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 168 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
“Authentic and delicious tapas… if you can get a table” has made the bustling, original branch of this Hispanic food importer’s chain a well-known feature of Borough Market, and “at busy times, it feels rushed”. It has spawned a number of spin-offs over the years, which are generally high quality, if not as vibey as the original: most recently opening a ‘Brindisa Kitchen Bar’ at Jubilee Place.
. Social Eating House
British, Modern restaurant in Soho
58-59 Poland St - W1
Ratings dropped for the second year running at Jason Atherton’s casual Soho venture, amid gripes from reporters confused by the “pub setting with proper restaurant prices” or having to “wade through four menus”. Some say the food is still “consistently brilliant”. Others were “left wondering what all the hype is for” – “dishes lacked any wow factor” and are “certainly not worth the high price tag”.
. The Ivy Soho Brasserie
British, Traditional restaurant in
26-28 Broadwick St - W1F
“Maybe the brand is a bit stretched”, but Richard Caring’s bold expansion is paying off by-and-large, certainly in commercial terms, and – though most branches’ average food-rating is run-of-the-mill – by the standards of large chains, the group delivers a consistent-enough formula, whereby folks accept predictable nursery fodder in return for a dependable dose of ‘affordable glamour’. The “beautiful and festive” Ivy Chelsea Garden (SW3) is the best known in the stable and it’s particularly “wonderful if you manage to get a table in their fabulous garden”. The “big and buzzy” Ivy Kensington Brasserie (W8) is less highly rated, but nevertheless fills a vital niche in the local market for a comfortable, atmospheric and versatile rendezvous (“its bar is also a fun place for a drink”). The City branches (The Ivy Tower Bridge, The Ivy City Garden EC2) and Canary Wharf outlet (The Ivy in the Park, E14) are the highest rated all-round (perhaps reflecting the ongoing lack of convivial spaces out east). “Awesome views” at Tower Bridge are distinct client-pleasers. Other branches taking above-average flak include The Ivy Soho Brasserie, W1 (“busy mayhem” with “slow and disorganised service”) and The Ivy Market Grill, WC2 (“nothing special, rather overpriced, and very busy”). See also Granary Square Brasserie.
. Bao Soho
Taiwanese restaurant in Soho
53 Lexington St - W1
“A hole-in-the-wall type place, but some of the best buns in London!” – these “hipsterish”, if “haphazard” Taiwanese cafés in Soho, Fitzrovia, and now also Borough, have made a big name for their “sensationally tasty” steamed buns and other “inventive, delicious plates”: superb “homely food at very reasonable prices”. The new SE1 branch, opened in Spring 2019, has a grab-and-go delivery hatch and a karaoke room upstairs; and both here and in Fitzrovia you can book – at Soho you run the gauntlet of a big queue and it’s more “rushed”.
. Andrew Edmunds
British, Modern restaurant in Soho
46 Lexington Street - W1F
“Perfect for dîner à deux” – the “quaint”, “rustic and candle-lit” interior of this “Dickensian” Soho “staple” remains one of the capital’s most romantic destinations, and its long-term ownership by antique print dealer Andrew Edmunds gives it a “charming and unpretentious” style of a rare kind, and fostered by his “genial” staff. “Yes, it’s cramped” (“you squeeze in at a tiny table with lots of noise”) and the “honest” and “straightforward food” – though “perfectly decent” – avoids fireworks. As an overall experience, though, it offers “excellent value” particularly due to the owner’s collection of wine: “Andrew still makes other lists look a rip-off” with “prices not much more than retail” for some fine vintages and “ever changing additions to the blackboard that are a pleasure to explore”. The ground floor is the safest bet – by comparison the basement can appear “dull”.
Vegetarian restaurant in Soho
45 Lexington St - W1
“My partner’s a die-hard meat eater, but still thinks this place is the bee’s knees!” – this extremely popular vegetarian chain has built on three decades of popularity for the “always-super-busy” (no bookings) Soho original, with branches in Camden Town, Dalston and King’s Cross all opened in the last few years. All outlets get a good rep in the survey, with their “great choice” of “very tasty, veggie, comfort food”.
. Rita's Soho
Mexican/TexMex restaurant in Soho
49 Lexington Street - W1F
This spot from the team behind Bodega Rita's (the Coal Drops Yard spot that closed in 2020) opened before Christmas 2020 as a bottle shop and deli; the full Rita's restaurant followed in October 2021.
Chinese restaurant in Soho
Broadwick Hs, 15-17 Broadwick St - W1
“Silky-fine cheung fun, filled with sweet fresh prawns”… “dumplings wrapped in translucent skins”… “delicious venison puffs”… – “you can’t go back to Chinatown dim sum after a trip” to one of these “hip and happening”, Chinese-inspired haunts, whose “addictive bites keep reeling you in”. The “flash” Soho original, created by Alan Yau, “still feels fresh after all these years” – with its moody basement and lighter ground floor – while the Broadgate spin-off is much larger in scale, more conventionally glam, and with a big cocktail terrace overlooking Broadgate Circle. Any drawbacks? Service is “efficient” but “sometimes brusque”. Top Tips – Soho also serves tea, and has a line in “gorgeous, elegant patisserie”.
. temper Soho
BBQ restaurant in Soho
25 Broadwick Street - W1
“Huge cuts of carefully sourced meat, such as great Barnsley chops, are expertly cooked over wood” at Neil Rankin’s “loud and atmospheric” Soho basement with a 6-metre fire pit, which nowadays also has two similar satellites in Covent Garden and near Bank: the set-up – “an open kitchen”, “with all the meat on display” creates “some real theatre and buzz”. And in WC2, the venue’s wood-fired oven is also pressed into service to deliver some “incredible deep-dish pizza”. There remain one or two reporters who consider the experience “totally overhyped”, but the general impression is of “a time to remember” and with “a surprisingly reasonable bill for such big hunks of meat”.
. Inko Nito
Japanese restaurant in Soho
55 Broadwick Street - W1F
LA’s Art District housed the first branch of this Roka-lite concept (same founder), and this Soho yearling, with its “manifestly cool decor” (from a California design agency) delivers well all-round (even if it’s maybe “a little expensive”), especially if you are in the mood for a meal combining “a fun bar ambience” with “simple yet exciting” Korean/Japanese dishes.
Chicken restaurant in Soho
75 Beak Street - W1F
“Scrumptious, Korean-style, fried-chicken burgers – so crunchy, and topped with the most excellent flavour combinations”, plus K-wings, bao, and other finger-lickin’ goodies have won a big fanclub for these Aussie-owned pitstops, which graduated in June 2019 from two Boxpark locations (in Shoreditch and Croydon) to this new Soho permanent-home, with its mix of communal and small tables, on, wait for it, Beak Street…
. Pizza Pilgrims (Berwick Street)
Pizza restaurant in Soho
102 Berwick St - W1
“So delicious and affordable every time!” – the Elliot brothers’ “speedy and cheerful” small chain put in a stellar performance in the last survey as London’s top pizza multiple, pipping rival Homeslice by tiny decimals. “You can see the dough being made on entering: everything is very fresh, and you get crisp, thin pizzas with quality toppings”.
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