTAURANTS TO KNOW

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Sussex, Soho

    Nutbourne game comes to Soho courtesy of the Gladwin brothers

    Sussex, the fourth London restaurant from farming restaurateurs the Gladwin brothers, could barely be more different to the restaurant it has replaced at the top of Frith Street. Flavour Bastard was a concept seemingly dreamt up on an away-day gone awry – all global-fusion faddiness, with wines under headings such as ‘Smashable Bastards’. Smash it is exactly what the critics did, and it shut its doors after less than a year. Sussex might just be Flavour Bastard’s antithesis: earthy, unfussily elegant, with almost all of the produce coming from Sussex, and especially the Gladwin family farm and vineyard in Nutbourne, protected by the southern slopes of the South Downs. Restaurateur Richard, chef Oliver and farmer-supplier Gregory have previous experience when it comes to bringing their bucolic hamlet to London: Chelsea’s Rabbit, The Shed in Notting Hill and Nutbourne in Battersea have all become well-loved neighbourhood haunts. But opening up in Soho is different. And Sussex is the most grown-up of the four restaurants, with less of a farmhouse feel, encouraging classic dining rather than small-plate sharing in the wood-panelled, U-shaped space (decor-wise, it’s not a million miles from Arbutus, the buttoned-down fine diner that was once here). But the food is farmier than ever, underpinned by the ethos that what grows together goes together. Flavour Brothers, they could have called it.

    FOOD

    The mushroom-Marmite eclairs, a hit at Rabbit and The Shed, have made it onto the snacks menu alongside stone-bass croquettes and crab tartlets – but otherwise, the food is more dressed up here. Of the starters, the monkfish carpaccio most epitomises Sussex’s haute-forager vibe: silky slivers topped with puréed aubergine, pine nuts and poppy little amaranth seeds, with traces of lemon and chilli. A lot going on, but all of it good. The partridge saltimbocca is simpler, with gamey autumnal slices cut through with creamy smoked Gouda. For the mains, the fallow deer with chestnut and chocolate features various rich cuts of venison, including the ‘cigar’ served at Rabbit. But it is the specials for two which people will travel for: on our visit, a hare (recently shot by Gregory) and rainbow-chard Wellington, the tender pinkish meat baked into a golden-crispy latticed tube, served with gravy, quince squares, skinny chips and Nutbourne purple cabbage. Also on the list was a whole-roasted mallard for two, with the menu warning diners that game dishes may contain shot. The all-English cheeseboard is another revelation, including a smooth Isle of Wight blue and a buttery Red Leicester aged in muscat. There’s also an eight-course menu, served round a 14-seat kitchen table downstairs, which currently includes squirrel tortellini with lovage and bone-marrow pesto.

    DRINK

    Aside from one tequila, the cocktail list is all-English, with Suffolk-based Adnams providing gins, vodkas and even the single malt for the Old Fashioned or the Film Noir with banana and chocolate bitters. The house G&T twist is the Local and Wild (the brothers’ motto), with Sipsmith gin, pear, cinnamon, quince and tonka-bean bitters. Naturally, there are wines from the family vineyard, which is mostly run by Bridget, the brothers’ artist mother. Crisp whites including the Bacchus and Sussex Reserve recall the best Rieslings and go well with the monkfish. But while Nutbourne tends to produce whites and sparkling wines, there’s a long list of reds, heavy on full-bodied French classics to pair with the red meat.

    VERDICT

    It’s refreshing to see pure-bred British locavorism land in Soho, and without much attendant gimmickry. By Toby Skinner

    Address: Sussex, 63-64 Frith Street, Soho, London W1D 3JW


    Telephone: +44 20 3923 7770


    Book online

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Kolamba, Soho

    A punchy Sri Lankan stoking the fire on Carnaby Street

    Read the full review in our round-up of the best restaurants in London

    Address: Kolamba, 21 Kingly Street, London W1B 5QA


    Telephone: +44 20 3815 4201


    Website: kolamba.co.uk

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Lina Stores

    Wonderful homemade pasta from one of London’s finest old-school Italian delis

    Read the full review in our round-up of the best restaurants in London

    Address: Lina Stores, 51 Greek Street, London W1D 4EH


    Telephone: +44 20 3929 0068


    Website: linastores.co.uk

    Lina Stores: A Great Little Place We Know, with Masha Rener

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  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Berenjak

    A reimagined Iranian kebab house from one of London’s most exciting restaurant stables

    Read the full review in our round-up of the best restaurants in London

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Hoppers

    A taste of Sri Lanka in London

    Read the full review in our round-up of the best restaurants in London

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Ducksoup

    Seasonal combinations and natural wines

    Don’t be put off by the unappetising sound of the name, there’s no canard chowder on the menu at this cosy atmospheric bistro. Instead, there’s a scrawled blackboard menu of small plates of seasonal deliciousness (salt cod, calcots and olives, fettucine with gurnard, tomato and saffron, pork cheeks cooked in milk with butterbeans) and a strong selection of natural wines. Food is simple but lively; be sure to add a side of homemade pickles and save space for a cheese course. Space is tight and tables are tight which makes it the ideal spot for a romantic evening. They also do a very reasonable lunch menu: a daily changing dish and a glass of wine for a tenner.

    Address: Ducksoup. 41 Dean Street, London W1D 4PY


    Telephone: +44 20 7287 4599


    Website: ducksoupsoho.co.uk

    Koya

    Oodles of noodles

    This Japanese noodle joint has become something of a cult classic thanks to its impressive udon dishes. Grab a seat at the wooden bar and pick your supper combo: the classic hot udon in hot broth, slightly more unusual cold noodles in hot soup or surprisingly satisfying cold udon with a cold dipping or pouring sauce. All come with a variety of toppings and flavours (smoked mackerel, vegetable tempura, mixed seaweed) – our favourite is the mushrooms with an addictive walnut miso paste. Open from 8.30am, don’t overlook Koya for a strong brunch option: try the English Breakfast with a fried egg, bacon, shiitake porridge and miso soup or the Japanese Breakfast with grilled fish, rice, miso soup and pickles.

