Sabor - Chris Terry


Hattie Lloyd 15/12/23

The Best Oxford Circus Restaurants

Mayday, Mayday.

You’re on Oxford Street. You’ve finished work, been shopping or lost your mind. It’s loud, it’s busy and you’re hungry. You’re at a crossroads (literally). If you don’t eat soon, that hunger will turn to hanger and you’ll become an aggressive troll unable to communicate without being sated.

But relax, we’ve got you.

Oxford Circus is the nexus of some of London’s best restaurant neighbourhoods – there are great places to eat in Marylebone, Soho and Kingly Court (just off Carnaby Street). But for those times where you haven’t made a booking, or want to enjoy some good food that won’t do more damage to your wallet than you’ve already inflicted in the shops, here are some of the best places to eat around Oxford Circus:

Tendril | Princes Street

tendril restaurant near oxford circus

Tendril is a ‘mostly vegan’ dining concept from ex-Chiltern Firehouse and The Dairy chef Rishim Sachdeva, and it’s finally put down firm roots – in the same place it’s been running as a long-term pop up, just behind Regent’s Street. The plant-forward menu has garnered rapturous praise for dishes like sticky soy beetroot fritter bao with daikon & sesame scallion, and it’s all accompanied by a vegan-leaning wine list and excellent cocktails.

Details: 5 Princes Street, W1B 2LQ | Book here

Casa do Frango Piccadilly | Heddon Street

Best restaurants near oxford circus, Casa Do Frango

London’s premier Portuguese chicken purveyors have opened a third location on Heddon Street and it’s the largest of the lot; with space for 200 across a light-filled dining room, two private dining rooms, and a terrace that spills out on the street. Basically you can consume your chargrilled chicken in a variety of different seating arrangements, plus the Algarve-inspired appetisers (the piri-piri prawns, the Iberico pork and potato croquettes), the plentiful selection of port wine, and the pastel de nata. The poster child of the whole operation, the bird, is rubbed with their signature piri-piri blend (or lemon & herb or oregano, if you fancy going against the grain) and butterflied over a traditional Algarvian wood-fire grill. It’s poultry in motion…

Details: 31-33 Heddon St, Mayfair, W1B 4BN | Book here

Mimosa | The Langham Hotel

Mimosa is inspired by the French Riviera, filling its grand space at The Langham Hotel with a suitably serene, laid-back, and atmospheric eatery (and the fact that it actually is French doesn’t hurt either). Head inside, and you’ll find yourself dining underneath what must surely be two of the largest ceiling fans on earth, in a space flooded with natural light courtesy of the arched windows lining the lazily curving wall. On the menu, things kick off with the restaurant speciality, Mimosa Eggs (the trout eggs & tarragon are particularly nice), before moving onto the likes of sea bream carpaccio, huge Galician Blond côte de boeuf, and tuna steak au poivre with their house Mimosa sauce…

Details: 1C Portland Place, W1B 1JA | Book here

Bar Kroketa | Beak Street

bar kroketa

Jamie Lau

If it’s 5pm and you’re not ready to tackle a full meal yet, what could be more delightful than a plate of Basque-style croquetas and a glass of wine? Such are the treasures promised at Bar Kroketa, a buzzy little spot from the Tapas Brindisa team just off Regent Street. Fillings run the gamut from sobrasada with apple salsa to king prawn with prawn head aioli, and they do some very well-priced light & long cocktails, too.

Details: 21 Beak Street, London, W1F 9RR Book here

Sabor | Heddon Street

sabor restaurants open again london

Michelin starred Spanish spot Sabor is split into two seating areas. The counter on the ground floor serves a tapas menu fresh from the kitchen, which includes grilled quail, ajo blanco (chilled almond soup) and pomegranate; and braised oxtail with queen scallops. You don’t need a reservation – handy for those impromptu visits after shopping – and if you’re in a hurry, you can simply prop up the bar for a little jamon Iberico, which they’ll slice as you wait.

Follow the spiral staircase upstairs to the mezzanine to experience a different menu that features some tapas (crisp pigs ear with quince aioli and hot paprika), but also bigger mains to share from the asador (wood-fired oven), like Segovian suckling pig (also available half or whole for bigger parties) and txuleton gallego (48 day cured Galician rib of beef).

