The best restaurants in London

Soho is where you'll probably find the most concentrated area of restaurants and bars in London. There's a LOT of competition here, and you'll really need to have a semblance of a plan before heading here (although there are plenty of walk-in spots if you're willing to wait). We've picked some of the choice spots in the area...

 

Temper
Address: 25 Broadwick St, Soho, London W1F
What We Know: This is the first of Neil Rankin's Temper restaurants, taking over a huge basement spot in Soho. The room is dominated by a central kitchen where all the smoking happens. From that you can expect tacos, meat piled onto freshly baked flatbread and a lot of mezcal.

 

Kricket
Address: 12 Denman St, Soho, London W1D 7HH
What We Know: Already a big hit in Brixton, this is the second Kricket - expect a bigger space with the same great Indian small plates.

 

Kiln
Address: 58 Brewer Street, London W1F 9TL
What We Know: This restaurant is from the founder of the Smoking Goat, still focusing on Thai food but going for simplicity. Expect a short grill menu and a daily noodle dish and a regularly changing wine list by Zeren Wilson. It's primarily counter dining too.

 

Zelman Meats
Address: 2 St Anne's Court, London W1F 0AZ
What We Know: This meat restaurant in Soho is from the same people as Burger & Lobster and Goodman. It's pitched at half way between the two with a strong focus on meat and steak - but with cuts that help to bring the prices to below Goodman levels. Expect new cuts of meat to appear regularly.

 

Hoppers
Address: 49 Frith Street, Soho, London W1D 4SG
What We Know: Coming from the Sethi siblings, best known for Gymkhana but also behind Bao, Lyle's and more, this is inspired by roadside shacks (boutiques) of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. These shacks focus on hoppers and dosas which is with Hoppers. It's a popular no-reservations spot, so be prepared for a wait at peak times - but it's worth it and very affordable too.

 

10 Greek Street
Address: 10 Greek Street, London W1D 4DH
What We Know: Former Head Chef of critics' fave The Wapping Project, Cameron Emirali, teamed up with Luke Wilson for this restaurant in Soho. Expect "Modern European and there is a daily-changing menu that will concentrate on seasonality and fresh ingredients." And on top of that, one of the most impressive wine lists in town too.

 

Duck and Rice
Address: 90 Berwick Street, London W1F 0QB
What We Know: This has been set up by Alan Yau, opening right next door to his old restaurant Yauatcha. He's reinvented the space as a Chinese gastropub - so there's a more pubby environment downstairs with a Chinese restaurant upstairs. Expect a big focus on the duck, of course.

 

Bao
Bao
Address: 53 Lexington St, London W1F 9AS
What We Know: One of the most successful example of street food vendors going permanent, this is one of the toughest places to grab a seat at in Soho. But when you do, the steamed milk buns that are at the heart of the menu make it all worthwhile.

 

Blacklock
Address: 24 Great Windmill St, Soho, London W1D 7LG
What We Know: Blacklock's main speciality is chops - beef, pork and lamb and all at pretty good value too. You'll want to go all-in with the chops dripping onto flatbread, but keep an eye out for some great meats on the specials board too. And knock back lots of cocktails for a fiver.

 

Smoking Goat
Address: 7 Denmark Street, London WC2H 8LZ
What We Know: This Thai barbecue restaurant in Soho features a short daily menu with a focus on cooking over wood and with traditional pestles & mortars.

 

The Palomar
Address: 34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN
What We Know: Quite possibly THE best counter dining experience in town, albeit not the quietest one. Expect a Jerusalem-style menu here, with additional influences from Southern Spain and Italy, North Africa through to the Levant. You CAN grab a table at the back - but try for the full-on counter experience if you can.

 

Blanchette Soho
Address: 9 D'Arblay St, London W1F 8DR
What We Know: Blanchette is from three brothers Maxime, Yannis and Malik Alary who are launching a "French bistro serving simple, classic and inventive French food". Similar to Salt Yard, it's primarily based around sharing "French tapas" plates. Look out for its sister restaurant in Shoreditch too.

 

Ember Yard
Address: 60-61 Berwick Street, London W1F 8SU
What We Know: This restaurant comes from the people behind Salt Yard and takes its inspiration from the rural Basque and Italian methods of smoking and grilling over charcoal. The menu is almost entirely cooked on a custom built charcoal fired grill.

 

Koya Bar
Address: 50 Frith Street, London W1D 4SQ
What We Know: This is the sister restaurant to the original Koya, which has sadly closed down. But Koya Bar is still going strong - even if it only seats 25 people. Expect some of the best Japanese udon noodles in town here - and there's a great breakfast too.

 

Social Eating House
Address: 58 Poland St, London W1F 7NR
What We Know: This restaurant is from Jason Atherton and, to date, his only one in Soho. Expect a very British menu, with plenty of starters in jars too. As with all of Atherton's places, the bar is just as important - so make time to head upstairs for a cocktail or three.

 

NOPI
Address: 21-22 Warwick Street, London W1B 5NE
What We Know: Fans of Ottolenghi finally get a full-blown restaurant. Expect plenty of sharing dishes - there's also a chef's table in the basement.

 

Andrew Edmunds
Address: 46 Lexington Street, London W1F 0LW
What We Know: Often cited as one of the most romantic restaurants in London, it's also a great old-fashioned bistro with a decent wine list. And a Soho stalwart too.

 

J Sheekey
Address: 28-34 St. Martin's Court, London WC2N 4AL
What We Know: Often seen as both the theatregoers and the actors' port of call post-theatre, Sheekeys is a London institution. Best known for its seafood, including an incredible fish pie. A must-visit for every Londoner.

 

The Ivy
Address: The Ivy, 1-5 West Street, London WC2H 9NQ
What We Know: One of London's oldest restaurants, the Ivy has recently undergone a big revamp and has re-built almost the entire restaurant. Chief among the changes is a new central bar area with plenty of counter dining spaces added. There are new paintings too - but expect some old favourites to appear too. The menu has a mix of classic Ivy dishes like the Shepherd's Pie and more contemporary fare.

 

Bob Bob Ricard
Address: 1 Upper James Street, Soho, London W1F 9DF
What We Know: Bob Bob Ricard remains one of our personal faves in town. Whether it's the fantastically blingy design, the rich food with just a hint of Russian in there, the "press for champagne" button or... No, hang on, it's definitely for the Champagne button...

 

Bocca Di Lupo
Address: 12 Archer St, London W1D 7BB
What We Know: Jacob Kenedy's Soho Italian wins universal praise for its cuisine, a well-chosen wine list and for one of the most beautiful counters in town - a top counter dining spot.

 

Quo Vadis
Address: 26-29 Dean Street, London, W1D 3LL
What We Know: Quo Vadis has Jeremy Lee in the kitchen and he's been cooking up a wonderfully British menu. Alas, the restaurant isn't quite what it used to be - with over two-thirds of the space given up to Barrafina. But the food is still great and if you're a member, there's an excellent upstairs restaurant too.

 

Looking for more?

Check out the latest reviews of Fitzrovia, Soho and Covent Garden restaurants and all the Soho news too.

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