    Address: Koya, 50 Frith Street, London W1D 4SQ


    Website: koya.co.uk

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Nopi

    Ottolenghi’s Soho restaurant is a quiet spot in busy Soho

    One of our favourite brunch destinations in London. It’s not immediately obvious, but the name comes from the fact that the all-white spot is just north of Piccadilly Circus, and the spot off Regent’s Street is just far enough away from Carnaby Street to remain an incredibly calm and tranquil space. Book ahead (not always a possibility in Soho) for a breakfast of labneh splashed shakshuka served with chunky focaccia sticks, or the sort of bright Middle Eastern salads the chef is best known for and dishes such as Persian love rice with pickled Tokyo turnips and cashew yoghurt.

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Paradise

    Sri Lankan small plates that pack a punch

    This contemporary Sri Lankan joint has taken over Russell Norman’s Spuntino spot on Rupert Street. The moody monochrome space has polished concrete walls and a stainless steel counter lined with stools but the food is full of colour and spice. First-time restaurateur Dom Fernando has stolen inspiration from his grandmother’s recipes to create a menu that makes the most of quality British ingredients. Mutton rolls are served with fermented chilli sauce, fried aubergine comes with jaggery moju, a traditional Sri Lankan pickle, and a roasted baby squid curry is cooked in cardamom and coconut. But the real show-stopper is the chopped chicken and Cheddar kothu roti – just try it.

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Freak Scene

    Hurly-burly pan-Asian mash-up

    Phewee. Rumours of Soho losing its sense of fun are misplaced. Here’s a place where you can easily lose an evening and gain new friends. Scott Hallsworth was head chef at Nobu Park Lane before founding Kurobata in Bayswater and serving up fast-paced, piggy-wiggy Japanese junk food. In short, there ain’t much he doesn’t know about wasabi. Freak Scene was his next project, popping up in Clerkenwell before landing here in Soho in Barrafina’s former home. Now its walls are papered with rock fly posters (the name comes from a Nineties grunge classic by Dinosaur Jnr), there’s a TV up above showing bewildering Japanese game shows, and the old tapas counter is busier than the front row at a Burberry show. Freak Scene is as much about the atmosphere as the food: it’s Spuntino meets Black Axe Mangal in the back of a speeding tuk-tuk heading towards Shinjuku. Not the place to sit quietly by yourself with a copy of Sapiens – but if you do you’ll get talking about it with a complete stranger over a couple of sake bombs and then leave it spread-eagled on the floor.

    THE FOOD

    Fusion used to be a dirty word, the f-word, but it never really went away and when it works it really pushes foodie frontiers. So while you may think you’ve scoffed all there is to scoff in the modern world – the kimchi burgers, seitan bacon, Hawaiian poke, lobster crumpets – but have you ever had a chopstick made from Jerusalem artichoke and dipped in smoky truffle-ponzu sauce? Freak Scene is a place where mussels cosy up to pork belly and get away with it, where octopus appears in tako-yaki donuts and squidgy miso-smeared aubergine paired with caramelly sweet walnuts. Other highlights include the new foie-gras buns with star anise and black-cod tacos with more of that curdy miso.

    DRINK

    Aside from some questionable Eighties kitsch, drinks are just as much fun, with cocktails such as Thai Morning Jacket (with kaffir-lime infused gin) and the Coen Brothers-inspired Bunny Lebowski (pandan, vodka, kahlua). Most refreshing was a Freaky Smash (St Germain, gin, black grapes and mint), but save headspace for something light and floral from the sake menu.


    VERDICT

    The freak, c’est not chic but it’s whole lot of fun. Be warned: you may need several napkins. By Rick Jordan


    Address: Freak Scene, 54 Frith Street, London W1D 4SL


    Telephone: + 44 7561 394497


    Website: freakscene.london

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Yeni

    An Istanbul stalwart arrives in Soho

    When it opened in 2013, Yeni Lokanta quickly shot to the top of Istanbul’s dining scene. Serving elegant takes on traditional Turkish food, head chef Civan Er has kept his debut firmly on most round-ups of London’s best restaurants in the six years that have followed. Now, the team have brought the hotspot to London, losing Lokanta (meaning restaurant) from the name and opening as just Yeni on Beak Street in Soho. Sandwiched between some of Soho’s best restaurants and cafés (Russell Norman’s Venetian Italian restaurant Polpo is next door, with fancy-pants Bob Bob Ricard opposite and one of London’s best bars Cahoots around the corner), inside there’s a Middle Eastern café vibe: white-washed brick walls, deep blue leather seating against the walls and cute turquoise tiles dotted around for texture and colour. There are two floors, making the space pretty big in Soho terms. Downstairs, there’s an open bar where the chefs make the final, meticulous touches to the dishes before they’re swept onto trays in teams of two to be delivered to your table.

    FOOD

    The basic premise is refined Middle Eastern flavours. Things kick off with an amuse bouche – a dumpling, filled with aubergine and served in a rich, burnt orange broth is flavourful and, if anything, makes you hungrier – which is a good thing. Then follows the bread: warm, freshly made sourdough with smoked butter. Like so many of the best restaurants, you can really judge what’s about to come from the bread – the better it is, the fresher, the more flavour and more inventive, the better your supper will be. So things are already looking good. We were warned that the starters were on the small side, but compared to London’s fine-dining joints they were hefty enough. We tried the baked feta: served with a glazed honey on top that made a satisfying, creme-brulee style crust on a bed of sauteed samphire, and the snow pea salad – the chilli kick and crunch from the apple were brilliantly refreshing next to the rich, creaminess of the cheese.

