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[London] What are your favourite places to eat and drink in Soho or Mayfair?

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uniqueusername Feb 15, 2012 03:54 AM

After a decade working in the City of London, I've just started a new job on Regent Street (so really on the Soho/Mayfair border). While I obviously know a few places in the area, I'm not nearly as familiar as I was with the City and Shoreditch/Clerkenwell - and there's alot more choice here! So I was hoping local chowhounders would share their favourite spots. I've listed the types of venue I'm looking for with some examples that I've tried and enjoyed already, in that hope that you can broaden my horizons and stop me from wandering into too many tourist traps or falling back on chains!

- Great coffee and pastries (Taylor Street Barista, Sacred and Speakeasy are favourites)
- Takeaway sandwiches and salads (I'm struggling here, so far I've had to mainly rely on chains)
- Quick cheap sit down lunch spots (I enjoyed Rose Bakery, and Sacred isn't bad. Princi is great but probably just a little too far for me to get to in a lunch hour. I'd like to try some of the Asian places on Brewer Street, especially sushi - any favourites??)
- Casual evening dining (I'm a fan of Spuntino, Koya and the Polpo chain. Tapas Brindisa is always a good shout. I like Cay Tre too. Would be great to have some ideas where queues are less insane or which take bookings. Happy to walk a bit further for evening meals, so the further reaches of Soho and Covent Garden are definitely in scope here). I'm useless at knowing where to go in chinatown, but would love some suggestions!
- Treaty evening dining (I had an incredible birthday dinner last year at Hibiscus but obviously that's a HUGE treat. I liked Pollen Street Social, and although my meals at Hix have been a bit mixed, I'm generally a fan)
- Pubs and bars - I'm useless on this bit. I like places where you can get a seat (I'm getting old!), and a decent glass of wine or well made cocktail in nice but non-pretentious surroundings.

I'm pretty open really to all suggestions, and I promise to report back my findings as I explore!
p.s I'd also be really grateful to be pointed to any useful old threads on this topic - search wasn't throwing up much but maybe I'm looking for the wrong thing!!!

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  1. zuriga1 RE: uniqueusername Feb 15, 2012 06:47 AM

    You won't go wrong trying Haozhan in Chinatown. I've never taken anyone there who didn't enjoy the food. I should try some of the other restaurants, but we just enjoy that one so much that we tend to drift there. I was going to mention Princi but see you've already done that.

    1 Reply
    1. re: zuriga1
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      uniqueusername RE: zuriga1 Feb 15, 2012 06:57 AM

      Thanks! I'm a bit in love with Princi. But it's an expensive lunch habit to acquire!

    2. j
      juniper77 RE: uniqueusername Feb 15, 2012 07:22 AM

      The Windmill is a great pub, down the bottom of Maddox St. It specialises in pies, but also does some fabulous bar nibbles. It's lovely and cosy and definitely a pub to sit down and chat in.

      And if you're on Maddox St, I really like Goodman for steak. They used to do a set lunch, which was be £18 for two courses and good value (not sure if it's still on).

      1 Reply
      1. re: juniper77
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        wongkei RE: juniper77 Feb 15, 2012 11:08 AM

        Sakanatei or Chisou for Japanese lunch.

        A couple of doors down from Goodman's is a sandwich place. I think it is a small chain but I used to like their rare beef sandwich.

        Windmill is a nice pub and I also like the Guinea.

        Where else did I use to go...

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