LONDONHOODS

SOHO

Soho is London’s eclectic centre. From the best restaurants to the coolest record shops, we’ve got you covered with our ultimate guide to Soho.

Soho Highlights

Lina Stores is a bit of a Soho veteran. They’ve been making fresh pasta on the site for over 70 years and the Italian Deli is still going strong. They import and sell authentic Italian produce, and continue to make pasta, cakes, hot dishes and sandwiches on site. It’s some of the best pasta around, oh and they do some mighty fine coffee too!

The French House is like no other pub in London and filled with Soho veterans. Don’t expect music, TVs or mobile phones here, just half pints of beer (they refuse to serve pints) and wine by the glass (or bubbles if you’re feeling extra fabulous!). It’s old school and will get you talking to the locals – and we’re usually propping up the bar with a glass of red.

Whether you’re looking for a slap up meal, a relaxing brunch, cocktails or a room to rest your head Dean Street Townhouse does it all. The 4 storey Georgian townhouse is every bit British and a little bit swish, but perfect for those special occasions.

Starting by mixing lesser known outdoor labels like the Swedish company Fjallraven with the more familiar Barbour, Oi Polloi became a one stop shop for clothing brands were different in design, unusual, a little more than just functional. One of the best places to shop for men’s clothes in Soho.

Soho is filled with loads of amazing record shops, but Phonica is our fave because they do it all, you’ll be able to find everything from rare soul 7″s to library soundtracks to big room house and techno 12″s. And if you don’t believe us Four Tet, Floating Points and Caribou are all regular customers.

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MILK BEACH SOHO

14 Greek St, London W1D 4DP, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Friday: 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Saturday: 5:00 PM – 12:00 AM
  • Sunday: Closed

It’s a fave in Queen’s Park and now Aussie restaurant Milk Beach boasts a second site in Soho at the Ilona Rose House building, a bright and airy space complete with an outdoor courtyard. A handful of faves from the original location have made the move over to Soho, including Chinese five-spice BBQ pork rib dumplings with chilli pho ga consommé, and koji marinated chicken ‘schnitty’ with fermented chilli mayonnaise, but there are plenty of newbies on the menu to get stuck into. We’re talking dishes like prawn toast with gochujang sweet & sour sauce; Belted Galloway bone-in-ribeye with tare, oyster & tarragon butter; grilled oyster mushrooms with fermented mushroom glaze & macadamia hummus; and Milk Beach ‘Golden Gaytime’ with toffee & buttermilk parfait, dark chocolate, and malt & honeycomb crumb. Drinks-wise, Milk Beach is maintaining its rep for low-intervention wines, with a selection from importers Modal, Liberty and Alliance, among others.

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FIREBIRD

29 Poland St, London W1F 8QR, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

Madina Kazhimova and Anna Dolgushina, the St Petersburg-based restaurateurs who run Wong Kar Wine, have opened natty wine bar and open fire restaurant Firebird in Soho. The menu, created by ex-Caravan Head Chef Nikos Kontongiannatos, includes the likes of oysters with fermented cucumber & dill; charred peached with ricotta & coriander; tiger prawns with tomatoes & white wine; grilled halloumi with Greek honey & truffle; pork belly with plum ketchup & green salad; day boat monkfish with sauce vierge; torched baked Alaska served by the slice; and grilled pineapple with coconut sorbet & pistachios. Anna Dolgushina is a sommelier so she’s taken charge of the wine list, which focuses on natural and biodynamic producers. The cocktails are well worth a go as they’ll be featuring flame-cooked ingredients too, we’re talking Toasted Sesame Sours, Charred Pineapple Daiquiris and Smoked Bellini Highballs.

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SPEEDBOAT BAR

30 Rupert St, London W1D 6DL, UK

They turned up the heat (literally) with Plaza Khao Gaeng in Arcade Food Hall and now Luke Farrell and JKS Restaurants have returned for round two with Speedboat Bar. The restaurant takes inspo from Bangkok’s Chinatown and the speedboats that race along the canals of Thailand, so it’s fast, furious and full of energy, including an upstairs clubhouse featuring a bar, pool table and speakers blasting Thai pop and turbo folk. Wok cookery and dishes like drunken noodles and stir fries are at the heart of Speedboat Bar, alongside the likes of tom yam mama soup; ash melon & aubergine curry; poussin with ‘chicken rice, soybean sauce’ & red roast pork; cashew nut, pork crackling & dried fish salad; and pineapple pie with purple taro ice cream. Wash it down with drinks like the Snakesblood Negroni, and the Jelly Bia made with frozen Leo Lager, and you’re guaranteed a good time.

