Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Soho
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Soho restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 184 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
1. Randall & Aubin Fish & seafood restaurant in Soho 14-16 Brewer St - W1
“No-fuss”, “fresh seafood done really well” combines with a “fun” and “buzzy” (“riotous” even!) ambience, at this Soho landmark – formerly a butcher (est 1911) that morphed into a restaurant 25 years ago. “It’s still excellent after all these years, like meeting an old friend – we love it”. “Go for the specials, they’re always worth trying”.
2. Chotto Matte Japanese restaurant in Soho 11-13 Frith St - W1
“Exquisite food and cocktails” – “an amazing blend of flavours danced across my tongue!” – and “a great vibe (particularly for late-night dining)” help make this Japanese-Peruvian fusion haunt in Soho a “fun and buzzy” (if “loud”, especially when the music’s cranked up) destination for a night on the tiles.
3. Yming Chinese restaurant in Soho 35-36 Greek St - W1
“William (the maitre d’) always has a warm welcome” at this “long-term favourite”: a Soho “oasis” whose “calm and friendly” atmosphere (“without the feeling we need to rush and free the table”) provides a quiet-but-stark contrast with the frenzy of Chinatown a couple of blocks south. Foodwise “it attempts nothing new or extraordinary – just good Chinese cooking that’s always wholesome and satisfying”, with “decent wine at un-greedy prices”.
4. 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!”.
5. Zima Russian Restaurant Russian restaurant in Soho 45 Frith Street - W1
2018 Review: “Russian street food” served in a speakeasy-style venue next door to Ronnie Scott’s jazz club makes Russki celeb chef, Alexei Zimin’s Soho yearling “fun and something a bit different”.
6. Shampers British, Modern restaurant in Soho 4 Kingly St - W1
“With lashings of individuality”, this unreconstructed Soho wine bar from 1977 stands out for its “old-fashioned style and service” – “the owner, Simon, and his crew simply deliver!” – and “is still going strong with a traditional menu” of “classic French bistro food” (gravadlax, calf’s liver, steak…). There’s also a “most interesting wine list that has great depth at good prices, rather than too many wines at very high prices”. It can, though, “become a little overcrowded (due to its seeming popularity with the Chartered Surveyors’ Tribe)”.
7. L’Escargot French restaurant in Soho 48 Greek Street - W1
“Beautiful, old-fashioned surroundings” imbue this “classy” Gallic favourite (est 1927) with a “lovely old-school atmosphere”, and – if you’re looking for a “classic” French meal (Chateaubriand, coq au vin, tournedos Rossini, boeuf bourguignon, profiteroles) in the heart of Soho, it has few rivals nowadays. Its rating slipped a fraction in the last survey, though, on the back of a couple of less wholehearted endorsements: “mainly good, but not as exceptional as your last review implied”.
8. Barshu Chinese restaurant in Soho 28 Frith St - W1
“Spice heaven!” – this “old favourite” is “worth a detour north of Shaftesbury Avenue” to “experience genuinely interesting and mouth-popping Sichuan specials” – so “be brave when you order”. The food-writer, China expert and consultant “Fuchsia Dunlop’s touch makes it a regional Chinese diamond in the Chinatown rough”.
9. Rainforest Café Burgers, etc restaurant in Soho 20-24 Shaftesbury Ave - W1
2019 Review: “You’re not here for the food, but for the sake of keeping young children busy”, say reports on this Piccadilly Circus fixture, complete with animatronic animals and indoor rain storms. “The food’s average and overpriced, the decor’s tired… but the kids love it and ask to go time and time again…”
10. 100 Wardour Street Mediterranean restaurant in Soho 100 Wardour Street - W1
2019 Review: To a bizarre extent, this large D&D London venue in central Soho – home in its day to the legendary Marquee Club, and nowadays featuring entertainment with DJs, cocktails and dinner – inspires practically zero feedback. Top Tip: such commentary as we have is for what is perhaps its best feature: Saturday brunch (£25 for two courses, plus £20 for bottomless Prosecco).
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