Italian Restaurants in Soho
1. Vasco & Piero’s Pavilion Italian restaurant in Soho 15 Poland St - W1
“Pleasingly old-fashioned in style and cooking”, this long-serving traditional Soho Italian keeps its many regulars happy with “a simple Umbrian menu, done well”, including “excellent home-made pasta”. There’s a “comfortable and friendly ambience, and the occasional luvvie dining before his/her show”. Top Tip – “the chef will do zabaglione at the end if the kitchen isn’t too busy – a treat!”.
2. Bocca di Lupo Italian restaurant in Soho 12 Archer St - W1
“Italian peasant-food fit for a king” – Jacob Kenedy’s “exceptional and distinctive” fixture, a short stroll from Piccadilly Circus, has carved a massive foodie following with its “wonderfully eclectic and ever-changing range of traditional dishes from across the country” (categorised by region, and available in ‘small’ or ‘large sizes’), with the “exciting” results “so simple and delicious you cannot believe it”. “And they’re complemented by a staggering wine list” which “is itself a trip through Italy” (“it’s worth having a detailed conversation with the wine waiter to discover outstanding vintages at sensible prices” with “lots of interesting options by the glass”). “Unsurprisingly, the place is always jammed”, and the “busy, café-style” interior with “closely packed tables” is such that “while mostly delightful, it’s bloody noisy” (“if not slightly manic”). But the “efficient and friendly staff” help keep the mood upbeat. Some guests “prefer the counter” – “there’s great kitchen theatre perched on the bar stools”.
3. Lina Stores Italian restaurant in Soho 51 Greek Street - W1D
2019 Review: “For what it is, this small spin-off from the well-known Italian deli is a great way to dine casually, including at the bar” – Soho institution, Lina Stores (est 1944) has opened this nearby, snappily decorated, no-reservations pit-stop, with a 12-seater kitchen counter and 50 covers over two floors. Early reports praise its “exceptional, cheap ’n’ cheerful food” – the pasta is the star – and to say that the newspaper reviewers have gushed would be an understatement.
4. Bar Termini Italian restaurant in Soho 7 Old Compton St - W1
2018 Review: “Simply the best coffee you’ll find anywhere” is part of the resolutely and genuinely Italian approach at Tony Conigliaro’s tiny (expect no great encouragement to linger) but characterful Soho bar, known also for its definitive Negronis and authentic bites. In early summer 2017, a much larger ‘Centrale’ branch opened near Selfridges, with an expanded food offering including salads and panzerotti (akin to a fried mini-calzone).
5. Bar Italia Italian restaurant in Soho 22 Frith St - W1
“A special place” – “frozen in time and all the better for it” – this atmospheric Soho institution defies caffeine fashion and is as perfect a location for a cup of coffee today as it was when it opened in 1949. It operates 24/7 – and don’t even think of bringing your laptop...
6. Mele e Pere Italian restaurant in Soho 46 Brewer Street - W1
“What a great find in Soho!” – “this quirky and funky place offers a nice twist on traditional Italian dishes”, and is “so much better than the chains”. “Looks tiny from the outside but has this ginormous expanse at basement level”, which “can be noisy”. “It’s not cheap but nor is it outrageously expensive for the area and quality”. There’s also an on-site aperitivo bar featuring home-made vermouth.
7. Princi Italian restaurant in Soho 135 Wardour St - W1
This “stylish and modern” Soho outpost of Rocco Princi’s self-service Milanese bakery is “always buzzing” with a crowd chasing its “delicious breakfasts”, “great sandwiches” and “incredible cakes”; there are “creative salads and pizzas”, too (the latter are particularly good).
8. Pastaio Italian restaurant in Soho 19 Ganton Street - W1F
2020 Review: “Amazing fresh pasta that’s great value for central London” has carved a strong following for Stevie Parle’s “loud” and buzzy Kingly Court operation for a “swift”, “cheap ’n’ cheerful” bite.
9. Dehesa Italian restaurant in Soho 25 Ganton Street - W1
Especially “on a rainy night, snuggled up in the window by candlelight”, this small modern tapas restaurant off Carnaby Street can still be a valued haunt. But its ratings have dropped sharply in the past two years as the Salt Yard Group changed hands. “The food used to be really delicious: the ideas are still good” – the “brilliant inclusion of Italian elements in the tapas” – but the realisation nowadays can be “mediocre”.
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