Soho has a restaurant density unlike any other part of London.
And frankly, it’s terrifying.
So in order to save you the paralysis of choice that hits every time someone suggests you eat in Soho, we’ve carefully trawled every street in the neighbourhood and picked a bulletproof recommendation for each one.
So wherever you are, you’ll always know somewhere that’s right up your street.
ARGYLL STREET | Aqua Kyoto
Despite some close competition from Bella Italia on the corner, Aqua Kyoto just wins out, by virtue of its critically acclaimed sushi menu; elegant, Japanese-influenced cocktails; and candlelit rooftop bar overlooking the rest of Soho.
Details: 30 Argyll St, W1F 7EB | ££££
KINGLY STREET | Dishoom
Dishoom Carnaby, like its siblings, is a delicious take on the Irani cafés that sprang up in Bombay in the early 19th century. Unlike its siblings, however, it serves a signature dish of Sali Boti (lamb braised in gravy finished with crunchy sali crisp-chips), sports committed vintage interiors reminiscent of your granny’s living room, and boasts The Permit Room – a bar serving 60’s cocktails, reminiscent of your granny’s party days.
Details: 22 Kingly Street, W1B 5QB | £££
CARNABY STREET – KINGLY COURT | The Good Egg
True to their name, The Good Egg did the decent thing and opened a follow up branch to their Stokey original to ease the queues for brunch. Which, if you’re unfamiliar, comprises smokey shakshuka, chocolate-rippled babka, and freshly baked pitas with whipped feta and herbs.
Details: Unit G9, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, W1B 5PW | £££
NEWBURGH STREET | Ugly Dumpling
There’s nothing ugly about this place – although its progression from a pop up to fully fledged eatery is something of a fairytale. Grab a table in their small but perfectly formed restaurant, and settle in for some serious dumpling feasting.
Details: 1 Newburgh Street, W1F 7RB | £
GANTON STREET | Pastaio
The latest spot from Stevie Parle (of Craft and Palatino fame), Pastaio serves… pasta. Deliciously. Freshly made on site every day, you can order it with slow cooked sausage sauce; wild mushrooms, garlic and olive oil; stuffed with wild boar, rabbit and pork; or just smothered with cheese and washed down with prosecco slushies.
Details: 19 Ganton Street, W1F 7BU | ££
BROADWICK STREET | Temper
The first of BBQ wunderchef Neil Rankin’s trio of solo spots, Temper is his ode to smoked meats; roasting entire animals over coal, South American-style. And sandwiching the main cuts of these meats, you’ll find taco starters filled with everything from smacked cucumber to blowtorched mackerel, and desserts like fire-baked cookies, straight off the ‘cue…
Details: 25 Broadwick Street, W1F 0DF | £££
POLAND STREET | Social Eating House
Part of the Jason Atherton dining dynasty, Social Eating House has all the ingredients of a great restaurant: tomatoes, onions, fish… you name it, they’ve got it all. But it’s what they do with them that’s so special, whipping them into classic English bistro dishes in moodily-lit, industrial surrounds. And there’s a pretty special spot for a nightcap after, too…
Details: 58 Poland Street, W1F 7NR | ££££
D’ARBLAY STREET | Blanchette
Another close run with nearby Copita, Blanchette wins by virtue of being right opposite. Meaning that you can head into Copita for an al fresco glass of wine, before taking your seats in the charmingly rustic French eatery, and washing down duck rillettes on sourdough, crispy frogs legs and cheese with lashings of Gallic plonk.
Details: D’Arblay Street, W1F 8DR | £££
BERWICK STREET | Ember Yard
Remember, remember, on Berwick Street in Soho there’s the vaunted Basque small plates restaurant Ember (Yard).
A catchy little mnemonic there for you to remind you that when you’re on Berwick Street, you’re within stumbling distance of smoked chorizo skewers with saffron aioli; blood orange-cured sea bass; and chargrilled pork shoulder with whipped jamón butter.
Details: 60-61 Berwick Street, W1F 88X | £££
NOEL STREET | Scarlett Green
Given the staggering popularity of the ever-growing Green family, it was a little surprising that none of its brood had made it to Soho yet. Enter the recently unveiled Scarlett, who comes boasting their signature all-day bottomless Antipodean brunches, a custom-made Josper grill, and regular live acoustic music and DJ nights.
Details: 4 Noel Street, W1F 8GB | ££
WARDOUR STREET | Tamarind Kitchen
The more casual sibling to Tamarind Mayfair (one of the first Michelin-starred Indian restaurants in the world), Tamarind Kitchen has left the starched tablecloths behind and set off to make its fortune with only an incredible menu, candlelit marble tables, and the Tamarind Mayfair head chef to help it…
Details: 167-169 Wardour Street, W1F 8WR | £££
GREAT CHAPEL STREET | The London Gin Club
While not technically a restaurant (unless you’re counting liquid lunches), you can score cheese and charcuterie platters here alongside elaborate tasting banquets of gin from their 200-strong collection, complete with tasting notes, flavour wheels and all manner of drink-enhancing garnishes and paraphernalia.
