Soho in London is a place that probably everyone has heard of, a rather infamous part of town dare I say. Partly due to its contradictions and history I am a big fan – so I wanted to share with you some of my favourite places as well as give you an overview of what makes it famous.
It is very central, bordered by Oxford street, Regent street, Leicester Square and Charing Cross Road. Mostly known as an entertainment district it has a history of being associated with sex shops, new immigrants, gangsters, low brow music halls, being a bohemian hub for writers, actors and artists as well as the home of the gay village during different periods. A very colourful and contradictory history indeed.
Nowadays it is a vibrant district with plenty of cool cafes, restaurants, clubs and bars that gives you a bustling big city feel in it’s actually quite small area of about a square mile. The streets are narrow the restaurants are small and the people are stylish. Every house has a story to tell and every corner is historic in some way.
In 1950s Soho became a music hub and held up that reputation for quite a while as it was home to some of the most famous clubs as well as recording studios at the time. To give you an example- Marquee Cub (90 Wardour street) hosted some of the early performances by Rolling Stones. The Beatles, Queen, David Bowie as well as Elton John recorded music at Trident Studios (near Anne’s Court).
As mentioned there are endless choices of coffee shops, restaurants, pubs and shops for every taste. And it also happens to be the home of some of my personal all time favourites.
Honest Burger – the besets burgers in London that come at a totally affordable price. Be prepared to queue- as like in many other places in Soho they do not take bookings for tables. But believe me – it is worth the wait.
Pitt Cue – a tiny place behind Carnaby street serving delicious BBQ meat that started off as a street food van in SouthBank. As people liked what they were doing they not only have a hip brick and mortar restaurant in Soho now but have also published a cook book of their own. Again, no bookings so turn up early to crab a table (even though this might also require some queueing).
TukTuk – affordable honest Thai food right in the heart of Soho. Don’t expect anything fancy – it is all about the efficiency of the service and the value for money.
What are your favourite spots in Soho?
Photos courtesy of Sander Saar.