We couldn’t have this list without Ducksoup, one of our absolute favourite restaurants in London. Come here for low lighting, natural and biodynamic wines and interesting/comforting small plates that change weekly. Their wines by the glass change frequently, too. The restaurant is small, so book. For us, the counter is best, or the outdoor seating where you can watch the world go by.
Open fire sharing dishes
A little over a year old, Firebird is a great addition to Poland Street and makes excellent use of the long, narrow space previously occupied by Corazón. Come here for vibes, extremely flavourful dishes, festoon lighting, and natural wines. Recent menu highlights include halloumi with truffle and strawberries, tiger prawns with nduja butter, and, surprisingly, a room temperature orange wine. You can also pull up a stool at their small bar at the front, and have a drink and bar snacks.
The Clarence Tavern in Residence at Kettner’s
Stoke Newington pub at Kettner’s
This was a good idea: a pop up that brings a Stoke Newington favourite into Soho, with a modern menu that focuses on seasonal British food with Mediterranean accents and natural wines. Same crisp Kettner’s linens and glassware; new, varied menu. There’s a real range in terms of dishes, too: you can travel from the Middle East to Italy, over to France, and end in Spain, all in one sitting. The twice-baked soufflé feels like an extravagant treat, and we love seeing hashbrowns on any menu. The pop up is open to the public for bookings.
Australia comes to Greek Street
Tucked away in a relaxed courtyard off Greek Street, spending an afternoon here on a sunny day feels like you could be on holiday. Inside feels pretty sunny too – they’ve used light woods and have huge windows and skylights that brighten the space, no matter what the weather – which suits the restaurant’s Australian roots perfectly. They work with low-intervention wines, and their wine list is impressive. The menu is modern Med with Asian influences – things like Szechuan peanut crumbed aubergine and John Dory with chicken butter feel fresh. Their breakfast menu looks good (spinach sambal and miso Roma tomatoes), and they do wine tastings at their Queen’s Park location.
Modern American dining
It feels like Rita’s has always been on Lexington Street – which of course is not the case (remember Aurora?), but it’s definitely a key address in Soho now. Here, it’s all about vibes, great lighting and good times, natural wines and top tier cocktails served in interesting glassware, and a menu that’s both fun and delicious. They say it’s where modern American dining meets seasonal British produce, and it’s that with a splash of magic. Their garden is the perfect spot for a private dinner when the weather is good, and their front countertops are ideal if you are passing by alone and need some refreshment.
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