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10 GREEK STREET

10 Greek Street, London W1D 4DH, UK

Given the rate at which restaurants open and close in this city, anywhere that survives more than a couple of years can easily become a classic. It opened in 2012 (so not brand new but certainly not old) yet that’s exactly what it feels like at 10 Greek Street. It also massively helps that there’s some fantastic cooking and an effortlessly convivial atmosphere happening inside. The staff have nailed the art of relaxed service and diners are more than happy to talk across tables – it’s a small restaurant but you don’t actually mind being sat close together. The concept here is simple in that there is no concept; just a daily changing menu, broadly European in style, built around what produce is best and chalked up on the blackboard. The wine list at 10 Greek Street is as well curated as the food menu. It’s short but varied and lacking crazy mark-ups – you can get glasses under a fiver, which feels like a steal. Great food, great wine, zero pretension, all delivered without blowing a hole in your wallet.

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EVELYN'S TABLE

28 Rupert St, London W1D 6DJ, UK

Evelyn’s Table is a 15-seat affair in the basement of Soho pub The Blue Posts. 11 of the 15 seats are at a counter around the kitchen and this is where you ideally want to be, so you can see the chefs in action and chat with them throughout the meal. It’s hard to get a ressie here but it’s well worth the effort because the food, like smoked eel,served with super soft potato blinis and beetroot; brill with celeriac puree and mushrooms; and tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream, is incredible.

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HERITAGE SOHO

18-20 Rupert St, London W1D 6DF, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM – 1:00 AM
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 5:00 PM, 6:00 – 11:00 PM

Take a trip to the Alps without leaving Soho at Heritage, where you can find traditional mountain dishes given a modern twist. Naturally raclette melted over potatoes and pickles, and fondue made the proper Swiss way with Vacherin Fribourgeois and Gruyère, are at the heart of Heritage, so roll up your sleeves and get dipping. There’s more to life than just cheese, so the menu also includes spaetzle, pan-fried trout, crispy duck breast, and a variety of steaks and homemade sauces, and you can pair all that with Swiss wine, champagne and classic cocktails. Heritage’s West End location makes it an ideal stop for a bite to eat before a show and with their pre-theatre menu, you can tuck into the likes of steak tartare, truffle dumplings and raclette and still make the curtain call. Swing by on the weekend for one of the most indulgent bottomless brunches in town – three courses including rosti benedicts, cheese fondue, and chocolate fondue with seasonal fruit, with free-flowing fizz or cocktails – or a Sunday roast, served inside a giant Yorkshire pud (and yes you can still get cheese on Sundays too). 

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THE PALOMAR

34 Rupert Street, London W1D 6DN, United Kingdom

Getting a table at The Palomar might not be easy, but it’s SO worth the effort. The menu brings together the cultures of Southern Spain, North Africa and the Levant and their Stone Bass Machluta and Jeresulam Mix of chicken liver, heart & veal sweetbread al-ha-plancha are must orders.

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RANDALL & AUBIN

££
16 Brewer St, London W1F 0SQ, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: 12:00 – 10:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 12:00 – 10:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 10:30 PM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 10:30 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 11:30 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 11:30 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 9:30 PM

As restaurants and shops come and go in London, it’s nice to know there are some places that have stuck it out and stood the test of time. Randall & Aubin on Brewer Street is one of those places, a Soho institution that was originally founded as a butcher’s shop in 1908 and, since being converted in 1996, it has been one of the area’s most popular restaurants. It’s a classic and cosy space, with many of the original shop fittings on display, with just a touch of ‘Soho’ with a giant mirror ball that hangs from the ceiling. The menu is as classic as the space with a range of beautiful seafood and meats from the grill, it doesn’t get much better than the huge fruits de mer, laden with oysters, crab, shrimp and much more.

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KILN

58 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 9TL, UK

It was named the UK’s best restaurant at the 2018 National Restaurant Awards and we can confirm that Kiln defo lives up to the hype. The food is inspired by the Thai borderlands, including Burmese and Yunanese spices and flavours, and there’s lots of cooking over open fire. The jungle curry of brill is a winner (and spicy too) and the claypot baked glass noodles are an absolute must-order too.

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LINA STORES

18 Brewer Street Soho W1F 0SH

Lina Stores is a bit of a Soho veteran. They’ve been making fresh pasta on the site for over 70 years and the Italian Deli is still going strong. They import and sell authentic Italian produce, and continue to make pasta, cakes, hot dishes and sandwiches on site. It’s some of the best pasta around, oh and they do some mighty fine coffee too!