    For mains, the vine leaves are roasted and filled with springy, salty halloumi, chickpeas and labneh, making for a much lighter supper than you might expect in a Turkish restaurant. The stand out, though, is the roasted beef ribs – pulled, melt-in-the-mouth beef with a deep, meaty flavour sitting on a hunk of sourdough that has become gloriously soggy with the juices. We saved a little portion on the side of our plates so that it could be our last mouthful of the main course – it’s the kind of dish you really want to savour. If you’re a sweet tooth, the pudding menu is just two items – custard fritters or, our recommendation, the salted caramel panna cotta — not a wobble in sight it’s a light mousse that layers flavours of cinnamon with hits of almost-too-salty caramel.

    DRINK

    We were told on arrival that Civan Er had selected three wines from the extensive list that matched the menu we were choosing from brilliantly, one Italian white wine, an orange wine and a Greek red wine. We opted for the white Ribolla Gialla Stocco Italian: it was soft, floral and dry.

    VERDICT

    A part of Soho’s already heaving supper scene that isn’t lost in the crowd, it’ll change what you think you know about Turkish food. By Sarah James

    Address: Yeni, 55 Beak Street, Soho, London W1F 9SH


    Telephone: +44 20 3475 1903


    Website: yeni.london

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Blacklock

    You may have passed Blacklock a hundred times before and never really taken in its glass doors and lo-fi sign (which probably worked out well during its alleged past-life as a Nineties brothel – as boldly mentioned in the very first sentence of the restaurant’s website). Duck down the stairs to be immediately transported from the Piccadilly Circus overspill above and into a snug, black- and wood-heavy space. With inoffensive nostalgia from the likes of Tina Turner and Paul Simon flowing through the soundsystem and every seat occupied on an average week night, the vibe here is neither high end nor urban cool, but instead a straightforward and merry celebration of meat chops.

    Indeed, Blacklock’s manifesto is founded upon the idea of sharing the country’s finest cuts – sourced from Cornish farmers who apparently ‘allow their cows a full, free-roaming life’ – for the lowest possible price: the most beef for your buck. And the £20 ‘All In’ deal is perhaps the most generous of its kind in all of Zone 1, if not London: beef, pork and lamb ‘skinny chops’ for at least two people, served stacked on a coal flatbread fat and moist with their juices. The chop sauce is a wise accompaniment, while the triple-cooked beef-dripping chips deserve special mention for their satisfying crispiness. Blacklock also has its own signature dessert – the most wonderful, homemade white chocolate cheesecake we’ve ever sampled, doled out with a ladle at your table, straight from an overflowing baking dish. If you’re lucky, you might even find an entire digestive biscuit at the bottom of your bowl – Blacklock is that sort of place. By Becky Lucas

    Address: 24 Great Windmill Street, Soho, London W1D 7LG


    Telephone: +44 20 3441 6996


    Website: theblacklock.com

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Inko Nito

    Cool, contemporary and relaxed Japanese in Soho

    From the folk behind stylish trinity Zuma, Roka and Oblix comes Inko Nito, located just behind the clamour of Carnaby. The concept is clear: Californian-Japanese restaurant in a laidback setting, where partakers can breeze in and out, reservation-free, within a lunch break, or feast through five or so small plates and still make it home for a couple of hours’ wind-down on a weeknight. The result is a vibey, timber-heavy, light-strewn space centred around an open kitchen, where handsome, tattooed chefs in bandanas work to a ceaseless soundtrack of sizzling meats, rattling pots, varied music and the guest chitter-chatter that flows out from the mixed-level tables.

    FOOD

    Start things off with the particularly slurpy ginger-soy-soaked edamame as you peruse the stripped-down menu, before wolfing Portland crab Cali-sushi whole, maki by maki. Grapefruit miso adds zing to the salmon, while the beef cheek and butter lettuce wraps are the kitchen’s top pick, with each meaty taco offering exciting flavour followed by a fiery kick. The charred coconut poke, served with sweet soy, Japanese granola and a cinnamon fortune cookie, is rather like a little, more savoury version of a knickerbocker glory.

    DRINKS

    Sip the bar’s strong take on a Negroni or super smoky Old Fashioned while waiting for your small plates, which come at you thick and fast, whenever they’re ready. And, naturally, sample some sake.

    VERDICT

    A more casual (aka lower-priced), drop-in equivalent to Zuma, with sociable service. It’s the sort of place that can carry off gender-neutral bathrooms without being irritating.

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Aulis, London

    A secret chef’s table that marks the return of Simon Rogan to London

    So here’s an immersive West End theatre experience: just eight seats, a trio of white-shirted performers juggling close-up magic, a different show every night. Aulis is where the chef’s table meets secret supper club — foodie lab by day, dining table by night, with guests only told its exact location when they book. It marks the London return of Simon Rogan, last seen at Fera at Claridge’s, and whose original Aulis up in Cumbria serves as a test kitchen for his two-starred restaurant L’Enclume. This one will develop dishes for the chef’s Marylebone restaurant, Roganic, due to open in December.Rogan’s a chef who went from smoke-and-mirrors trickery to artful Nordic-style rootsiness and his team here — each a trusted lieutenant with the likes of the Fat Duck and San Francisco’s Saison on their CVs — are well versed in his ethos. There’s serious intent here but the mood is playful. Apple marigold and woodruff is brought over to be sniffed, dehydrated carrots rattled in Tupperware, and techniques cheerfully explained with Hall & Oates on the playlist. L’Enclume famously made a guest appearance in the first series of The Trip, and some of the creations here should inspire several ‘Hoo-hah!’ Pacino impressions.

    FOOD

    At the end of your experience you’re handed a card that reads like a stripped-down E.E. Cummings poem. But the bare ingredients don’t do justice to the dishes. ‘Berkswell, truffle’ is a tousle-headed cheese bomb. ‘Seaweed, caviar’ is an exquisite miso custard spooned from a Japanese ceramic pot. Two carrots recline on a piece of bark like seals, rehydrated and injected with crab and sea buckthorn. Elsewhere there are tiny lardons of steak tartare served with a tapioca crisp, tender slices of duck, swift crunches of potato with smoked yolk, Rogan favourites like hay-baked celeriac with whey, and a wonderful pudding of elderberry yogurt with shards of blow-torched milk. The 15-course feast begins with a sweet-like creation of raspberry and goat’s curd fragranced with rose, is punctuated with a homemade kombucha, and ends with ‘Fig’, a jammy Turkish delight. ‘We’re big on surprises,’ says Rogan.

