Princi

Restaurants , Italian Soho
Critics' choice
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(31 user reviews)
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Rob Greig / Time Out
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Rob Greig / Time Out
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Rob Greig / Time Out

A superior Italian – with wood-fired pizzas, focaccia and salads, plus miles of tempting cakes and pastries – in beautiful surroundings.

Introduced to London by Alan Yau in 2008, this smart outpost of a Milanese bakery chain remains a popular all-day option. It’s an airy, good-looking room, with a sandstone interior, long black marble counters and a (slightly odd) water feature that runs the length of one wall. The food is varied enough to keep diners coming back for more: as well as cakes, pastries and breads, there’s a choice of filled focaccia (parma ham, say, or mortadella), hot dishes (lasagne, aubergine parmigiana), slices of pizza and lots of attractive salads (chicken and avocado, mozzarella and tomato). Prices are higher than average, but it’s all quality, seasonal stuff – a sweet blood orange juice being one glorious example. Not everything works – gem lettuce, caper and grilled pepper salad was super-salty; a quattro formaggi pizza slice was tasty but barely warm – but most things do. The only real deterrent is the self-service set-up, which is slightly chaotic, despite the best efforts of the charming staff, and you have rejoin the queue for cake or (excellent) coffee. Finding a seat at the communal counters can also be something of a trial. Opt out by dining in the pizzeria (to the left as you enter), which offers table service and a marginally calmer atmosphere in which to enjoy a short but classy range of pizzas.

 

Venue name: Princi
Contact:
Address: 135 Wardour Street
London
W1F 0UT
Opening hours: Breakfast served 8-11.30am Mon-Fri; 8-11am Sat; 8.30-11am Sun. Meals served noon-11.30pm Mon-Fri. Brunch served 11am-4.30pm Sat, Sun. Dinner served 4.30-11.30pm Sat; 4.30-10pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road tube
Price: Main courses £7.50-£11.50
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Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:15
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:3
LiveReviews|31
2 people listening
Tamara B
Tastemaker

I do like this place as there's a very inviting array of authentic fresh Italian snacks and baked goods on offer, all of which are very delicious.My one complaint would be how cramped and uncomfortable the seating area is. The atmosphere isn't one that encourages lingering over a coffee and cake. It is a great place to pop into for a nice dessert after dinner.

Photosbysooz
Tastemaker

I popped into this place a few years ago for a coffee and cake with a friend and I still remember how tasty and fresh it was. I went again a year later and had a selection of four salads and was so full I knew I'd eaten too much for sure, but boy was it delicious and worth the temporary belt strain! 


I returned for my third visit last week, on the way to the cinema and in need of a quick, hassle free dinner. This was the perfect option and, if anything, it was better than last time. Choosing the pizza this time, a couple of salads on the side and a glass of vino, the total came to just over £12 and, again, I was too full. My friend and I agreed to share the sides next time (min order two) to save our belly ache! (Yes, I know, I don't have to finish my plate...........)


This really is the perfect fast-food joint, without the fast-food junk, with comfortable tables, good lighting, fabulous window seats if you're dining alone and want to people watch and a wide selection of quick, tasty and fresh food on hand. Also plenty of veggie options.


Personally I wish more places were like this. When you're hungry, limited on time and just want to get your food and go, this is what you need. An excellent place in a great location for tasty, affordable and instant grub that won't strain your purse, but may strain your jeans!

Sarah R
tastemaker

Such a delightful surprise! I thought it is just one of those touristy Italian places but as soon as I entered the restaurant and saw the selection of sweets and breads, it felt like I was transferred to Italy. Pizzas are good, not the gooey plastic cheese ones, but thin crust and flavour. They even have an option of Aperol Spritz with little snacks, which is exactly what you would usually drink and eat in Italy. Feels authentic and it's in the middle of Soho, so …yes!

Carmen
Staff Writer

I love this place, the best Italian coffees and pizza in the heart of Soho! you can decide to order food on the counter and sit in the main area or book a table at the restaurant. Whatever time it is always a great place to keep your on London list for last minute food or coffee, plus you can enjoy food late at night after theatre... I have been going to this place for now 6 years and the food quality has never gone down and never disappointed me...

Lise M
Tastemaker

My friend and I popped to Princi for a quick dinner before going to the theater. I was always tempted by their appetizing display but never had the chance to try it so far.but such disappointment! The food was quite mediocre. We had two small cold starters which was OK and a slice of pizza which was tasteless, a bit stale and cold as if it has stayed on display for hours. The service was quite poor, unfriendly and of no assistance tohelp finding a seat in the cafe area. Unfortunately, I would probably not going back.