Details: 22 Great Chapel Street, W1F 8FR | £££
ST. ANNE’S COURT | Zelman Meats
One of the most underrated steak restaurants in London, Zelman – the distant, more understated part of the Goodman family – is tucked down the easily missed St. Anne’s Court. Here, you’ll find cocktails, an aquarium, and a stack of well-cooked meat – get the ‘dirty’ steak, cooked directly on charcoal.
Details: 2 St. Anne’s Court, W1F 0AZ | ££
DEAN STREET | Quo Vadis
When you’re on Dean Street, there’s only one place to head. And not just because the queues at Barrafina are too long. Its (bookable) neighbour is the grande dame of Soho’s dining scene, serving up classic British fodder with excellent cocktails in surroundings that, even after a recent renovation, have kept their original charms. And they’re irresistible.
Details: 26 – 29 Dean Street, Soho, Central London, W1D 3LL | £££
FRITH STREET | Ceviche
An old Peruvian prophecy foretold that one day, many millennia in the future, a very special place would open on Frith Street. It would pour pisco sours in abundance. It would serve copious amounts of thinly sliced ceviche alongside braised octopus skewers, corn cakes and cinnamon sponge. But most importantly, it would be next door to two of the most venerable institutions in Soho – Karaoke Box, and laser-powered dance restaurant, Little Italy.
Details: 17 Frith Street, W1D 4RG | £££
GREEK STREET | 10 Greek Street
An easy one to remember, 10 Greek Street is found on Greek Street. And inside you’ll find a restaurant that was at the vanguard of the seasonal small plates movement – and boy, do they deliver. Expect hake served with Jerusalem cabbage and bottarga; sardines with fennel, orange and chilli; and chocolate and salted caramel tart to finish.
Details: 10 Greek Street, W1D 4DH | ££££
BATEMAN STREET | Lina Stores
Ok, this is a slight cheat. It’s on the corner of Bateman Street and Greek Street. But this fresh pasta spot is more than worth the 30 second detour. It’s the first restaurant from the team behind the iconic Lina Stores deli on Brewer Street, serving up hand-rolled pasta and Italian cocktails in a stylish, retro setting. It’s small, so be prepared to queue and knock elbows with your neighbours – but trust us when we say it all adds to the atmosphere.
Details: 51 Greek Street, W1D 4EH | £££
OLD COMPTON STREET | La Bodega Negra
Despite its best efforts to look nothing like a restaurant, La Bodega Negra is the clear winner on Old Compton. Serving up punchy Mexican dishes in a candlelit basement cavern, the margaritas and high-octane soundtrack will see you through to the wee hours… at which point it’s probably about time for a martini over at Swift. READ MORE
Details: 9 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JF | £££
ROMILLY STREET | Berenjak
Former Brigadiers and Gymkhana chef Kian Samyani is riding the new wave of kebabs with his Tehran-inspired eatery, serving upmarket takes on Persian hole-in-the-wall café fare.
Details: 27 Romilly Street, W1D 5AL | ££
MEARD STREET | Honest Burgers
If you were at all sceptical that what this place serves is, in fact, burgers, don’t be. Because these are some of the finest bun-fillers you’ll find in Soho, let alone Meard Street.
Details: 4A Meard Street, W1F 0EF | ££
RUPERT STREET | The Palomar
Straight up, one of the best restaurants in London. And Rupert Street just happens to claim it.
Head here for Levantine deliciousness, a gently pulsing Tel Aviv party soundtrack, a steam-filled, shalom-showering open kitchen, and major date points.
Details: 34 Rupert Street, W1D 6DN | £££
PETER STREET | Bone Daddies
Bone Daddies is just that restaurant you need to know when you’re looking for an “Asahi on draught, rockabilly soundtrack, ramen with extra cock scratchings” kind of place. Which is always.
Details: 31 Peter Street, W1F 0AR | ££
BREWER STREET | HIX
A modern classic, Mark Hix’s flagship is notable for its unfussy but top-shelf bistro cuisine, atmospheric basement bar, and proximity to tequila nightcaps at The Pink Chihuahua. Just make sure you fill up on monkfish curry with samphire pakoras, pork belly with pak choi and ponzu, and his famous ‘credit crunch’ ice cream first.