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BAOZIINN

££ - £££
BaoziInn - Romilly Street 人民公社, Romilly Street, London, UK

To cut right to the chase, BaoziInn has some of the best dim sum in London. The all-day menu features a range of Cantonese style dim sum but mixed with a few touches from Sichuan and Hunan. Across the board, the dumplings are well made, fresh, and delicious so you can’t really go wrong… but we do have some top tips. From the ‘steamed’ section get the Fragrant Chilli Pork Baozi in Beetroot Juice Dough, and the Ruby Prawn Dumplings in Beetroot Pastry. From the Cheng Fen rice rolls section there’s only two options, but the Dan Dan ‘Chang Fen’ with Minced Pork and Sichuan Preserved Sprout was a winner, and you should definitely get a plate of the classic pork wontons. There’s also a whole other massive menu of noodles and street food dishes too,

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BERENJAK

Berenjak, Romilly Street, London, UK

Berenjak is a tiny, pretty uncomfortable, Iranian-inspired kebab restaurant smack bang in the middle of Soho. Here you can have kebabs that would happily form the basis of a death row meal, or at the very least eat without much guilt. Best of all is Berenjak’s tribute to the late night kebab shop: thin slices of shawarma on chips covered in garlic and chilli sauce. If your local kebab shop made them like this, you wouldn’t only eat them at 2am after nine pints. Other highlights include the Chenjeh Kabab, tender chunks of lamb rump marinated in chilli, yoghurt, and tarragon, and the starter of coal-cooked aubergine.

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JUGEMU

3 Winnett Street, Soho, London W1D 6JY, UK

Jugemu is one of those places that you’d walk right by without noticing if you weren’t looking for it. Inside it’s very authentic: tiny, with just a few stools around the counter and a couple of tables and the day’s sushi menu is scrawled on oblong bits of paper and hung up over one wall. The food is fantastic. Ordering is done via tick box menus and it’s a good idea to order quite a bit as dishes are all on the small side. Our faves are the prawn dumplings, the takiyoki – chunks of octopus fried in balls of batter – the duck teriyaki, and the eel omelette. You’re gonna want to save room for plenty of sushi too.

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BAR ITALIA

22 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 4RF, United Kingdom

Bar Italia is a Soho institution and not much has changed since it opened in 1949. Serving up a damn fine cuppa joe, this Italian cafe is an old favourite and open until 5am everyday it will keep you going all night long…

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YAMAGOYA

£
49 The Cut, London SE1 8LF, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

Japanese ramen specialist Yamagoya is one of our favourite cheap eats in London as it offers what is surely the best value ramen and katsu curry you can find in the capital. There’s always 5 hot ramens on offer and the most expensive is £9.50, way cheapers than the cheapest bowl you’ll find elsewhere. They don’t shirk on quality though; the noodles are freshly made and the broth is rich and flavoursome. Try the Yuzukara Ramen with wood ear mushrooms in a green tonkotsu broth. Yamagoya also does an amazing chicken or pork katsu curry at only £6.50! Take that Wagamama. For a quick bite in town that’s easy on the wallet, Yamagoya is a perfect choice.

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ROBATA

56 Old Compton Street, London W1D 4UE, UK

Robata bills itself as an izakaya, serving a Japanese menu of raw fish, junk food snacks, grilled skewers and bigger dishes cooked on the robata. It’s a small joint but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in flavour. Each dish is an assault on the senses – salty, spicy, sour, creamy, zesty – flavours that will knock out your taste buds, and all that alongside a decent sake selection. It’s naughty, saucy food but if like us you’re a fan of ponzu, yuzu, spicy mayo and chilli then you won’t be disappointed.

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ALEX EAGLE STUDIO

6-10 Lexington St, Soho, London W1F 0LB

Alex Eagle Studio contains a little bit of everything and is an Instagrammer’s paradise. Inside you can expect to find clothes from Eagle’s own label, alongside designers KÉJI Denim, Le Kilt, Vita Kin and Courrèges. There’s also some cool jewellery, art and furniture- it’s pretty much a one stop shop!

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BAO SOHO

53 Great Marlborough St, Soho, London W1F 7JT, UK

Bao has been one of the biggest success stories of recent years, going from street food to permanent sites with ease and commanding regular huge queues around the block. The original Soho site is still one of the area’s highlights and a great place to pop in for a quick snack of steamed buns, or make up a full lunch or dinner by adding some larger plates too. The pillow-soft bao buns stuffed with the likes of pork belly and fried chicken are just as good as ever, and the signature pig blood cake with the bright yellow egg yolk is another must order. It may have only been going a few years, but Bao already feels like a Soho classic.

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PHONICA RECORDS

51 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 7LZ, United Kingdom

Soho is filled with loads of amazing record shops, but Phonica is our fave because they do it all, you’ll be able to find everything from rare soul 7″s to library soundtracks to big room house and techno 12″s. And if you don’t believe us Four Tet, Floating Points and Caribou are all regular customers!

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AXEL ARIGATO

19-23 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DF, United Kingdom

It might look like an art gallery, but Axel Arigato is actually a shop. Their minimalist sneakers are displayed on marbled pedestals, stone podiums, and mirrored surfaces, and the store also stocks unusal Japanese magazines, books and objects. Yes, this one is more than a little bit special.