    DRINK

    The team have had a lot of fun choosing wines to match. James the sommelier bustles up and down, slightly dishevelled like a stand-up comedian, still recovering from having tasted 250 vintages earlier in the week. ‘This wine’s almost old enough to drink itself!’ he declares of a lovely Spanish white rioja. ‘This was made by some mental guys in the South of France,’ of the orange Mauzac Zacm. And you’ll come away with a new appreciation of German reds after tasting the Spatburgunder pinot noir.

    VERDICT

    Spectator scoffing at its finest — a brilliantly entertaining insight into the working and imagination behind a great kitchen.

    By Rick Jordan

    Address: Somewhere in Central London


    Telephone: +44(0)20 3948 9665


    Book online

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Social Eating House

    Fun, inventive cooking in the West End from a restaurateur kingpin

    Jason Atherton cut his teeth working under top names, including Marco Pierre White, Ferran Adrià and Gordon Ramsay, before building his own empire; four of his nine London restaurants have Michelin stars, and one of those belongs to Social Eating House. On the top floor is The Bling Pig, a stylish drinking den that nods to the speakeasy (its namesake is evocative of Prohibition-era boozers), but steers clear of any schmaltz. In the basement is the chef’s counter – accessed through the employees-only door – where eight guests feast on a seven- or nine-course tasting menu. And in the middle of it all on the ground floor is the main eating house. Here, the atmosphere is that of a cosy snug, all low lighting and bare-brick walls, weathered-leather banquettes and brasserie-style mirrors with daily specials hand-scrawled over them.


    FOOD

    The menu is full of zhuzhed-up bistro classics using mainly British produce; the flip-side proudly lists ingredients and their origin (buttermilk from Buckinghamshire was 45 miles away). While perusing the seasonal dishes, order a ‘sharing jar’ to whet the appetite – the confit-duck-leg rillettes were particularly good, served with mango and coriander-seed-studded mini poppadoms. A decadent starter of heritage-breed soft-boiled egg, with an oozing vivid-orange yolk, Jerusalem artichoke two ways – crunchy crisps and velvety puree – and shavings of truffle and buttery Iberico ham is a highlight. The main-course hit is roasted turbot topped with a melting, paper-thin sheet of lardon and a meaty hunk of cep. It’s accompanied by risotto-like pearl barley, bringing texture to the mix, and mushroom-and-thyme broth. For pudding, the Guinness Irish coffee – wibbly-wobbly jelly spiked with Jameson, moist Guinness cake, Baileys ice cream and espresso foam – makes you feel giddy like a child. Or perhaps it’s all that booze kicking in.


    DRINKS

    Speaking of booze, start at The Blind Pig, one of the best bars in Soho, for a pre-dinner sharpener. There are plenty of wittily named drinks, but the playful cocktails inspired by classic British children’s stories are the most fun. The BFG’s Dream Jar is a zingy and sherbet-y concoction made with gin, Midori and watermelon soda, topped with Snozzcumber meringue foam, while Peter Rabbit’s ABC Fizz, an egg-white sour made with sweet and earthy beetroot and carrot, and fennel-seed vermouth, tastes as if you’ve taken a bite out of the produce of Mr McGregor’s garden. Back downstairs, the sommelier suggests wine depending on your mood and choice of dish: a fruity and svelte New Zealand Te Tera Pinot Noir from the Martinborough Vineyard goes well with the truffle-y egg starter, and a juicy-citrusy Napa Valley Chardonnay is great with the turbot.


    VERDICT

    With a fizzing bar and bubbling restaurant underneath, this is a Soho smash hit.

    By Roxy Kavousi-Walker

    Address: Social Eating House, 58 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 7NR


    Telephone: +44 20 7993 3251


    Website: socialeatinghouse.com

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Evelyn’s Table, The Blue Posts

    A fun-loving Chinatown pub with a secret restaurant

    On the ground floor of the renowned Blue Posts pub (one of three of the same name in Soho, this one dates back to 1709), Zoë and Layo Paskin, the brother and sister behind The Palomar and The Barbary, have created a brand-new boozer that’s already buzzing. These days, find craft ales on tap, dark-teal stools and sophisticated snacks such as Dorset rock oysters and Cantabrian anchovy soldiers. More exciting still, downstairs in the former beer cellar, is a secret chef’s table where you’ll be lucky to nab a seat. There’s only space for 11 guests at the grey-marble, open-kitchen counter, but half of them can be booked ahead. For those trying their luck with a walk-in slot, there’s also a cocktail bar upstairs, so you’re not short of places to wait.


    FOOD

    Three busy chefs chat behind the grill, dishing up small plates as they go. With four sections to the menu, the focus is up to you: snacks include delicate samphire tempura with oyster cream, and smooth Jerusalem-artichoke puree served in crispy vegetable skins and topped with crunchy hazelnuts. Next up, a Raw and Cured selection features chunky beef tartare with Parmesan toast crisps, and mackerel escabeche. There’s also homemade pasta: tagliatelle in a silky cavolo nero pesto with flakes of salt cod and a duck cappelletti. For main, fish is the standout. The catch of the day comes fresh off the boat from Looe in Cornwall – for example, sole served simply with a squeeze of lemon and Ogleshield mash. The palourde clams, dished up Bulhao Pato style with Hedone bakery’s finest sourdough, come recommended too. Head chef Luke Robinson (previously of Corner Room at Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel and Bonnie Gull) will talk you through it all.