Details: 66-70 Brewer Street, W1F 9UP | £££
ARCHER STREET | Bocca di Lupo
In bocca al lupo is essentially the Italian form of breaking a leg. In the good sense. But you won’t need any luck here, because Moro-trained Jacob Kenedy has got a firm hand on Italian regional cuisine, meaning you can score gnocchi from Lazio, pappardelle from Veneto, braised ox cheek from Sicilia, and then finish it all off with a caffe alla nocciola (coffee with egg yolks & hazelnut) from Napoli.
Details: 12 Archer Street, Soho, Central London, W1D 7BB | ££££
GREAT WINDMILL STREET | Blacklock
Once a former strip joint, and now a very different kind of meat market, Blacklock is Soho’s preeminent chop shop. Opened by a trio of former Hawksmoor employees, the simple, brick walled basement space plays host to huge, charcoal-grilled slabs of meat and a cocktail trolley that wends its way between the tables, doling out negronis. And to continue on a theme, you can head a few doors down, past the glass-walled butchery at Sophie’s for a nightcap at Jack Solomons Club.
Details: The Basement, 25 Great Windmill Street, W1D 7LQ | ££
HAM YARD | Engawa
Kobe beef. It truly is a marble to behold. And the folks at Engawa are very proud of theirs, being the only restaurant in the UK to import the entire cow and butcher it in house. Which means you can order any cut you like as you drink in the intimate, authentic feel of your surroundings. And sake. Make sure you drink that.
Details: 2 Ham Yard, London, W1D 7DT | ££££
DENMAN STREET | Kricket
Going to a small plates Indian restaurant anywhere else just wouldn’t be Kricket. In industrial-chic surroundings, you’ll be able to tuck into dishes like their best-selling samphire pakoras and Keralan fried chicken alongside larger numbers like the Cornish crab meen moilee with castelfranco radicchio and peanuts – all of which comes courtesy of chef Will Bowlby, who spent years head cheffing in Mumbai before returning to work under Vivek Singh…
Details: 12 Denman Street, W1D 7HH | ££
SHERWOOD STREET | Brasserie Zédel
Whenever you’re in Soho and have the overwhelming need to visit a vast subterranean complex of Parisian Belle-Epoque architecture, including a grand café style brasserie with live jazz, a 1930s cocktail den serving era-appropriate drinks, and a live music lounge that’s hosted everyone from Jay Rayner to West End musical stars – this is your place.
Details: 20 Sherwood Street, W1F 7ED | ££
WARWICK STREET | NOPI
Yotam Ottolenghi brings us this polished up, livelier incarnation of his famous cafés, where vegetables are put centre stage, the lights are low, and there’s a gentle hubbub of rapturous diners filling the air.
Details: 21-22 Warwick Street, W1B 5NE | ££££
BEAK STREET | Polpo
An artfully understated, brick-walled Venetian bacaro, Polpo is the restaurant for wooing a date over a spritz at the front bar, over-ordering cacio e pepe with friends at the tables in the back, or simply regressing to your childhood and demanding your parents buy you another Aperol sorbet.
Details: 41 Beak Street, W1F 9SB | £££
UPPER JAMES STREET | Bob Bob Ricard
Dress up like a couple of Gatsby party-goers, starve yourself all day in anticipation of an Anglo-Russian feast, and get ready – because you’re going to be pressing that Champagne button. Order one of their clarified Bloody Maries first though, because you owe it to yourself.
Details: 1 Upper James Street, W1F 9DF | ££££
GOLDEN SQUARE | Nordic Bakery
Not quite a restaurant; but just as its location is the pitstop between Upper and Lower James Street, Nordic Bakery makes a perfect pitstop between breakfast and lunch. Or lunch and dinner. Or dinner and breakfast, for that matter. Their cinnamon buns are, unequivocally, the best in London.
Details: 14a Golden Square, W1F 9JG | £
GREAT PULTENEY STREET | Sun & 13 Cantons
The Sun & 13 Cantons’ seasonally changing kitchen residencies seem to act as a sure-fire springboard for pop ups on their way to permanence. In the past they’ve bussed in rising stars like Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen and CLAW, and the acclaimed Sarap Filipino BBQ. And, no, it doesn’t hurt that their emerald green-tiled, low-lit dining room is one of the more beautiful gems in Soho.
Details: 21 Great Pulteney Street, W1F 9NG | ££
LEXINGTON STREET | Andrew Edmunds
Andrew Edmunds is like the fairy godfather of date nights. Candlelit tables for two in a Georgian townhouse? Check. Endearing hand-chalked list of specials on the wall? Check. 200-strong wine list that’s not insanely expensive? Check. Just make sure you leave room for a takeaway fried Horlicks ice cream bun from Bao afterwards.
Details: 46 Lexington Street, W1F 0LP | £££
Looking for more inspiration? Peruse our recommendations of great bars in Soho