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PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA

7 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BY, UK

The Prince Charles Cinema might technically be in Leicester Square, but that’s basically Soho and it’s one of the best places in town. Classy it’s not – let’s face it the place started out life as a porn cinema, but today the cinema screens a good mix of blockbusters and arthouse films with lots of all-nighters and double bills. And it’s cheap as CHIPS, like seriously get their £10 yearly membership and catch a £1 film every single week and at least £2.50 off every other ticket!

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STREET FOOD UNION

Rupert St, Soho, London W1D 7PF, United Kingdom

Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, rain or shine, street food traders take over Rupert Street and there is no better place to grab lunch. When we’re feeling healthy we get a huge box of salad from Radical Roots and when we’re feeling a bit naughtier Duck ‘n’ Roll or Slingin’Po’Boys tick all the boxes. Come hungry!

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GOSH! COMICS

1 Berwick Street, London W1F 0DR, United Kingdom

Gosh! Comics is a must visit for any comic-book nerd. With a huge range of graphic novels and prints, you could easily spend hours browsing here and we bet you don’t go home empty handed – we never do.

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MACHINE-A

13 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 0RH, United Kingdom

Machine-A blurs into the background on Brewer Street, but it’s a shop worth visiting. The concept store stocks all the coolest threads including Raf Simons, Gosha Rubchinsky, Aly, Maison Margiela and A-Cold-Wall – oh and they have Ken on the curtains of their dressing rooms, what more do you want?!

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HUMBLE CHICKEN

54 Frith St, London W1D 4SL, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 5:15 – 10:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 5:15 – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 5:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 5:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:30 – 3:00 PM, 5:30 – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

No prizes for guessing which animal is the star of the show at chef Angelo Sato’s restaurant – yes, it is indeed the humble chicken. Sato, who also owns Omoide in Bermondsey and previously worked at Restaurant Story, showcases ‘comb to tail’ cooking, with every part of the bird cooked on skewers over charcoal – feet included. Despite the ‘humble’ moniker, there’s plenty of extra bells and whistles to elevate this far beyond being just ‘chicken on a stick’; you can order everything from chicken oyster and breast to tendons and cartilage to liver and neck. And if you want a break from the bird, check out the small plates like miso foie gras tart, cured mackerel with tomato ponzu, and tuna with fermented white asparagus. Drinks are a huge part of it too – it is an izakaya after all – and Humble Chicken delivers the goods with sake, wines, Japanese whisky, cocktails, and, best of all, pints of Asahi Super Dry poured from an automatic tap for that full on futuristic feel.

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DEAN STREET TOWNHOUSE

69-71 Dean Street, London W1D 3SE, United Kingdom

Whether you’re looking for a slap up meal, a relaxing brunch, cocktails or a room to rest your head Dean Street Townhouse does it all. The 4 storey Georgian townhouse is every bit British and a little bit swish, but perfect for those special occasions.

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THIRD SPACE

67 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 9ZN, United Kingdom

Third Space really does have it all from hypoxic chamber to a swimming pool, 75sqm of climbing wall to a suspended glass floor training area. It’s a swishy gym and a place to burn some serious calories, but memberships don’t come cheap so be prepared to dig deep!

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ANTIDOTE

Antidote Wine Bar and Restaurant, Newburgh Street, London, UK

Downstairs at Antidote, which is just off Carnaby Street, is more familiar wine bar territory, a casual space where you can enjoy wines by the glass and snacks from a short menu while perched on stools. Upstairs is a more formal, though still relaxed dining room, where an a la carte menu is on offer. You can expect dishes like red mullet and cauliflower in a sweet tomato broth, perfectly-pink Hereford beef, turbot with lovage and sea aster, and caramelised black figs, whipped fresh cheese and damsons. Wine pairings with each course are all perfect, naturally. A four course tasting menu is £40 here, which for the quality of food is an absolute bargain

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MURDOCK LONDON

83 Brewer Street, Soho, London W1F 9ZN, United Kingdom

Murdock keeps us in ship shape condition pretty much all the time. The barbers has an old school vibe and won’t only sort your beard and barnet out, but also do full on facial treatments with a good old scrub,  hot towels, beard oil, moisturiser and cucumber eye cream – and it’s SO worth treating yourself to one.

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THE GOOD EGG

Kingly Court, Kingly St, London W1B 5PW, UK

The Good Egg is undoubtedly one of our fave spots, especially their second branch in Kingly Court, with a much bigger space and a bigger menu. The flatbreads, fresh and warm out the oven with an incredible array of dips including marinated aubergine and green whipped feta; the ZFC, The Good Egg’s take on fried chicken; and the PBJ ice cream are not to be missed. This place is one good egg!