GP
Staff Writertastemaker

Go at odd times for the best slices, warmest reception or chance of a seat.

Really affordable lunch or quick bite, I love popping in if im shopping as you can be in and out within 30 mins (or lounge around with coffee and a book on a quieter afternoon). Salad selection is great and well dressed (too often I find salads in restaurants lack any seasoning or dressing).

The bread and pizza is where its at, order pizza and take bread home for dinner, that way you don’t have to miss out on any delisiousness!

Cheeky Bellini

"title"

Tastemaker

Place with great buzz in the heart of Soho during all times of the day. Love it at brunch, quick lunch from the bread or salads from the counter. There is also the restaurant side for pizzas. I also love dropping by coffee and pastry or apertivo. All in all great place for a bite in Soho. Although you would need to be patient waiting to be seated at the restaurant during peak hours.

Sarah V
Tastemaker

This is a case of the original actually being less good than the spin-off. I have been to both the original Princi in Milan, and their branch in London and have to say I prefer the London one by miles. The spread at any time of day (breakfast, lunch, dinner) is amazing. Everything is on display behind a glass counter. The concept allows you to just pick and choose as and when you feel like it. The bad thing about it is that the food keeps staring you in the face and you just keep going back for more and always and up having too much. Princi is a pure an utter carb feast but then again who cares when the food that tasty!?

Mei M
Tastemaker

This is one of the best pizzas I've had so far in London. The quality of the ingredients is superior to any other place and it's the only pizza that doesn't make me feel like "something is missing" - I'm Italian and pizza is my favourite food so I might be a little too picky :) 


I didn't personally like the desserts but bread and viennoiseries looked fab. I want to try them soon!


Another little plus: if you sit by the window overlooking Wardour Street, you can eat your amazing pizza and make people passing by jealous! :)

KD
moderatorStaff Writer

This is the place I go to when I'm missing Italy. In just one place you can try the warm foccaccia filled with a variety of cured meats, slices of real pizza but my favourite are the 'salad dishes'. You can chose a max of 4 salads including amazingly grilled aubergine, Chicken 'alla cacciatora' with caramelised onion, oven cooked pumpking, Caprese and I could go on for ages. Not to mention the Pasticceria that welcomes you as soon as you walk in with an infinite choice of pastries and freshly made cakes. The espresso of course is compulsory after a meal here! 

Joanna

This is one of the best, reasonably priced Italian places with good service and really nice environment you can find in london. The food is amazing, the coffee really is Italian and although it is always pretty busy, its always worth it!

Masumi S

After trying several places in Soho for breakfast, this places comes up trumps! Italian breakfast, great coffee, watch Soho slowly wakeup, and the food & services excellent

Lauren

I always try to stop by here when I'm in Soho, it's hard not too! As soon as somebody mentions Princi it's almost impossible to go anywhere else. Yes, it's a bit tricky getting served, and even trickier to find a seat sometimes, but the bustle is part of the charm. The food is delicous.. The pizza, the breadsticks with olives..the desserts.. The full sit down restaurant is great too when you want a bit more space.

PS

Good for when you just can't decide what to eat as you can have a bit of everything!

wombat

Went there on friend's recommendation but everything was disappointing except for the cute bartender. The chicken leg i ordered was completely tasteless itself, the sauce that it comes in was very salty. Friends ordered lots of other stuff but nothing leaves an impression. Definitely not recommending to anyone.

Giovanna

The one in Milan is not as successful as the London one. LOL Thanks for its good location!!! I've been there twice, both time I felt satisfied. Last visit, I've ordered Turkey Lentils Salad x Broccoli and 2 pieces of Focaccia to takeaway. Buono! Better than my first visit, Foccacia was so tasty, welll seasoned and not quite greasy. Turkey salad was also delicious, just perfect. The chilli broccoli, wow, was a surprice. Well done!!! I've been there around 2-3 in the afternoon, not too crowd, didnt queue there, felt good :) and the in total 6pounds for a balanced and healthy, nice potion lunch. First time there, I tried Tiramisu and some other dolci thing~ Loved all my desserts! Definitely will be back.

