Soho is such a wonderfully eclectic part of London, and one that perfectly fits the description ‘melting pot’. It has been a key cornerstone of the city’s jazz scene from the 1950s; it was way too cool for school during the Swinging 60s; and it remains at the very heart of London’s theatre scene. We’re not biased, but we believe a visit to Soho during your stay at our King’s Cross hotel is one of the ‘must-see’ activities in London.
Soho has been through countless reincarnations, and today, it’s the location of some of the most sensational eateries to be found anywhere in a city that is already famous for its huge range of restaurants. If you’re wondering where to eat in Soho, you’ll find a selection of internationally inspired eateries is so diverse that you are able to satisfy any international cuisine craving you might have, from Spanish to Chinese or Israeli. Read on for our bumper guide to Soho restaurants you need to try.
For the best tapas in town, head straight for Barrafina on Frith Street and make it snappy. You can’t book, so be prepared to queue, but you can rest assured that waiting in line is a sociable experience here, complete with drinks and nibbles.
The menu is peppered with quintessentially Catalan and Mallorcan tapas, such as crispy grilled chicken thighs and exquisite octopus. The wine showcases the very best of contemporary Spanish wine making, and can be purchased by the glass, meaning that you can try several. Oh, and did we mention they’ve got a Michelin Star? Cheers!
For super fresh, super seasonal modern cuisine in a relaxed environment, the perfect choice is 10 Greek Street. Convivial and with a carefully curated menu to die for, you can dine out here with style on a budget. The kitchen produces some fabulous flavour combinations that really make an impact, such as truffles and wild mushrooms in courgette flowers, and a subtle but stupendous pea and asparagus chilled soup.
The menu is skewed towards fish, but there’s still plenty of choice for the committed carnivore. Tables are somewhat squished together, making for a thoroughly ebullient atmosphere that is perhaps more suitable for adults than families with kids. You can’t book for the evening, but lunch reservations can be made.
For perfect Peruvian food, Ceviche on Frith Street is the obvious choice. Here you will find yourself in a little Sohonian South American outpost, overseen by some of the friendliest staff in London. Although it’s only right and natural to want to sample a little Pisco (a moreish Brandy from the region) you might want to put a rain-check on that particular adventure until after you’ve eaten, or you might not get round to food.
Do try the scrumptious namesake of the restaurant, the Don Ceviche (meaty seabass liberally douched in leche de tigre). Dining here is such a cheerful experience that you’ll leave feeling as high as Machu Picchu!
If Japanese food is your thing, you will be in seventh heaven at Koya Bar on Frith Street. Small but perfectly formed, it’s easy to imagine you are actually in an udon-ya, so authentic is the experience.
It’s open for breakfast, should you fancy some classic Japanese morning goodies including pickles, miso soup and grilled fish, or a beautifully fragrant broth with overtones of classic English fry up. Small plates are served all day, and this is a great place to stop in for a quick and nutritious snack before you continue to explore.
Yotam Ottolenghi is the brains behind the wonderful NOPI on Warwick Street, surely one of the best restaurants in Soho. In a similar vein to his super-successful string of cafes, this is a slightly more grown-up setting for seasoned foodies, and the awesome Middle-East/Mediterranean/Asian influenced menu is vegetarian friendly.
You can opt for generously sized sharing plates or stick to the more traditional starter/main combo, washed down with a glass of something from the excellent wine list. Bookings are taken, but be aware that there is a strict two hour per table policy.
For veggie friendly dining options close to home, check out our round up of the best vegetarian restaurants in King’s Cross.
Having built up a loyal fan base for its quirky three-wheeled food, Pizza Pilgrims opened the door of its first permanent home on Dean Street in 2013. With a feel of a traditional old style trattoria straight from the streets of Rome, dining here is a family friendly affair with a delightfully retro feel, complete with Italian movie posters from the 1960s, table football and wine by the carafe.
The pizzas are authentically and deliciously Neapolitan, and you can choose from a wide range of classic and contemporary toppings plus desserts straight from Mamma’s kitchen. You can’t book but get there early and you shouldn’t have to wait long for a little slice of Italian heaven.
For a local option for super tasty pizzas, our neighbour Caravan is excellent. You can read more about it in our ultimate guide to King’s Cross restaurants.
Jason Atherton is a name synonymous with great cooking, and you won’t be disappointed at his exemplary restaurant, Social Eating House. This is an eatery that doesn’t take itself too seriously, despite the well-deserved reputation of its chef/patron.
The relaxed yet high-end atmosphere perfectly complements the range of incredibly flavourful, traditional-with-a-twist dishes on offer here. Inventive and always fresh, your palate is bound to be intrigued by the CLT (crab replacing the bacon) or a slice of sumptuous honey cake accompanied by ice cream made from goat’s curd, what else?
For an alternative banging blow-out dinner, try the Gilbert Scott nestled in St. Pancras station. We cover it in more detail in our guide to 4 fantastic King’s lunch venues.
Tasty Taiwanese street food has been given a make-over at one of the food critic’s favourite restaurants near Soho, Bao on Lexington Street. And, as those lucky enough to partake of the deliciously genuine food on offer often exclaim, ‘Bao WOW!’ This is a restaurant with a star that is most certainly in the ascendant, and it attracts a steady stream of hipsters looking for a new and innovative taste sensation.
A ‘Bao’ is a traditional Taiwanese steamed bun, and here you can buy them packed full of different fillings, both sweet and savoury. There are plenty of vegetarian options, and a variety of small eats (xiao chi) that pack a real punch. Bao is diminutive and doesn’t accept bookings, and its popularity is such that a (short) wait for a table is almost inevitable.
For a warm Israeli welcome, step into the Palomar on Rupert Street and find yourself enveloped in a fantastically warm and friendly family orientated restaurant. Modern Israeli dishes are the order of the day here, the music is loud and the staff plentiful, so you never have to wait long for anything.
The eclectic (non-kosher) menu is absolutely stuffed with dishes, many of which have a distinctly North African feel. Tapas style offerings sit alongside a plethora of meat dishes, seafood and wonderful yeast bread dipped in plenty of tahini and yoghurt, to name just a few. Undoubtedly, here you will receive one of the warmest welcomes in Soho, if not London as a whole.