Jackson & Rye

Restaurants , North American Soho
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(31 user reviews)
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A faithful homage to upscale American brasseries, with diner-style breakfasts, a lively bar and a spot-on atmosphere at night.

Few London dining rooms succeed in recreating the sleek design and smooth operation of the best US restaurants. Sitting in Jackson & Rye, though, I’m transported across the Atlantic, to the East Coast. The Martin Brudnizki Design Studio interior looks just right – a miniature ‘Nighthawks’ by Edward Hopper, only much more convivial with its well-placed central bar in an L-shaped room, flatteringly low lighting, the burble of lively conversation, the clink of glasses. The service is attentive and engaging, without being too ‘Have- A-Nice-Day’. Even the menu is a pretty good translation of the metropolitan East Coast dining scene.

The kitchen kicks off the day with a diner-style breakfast menu that includes creamed grits (a maize porridge originally from the Southern states) topped with flaked almonds, berries and maple syrup, and enough brunch-style egg dishes to keep a Boston cabbie’s blood pressure up; my baked eggs with ham and spinach were slightly overcooked, a common problem when using a cast-iron cocotte dish.

At 11.30am on weekdays the breakfast menu segues into the lunch and dinner menu (a separate brunch menu is served at weekends until 4.30pm). A Reuben sandwich was faithful to the original versions, the caraway-studded rye bread perfectly grilled, the swiss cheese melting over the hot salt beef and sauerkraut. An open sandwich of Southern-style buttermilk-fried chicken was properly tangy, the batter impregnated with hot spices, chipotle mayo and avocado completing the topping on a toasted brioche bun.

Not all dishes are so faithful to their roots. True chowder is a modestly priced bowl of soup, in one of three main styles (Manhattan, New England and Rhode Island), but our ‘chowder’ here had been deconstructed – a fillet of cod on a base of leeks, smoked bacon and clams; perhaps too liberal an interpretation. A dish improved by crossing the pond was peanut butter cookies, turned into mid-Atlantic jammie dodgers by the addition of blobs of raspberry jam in the centre, further remade into a restaurant dessert by the addition of plain ice-cream and a tiny jug of hot chocolate sauce on the side.

In one week I visited for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and evening was the best time to drop in, when the low lighting and lively bar scene is at its most atmospheric, and the best waiting staff were pressed into service (service in the daylight hours was hit-or-miss). We raised our glasses to this homage to the upscale American brasserie, here in the heart of London’s Soho.

 

Venue name: Jackson & Rye
Contact:
Address: 56 Wardour Street
London
W1D 4JG
Opening hours: Meals served 8am-11.30pm Mon-Fri; 9am-11.30pm Sat; 10am-11pm Sun.
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £70.
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Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:14
  • 3 star:5
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:4
LiveReviews|31
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Rellie Loves
Tastemaker

There’s no shortage of brunch spots across the city, and J&R was a good find for a Sunday food fest. We ordered a mixture of delicious burgers, ribs and buttermilk chicken, with a few sides and juices to round things off. The price point here is a pleasant surprise (you can eat brunch comfortably for £20) considering its Wardour St location. Low lit and stylish inside, the décor elevates this place from your average American-style diner/restaurant to something a little classier. Our visit was made special by the Italian waiter who so attentive and flamboyant, and spent 5 minutes entertaining us at the table.

Lu
tastemaker

I was seriously surprised by how much I enjoyed sunday brunch at Jackson & Rye! With some friends we shared the ribs, chicken wings, and truffled mac and cheese. Perhaps the food just hit the hazy sunday spot, but it went down a treat. The atmosphere was fun, though perhaps not quite matching the food, and the waiter was charming. Slight critique might be that the "spicy" bloody mary didn't quite have the kick I'd usually look for, and  prices were as ever slightly higher than desired - but in general I'd recommend here for a fun slow sunday lunch... just make sure you book! 

S C

Disappointed by our visit today - pancakes were not well presented and were heavy on the lemon juice, and accompaniments severely lacking - half a banana or three rashers of streaky bacon is definitely not enough to balance the quantity of pancakes. Also very light on the maple syrup. My standard brunch choice is an eggs benedict, but I'm sorry, wholemeal toast, bacon and watercress have no place in such a dish. It's supposed to be an English muffin and ham! Just because it has a poached egg and hollandaise, does not an eggs benedict make!

nicknickn
Tastemaker

This restaurant looks fantastic. When you step inside from the hectic lunchtime crowds on Wardour Street, it feels like you have walked into a vintage upscale diner in Midtown, New York. It has dark wood, leatherette banquettes, soft lighting and brass rails. The menu is high end American comfort food too - there is lots to choose from. The a-la-carte is relatively expensive, I guess we are right in the heart of Soho, but it has lunch and brunch special menus that look very good value.