LasagnYEAH

This deli/self service style restaurant is something I’d associate with a trip to IKEA, you choose from the selection breads, salads, pizzas and most importantly the hot dishes. I order my lasagne, grab a drink and try to find a place to sit. My first thoughts were the lasagne looked a little dry, and I was half right. The pasta was great & the sauce was OK, I like mine oozing out of the sides, but here I thought they were a little sparing with it. Every so often I’d hit a basil leaf or a slice of mozzarella, and this made nearly every mouthful different. A nice touch as a bad lasagne can get pretty boring very quickly. The beef was great, it melted in the mouth & was full of flavour. The two biggest let downs for me were the lack of Béchamel/Cheese sauce along with the topping. The cheese topping was coming away from the top layer of pasta and was quite dry, I imagine this was due to it being kept warm. www.lasagn-yeah.co.uk

Lesa and Leo

My boyfried and I visited London on last year 2012 and we stumbled upon Princi Restaurant. We love this restaurant and the next time we visit London, Princi is on the top of our list!.

Craig

What a hidden gem - especially in the heat of summer. Escape the hordes in generic coffee shops on Oxford Street and settle down for a mocha and pastry in tranquility. The prices are no more expensive than a chain, but the quality and service afforded is far superior. It can get busy - get one person in your party to secure seats while the others get their orders in. Highly recommended nonetheless.

Ravi

Umm..the TimeOut review said: 'Huge Portions'??!! Jesus, are we going to the same place? I imagine the reviewer was a woman on a diet.. This place is expensive for the portion size (which is SMALL, even my italian friend commented). If you are hungry and expect to feel full after then either go elsewhere or expect to pay for 2 meals as I am always hungry just after 1 'main course'. The 2nd course cake tends to fills me up, but then that's because I am lactose intolerant so, well..... Anyhows, the food is very nice and atmosphere like it is in Italy (my italian friend told me since I've never been there myself). Everyone is dressed nicely (due to the prices charged trash doesn't come here) and I enjoy coming here once in a while if only to sample their big cake selection and have a nice coffee. Seating, if you can get it, is communal and cramped at times..queues, well, you don't come here in a rush and if you have been to the Mediterranean, u already know service is not high on the agenda there...although there are often beautiful people here to ogle (as well as some of the very attractive staff) to make up for everything.

Jo

One of my favourite lunchtime spots, the most amazing pizza.

Anon

Visited the pizzeria in a group of three. We were told it would be a 20 minute wait for a table, it actually ended up being an hour and 20 mins. Many people behind us in the queue were let in first, mostly groups of two, but also a group of four (even though there are no tables for just three people so we should have been given the first available table for four). Food was quite nice but too salty, and certainly not worth the wait.

Milind

The best pastries I ever had. I come to London second time, first time just roaming and found this great place. This time I searched a lot on google to get address of Princi as I could not remember exact name. One who is in London must try this place in the evening.Bon-Apetite. :)

Rene Lavanchy

Had breakfast (smoked salmon and poached eggs on toast). Toast was burnt and tasted of charcoal, and rocket was to bitter to eat. At least the follow up was attentive, but not worth the high prices.

Derek

I would say don't be put off by some of the less favourable comments. We went early Saturday evening and it was very busy and the queue and finding seating was a bit chaotic (how very Italian) but the food was delicious and am looking forward to going again.

Pinki pie

For a late night stop, cake and a skinny latte with friends was a real treat. Loved the Italian atmosphere, very typical Italian. It's so cosy that you want to stay longer. All food looks amazing and the cheesecake I had was. Top marks from me :)

pp

alex has no idea - princi is a waste of time. of course italian food is fantastic, but not from here. in theory its a brilliant idea, and it all looks good, but the execution is not terribly good. i can take crap service, its a take away joint for all intents and purposes, but its the food that fails. the coffee is ordinary, food not hot and the cakes bland as hell.

MS

Went for the first time last night and though it was brilliant! Its open til midnight so a great place to go for a bite to eat if you've been having a drink in Soho and they also serve alcohol so you don't have to end your night there. The way its laid out also makes it easy to drop by without forward planning (if you're not with a large party as they can get very busy). We had just had an awful experience in Bar Shu and this really made up for the night. We had some coffees and a cake and some bread, all were delicious and reasonably priced. It was busy and the atmosphere had a real buzz. The interior was high spec and the toilets were nice too (although only two). I'll definately be returning at the earliest opportunity!

Jo
0 of 2 found helpful

Really good food and excellent service but sadly, while eating leftovers I found a very hot red chili in my pizza, even though I ordered Margherita. I'm allergic to these and needless to say, didn't have a very fun time of it the next day. I tried three times emailing Princi with three different emails I found but all three came back undeliverable (including the email they encourage job applicants to send CVs through to..good luck to them!).