Over Under (Closed)
4 Ham Yard, Soho
More community hub than just a café, this new addition to Soho’s coffee scene offers monthly live music sessions and rotating art installations. The food is exactly what we want when we’re in a hurry—Parma ham and white bean hummus on the best sourdough, a couple of fried eggs, and granola with thick-as-ice-cream Greek yogurt. The coffee is always perfectly made, but we tend to go for the iced matcha, which has a hint of lemon. At night, Over Under turns into a bar that serves an excellent Negroni.
51 Greek St., Soho
Every Londoner who frequents Soho knows Lina Stores. The Italian deli has occupied the same spot for close to eighty years, keeping pantries stocked with obscure pastas and excellent tomato sauce. The owners have had the good sense to open a restaurant on nearby Greek Street, and we can confidently say the pasta here is better than anywhere else in the area. Sit at the bar—it’s always the best seat anyway—and watch the chefs prepare your dinner. Classic Roman puntarelle (a bitter chicory) is on the menu, doused, as it should be, in a salty anchovy dressing. Pappardelle arrives in a rich rabbit ragu. The crab pasta is spicy and citrusy, and the gnudi smothered in brown butter and sage are is so good we ordered two. Bonus: practically every dish costs less than ten pounds.
The Blue Posts
28 Rupert St., Soho
This recently renovated watering hole in Soho is a classic pub, a modern cocktail bar, and tiny restaurant, all in one. Downstairs, you can grab a craft microbrew or cider with other locals sipping pints after work. Upstairs, you’ll find The Mulwray for mixed drinks and wine, while in the basement, there’s an eleven-seat kitchen bar, Evelyn’s Table. This means you can eat lunch, have an afternoon pint, grab dinner and a late-night cocktail without having to leave the building. The bar snacks at the Blue Post is maybe our favorite thing about the place. Peanuts dusted in harissa, a fried fish sandwich, and the most perfect bar snack of all: the sausage roll.
The Good Egg
Kingly Ct., Kingly St., Soho
Stop by this Middle Eastern-inspired neighborhood spot for egg-and-cheese bagels, smoked fish hash, and famous babka in the morning. Then drop by in the evening for labneh and shawarma. The layout is canteen-style with long communal tables and benches, rows of provisions lining the shelves. If you have a special occasion to celebrate, they're very accommodating to large groups, offering both set menus and an impressive cocktail list.
29 Romilly St., Soho
How Soho can absorb one more hotel defies belief, but Kettner’s, in Nick Jones’s signature fashion, feels like it has been there from the start. The property dates to 1867, and if you believe the rumors, it was once owned by the chef to Napoleon III. Most recently, it has been restored to all its Georgian glamour. The hotel restaurant is straight out of Paris with mirrored walls, elaborately sculpted cornices, and lavishly upholstered seats. The champagne bar feels like an old-world lounge with an original mosaic floor, sink-into armchairs, and horseshoe-shaped marble bar. Each of the thirty-three bedrooms is a hybrid of an English country manor and a 1920s boudoir. The sofas are clad in rich buttery velvet, the wallpaper is vintage, and the sheets Egyptian cotton. Thoughtful touches like deep tubs and Cowshed products in the Georgian-style bathrooms, Roberts radios, and proper alarm clocks make it feel more like the home of an incredibly chic friend than a hotel. Go big and book into the Jacobean suite for a dose of period grandeur—wood-paneled walls, a bed the size of a small ship, a freestanding copper tub,…
58 Poland St., Soho
The Blind Pig is a proper speakeasy. In other words, it’s difficult to find. (Look for the old-school optician’s sign and knock). Once you’re inside, the dark, moody interior feels a little illicit in the best way. The low ceiling is entirely mirrored, the bar is a long sheet of polished copper, and the booths are a rich brown leather you immediately want to melt into. The cocktails are tongue-in-cheek interpretations named after the figures from our childhoods—Peter Rabbit, Pooh, even Harry Potter—with a full illustrated menu to match. Aptly, the Harry Potter is a reimagined butterbeer bitter, butterscotch included.
68 and Boston
5 Greek St., Soho
68 and Boston covers two different moods: For a more relaxed evening, order wines by the glass and share toasts, croquettes, and charcuterie at 68. If you're feeling livelier, head next door to Boston, where bartenders mix up modern takes on classics, like old-fashioneds and martinis, plus house cocktails. Either way, you'll be sit very close to other customers, but the atmosphere is more cozy than crowded.
36–40 Rupert St., Soho
Hovarda is technically an Aegean restaurant, but we like it better for drinks. Part of the appeal is that it's open late and serves great salty snacks until the early hours of the morning. Vegetable fritters and tzatziki with pita for dipping go especially well with a chilled glass of white wine. As evening becomes night, the music gets louder, the DJs set up shop, and suddenly Hovarda feels more like a club than a restaurant—but a club you would happily sit in for a while, with a yuzu margarita in hand.
12 Denman St., Soho
What started as two school friends operating a small enterprise out of a ship container at Pop Brixton has grown into a beautiful restaurant in the heart of Soho. Kricket does Indian—flecked with Anglo influence—small-plate style. The menu is direct, divided into declarative categories, like meat and fish, rice, and vegetables. Our favorite: Keralan fried chicken and kulcha bread with date and pistachio, which is perfect for sharing. The space is all industrial: exposed pipes and brick, unexpectedly softened with pink leather stools, and pretty tile floors. Just arrive early; it’s near impossible to get a seat after 6:30 p.m.
The Blue Posts, Cellar, 28 Rupert St., Soho
How do you create what is possibly the perfect restaurant? Take a beautiful grey marble bar, put the kitchen right there in the bar, slide eleven seats around it, and serve rich, fresh dishes inspired by southern Europe. Come with one other person or go big and book out the entire restaurant. Then order the mackerel with pickled carrots, the rich duck capelletti, and the unexpected cuttlefish ragu with tapioca crisps. Whatever you order, you won’t regret. And finish it off with a bottle of…sake. The selection is impressive and unexpected (there’s also a wine list if you want to go that route).