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SALON 64

14 Bateman Street, London W1D 3AG, UK

Salon64 is the salon and ‘social hub’ of the future. Set over two floors, it has a bar serving up Vagabond coffees and cocktails, a style bar which features jewellery box mirrors for anyone to swing by and refresh their face whilst in Soho, and fire pits which is where hair is cut, coloured and styled. The fire pits come with charging stations –  heck yeah! – so you can make sure you’re phone is charged up for all those selfies and social updates.

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BOCCA DI LUPO

£££
12 Archer St, London W1D 7BB, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 3:30 PM, 5:00 – 9:30 PM

Bocca di Lupo has quickly become a Soho classic since opening in 2008, with its buzzy vibe, ever-changing and ever-crowd pleasing menu and impressive wine list. The beautifully designed dining rooms and the comfortable, convivial vibes consistently draw mixed crowds of Londoners night after night to dine on some choice Italian food. The menu changes every day, but you can be sure to get plates of delicious fresh pasta, grilled meats and fish and handmade gelati from Gelupo. We definitely recommend getting a seat at the counter, if you can, for a chef’s table experience right at the heart of the action.

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THE TOUCAN

19 Carlisle St, Soho, London W1D 3BY, UK

Famous for their exceptionally well poured and tasty Guinness, the Toucan is definitely the place to come for the black stuff. Some say that there is a tunnel under the Toucan that transports Guinness underground right from Dublin itself. Others say that is simply not the case. An Irish bar through and through, the place is small, often rammed and bloody good fun.

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JOHN SNOW

39 Broadwick St, Soho, London W1F 9QJ, UK

The man that showed the world that cholera was carried and spread via water, Dr John Snow wasn’t just a fan of pubs, but science. Outside the John Snow is a replica of the water pump that was actually the source of a huge cholera epidemic in Soho way back when. The pub itself is a beaut, a traditional beast with dark wood panelling and a big focus on ales. The saloon bar also has a partition in the middle under which you must duck, unless you’re vertically challenged, to pass from one side to the other. The upstairs is huge and more lounge than bar. Downstairs is where it’s at though.

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THE OLD COFFEE HOUSE

96 Shaftesbury Ave London W1D 5ED Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 5ED, UK

On the slightly grimier end of the ‘classic Soho pub’ scale, the rough around the edges vibe of the place is of course all part of the charm. Full of old knick knacks hanging from the ceiling and vintage war posters on the walls, this pub is firmly and resolutely stuck in the past – it doesn’t even have a website, a refreshing two fingers to modernity. In amongst all this though is a bit of a surprise: as well as your Fosters and your Guiness they have a huge range of craft beers from Leyton’s own Bodie’s Brewery (who actually own the place now), so you can enjoy the old school atmosphere with decidedly new-school beer.

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THE LYRIC

20-24 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 7EU, UK

The Lyric is a lovely little Victorian pub at the Piccadilly end of Soho. Not far from the theatres of Shaftesbury Avenue, it draws a good crowd of Londoners and in the summer you can even squeeze yourself into the tiny outside area at the top of Ham Yard to watch the world of Soho go by. Inside it’s all classic wood panels, open fires, Victorian prints on the walls and a menu of ales, beers and pub grub.

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COACH AND HORSES

The Coach & Horses, Greek Street, London, UK

The Coach and Horses is the second best pub in Soho (after the French House obvs) and sometimes we even prefer it, when we fancy an actual pint for example. The interiors clearly haven’t been touched for a good 40 years and it’s all the better for it with creaky old furniture, frayed carpets and a solid wooden bar. It’s a classic boozer the likes of which you don’t find in central London too much any more – it even has piano singalongs on Wednesdays and Saturdays which are a lot of fun. They also have very comprehensive vegetarian and vegan menus. Here’s hoping The Coach and Horses never changes, as it’s pretty perfect just the way it is.

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GELUPO

7 Archer Street, Soho, London, UK

With its blue-and-white tiled decor, you could easily be in Italy and not the middle of Soho. It’s all about authentic Italian gelato here made with fresh and natural ingredients. But strictly traditional this ain’t! As well as your classics, Gelupo does avocado sorbets and mango sticky rice gelati.

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COQFIGHTER

75 Beak Street, London W1F 9SS, UK

A fried chicken restaurant on Beak Street…it doesn’t get better than that. At Coqfighter the chicken comes in the form of tenders, sesame battered wings with soy glaze, fried chicken bao, a new dish of drumsticks with XO chicken gravy, and the famous Coqfighter burgers. On the burger front, it’s hard to beat the Original, with fried thigh, iceberg, pickled red onion, sambal mayo and Korean hot sauce. There’s a crisp coating on the chicken with tender, juicy meat inside, and it’s all punched up nicely by the spicy condiments. If you can’t handle so much heat, the Honey Ginger Buffalo burger swaps the spice for a sweeter sauce. You’ll still have room for some sides, so don’t sleep on the cheesy corn!