    DRINK

    Arrive early and head upstairs to clandestine cocktail bar The Mulwray (entry is through a side door on Rupert Court). With velvet booths and rows of bottles on show, it feels cosy and dark and busy. We liked the Mexican Fizz, a zesty orange-sherbet-tequila concoction, and the vodka-fennel-spiked Prince Rupert. Downstairs at Evelyn’s Table the wine list is concise but well-curated, and there’s an interesting dry Valdespino sherry to sip on too.


    VERDICT

    Three great little Soho joints to know: a smart pub, a hidden-away cocktail bar and a date-worthy table to book.

    By Tabitha Joyce


    Address: Evelyn’s Table, The Blue Posts, 28 Rupert Street, London W1D 6DQ


    Website: theblueposts.co.uk

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Pastaio

    Stevie Parle’s first central London joint dishes up handmade pasta off Carnaby Street

    Named after the Italian word to describe someone who makes pasta by hand, Stevie Parle’s new Soho spot is the place to come for exactly that. The chef, who is behind Rome-inspired Palatino in Clerkenwell and hip Italian restaurant Rotorino in Dalston, seems to have simplified things for his first central London location. Pasta, made in-house that day, is served with simple ingredients in a simple setting: canteen-style terrazzo-patterned tables lit with pendant lights. And because it’s big by Soho standards it should be much easier to get a table here than at Borough Market’s beloved restaurant Padella.

    FOOD

    It’s difficult not to go overboard here, everything on the menu is tempting, as well as inexpensive — so arrive hungry. To start, there are nocellara olives, a ‘nduja-and-honey toastie which oozes mozzarealla and red peppers stuffed with tomato and anchovy. And while one plate of pasta per person is certainly enough, trying three plates between two is a better idea still. Courgette and crab fusilli come with a chilli kick; mini shell-like malloreddus are served with slow-cooked sausage meat and topped with crispy-yet-chewy breadcrumbs; and a plate of cacio e pepe made with thick spaghetti is gorgeously buttery. There’s a pecorino and pomegranate salad, which works well as a side to all that pasta. And puddings include a giant, cocoa-dusted slab of tiramisu and ricotta-stuffed cannoli. It’s hard not to get stuck in.

    DRINK

    Aperitivo cocktails feature an Atomic Aperol Spritz made with sloe gin and passion fruit, as well as a Negroni and the prosecco slushie that’s set the tongues of wine purists wagging. The all-Italian wine list consists of five white, and five red: the Nero d’Avola is described as elegant and drinkable and turns out to be just that.

    VERDICT

    Pastaio offers exactly what it says on the tin — delicious fresh pasta made by hand. And it’s very reasonably priced.

    By Tabitha Joyce

    Address: Pastaio, 19 Ganton St, Carnaby, London W1F 7BN


    Website: pastaio.london

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    The Palomar

    If a tourist were to chance upon The Palomar, (which they might, since it’s on the wrong side of Shaftesbury Avenue, at the seedy end of Rupert Street) — they’d be in for a surprise. Perhaps more Piccadilly Circus restaurant than Soho, London’s first outpost of Jerusalem’s hottest restaurant, Machneyuda, stands head-and-shoulders above the surrounding competition. The restaurant is dark and the music is loud — which makes sense when you find out that the brother-and-sister founders have a background in night clubs. Book ahead for a table in the deep-blue boothed dining room, or risk it on the night when you might bag a backless stool at the bar overlooking the open kitchen, the best seat in the house. The menu takes inspiration from the fringes of the Mediterranean — not only mixing milk with meat, but serving shellfish, and pork aplenty — in what can only be described as an unorthodox take on Jewish dining.

    FOOD

    Start with the kubaneh, a light and fluffy Yemeni brioche-type knotted loaf turned-out from a mini tin, and served with a fierce tahini and a silky tomato dip (the tzatziki is also sensational but packs a serious garlic punch). Everything’s designed for sharing and the menu isn’t huge which (if you’re in a group) means you can try one of everything. A house favourite is the cured-beetroot carpaccio, served with burnt goat’s cheese and a hazelnut brittle. While a zingy salmon ‘tabulenia’ tartar is mixed with bulgur and Turkish za’atar. And tender chicken thighs are marinated in sumac and served with orange and braised fennel. Another highlight is the stone bass, plated with octopus, burnt courgette and creamy labneh. But perhaps the most remarkable plate of all, is one we’d usually skip: polenta, transformed from a stodgy side into a star dish — whipped, dribbled in truffle oil, and topped with curls of Parmesan and a single asparagus spear. For pudding, good luck resisting the reverse chocolate fondue: a moist banana sponge spotted with marshmallows and peanut brittle, then heaped with molten chocolate before your eyes.

    DRINK

    The drinks menu is Middle Eastern-inspired too, and happily each cocktail is served in a goldfish-bowl-sized glass. In a Green Tambourine there’s fennel-infused vodka, yellow chartreuse, pistachio syrup and celery bitters. While an Au Revoir Shoshana is a fragrant mix of gin, pink grapefruit rose sherbet and sumac tincture. A glass of Domaine La Suffrene rosé is a lovely choice on a summer’s evening, and a Moobuzz Pinot Noir is a delightfully earthy red.

    VERDICT

    This would be a great bar if there was no food menu at all, add to that some of the most exciting small plates in London and you’ve got The Palomar — probably my favourite restaurant in the city.

    By Tabitha Joyce

    Address: The Palomar, 34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN


    Telephone: +44 20 7439 8777


    Website: thepalomar.co.uk

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Barrafina

    Michelin-starred Spanish tapas gets a new Dean Street home

    Brothers Sam and Eddie Hart introduced London to no-reservation restaurants back in 2007 with Spanish benchmark Barrafina. Cleverly though, their queue has always involved a bar to lean against, a glass of wine and Padrón peppers to pick at — this is the stuff of holiday nostalgia. Having received a Michelin star after 10 years, things at the Soho restaurant have been shaken up with a move — just a small one — from Frith to Dean Street. The new space next to Quo Vadis (also recently renovated by the Hart brothers) is just as shiny, thankfully a little bigger and, if it’s possible, even busier. Once the doors open the queue snakes (or rather shuffles) in a line parallel to the sleek marble-countertop where 28 lucky diners perch on red leather stools — front-row seats at the very busiest of kitchens.