The salt and pepper squid was great as a starter. We also had tomato soup which came lukewarm, but was delicious after we had it reheated. The hamburgers and fries were really good too - meaty and well cooked.

The cocktails were a bit more mixed in quality, the whiskey sour was not sour enough for me but the margarita was good and the martini excellent. It is a shame that they had no bottled beers that we had ever heard of on the menu and that the only draft beer was unfiltered.

The service was good and although we lingered over lunch, we were never rushed. All four of us enjoyed our lunch in Jackson & Rye and I would happily return.


Sheens86
Tastemaker

Truffled mac and cheese … *drool*, delicious but heavy so a good sharing plate for two. The J+R BBQ Board has the best bits of the menu all in one, make sure you have a big appetite though! The Buttermilk chicken burger was a little disappointing, more batter than chicken and it was not quite in proportion to the bun. Other than that, a really nice little place, tucked away in Soho and I'd still go back.

Ros A
Tastemaker

I'm guessing this Soho eatery is owned by the same folk as Riding House Cafe, as it has a very similar feel and also menu. First up, they don't take bookings so you'll have to try your luck and it does get busy on weekends. We needed a table for brunch and we had to wait a little while to get a table, but not too long, maybe 15 minutes.


When we did get seated, service was good and the food was hefty - big portions and quite delicious. I had the eggs benedict and they were scrumptious. I would definitely return here. 

jeaniekarl
Tastemaker

We happened to stumble across this bar/restaurant whilst walking around Wardour street/ Soho area looking for somewhere to eat. It doesn’t look like much from the exterior but inside you will be pleasantly surprised. The biggest draw for me is that they serve brunch during the weekend until 4:30pm, perfect if you’re looking for somewhere for a leisurely catch up with friends. I had the Avocado Royale so well presented, decent portion sizes and the eggs just poached to perfection with creamy hollandaise sauce. Finished off with buttermilk pancakes with blueberry compote and whipped cream, so good! Service was pretty good and friendly and they have variety of drinks available on their menu. This would be a good place to visit for drinks or dinner in the evening as well.

Matilda Egere-Cooper

I came here for my birthday a couple of years ago, and while I 'liked' the food and the ambience, I couldn't help but think it was all a bit too dear. So I tried it again last month, but went for the £12.95 lunch menu. Much better. For a steak, fries, salad and a glass of wine, you can't fault the price - especially when everything tasted really good. Definitely worth a try.

Lila R

It's hard to go wrong at Jackson & Rye but make sure you don't have breakfast or lunch in preparation for the portion sizes! The service is always friendly and the food good. You can as easily grab a quick bite as stay for a leisurely meal. The miso cod fillet is delcious.

MooseInLondon
Tastemaker

Delicious ribs-- definitely the highlight of the meal. I would put the peri peri chicken wings as second. Breaded and juicy. Word of caution, the Buffalo Wings appetiser, although tasty, were in no way Buffalo Wings. The corn bread was OK, but nothing spectacular. 


I ordered the BBQ plate which had a decent amount of meat for the price, again ribs, chicken, steak in the order. Flat-ironsteak was a bit too chewy, but the ribs more than made up for that. Came with slaw and fries, had to roll me out of there!

Danny H

Great food, great service, and the Whiskey is top notch. It may be a little pricier than some places, but honestly it is worth the extra money. The fillet steak was incredible. Would definitely recommend if you are looking for somewhere to eat in Soho!

Agnieszka G

Polite and quick service, great food, fantastic range or rye whiskey, reasonable prices... What more could you wish for! Great for all occasions!

victoria s

Met a friend here for Sunday brunch today! We both really enjoyed it - very New York diner in style, fabulous menu, and even better one that made us laugh! I pondered over the 'avocado royale' liking the sound of all the ingredients bar the mention of avocado - only to realise though it's in the title it's not listed as part of the dish in the description below it! A check with the waitress confirmed the dish does live up to it's title. I had it minus the avocado and really enjoyed it. Buzzy atmosphere, eclectic mix of clientele and good coffee. I'll definitely be going back.

Hong-Anh
Tastemaker

You know how sometimes you go on a date and you while away the evening and whilst you have had a pleasant time, and they are perfectly attractive it's probably not going anywhere and you're probably not even going to see them again? Jackson and Rye is the gastronomic equivalent of that. 


Jackson and Rye certainly is a looker. All softly gleaming brass and warm lighting - it definitely feels like you've stepped off the grimy streets of Soho and into a well-loved local brasserie in downtown 1950s New York. It's got the kind of looks that convinces you that you are the kind of person who slings back short whisky cocktails. It's also the patter - the blue plate special, available on weekday lunchtimes, of a hache steak, fries and a glass of wine for less than £15 is mighty convincing talk. And it's probably for the great value of that alone that I look back on my experience of Jackson and Rye fondly. Were I to go to Jackson and Rye again, it'd be for some drinks in a lovely atmospheric bar. 

