Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Soho
Hardens guides have spent 31 years compiling reviews of the best Soho restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 156 restaurants in Soho and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Soho restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Soho Restaurants
. Tapas Brindisa Soho
Spanish restaurant in Soho
46 Broadwick St - W1
The tapas bar operated by this Spanish food importer greets arrivals at the main entrance to Borough Market – and “on a bustling summer day, sitting outside with a glass of simple red, a table full of tapas on the go, chatting convivially with friends, it’s great – just what one would expect”. The newer branches around town match the quality, and can be a little easier to nab a table. The group is scheduled to open its sixth site in Richmond – the first located in the suburbs – in late 2021 (it will be on the striking riverside site that was formerly Jackson & Rye (RIP) complete with 150 covers and a 60-seat outside terrace).
. Social Eating House
British, Modern restaurant in Soho
58-59 Poland St - W1
Jason Atherton’s casual Soho venue maintains its “informal but enjoyable atmosphere” in large part thanks to its “warm and welcoming” approach to service. The food is well-rated too (if not quite at the heights it once was), with numerous reporters describing their best meal of the year here – you can indulge in a “wonderful chef’s counter experience” or stick with the prix fixe menu. Hidden away upstairs is Atherton’s speakeasy, The Blind Pig.
. The Ivy Soho Brasserie
British, Traditional restaurant in
26-28 Broadwick St - W1F
“Always ambient and fun” – Richard Caring’s stretching (twisting?) of the Ivy brand is easy to snipe at but has so far avoided degenerating into farce. For sure, “the food is certainly nothing superior”: fans may claim it’s “more than adequate”, but its overall ratings nowadays are only just the right side of poor. That said, even critics of the cooking often feel that the “lovely” interiors and “welcoming service” provide compensation, and fit the bill for making an occasion of a meal. In the capital, the most mentioned outlets are The Ivy Chelsea Garden (“delightful garden tables and ideal for a noisy girls’ night out”); and The Ivy Kensington Brasserie (“huge fun, loads of buzz” and “always a treat”). The Ivy City Garden and Canary Wharf’s Ivy in the Park follow along in terms of volume of feedback. The newest member of the spin-off family is The Ivy Victoria – a vast space with 300 guests over two floors.
. Bao Soho
Taiwanese restaurant in Soho
53 Lexington St - W1
“The bao are just so good” at these “charming” and stylish Taiwanese cafés, whose eponymous steamed buns filled with “brilliant” and “magnificent” Asian flavours have been a sensation since their first opening at Netil Market in London Fields in 2013. There are now six venues, the most recent of which have branched out in new directions: Café Bao at King’s Cross, serving an East Asian take on Western classics, such as chicken XO Kiev and baked ham hock congee pie, and Bao Noodle Shop, on the former site of Andina in Shoreditch, which is inspired by old-school Taiwanese beef noodle shops.
. Andrew Edmunds
British, Modern restaurant in Soho
46 Lexington Street - W1F
“Romance oozes out of the walls here!” at what is – for many Londoners – “the ultimate date- night venue”: a “very intimate” (“fantastic eavesdropping possibilities!”), “historic” Dickensian townhouse that’s “old-school Soho and very welcome for it”. The “simple food” is “well-priced”, but the unbeatable “attraction is the superb wine list that’s probably the best value in London”, with “gentle markups that lure you into some wonderful bottles at great prices”; “totally lovable” and “always a joy!”.
Vegetarian restaurant in Soho
45 Lexington St - W1
“A Soho institution” after 34 years – and in very recent years with spin-offs in Dalston, Camden Town and King’s Cross – this slice of “veggie heaven (with great cocktails!)” is “just the best, even for a carnivore” and has done an impressive job of keeping up quality across the new group. The interiors of the new branches are clean cut and well-designed, and the food is “non-fussy and non-fake”; and will “stretch your mind but not your wallet”.
. Rita's Soho
Mexican restaurant in Soho
49 Lexington Street - W1F
On the dead cute Soho site that was for years Aurora (RIP) – just opposite Andrew Edmunds and with a tiny courtyard to the rear – this autumn 2021 newcomer from Missy Flynn and Gabe Pryce is the latest site for a brand that started as a pop-up in 2012 in Hackney, and has landed here via Bodega Rita’s (the Coal Drops Yard spot that closed in 2020, but has since relaunched on Cowcross Street in Clerkenwell). On the menu, a fairly eclectic assortment of modern bistro dishes with Mexican and US influences.
. temper Soho
BBQ restaurant in Soho
25 Broadwick Street - W1
Neil Rankin’s trio of venues all centre on cooking over fire – with fire pits more and less on display – and the choice of an array of steaks (rare breed, from UK farms), fish and other meats, backed up by a selection of tacos. Sunday roast, bottomless brunch and steak supper clubs also feature in their list of attractions. All reports are positive this year, although even those who consider the food “outstanding” can quibble over the pricing. A “lovely new outdoor space” in WC2 has been a great addition.
. Inko Nito
Japanese restaurant in Soho
55 Broadwick Street - W1F
“Our daughters love this restaurant – especially the cubed steak and iceberg lettuce!”. This manifestly cool Soho three-year-old offers sushi and sashimi as well as a wide range of fish and meat from the robata grill.
Chicken restaurant in Soho
75 Beak Street - W1F
“Oh-so-dirty chicken, that is actually fresh and crispy and so so moreish” (“soooo tasty, the green chilli chicken burger is fab!”) wins continued praise for this finger-lickin’ group, which operates out of Shoreditch Boxpark and various take-away and delivery locations, as well as this Soho forever home. “Service is casual… it feels like it’s deliberately trying to be a dive!”.
Chinese restaurant in Soho
Broadwick House, 15-17 Broadwick Street - W1
“The venison puffs are the best things ever”, the “prawn cheung fun with tofu is inspired” and desserts are “dainty and exciting looking” at these stylish and very successful spin-offs from the Hakkasan chain, whose formula is well summarised as “lovely dim sum in a buzzy location”. The two sites are quite different in character: the smaller, two-floor Soho original incorporates a ground-floor tea rooms and moody basement – the Broadgate branch boasts an outside cocktail terrace, but is much glossier, bigger and altogether more “corporate”. “There’s surprising attention to detail in each item of the menu” but the feeling that prices are “good but high for the portions” limits its food score; and “every now and again the service seems a tad chaotic”. Despite these quibbles, though, serious criticism was entirely absent this year.
. Pizza Pilgrims (Berwick Street)
Pizza restaurant in Soho
102 Berwick St - W1
“Quality pizzas served by nice people in a bustling, energetic atmosphere. What’s not to like?” It’s a formula that’s winning massive, post-pandemic expansion for the Elliot brothers’ chain, which is adding eight London sites this year. Perhaps inevitably with such fast growth, it no longer enjoys the stellar ratings of yesteryear, but to an impressive degree also evades criticism: “always decent…”, “I can’t speak for the authenticity, but they’re tasty as hell”. Top Tip: “their pizza home delivery kit is great fun”.
. The Duck & Rice
Chinese restaurant in Soho
90 Berwick St - W1
This modern mashup of a gastropub with Chinese cuisine in Berwick Street, Soho, earns solid ratings for its “very good food in the bar and also in the more formal restaurant”. But, by comparison to the standards of creator Alan Yau’s previous mega-hits, including Wagamama and Hakkasan, some can find it “a bit disappointing overall”.
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