    FOOD

    It’s rare to feel so fully in the thick of things as at frantic-but-flawless Barrafina. The grill sizzles, the oven roars, wire baskets slam in and out of deep-fat fryers and fresh fish sparkles on ice. Magic tapas arrives in stops and starts — plump tomatoes piled on homebaked bread are doused in fluorescent olive oil; tortilla patties scattered with salt crystals are crisp on the outside and runny with deep orange yolk inside. Wooden boards of paprika-charred octopus arrive sprinkled in capers and soft chorizo is served on pan-fried potatoes with watercress. Don’t miss the delicate tempura courgette flower which is stuffed with oozing goat’s cheese and drizzled with a thin and fragrant honey. For those with a sweet tooth the almond Tarta Santiago with crème fraîche ice-cream will go down a treat.

    DRINK

    It’s all about the sherry. Start with a glass of the Hart Brother’s house sherry, a slightly salty wine with a nutty tang. If sherry’s not your thing there’s a short but very good list of cavas. For the main event the Catalan Eagle — a white from northern Spain — has bite, while the Vina Zorzalm from Navarra is a light red that works well with fish. To finish, staff will insist on another sherry — either the Alameda, a creamy option, or the Pedro Ximenez made with raisins.

    By Tabitha Joyce

    Address: 26-27 Dean Street, Soho, London W1D 3LL


    Telephone: +44 20 7440 1456


    Website: barrafina.co.uk

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Temper

    A smoking-hot basement barbecue joint

    Soho’s long been a place of lost weekends, stray eccentrics and half-forgotten addresses. In the 1920s, you could buy cocaine over the counter from a sandwich shop here; and it’s rumoured the Pentagon runs its UFO-spotting office from Soho Square. While some parts are getting shinier and less dingy, the traditional underground den endures. And Temper has to be the least grimy fleshpot yet: a thrillingly cavernous space where Neil Rankin’s team practise the fiery art of barbecue and serving some of the best steak in London. Hoik up a stool at what must be London’s biggest open-kitchen counter for the sheer theatre of blazing charcoals, chefs who look like Wolverine carving and weighing meat, and other people demolishing it. It’s smokier than Smokey Robinson chugging on a hand-rolled Cohiba.

    FOOD

    Rankin has a way with animals — previous projects include Smokehouse and Pitt Cue — and all the meat is butchered on site and lovingly prepared. This is hitch-up-your-sleeves stuff, with a menu that reads like a roll call from Old McDonald. You order Countdown-style in that ‘two from the top, one from the bottom’ way — with hand-rolled tacos (the ‘Aged Cheeseburger’ is fabulous) to graze on before the main flatbreads arrive, each one glistening with 100g hunks of tender beef, or lamb, or pork, or goat (marinaded for nine hours, it’s super-soft). For a token vegetable, a morsel of green, order the smacked cucumbers; you can customise your plate, Thai style, with sauces and sprinkles such as MSG ketchup, salsa verde, crunchy onions, and shrimp and peanut — each a vivid blur of flavour. Actually, there is one highlight on the menu that wasn’t once chewing the cud in a field: the baked cookie dough with milk-custard served in its own little skillet is seriously good — gooey and crunchy — and might disappear from the plate if you look away.

    DRINK

    The surprisingly lengthy wine list has plenty of funky, natural wines to experiment with, and an orange wine by the glass (the Ottavio Rube Bianco) that stands up to the hot flavours. From the cocktail list, the Modelo Sour (gin, Mexican beer, coriander seeds and egg white) and Modena Manhattan are both grown-up options (the Sage Advice with Chartreuse was just too gurningly tart). And you’d be missing out if you didn’t twirl your moustache and peruse the mezcal menu — best to order the tasting flight of three clay sipping pots.

    By Rick Jordan

    Address: Temper, 25 Broadwick Street, Soho, London W1


    Telephone: +44 20 3879 3834


    Website: temperrestaurant.com

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Kricket

    Eclectic Indian street food dazzles in the West End

    Kricket landed on the food scene in 2015 as one of the best Indian restaurants in London squeezed into a Pop Brixton shipping container. Now its owners have opened Kricket Soho, their first permanent restaurant, which ups the square-footage without losing the atmosphere of a bustling pop-up. Inside a sleek dining room with exposed brickwork and sculptural lighting, a team of young chefs serve up exciting Indian street food to a boisterous crowd. Grab a seat at the marble counter to watch the open kitchen in action — staff rush about flipping naan on the grill and swirling fragrant pots of masala chai while the owners chat happily to diners like amiable dinner-party hosts.

    FOOD

    Old favourites from Kricket Brixton remain: the crispy samphire pakoras are justly renowned and the Keralan fried chicken is crumbly, succulent and guaranteed to give its Korean counterpart a run for its money. New dishes experiment with a clash of British and Indian flavours. The duck-leg kathi roll served with a dollop of peanut chutney was particularly delicious. Don’t overlook the vegetarian small plates either — the smoked sweet potato with sesame raita is an ingenious twist on an aloo tikki chaat. The bhel puri (a classic Indian street snack of puffed wild rice, potatoes and tamarind chutney) was the star of the show: simple, perfectly balanced and as good as any you’ll find on the best street stalls in Mumbai.

    DRINK

    A piping-hot cup of masala chai spiked with rum should be compulsory on a chilly London night. Follow this with a cocktail gently infused with Indian spices — the Yellow Fairy (gin, absinthe, egg whites, turmeric) really hits the spot.