Details: 35-37 Heddon Street, W1B 4BR | Book here

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen | Kingly Court

Imads Syrian Kitchen

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen is run by a Syrian refugee named Imad Alarnab – and his story’s pretty extraordinary. He was one of the most famous chefs in Damascus, then civil war forced him to flee to Europe, eventually making it to the UK where he started a pop up restaurant and donated the proceeds to charity. Now he has a permanent restaurant. And what a place it is too: friendly staff; great food; and Imad’s often there welcoming guests himself.

Details: Top Floor, Kingly Court, Soho, W1B 5PW | Book here

Polpo | Beak Street

Polpo Soho oxford circus restaurants

This authentically styled bacaro (Venetian tapas bar) has become something of an institution. First opened in 2009 by the late, great Russell Norman, it regularly saw queues around the block. Polpo also almost single-handedly kickstarted London’s Campari craze – when it first opened, it sold more Campari and Aperol than the rest of the UK combined.

Split into clear sections, the menu offers cicchetti (snacks) such as N’duja arancini and tuna & leek crostini; fish dishes like fritto misto (mixed, fried fish), and mackerel tartare; meat dishes including their speciality meatballs (pork and fennel or classic beef and pork); and pizzette (mini pizzas) topped with the likes of spinach, parmesan and soft egg.

And obviously wash it all down with one of their Campari-based cocktails, either at your table or in their ruby-lit negroni bar downstairs.

Details: 41 Beak St, W1F 9SB | Book here

Le Bab | Kingly Court

Le Bab Oxford Circus restaurants

Have you ever thought you just want to pack in your job as a chef at two Michelin starred Le Gavroche and start flogging gourmet kebabs?  Probably not, but you can be glad these three chefs did. Expect robata-grilled meat on homemade flatbreads like corn-fed chicken shish, chicken ‘crackling’, and heritage carrot tops alongside the slightly less Friday-night roe deer adana, Jerusalem artichoke crisps and blackberry & chilli jam. They’re as good sober as they are drunk (order a couple of Smokey Sours – mescal, Laphroaig, lemon, agave – to test the theory), and they’re undoubtedly the prettiest kebabs you’ve ever seen.

Details: Top Floor, Kingly Court, W1B 5PW | Book here

Quo Vadis | Dean Street

This Soho stalwart is dripping in history. Formerly a notorious brothel and then home to Karl Marx, it finally became a restaurant in 1929. What you can expect there now is a tad more calming than in its previous lifetimes. Stained glass windows and parquet flooring adorn the space, while the dishes they’re serving are British inspired and include smoked eel sandwiches; marinated venison haunch with apples, celery, celeriac, escarole and cobnuts; and lemon-cured hake with fennel velouté.

And what old school haunt wouldn’t be complete without a long, well-curated wine list? It’s broken down by country for you to peruse (or whisper behind when you see someone super-famous go upstairs to the members’ lounge).

Details: 26-29 Dean St, W1D 3LL | Book here

Bébé Bob | Golden Square

bebe bob restaurant by oxford circus

Bob Bob Ricard isn’t an everyday kind of place – unless you find buttons labelled Press for Champagne deeply quotidian. So for a mid-shop pitstop, head to the restaurant’s more casual cousin round the corner on Golden Square. Of course, ‘casual’ to Bob Bob Ricard is still pretty glitzy – and the interiors here at Bébé Bob will have you seated in the lap of 70s luxury with curving leather booths and deep plum walls. The menu, meanwhile, revolves around rotisserie chicken (given the classic BBR touch with optional caviar and Champagne).

Details: 37 Golden Square, London, W1F 9LB | Book here

Flat Iron | Beak Street

Flat Iron Soho

The Soho original of this forward-thinking, affordable-steak-for-the-masses restaurant (or perhaps now, culture).

The idea is simple: 200g of Flat Iron steak (from the shoulder of the cow) for £13, plus sides. They have a special that changes every now and then (a burger with béarnaise, a ribeye, rump, etc) but it’s the flat iron you’re here for – and it’s a recipe that’s proven so popular that they now have venues all over London, each with their own nuances. This branch’s? A salted caramel mousse that’s whipped in a cream canister and tastes like Mars bar clouds. Do. Not. Miss.

Details: 17 Beak St, W1F 9RW | Book here


Still looking for inspiration? Delve deeper into the best restaurants in Soho