From the one-time seedy heart of Soho, this is one of the area's finest quarters. Here’s why…
Even though it's changing, Berwick Street retains the life and soul of old Soho
The first thing that strikes you is the absence of chain outlets, the kind that have diluted streets everywhere into characterless thoroughfares. Berwick Street is still trying to fly the flag for independence with its diverse range of independent traders, shops, cafes and restaurants.
Soho’s main street market is alive and well
It's great to see market stalls denying central London traffic while welcoming hungry pedestrians. It still boasts trusty fruit and veg stalls, but is enlivened by the wafting smells and sounds of street food sellers. All regional and national tastes are catered for, from fish and chips to salt beef and giant burritos – and there are always long queues at the Jerusalem Falafel and Savage Salads stalls. You might also want to buy a carton of 'SuperMilk' from Soho Dairy, which supports their independent farmers.
Cloth, tailoring, vinyl and comics
There's rolls, bolts and swathes of vibrant cloth on show here. Cloth House is a visual haven of beautiful fabric and is essential for DIY fashionistas. There are also Savile Row-style tailoring shops, including Chris Kerr and Oliver Spencer. Percival Menswear sells British-made quality clothing with a high-class, charity shop chic. Reckless Records and Sister Ray remain important pilgrimage sites for vinyl aficionados. You should also browse in Gosh!, a ‘must-visit’ comics and graphic novel store where you can chuckle at your favourite cartoons or find a rare edition of Batman or Vampirella for your collection.
Restaurants, cafés and global grub, including Venetian tapas and US-style barbecue
Food outlets are approachable and varied: from the cheap and cheerful Cotton Café; the laid back Foxcroft & Ginger; to the high end-dim sum at Yauatcha, (peek through the window to see their beautifully crafted jewel-like sweets). There is a cosy cluster of small eateries near Broadwick Street including the cool and jazzy My Place (their paninis are delicious), the Flat White coffee shop and barbecue diner Red Dog Saloon. Opposite is the Duck & Rice ‘Chinese gastropub’. And of course, there's Polpetto, highly praised for its Venetian-inspired dishes.
Read our review of Berwick Street Market.
Or, have a look through our Soho area guide.