    By Radhika Seth

    Address: Kricket Soho, 12 Denman Street, Soho, London W1


    Telephone: +44 20 7734 5612


    Website: kricket.co.uk/soho

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Kiln

    Authentic northern Thai food with charcoal-grilled kitchen thrills

    While southern Thai food (tom yum soup, green curries) is well-trodden territory the world over, it’s more rare to find a place that specialises in food from the region where Thai, Burmese and Chinese food meet. The distinct flavour combinations and strong, exhilarating spicing at Kiln make it Soho’s latest must-try restaurant, following in the footsteps of its hugely popular sister restaurant Smoking Goat on Denmark Street. Low lights, shoulder-to-shoulder seating at the bar counter (there are also tables downstairs for groups) and a fully open kitchen only adds to the buzziness.

    FOOD

    Sharing dishes make for intimate, exploratory dining, with generous portions and an informal approach to serving. Charcoal-grilled aged lamb and cumin skewers coupled with smoked sausage and turmeric are sharp and spicy openers. The Burmese wild ginger and beef short rib curry has a nice bang — order alongside the Tamworth pork belly and brown crab meat with clay pot-baked glass noodles. For the full experience, sit at the kitchen end of the bar — watching the chefs cook over flaming charcoal is riveting.

    DRINK

    There’s an extensive list of orange wines here, and these lighter options are well suited to the hot, flavourful food. Australian Scary Gully is an easy-to-drink all-rounder, but if you’re unfamiliar with orange wine (the grapes are macerated with the skins), the friendly staff will be happy to let you sample till you find the right match.

    By Ananda Pellerin

    Address: Kiln, 58 Brewer Street, Soho, London W1


    Website: kilnsoho.com

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Casita Andina

    Peruvian superfood goes pop art in Soho

    Chef Martin Morales has been colonising London’s food map with his native Peruvian larder since opening Ceviche on Soho’s Frith Street in 2012. Andean soul food on Redchurch Street followed, then an Old Street pub which bought South American rotisserie to the party — and all of them busier than the Machu Picchu trail. Now he’s come full circle with a new Soho restaurant just around the corner from the Ham Yard Hotel: a picanteria which, for those of you who haven’t just emerged from the Andean foothills wrapped in a poncho and chewing a cigar, is a sort of laidback family-run canteen you can drop by in any time of the day. There are homely touches on the wall, such as framed photos and razzle-dazzle fabrics, and a bubbling, chugging soundtrack curated by Morales, a former DJ who releases Peruvian rare grooves on his Tigers Milk label. In the best Soho tradition, Casita Andina is a tight space where chairs scrape and eyes wander, with a bar downstairs to start or continue the night.

    FOOD

    The poster-boy dish here, of course, is ceviche, which you can try here in tomato, sea-bass and trout (with pops of trout caviar) varieties, all swimming in the tingling tiger’s milk (lime, chilli and salt) that’s used as a marinade. But there’s much more to experiment with, and the trick is to combine a bit of crunch and bite with the puddingy soft potato mashes that swirl on the plate like a psychedelic lava lamp. Best to order some nibbles such as avocado fritters and ping-’em-down pork croquetas along with rich stews of lamb sweetbreads and chicken. A black pudding dish has the cosy familiarity of Lancashire hotpot; the chilli-marinated cauliflower kicks like a llama. The pudding pots of strawberry and avocado, mango and chichi, resemble the BFG’s dream jars and are just as fantastical. The menu admirably resists from ramming it down your throat, but most dishes are gluten-free.

    DRINK

    A Pisco Sour or two should be compulsory, but also save (head)space for one of the cocktails created by Miguel Arbe, who was shortlisted for Imbibe Innovator of the Year award: the Pacha (pisco, chuncho bitters, ginger ale) has a rootsy herbiness; the Black Butterfly (lavender pisco, blueberries, wild-nettle cordial) is sweeter and fruit-pastilly. If you’re detoxing or just curious, the non-alcoholic menu gathers together some far-flung flavours — guanábana juice, smoothies with butternut squash, and roasted quinoa cold tea (tastier than it sounds).

    By Rick Jordan

    Address: Casita Andina, 31 Great Windmill Street, Soho, London W1D 7LP


    Telephone: +44 20 3327 9464


    Website: andinalondon.com/casita

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Mildreds

    Mildreds is the perfect place for a healthy supper in Soho. The menu is entirely vegetarian with the odd vegan dish thrown in. They don’t take reservations so there is usually a bit of a wait, but the turnover is quick and it’s easily worth it. The soul bowls come with a mix-and-match of colourful beetroot, carrots, dates, kale, avocado, quinoa and sprouts but do try the Roman artichoke crostini starter and one of the veggie-heavy burgers for a main. They also have a sugar-free raw forest berry mousse cake that’s vegan-friendly.


    Address: Mildreds, 45 Lexington St, London W1F 9AN


    Telephone: +44 20 7494 1634


    Website: mildreds.co.uk

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    SOPHIE’S SOHO

    The first thing that will hit you about Sophie’s Soho, the follow-up to Sophie’s Chelsea, is that it’s far bigger than it seems from the outside. The ceilings are high and the square-footage surprisingly plentiful within the context of Soho’s gridlocked pavements and breathe-in, tight-squeeze bars and restaurants. In a past life, the building housed the Moulin Cinema, known for screening soft-porn flicks and Carry On movies back in the Seventies.

    Today you can breeze into Sophie’s through the conservatory-style space at the front, towards the up-lit Manhattan-esque bar, visually announced by the chandelier that hangs over it, like a ‘look-at-this!’ glittering arrow. Swing round the corner and there’s even more space, now with an open kitchen at its centre that, with its wood-fired smokers, lends a sweet, smoky scent to the air, reminiscent of autumn bonfires and slow, slow meat-cooking which is very ‘Francis Mallmann’ – the Argentinian fire/BBQ chef.

