Five of our favourite Soho restaurants to explore this summer

Words by Izzie Jupp

As the sunshine unlocks Soho’s even more playful side, gone are the days of hurried dinners washed down with the anticipation of the looming journey home in the dark.

Instead, enticing spices and sizzling grills scent the streets again, signalling warm, spontaneous evenings exploring Soho’s myriad restaurants. As every inch of pavement is slowly but surely reclaimed by sunglasses and bubbling post-work chatter, join me on a delicious tour of my five favourite restaurants to explore this summer.

DAROCO Soho: An ode to Italy

Daroco-Soho-London-TerraceDaroco-Terrace-Soho-London

Soho’s new-ish darling, Daroco, launched in Autumn 2023, bringing a secret slice of Capri to London’s vibrant heart, tucked away behind Greek Street. When food critic extraordinaire, Grace Dent, described their pizzas as “possibly the best in Soho”, we knew they wouldn’t disappoint. This Parisian ode to Italy spills out onto a spacious alfresco terrace, recently launched in time for the languid soirées of the great British summer. Inside, Daroco is a feast for the eyes as much as the palate, adorned with golden swirls and mirrored ceilings. Save room for a generous helping of chocolate mousse with olive oil – we talk about it frequently in our office. For a nightcap with an unexpected Australian twist, slip down under to hidden speakeasy The Wacky Wombat and sink into blue velvet sofas, with a cocktail menu crafted by Nico de Soto. This is an effortless dinner-to-drinks venue, perfect for a birthday or team treat.

Manette St, W1D 4AL

Milk Beach: Clean Australasian cuisine

Just a few doors down from Daroco is Auzzy hit Milk Beach, an architectural delight of curved floor-to-ceiling windows that feels a world away from Soho’s dinky eateries. Step inside to an Australian oasis bathed in natural light, lined with pale wood and lofty palm trees. Early birds can enjoy a delicious cocktail à deux at the small entrance bar while the latecomers catch up. The vibrant dining menu celebrates modern Australian cuisine, taking cues from Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean. Their waiting staff, as charming and effortlessly laidback as any Sydneysider, are the cherry on the cake. Ask them to recommend their favourite dishes–the dumplings were a personal highlight–and you won’t be disappointed.

14 Greek St, James Court, W1D 4AL
HERO-Milk-Beach-Soho-London

YASMIN: Ascend to Warwick Street’s new rooftop hideout

Great rooftops in Soho are hard to come by, but finally our prayers have been answered. Enter Neo-Baroque members’ club 1 Warwick, which launched Yasmin in March. As if by magic, the doors to Yasmin will be open to non-members from April 2024 onwards. Ascend the stairs and be greeted by breathtaking panoramic views of central London bathed in the golden hues of sunset. Sink into cushioned seating on the rooftop terrace and tuck into the vibrant flavours of the Middle East. Chef Tom Cenci’s menu showcases his Istanbul inspiration, offering mezze plates, sharing dishes like duck fatteh with chickpeas, and innovative cocktails alongside the stunning city backdrop.

1 Warwick St, W1B 5LR
Yasmin-Soho
Yasmin-Soho

Paradise: A Sri Lankan siren

You would be forgiven for easily walking by this unassuming grey window front on Rupert Street, but I implore you not to. Exposed concrete and a sleek minimalist bar set the tone for a slick lunch spot or a slinky date night at Paradise. For small groups of 5-6, I recommend booking the back table in advance, lined with hanging foliage. Vibrant spices and contemporary twists on family recipes fill the menu in the form of delicious small plates, while songs you’ll want to Shazam create a laid back atmosphere. Expect an explosion of Sri Lankan flavours, from fiery black pork curry to delicate coconut fish sambals. Worthy of a Michelin star and recommended by their guide, you certainly shouldn’t judge this book by its cover.

61 Rupert St, W1D 7PW
Paradise-Photo-Credit-Rebecca-DicksonParadise - Soho - Rebecca-Dickson

Darjeeling Express: All aboard this divine Indian set menu

As an avid watcher of Netflix’s cult series Chef’s Table, and a full-blown fangirl of Asma Khan, an homage to Darjeeling Express in Kingly Court was a no-brainer. I highly recommend watching Asma’s episode before you visit, which carries you from India to London, on a journey from her humble beginnings hosting supper clubs to her internationally renowned restaurant in the heart of Soho. Recently named one of the most influential people in 2024 by Time Magazine, Asma’s delicious tasting menu is the ultimate home-style Indian cooking with a modern twist. Think fragrant curries, melt-in-your-mouth samosas, and vibrant street food dishes, all prepared by an all-female kitchen. The light-filled space, with pops of greenery, exudes a warmth perfect for dates, double dates and group catch-ups.

Kingly Court, Carnaby, W1B 5PW
Darjeeling-Express-Kingly-Court-Soho-London
Darjeeling-Express-Soho-London

Image credits:

Daroco Group
YASMIN – 1 Warwick Street
Milk Beach – Charlie McKay for A-nrd studio
Paradise – Rebecca Dickson
Darjeeling Express – Ming Tang Evans – @mintangevans

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