Finding central London a bit baffling? Struggling to make your way through Oxford Street’s hordes of zealous shoppers? Don’t panic – help is at hand. Our Soho taxi driver’s guide will ably see you through even the largest crowds of meandering tourists, and have you enjoying some of the area’s more refined establishments in no time. For a lot of people, Soho is less an actual tangible area and more of a giant adult playground. The densely packed heart of London, where nothing and no-one ever slows down, let alone sleeps. But, of course, unlike Neverland, Soho is real. For a rough guide on its boundaries, draw a square between the four points at Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Rd tube stations. One square mile of endless bars, restaurants, clubs and shops. From the completely independent to the globally renowned. They can all be found in buzzy Soho. Packed in between these four corners is a world unto itself. The exciting, luminous, beating heart of London that pulsates with the vibrations of neon lights and swathes of giddy tourists. The Piccadilly Lights, Chinatown, The West End, Golden Square and even the famous Red Light District. Soho icons, every one. Obviously when it comes to things to do and – in particular – places to dine out or drink in, Soho’s cup runneth over. But that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to find the right spot for you. Addison Lee have been serving this – and every – part of London since 1975. Delivering the same quality minicabs with the same promise for all those years. To ensure you’re journey is comfortable, prompt and above all safe no matter the time of day or year. Which is why we’ve put together this Soho taxi driver’s guide. To give you a few hints and tips on our favourite places to hang out while you’re here. Some you’ll have heard of, but some will surprise even the most seasoned of Soho regulars. So what are you waiting for? Book an Addison Lee now through our website or app and get exploring.
Where to drink
Milk & Honey
One of London’s original speakeasies. That’s right, when Milk & Honey first opened in 2002 (a sister bar to the Manhattan site), it was among the very first to conceal its entrance as a throwback to the prohibition era. Step inside this dark, dark bar and you’ll be escorted to your table. The drinks, much like the barstaff are impeccably presented although it can be difficult to tell (did we mention it was dark?). They also serve a range of snacks, including the alluring sashimi and sushi on display by the bar. You’ll need a booking to get a table but it’s not as tough as you might imagine.
61 Poland Street , W1F 7NU
A relatively new addition to the burgeoning crowd of terrific Soho bars. Peony is hidden away at the back of popular Dim Sum parlour Opium. Which – you guessed it – is in Chinatown. Having opened to little to no fanfare recently, Peony favours the more open plan style of bar. Whereby the bartender operates at eye level with the patrons. You’ll find him or her incredibly engaging and keen to drive your palate forward with their cornucopia of flavours. Not to mention their large range of spirits. Feeling peckish? Why not indulge in the bar menu of amazing dim sum? They play the perfect counterpart to the brilliant drinks on offer.
The jade door, 15-16 Gerrard St, Chinatown, W1D 6JE
The Vault @Milroy’s
Anyone who enjoys whisky – whether it be bourbon, rye, scotch or whiskey – absolutely must visit Milroy’s. This rather splendid little bar is found buried in the basement of an upmarket whisky shop. And with a staggering 250 whiskies on offer, this is not a place that trifles around when it comes to the brown stuff. Choose between sitting at the copper bar in the shop upstairs or head through the bookcase into the secret basement bar downstairs. This is a classy affair whichever takes your fancy. The vault serve whisky – of course – as well as cocktails and a range of other drinks for those gin drinkers among you.
3 Greek Street, W1D 4NX
Where to eat
If you love meat, if you really love it. You absolutely have to go to Zelman Meats. Keeping things incredibly simple, this snappy glass fronted restaurant in the heart of Soho pretty much dispenses with the more traditional menu in favour of a choice between different cuts of beef. You choose the cut, then you choose a weight. It’s as simple as that. There’s a small selection of sides to compliment said beef and for those who favour a starter you’ll have to make do with oysters. And of course there’s lashings of thick velvety red wine on offer to wash it all down with. Just don’t come too often, you’ll likely end up with gout.
2 St Anne's Ct, W1F 0AZ
Burger & Lobster
Another place that thinks menus are over-rated is the incredibly popular Burger & Lobster. Having spread across the trendier parts of London like wildfire of late, the Dean Street branch is still their flagship store. Choose between Lobster (grilled or steamed) and a burger for £20 and then all the rest of your time will be freed up ton worry which of their epic cocktails or craft beers to choose from. The concept is achingly simple and the execution perfect so it’s not hard to understand why it’s been such a huge success. The restaurant is large but still inviting and all the staff make the utmost effort to make you feel at home. The only real question is whether or not you wear your plastic bib while you eat…
36-38 Dean St, Soho, W1D 4PS
Bone Daddies cuts the perfect line between popular and accessible. At least this one does – they’re starting to pop up all over London now. Another simple concept, they’re a Japanese restaurant that just make good ramen. The restaurant itself is relatively small and come around lunchtime every Saturday you can expect to see a bit of a queue outside. But beat that queue and you’ll be amazed at just how good the food here is. For the non ramen lovers there’s a range of exquisite smaller dishes available. While for the liquid-luncher they hold a fairly large selection of sake, which can be served either cold or warm.
31 Peter St, W1F 0AR
What to do
Although not strictly speaking inside of Soho, Chinatown is still very much a part of the local landscape so we’re going to let it slide. Large enough to pass as a small village in its own right, London’s Chinatown covers several streets of ground between Shaftesbury Avenue and Leicester Square. Great to just wander around if you fancy taking in the sights, or even better if you’re feeling peckish. There are a few legitimate sightseeing spots here including the Pagoda but once you’re here you’ll quickly see that the fun is in walking through it. Don’t be afraid to explore while you’re here. From bakeries to cocktail bars there’s so much to find.
Gerrard Street, W1D 6JN
You’ll soon gather that when it comes to Soho there are really only three main things to do: eat, shop and go to the theatre. If, like us, you don’t really have a problem with that then get yourself over to Kingly Court. Located just off stylish shopping mecca Carnaby St, this place is two floors of very good boutique shops, bars and restaurants, all set around a central court area. For anyone who’s picturing a shopping mall style food court at this stage – think again. This place has got everything from dim-sum to coffee and cocktails. With steakhouses and oyster parlours in between. The vibe is friendly and buzzy so you can feel free to stroll about it until you find something you like.
Kingly St, W1B 5PW
The West End
Fans of the theatre – musical or otherwise – travel from all around the world to visit London’s famous West End. Much like Broadway in New York, this stretch of Soho plays home to some of the world’s longest running stage shows. As well as some of its newest and most exciting. The Prince of Wales theatre, The Lyceum and The Dominion are all here and staging shows all year around. And although some of these places can – and do – charge through the roof for seats, most of the shows are established classics and well worth the money. That being said there are also smaller shows available so do shop around.