    The woven throws and orange and greys of the restaurant decor continue the South American flavour, although the dishes are decidedly home-grown: locally-sourced steak, chicken and fish, plus super-food salads and mezzes. Don’t miss speakeasy Jack Solomons downstairs (accessible via a ‘butchers’), set in a former boxing gym and with a regular thrum of live music and DJs, as we did the first time we visited. And certainly don’t tell any tourists about it. Becky Lucas

    Address: Sophie’s Soho, 42-44 Great Windmill Street, Soho, London, W1D 7NB


    Telephone: +44 20 7836 8836


    Website: sophiessteakhouse.com

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Cecconi’s Pizza Bar

    The latest restaurant from Soho House has opened without any sort of fanfare, below the original Soho club. Everyone’s welcome, and lively groups huddle on the cushioned window seats that open to always-bustling Old Compton Street. It’s big enough that it’s one of the few restaurants in Soho that shouldn’t involve waiting in line, but it’s full too, and loud. Like its big sister, Cecconi’s, everything on the menu is inspired by Venice – start with an Aperol or Negroni and nibble on slivers of fried courgette splashed in lemon juice, and dishes of simmering meatballs. There’s a simple pizzette and pizza list but take our advice and dive straight into the pasta: the crab linguine, with just a small kick of chilli, is hard to beat. Of course, it looks great too, with the signature stripey tiled floors and old posters on the walls.


    Address: Cecconi’s Pizza Bar, 19-21, Old Compton St, London W1D 5JJ


    Telephone: +44 20 7734 5656


    Website: cecconispizzabar.com

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    10 Greek Street

    A daily menu is chalked up on the board, and the (maybe facially pierced and certainly tattooed) staff are very honest about the food and drink highlights; they’ll do their best to accommodate should you want to mix, match or veer off-piste. Our recommendations – should they be available when you visit – include the burrata and truffle or Parma ham and melon appetisers, followed by the hake and clam or courgette flowers and gooey ricotta, and the lemon posset and summer berries for dessert, served with some of the finest shortbread we’ve ever laid teeth into. This is the sort of authentic foodie spot you may well have wandered past hundreds of times before – but now you’ve found it you’ll be keen to revisit it frequently, just like an old, party-throwing, friend. Becky Lucas

    Address: 10 Greek Street, London W1D 4DH


    Telephone: +44 20 7734 4677


    Website: 10greekstreet.com

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Andrew Edmunds

    Endlessly put forward as the most romantic supper spot in Soho, this 30-something-year-old institution is old fashioned, knee-knocking, candle-wax-dripping-down-a-wine-bottle stuff. Elbows clash between tables but nobody cares a jot in the dark cocoon of the rooms, as they peer at the hand-written menu and order deeply traditional dishes of duck liver or smoked sprats, rose veal or roast pigeon. The food is top notch but it’s the atmosphere that keeps everyone coming back. Very special indeed.

    Address: Andrew Edmunds, 46 Lexington Street, London, W1F 0LP


    Website: andrewedmunds.com


    Telephone: +44 20 7437 5708

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Bocca di Lupo

    There is surely no smarter setting in Soho to try all the flavours of Italy at once. Come to Bocca di Lupo as a couple and sit at the bar, sharing a bottle of crisp Grillo from Sicily and Calabrian orecchiette with spicy ‘nudja. Or bring a whole gang, take over a round table at the back under the twinkling lights and work your way from classic Negroni cocktails to sharing plate after sharing plate: sea-bream carpaccio with orange and rosemary; truffled radish with pecorino; supplí stringy with buffalo mozzarella; kid-goat pappardelle; white-wine-braised lamb. And to finish? Blood-orange granita, as refreshing as a Roman mini-break.


    Address: Bocca di Lupo, 12 Archer St, Soho, London W1D 7BB


    Website: boccadilupo.com


    Telephone: +44 20 7734 2223

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    Bob Bob Ricard

    Yes, it still has the ‘Press for Champagne’ buttons on each table, and the fin-de-siecle David Collins design – all polished Orient Express details, marble, tiles and mirrored ceilings – make it a fantastical no-brainer for the #AccidentallyWesAnderson Instagram page and a great date spot for a romantic supper in London. A decade in Soho is at least 20 in normal years, so hats off to the Anglo-Russian menu’s longevity – favourites include lobster mac and cheese, beef Wellington to share, chicken Kiev, with enough truffle and caviar to sink a superyacht. Eric Chavot recently took over as executive chef, bringing Gallic flair to the kitchen, as well as a vegan menu, following local popular demand – and its ‘off-peak’ pricing is welcome, though it’s not a place to count the pennies. A whole lot of fun.

    Address: Bob Bob Ricard, 1 Upper James Street, London W1F 9DF


    Website: bobbobricard.com


    Telephone: +44 20 3145 1000

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    SUN AND 13 CANTONS

    Few London pubs have gone this far to incubate new restaurant talent. For the past few year’s this Fullers boozer has given one side of the pub over to a variety of new teams for extended foodie pop-ups: French-accented plates from Oxalis, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, crab-cracking Claw, and Asma Khan’s Darjeeling Express, for home-cooked royal Indian dishes with a story or two on the side. Many have gone on to open their own joints – maybe Wild Serai, currently in residence with a menu of Malaysian dishes such as Nyonya fried chicken and lobster laksa, will join them. Little-known fact: the basement here is where the Chemical Brothers started their DJing career in town.


    Address: Sun and 13 Cantons, 21 Great Pulteney Street, London W1F 9NG


    Website: sunand13cantons.co.uk


    Telephone: +44 20 7734 0934

  • The best restaurants in Soho

    ANTIDOTE

    A real Soho treasure, mixing Paris bistro design with Scandi freshness – curvaceous zinc chairs, dangling bulbs and a menu chalked up on the blackboard. You can sit by the bar with a bowl of olives and charcuterie and a glass of something interesting – the wine list is strong on organic and biodynamique (say it with a French accent), or settle in to the dining room upstairs for flavoursome plates such as mozzarella with heritage tomatoes and strawberry consommé, sea bream with braised fennel and olives, green-tea panna cotta. On Monday, you can drink wine at wine shop prices. Critics love this place, so do chefs. It’s unfathomably quiet at times, considering, but that’s no bad thing.

    Address: Antidote, 12A Newburgh Street, London W1F 7RR


    Website: antidotewinebar.com


    Telephone: +44 20 7287 8488

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