The best of Leicester Square, picked by a clued-up local

The founder of the The 99 Club picks his favourite places to eat and hang out

Written by
Kate Lloyd
Contributing writer
leicester square love local
Photograph: IRStone/Shutterstock

James Woroniecki is founder and director of comedy venue The 99 Club in Leicester Square, so he knows the area like the back of his hand. These are his favourite local spots to hit up as soon as we exit Tier 4. 

1. The Hippodrome Casino

‘Once we’re done with the curfew, if you ever find yourself in Leicester Square at 1am and fancy a lobster dinner, The Hippodrome Casino is the place to go. You can eat your meal watching everyone on the casino floor. There’s often live entertainment like burlesque. For now, do the same but at 7pm.’ Cranbourn St.

2. The Tea House

‘I’m a big tea drinker and love their wide selection of loose-leaf teas. Normally, I’d go for their assam or ceylon blends.’ 15 Neal St.

3. J Sheekey

‘I always order the mussels from this quirky seafood restaurant. It’s tucked down a little side street and the entire place looks like you’re stepping back into Victorian England – it’s been used loads for filming.’ 28-32 St Martin’s Court.

Photograph: J Sheekey
Photograph: J Sheekey

4. The Spice of Life

‘Upstairs has a really lovely crowd and downstairs is a cool music venue with plenty of independent bands and jazz. It’s a great shout if you want to go somewhere a bit different for a drink in the West End.’ 6 Moor St.

5. The Prince Charles Cinema

‘Even though it’s in this area of big film premieres, this place shows an incredibly eclectic mix [of movies]. From indie films to old classics and special events like “Mean Girls” quote-alongs and “Harry Potter” all-nighters.’ 7 Leicester Place.

Photograph: Rob Greig
Photograph: Rob Greig

6. The Arts Theatre Club

‘They do excellent cocktails and serve them in dinky teapots. I’d recommend the Raspberry Ricket Teapot, a fun mix of raspberries, Chambord and lime. The whole place is candlelit and the DJ booth is an antique piano.’ 50 Frith St.

7. Wong Kei

‘I’ve had so many wonderful post-show meals with comedians. Normally, they finish performing late, at around 11pm: they’re full of adrenaline, and having some chow mein, wonton soup and stir-fried vegetables is a great [way] to wind down afterwards.’ 41-43 Wardour St.

Read insiders guides to Soho and Brixton

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