Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Soho
Hardens guides have spent 32 years compiling reviews of the best Soho restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 216 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
“Delicious tapas with a view of the River Thames” from “a large open terrace” is going down a storm at the instantly popular, new Richmond branch of the well-known chain (occupying the prominent site that was formerly Jackson & Rye, RIP). Backed by the firm of wholesalers of the same name, the group has steadily grown from its Borough Market origins over the last 10 years, and fans feel “it’s exactly what you would expect from a place run by Spanish produce importers”. On the downside, though, there is a school of thought that “while the food’s done decently, it’s serviceable but unexciting”.
. Social Eating House
British, Modern restaurant in Soho
58-59 Poland Street - W1
With its “sexy and atmospheric interior” and accomplished cuisine, the 10-year-old Soho branch of Jason Atherton’s ‘Social’ brand is a venue recommended both for business meals and for “secret assignations” – kick off the occasion in his speakeasy ‘The Blind Pig’, which is hidden upstairs.
. The Ivy Soho Brasserie
British, Traditional restaurant in
26-28 Broadwick St - W1F
“You wouldn’t go for ‘haute cuisine’, but as a jolly place to eat comfort food in a spectacular setting, it is hard to beat” – that’s the upbeat view, anyway, on this now-“ubiquitous” brasserie chain. Eight years and 40 openings later, the spin-offs increasingly eclipse the Theatreland original (see also), whose Edwardian features provide the style-guide for its nationwide ‘roll out’. “Even if the unchallenging food reaches no heights, there’s a consistent buzz”, which makes them a “posh”, “fun” choice for a get-together, if not a particularly foodie one. This is particularly the case at the landmark London off-shoots: at ‘Chelsea Garden’ (“gorgeous greenery”); Kensington (“slick”, with a “pretty glitzy crowd”); and on the Thames (“great views over Tower Bridge”). But while it’s always been acknowledged that the mass offering is “a shadow of the mothership’s” – with “average grub at not-so-average prices” – the feeling that the brand has become just “a chain that does not excite” is gaining ever-stronger currency. Service seems more “stretched” nowadays, and a sliding ambience rating is making the whole offering seem ever-more “overrated, for all its modern art and perky décor”.
. Bao Soho
Taiwanese restaurant in Soho
53 Lexington St - W1
“The best-ever bao buns: so light and fluffy with absolutely delicious fillings” again win raves for this five-strong chain, backed by JKS Restaurants (which plans a Battersea opening later in 2022). “Worth queuing for, although happily they now take bookings”. Top Menu Tips – “very good Taiwan-style spicy beef noodles”; “the warm bao with horlicks ice-cream is the most unusual!”
. Andrew Edmunds
British, Modern restaurant in Soho
46 Lexington Street - W1F
“The kind of place to bring your lover” – this “perfect”, “sweet” townhouse is an “old-favourite”, whose “cosy, panelled and candle-lit” setting is perennially nominated as one of London’s most romantic. Despite its “Dickensian” charm, it has an “idiosyncratic”, even “groovy” vibe, inspired by its long-term independent owner, whose shop dealing in antiquarian prints is next door (and pre-dates the restaurant, which opened in 1985, by about a decade). From a slightly “limited” menu, the “robust and honest” cuisine “isn’t going to win any innovation awards, but is very well-executed” and well-priced; and it moves with the times. “The real attraction is the superb wines at non-greedy prices” selected by Edmunds (“not as broad a list as Noble Rot but much more affordable”), which helps fuel its “decadent and sexy” appeal. Service can be “hard pressed” but is “so friendly”. Top Tip – the basement has its plus points, but the best seats are on the ground floor.
Vegetarian restaurant in Soho
45 Lexington St - W1
Investment a few years ago turbo-charged this ‘100% plant-based’ chain, whose stalwart original Soho branch (est 1988) suddenly spawned a handful of “airy” and “jolly” (somewhat “crammed”) modern spin-offs across town. To this number, a new, two-floor Covent Garden branch opened its doors in February 2022 with 120 covers. The expansion has gone well and its “earnest” and “flavourful” cooking is not just favoured by veggies: “I was taken not entirely voluntarily as a dedicated meat-eater but have changed my tune after dining here!”
. Rita's Soho
Mexican restaurant in Soho
49 Lexington Street - W1F
This well-travelled ten-year-old cult pop-up has been “a great addition to Soho” since it alighted in 2021 on the cute, quirky site formerly occupied by Aurora (RIP), opposite the venerable Andrew Edmunds on Lexington Street. Gabriel Price’s highly rated cooking takes an American-inspired approach to the best of English ingredients, pleasing critics as disparate as Jimi Famurewa and Tom Parker Bowles, while Missy Flynn looks after the front of house and guarantees “so much fun”.
. temper Soho
BBQ restaurant in Soho
25 Broadwick Street - W1
“Sitting at the counter with all of its theatre is amazing” at Neil Rankin’s “noisy, buzzy and fun” outlets, whose “really cool (well, hot) feature are the ‘fire pit’ cooking stations”, from which they offer “a great mix of meat dishes” (including rare-breed steaks), plus fish options. There were some “off days” reported this year, though: in particular, service has sometimes been “under pressure” or even “shambolic”.
. Inko Nito
Japanese restaurant in Soho
55 Broadwick Street - W1F
2022 Review: “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
Fried chicken specialists who have elevated the fast-food classic to delectable and “moreish” culinary heights – this Soho outfit was founded by a trio of transplanted Melburnians who missed one of their home city’s prime nibbles. They also have outlets in King’s Cross, Finsbury Park and the Boxparks in Shoreditch and Croydon, as well as delivery kitchens in Brockley and Balham.
Chinese restaurant in Soho
Broadwick House, 15-17 Broadwick Street - W1
“Exquisite” dim sum – in particular “addictive cheung fun and venison puffs” – have won fame for these Hakkasan spin-offs, which are quite different in nature. The original site occupies a “blingy, dark, rammed-full Soho basement” (and you can also eat in the ground-floor tea room); while the Broadgate spin-off is vast by comparison and much more swish and corporate, with large outside terraces for cocktails. Both outlets share the shortcomings of Hakkasan, though: they can be “soooooo pricey”, and service can be “slow” or “entitled”. Top Tip – their “cakes are incredible; small and perfectly formed!”
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