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FATT PUNDIT

££
77 Berwick St, Soho, London W1F 8TH, UK

Whilst there are Indo-Chinese restaurants on the outskirts of London, this style of food is still not very well represented in Central, which is what Fatt Pundit is trying to change. The Soho spot specialises in the fusion food from Tangra in Kolkata, a result of Hakka Chinese immigration into the city from Canton. The fact that you start with momos, steamed dumplings that are commonplace in Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal and Northern India, lets you know you’re in for something a bit different at Fatt Pundit. The Chinese influence on the menu is clear. Chilli and Szechuan pepper features heavily and many of the dishes have sticky glazes rather than curry sauces, like the crispy Bombay chilli prawns and the excellent venison in a sweet chilli reduction, served with mantou bread (a Northern Chinese steamed bun). Instead of salt & pepper squid, there’s salt & pepper okra, and the moreish crackling spinach is similar to crispy seaweed, given an Indian twist with sweet yogurt, date & plum sauce and pomegranates. Don’t miss the lamb chops either – covered in a black bean and masala dust, charred on the outside and buttery soft on the inside. Cocktails continue down the same road; inspired by the traders in India who sell fresh cut fruit with spices and salts with some Chinese flavours thrown in. This is fusion done right.

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ARCADE FOOD HALL

103-105 New Oxford St, London WC1A 1DB, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 7:00 PM

What once was Arcade Food Theatre in the Centre Point building is now Arcade Food Hall, a major food destination run by JKS Restaurants. It’s home to a standalone restaurant, Thai spot Plaza Khao Gaeng run by Luke Farrell, and nine new kitchen concepts – Bebek! Bebek! doing Indonesian night-market food, sushi and omakase at Sushi Kamon, Nepalese street food at Tipan Tipan, the Provisions bakery and deli, fried chicken and smash burgers at Manna, North Indian street food brand Hero, shawarma at Shatta & Toum, and the Jelladrome by Bompas & Parr. Oh and there’s a central bar serving up beers, wines and cocktails like yuzu sake bombs, tom yam mojitos and nitro martinis. To say there’s a lot of choice here would be an understatement but you can order dishes from all the different kitchens straight to your table so you can mix and match from the menus to your heart’s content (it also makes it a great spot for group dining). Our top tips: don’t miss the Nashville hot tenders from Manna, the beef sate from Bebek! Bebek!, the masala tots from Hero, and the hatay tepsi kebab from Shatta & Toum.

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FINLAY

61 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 9QT

FINLAY glasses are all handmade in the Italian Alps using Mazzucchelli acetate and Carl Zeiss lenses, and with spectacles starting at £100 (prescription lenses from £50) and sunnies starting at £120, you get a lot of craftsmanship for your money. They have a curated selection of frames from 14 independent brands, including Grey Ant, Cutler & Gross, Prism and Kaleos, as well as their own collection of specs and sunnies. And if you need help picking the perfect pair, the in-store specialists are a dab hand at helping you find the right ones for your face shape, and most styles are unisex so it’s even easier to choose. They also offer in-store eye tests using the latest equipment, which is absolutely amazing…compared to Boots, it’s like a stag do in Amsterdam.

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BANCONE

Bancone, William IV Street, London, UK

Bancone is one of the best places to get fresh pasta in London, and considering it’s in central London, prices aren’t too bad either. Padella may have kicked off the trend, but Bancone is right up there in terms of quality and also takes reservations, meaning no waiting in line like at Padella. Bancone’s head chef Stefano Cilia guides the team in creating seasonal dishes such as silk handkerchiefs covered in walnut butter and an egg yolk; cacio e pepe; and ravioli filled with beef shin ‘ossobuco’ and covered in saffron butter. They’re all knock-out good.

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NIGHTJAR CARNABY

Kingly Court, 49-51 Carnaby St, Carnaby, London W1F 9PY, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 6:00 PM – 1:30 AM
  • Wednesday: 6:00 PM – 1:30 AM
  • Thursday: 6:00 PM – 1:30 AM
  • Friday: 6:00 PM – 2:30 AM
  • Saturday: 6:00 PM – 2:30 AM
  • Sunday: Closed

East London speakeasy Nightjar has gone central and opened a second site in Kingly Court. The site was the city’s first black-owned club in the 30s & 40s, before Ronnie Scott took it over in the 50s, and now it plays host to late-night live jazz, blues and swing. Like the original, it’s a low-lit basement space (although with less nooks and crannies) with Art Deco interiors adding to the 1920s vibe. The cocktail menu is also split into Pre-Prohibition, Prohibition and Post-War sections, and makes use of vintage spirits and liqueurs as well as some eye-catching glassware. You can expect drinks like the Aztec Tepache (Herradura tequila, Chinotta & camomilla liquor, pineapple huacatay & purple corn tepache, fino sherry & lime juice), the Canaletto (Aperol, Lillet Rose, Amaro, St Germain, mint & rhubarb wine & rhubarb tonic), and the Barrel Aged Zombie (a blend of five different rums, Hendrick’s Absinth, apricot brandy, Maraschino, Mamajuana Cordial, pineapple juice & ginger beer), and we’re yet to meet a Nightjar cocktail we don’t like.