Fern A

Went for dinner last night and there is such a great choice of food!  I had the most incredible truffle macaroni to start and a cooked to perfection striploin steak. The waitress was super friendly and service was amazing. It is a little pricier than usual, but for a celebration or special occasion this place is perfect.

Samantha H
Tastemaker

Great service for a busy restaurant in Soho!  Food is good quality but not the best.  A decent place to meet friends for brunch as well! 

Sophie M

One of the worst experience of service I have ever encountered. The manageress was horrifically rude and totally unaccommodating. I can safely say I will never set foot inside this place ever again and would recommend the same for anyone one else considering making a visit. Awful!

Abi L

Food is absolutely fantastic. Have been here several times and have never been disappointed. The side of mac and cheese goes with everything, even brunch! Good cocktails and service is very good considering how busy it can get. Must book!

Mem

I found Jackson and Rye whilst wondering through Soho with a friend and we have both been regular visitors since.

The décor beautiful, with a classic southern US charm. Its a great place for breakfast/brunch- I love the buttermilk pancakes served with maple syrup and banana cream!

The staff are also fantastic, they are both extremely attentive and professional- we were even given a complementary bottle of fizz on a recent birthday visit! 

Lucia Elizabeth

"title"


Loved it! Great menu for brunch. Amazing scones! Honestly, go. You will not be disappointed. Also our server Rolph was superb!

Boz

Meh. I was left hugely underwhelmed. Sure, the decor is nice, but only if you haven't been to places in the US that do that kind of thing much better. The food was distinctly average (especially for the cost), and arrived barely warm. You could get the same stuff at better quality and for less money in other pretty close by. The drinks list was good, especially the lovely unfiltered beer (although three of the glass mugs we had ours in had leaks or semi-lethal chips in). Plus, as the place is so big, is there really any need to cram so many tables into the front parlour bit so no one can move.

Tess

My girlfriends and I went for dinner and drinks on a Thursday night. We were unable to get a table booking but were able to walk in and get one straight away. Our waitress was very attentive and was quick to get repeat drinks. We just ordered mains, one of us had the sea bass which she said was fantastic. A few of us had the lemon and rosemary chicken which was a good sized portion and tasty. I'd have to agree with other reviewers that the shoestring fries were disappointing though, a bit overcooked and not very warm. I think it's a nice bar and I'd definitely go for drinks again, not sure I'd rush back for dinner though.

Joe

Our service was good (apart from the two hour wait for a table), but I really have to agree with the other reviews below. A very disappointing meal.

Suze

I ate at Jackson & Rye tonight and was incredibly dissatisfied with the food, especially after such a glowing review. I ordered the Reuben and was surprised and disappointed with the sandwich I received. First, the salt beef only covered about two thirds of the bread, leaving a good portion of the sandwich completely without meat. Second, the salt beef was so thinly cut that, where there was meat on the sandwich, it was overwhelmed by the cheese so entirely that I can't even comment on the quality or taste of the meat itself. If this were a ham and cheese sandwich I would merely be annoyed, but this was supposed to be a Reuben. If you have ever eaten a proper Reuben, or even seen a photo of one, you can understand my disappointment with the meagre portion of meat in this particular version. The bread was tasty and nicely toasted, and the sauerkraut pleasant, but these did not make up for the fact that this was not a Reuben at all, but a fairly expensive toasted cheese sandwich masquerading as one. It's not as if I have nothing to compare it to - I have eaten better (and cheaper) Reubens in America, in Canada - even in an Australian airport, not a location known for either food quality or value. There are also better Reubens to be had in London. I also tried the shoe string and regular fries, both of which were very average, and after that was not interested in testing the dessert menu. I can't speak for other dishes on the menu, but if you go and order the Reuben, don't make the mistake of expecting anything but a pale, insufficient imitation of the real thing.

Rebecca

Had dinner at Jackson & Rye last night and was really disappointed. The Garden Salad and Shrimp & Grits starters were nice enough, but the mains we had were downright bad. Steak was tough, shoestring fries were hard and stone cold, and the cheeseburger was really bland. The desserts looked quite nice, but by that point we were so unimpressed we got the bill and left. Agree with the reviewer below about the decor… and Satsuma too!

Pete

Had a quick pre-theatre dinner here last night. The decor is a little try-hard and felt a bit like a Disneyland theme venue. The service is poor and staff seemingly very inexperienced. The food was mediocre at best. Very disappointing overall - bring back Satsuma please!

sarah

We had a lovely LONG lunch there on the 16th. Service was brill and everyone very friendly. Espresso was cold but upon saying this they whizzed them away and took it off the bill (plus we got some hot ones). Loved the interior. Perfect for a girly slow afternoon to escape the crowds.