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LINA STORES

££ - £££
51 Greek St, London W1D 4EH, UK

Lina Stores, which has been supplying Londoners with the best Italian ingredients for over 75 years, is a Soho institution, has a pasta restaurant on Greek Street just around the corner from the Brewer Street deli, as well as a site in Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross. The restaurant has the same mint green exterior, with counter dining on the ground floor and tables in the basement. Pasta is the star of the show here – it’s all handmade daily in the deli, just like it has been since 1944, and head chef Masha Rener has created a menu that features Lina Stores classics as well as regional Italian specialities. The pici with porcini and Umbrian sausage is a standout with the gnocchi with new season peas and salted ricotta running it a close second though. Thankfully the portion sizes allow for you to try a few and, yes, you will be wanting all of them.

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HOPPERS

49 Frith St, London W1D 4SG

We’re big fans of Hoppers and now with three branches we don’t have to queue so much, which makes us like it even more. Obvs the namesake hoppers are a must order – we love the both the string hoppers and the egg hoppers with pol sambol on the side – and the mutton rolls, lamb shank kari and super tender kalupol whole chicken are also winners in our book. Basically it’s all bloody good and they even have tasting menus for when you really can’t decide on what to order.

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BLACKLOCK

30 Rivington St, London EC2A 3DZ, UK

Blacklock brings quality chops to the people of Soho, the City, Covent Garden and Shoreditch. It’s all about the meat here, with a range of steaks, big chops, skinny chops, burgers at lunchtime and specials up on the chalkboard. For us, the best way to go is still the All In, which gets you three varieties of pre-chop bites and you get a pile of perfectly cooked beef, lamb and pork chops sat on top of thick fingers of flatbread, so all those meaty juices run down and soak in, plus sauces and sides. And not forgetting a big spoonful of white chocolate cheesecake scooped right from the bowl. Blacklock also does one of the best Sunday roasts in town and classic cocktails for a fiver. Bring on the meat sweats.

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YAUATCHA

Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DL, United Kingdom

When it comes to the finest dim sum in town, Yauatcha is pretty hard to beat in our book. It now has two locations, the original in Soho and the newer one in Broadgate Circle, and we never tire of going in for some prawn and bean curd cheung fun, xiao long bao, or char sui buns. Admittedly it’s not the cheapest but you can have the Taste of Yauatcha menu, surely one of the most insanely good value eating experiences you can have in London. Aside from dim sum, Yauatcha makes some pretty mean cakes and macaroons too.

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KRICKET

£££
Kricket Soho, Denman Street, London, UK

It’s true, we don’t like Kricket…we love it! That was obvious you may think – hey we love a good dad joke – what wasn’t quite as obvious, however, was just how much we’d freaking love Kricket. Created by Will Bowlby, who previously worked at The Cinnamon Club, the dishes are inspired by Southern India but use British ingredients and modern flair to bring them up to date – think goat leg raan, Keralan fried chicken, wood pigeon with garlic pickle, Cornish crab meen moilee, duck leg kathi roll, lotus root yakni with morels & lotus root crisps, and rock oyster pakora with rhubarb chutney.

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BAR TERMINI

7 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 5JE

Bar Termini in Soho is the perfect spot for date night cocktails. It’s Italian vibes all round at the small cocktail bar with table service and some of the best Negronis in town – and they come straight from the bottle! If Negronis ain’t your thing they’ll pretty much shake up anything your heart desires for about a tenner too.

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THE FRENCH HOUSE

49 Dean St, London W1D 5BG, UK

The French House is our favourite place in Soho, if not London for meeting new, random, weird and wonderful people. It’s a Soho institution with an incredible history, having opened in 1891. Inside the interiors are typical of an old school pub with lots of wood and dark brown – it doesn’t look like the interiors have been touched since the 70s and don’t even think about asking for a cocktail! This place serves draft in half pints, classic spirits and mixers and some dodgy wine. If the weather allows, grab a drink at the bar, stand outside and be entertained by the Soho crowds.

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PARADISE

61 Rupert St, London W1D 7PW, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: 5:30 – 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 12:30 – 4:00 PM, 5:30 – 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 12:30 – 4:00 PM, 5:30 – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 12:30 – 4:00 PM, 5:30 – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:30 – 4:00 PM, 5:30 – 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

Modern Sri Lankan restaurant Paradise takes inspiration from Sri Lankan cities Colombo and Galle, and its menu even includes some of the chef’s own family recipes and curries. Obviously the hoppers are a must order, but we’d also recommend the date and pistachio hand-stretched godamba roti if you fancy trying something new. Most of the dishes on the menu have quite a kick to them, so you’ve gotta be able to handle your spice. From the dishes and drinks to the design, the whole thing is well executed and shows off the best Sri Lankan food has to offer.

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LIBERTY

££££
Regent St., Carnaby, London W1B 5AH, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00 PM

Liberty is a London icon. It’s a department store steeped in history, featuring six floors of luxury female fashion, emerging menswear designers, homeware, interior accessories and a haberdashery stocked with the much-loved Liberty fabric. As well as all that, piercer to everyone who’s anyone Maria Tash has her own parlour inside and there’s a small but very well stocked food and drink hall too. So if you take a trip to the Soho ‘hood, you have to pay Liberty a visit and wander through the jumble of wood-panelled rooms – yes, even if you’ve been a hundred times before.

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SOMA

14 Denman St, London W1D 7HJ, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: 6:00 PM – 1:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 6:00 PM – 1:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 6:00 PM – 1:00 AM
  • Thursday: 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM
  • Friday: 6:00 PM – 3:00 AM
  • Saturday: 6:00 PM – 3:00 AM
  • Sunday: Closed

If you’re a fan of the cocktails at Kricket, next time you’re at the Soho restaurant be sure to head next door to their cocktail bar Soma. Named after the Hindu Moon God, Soma is a modern take on the speakeasy, with most of the space set aside for walk-ins and a closing time of 3am. The 9-metre long stainless steel bar takes centre stage in the indigo-walled room, where the bar team shake up drinks inspired by the Indian subcontinent. The cocktail list makes use of seasonal ingredients and spices whilst still sticking to a ‘less is more’ ethos, so you can expect drinks like Gooseberry Chaat Margarita (tequila, mezcal, gooseberry salt & chaat masala), a Coconut & Jaggery Old Fashioned (bourbon, jaggery, coconut & mace bitters) and Pickled Mooli Martini (vodka, curry leaf vermouth & lightly pickled mooli).

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FRESHLY COSMETICS

44 Carnaby St, Carnaby, London W1F 9PP, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: 11:00 AM – 7:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 7:30 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 7:30 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 7:30 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00 PM

Spanish beauty brand Freshly Cosmetics, which has stores in Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid, has gone international with a flagship shop on Carnaby Street. Freshly specialises in natural, vegan, and cruelty-free products that deliver real results – their range includes skincare, makeup, haircare, and bodycare, with bestsellers like Golden Radiance Body Oil, Omega Rich Night Cream, and Blue Radiance Enzymatic Serum. The brand is also committed to sustainability; 95% of their packaging is 100% recyclable and the store has been created using sustainable and recycled materials too.

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INO

4 Newburgh St, Carnaby, London W1F 7RF, UK

INO is all about live-fire cooking, celebrating the Greek tradition of cooking over charcoal, so there’s a large grill in the open kitchen running down the length of the front of the restaurant, complete with counter stools to watch the action from. It’s a small plates menu, and they are small so you can get through a fair bit of them – highlights included the tarama with a handmade pitta for dipping action; the octopus taco, tender meat on a super-thin disc of pitta bread; and the souvlaki, another traditional kebab given an upgrade with Iberico presa. The wine list is all Greek, changing regularly to feature new and exciting producers, so definitely ask for a reccy. INO is a buzzy little spot, which may not have the Greek sunshine but the holiday vibes are definitely there.

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DUNNO CURATED

8 Berwick St, London W1F 0PP, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: 11:30 AM – 7:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:30 AM – 7:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:30 AM – 7:30 PM
  • Thursday: 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 AM – 6:30 PM

Founded by a group of mates, Dunno Curated is an independent, unisex clothing shop in Soho. The team handpick their selection of vintage from global wholesalers and independent curators, as well as their range of handcrafted or upcycled workwear and streetwear and rare trainers. Plus, you’ll find a curated range of desirable designers and brands in-store, including Levi’s 501s, Carhartt, Dickies, Patagonia, Balenciaga, Prada, YSL, Burberry and Stone Island.

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GANNI

36 Beak St, London W1F 9RF, UK
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00 PM

Danish womenswear brand Ganni, is known for its vibrant pops of colour and playful patterns. Self-described as ‘Scandi 2.0’, Ganni clothes are effortless, cool and contemporary with responsible and sustainable production playing a critical role within the brand. Their Soho location is just as bright and playful as their clothes, transporting you off a grey street to a sunny day in Copenhagen.

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