Fitzrovia’s aura of upper-crust bohemia is perfectly encapsulated by its quality mix of maximalist and minimalist restaurants. Don’t expect cheap eats in this part of town, but if you’re going to splash out on dinner in Fitzrovia, then we can show you how and where to spend your hard-earned cash in the area’s finest restaurants.
We visited Fitzrovia-favourite Roka, one of London’s best Japanese restaurants:
RECOMMENDED: Find more things to do in Time Out's Fitzrovia area guide
The best Fitzrovia restaurants
Copita may be the darling of Soho, but for years its elder sibling Barrica has been offering fans of Spanish cuisine the authentic tapas bar experience with understated consistency. Amidst the oak furniture, chequerboard floor tiles and sunny yellow walls, order plate after plate of straightforward, well-cooked dishes such as hake a la plancha or ibérico pork with piquillo peppers, alongside by-the-glass wines and sherries that bring on that holiday nostalgia. Unlike at Copita, bookings are taken here (woop woop).
You know you’re in safe hands with Jason Atherton, especially with the splendour of the Edition Hotel behind him. But Atherton doesn’t like your meal out to be too predictable, so the dishes at this branch of his Social empire exhibit his signature playful swagger. The top-drawer food and cocktails add to the fabulousness of sitting in the Ian Schrager-designed dining room, knowing you’ve made it through the looking glass into the kingdom of the beautiful people. Bring some serious cashish, though.
Like its sibling Portland, Clipstone combines a blank-canvas aesthetic with a menu of picture-perfect Modern European plates, this time of the small variety. The likes of charred cabbages drizzled with smoked egg-yolk sauce, or charcoal-grilled cod with dulse and fermented apple share space with timeless classics done well, such as garlicky snails on toast and retro Paris-Brest. The short drinks list, meanwhile, pulls its weight admirably, mixing clever twists on vintage cocktails with on-tap wines and by-the-glass rarities.
If pay day and date night coincide, then it’s off to Hakkasan with you: this slick, sexy Cantonese has been thrilling spendy Londoners since it burst onto the dining scene in 2001. Hakkasan’s darkened interior, with its carved lattices, sliding screens and thumping music, is a restaurant/club hybrid whose shadows could harbour any number of famous faces. The fusion-style food, meanwhile, which shamelessly name-drops big-ticket ingredients, ranges from peerless dim sum to timeless signatures such as roasted silver cod with Champagne and honey.
Fitzrovia’s fanciest restaurant it is not, but this Bavarian sausage-seller is still one of the best places to part with za lunchtime tenner. Queueing for your meal, fast-food style, gives you time to square the venue’s jokey menu and ironic soundtrack of German techno with that supposedly AWOL sense of humour. When you bite into your banger, you’ll be pleased the Germans take the things that matter seriously: these Black Forest beauties are 100 percent springy, meaty wonderfulness. Prepare for the wurst.
Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer’s Middle Eastern café is always packed thanks to its welcoming feel and the couple’s instinctive way with ingredients both familiar and wacky. The glazed, iced confections in the window hook you, Ottolenghi style, but the danger of a menu featuring the likes of spiced, tahini-baked lamb, or chilli-spiked prawns with watermelon and feta, is being rendered completely incapable of dessert. If this happens, always take something sweet away with you – preferably the legendary honey-and-feta cheesecake.
Originally launched in Soho by restaurateur Bobby Chinn (he’s big in Vietnam), House of Ho upped sticks to Fitzrovia (minus Chinn) two years later and promptly found its groove under pan-Asian pro Ian Pengelley. The elegant four-storey townhouse, all marble tables and designer lighting, nods to Vietnam’s colonial past via overhead fans and bentwood cane chairs. The dishes, though, are bang up-to-date (bar Pengelley classics such as the duck-and-watermelon salad), and the chef’s showy presentation heightens their impact.
Venue says: “MAC-MUSSEL MONDAYS AT MAC & WILD! Every Monday, lunch and dinner, bottomless Shetland mussels, a glass of wine, and bread or chips for £20!”
Scot and street-food alumnus Andy Waugh is a venison evangelist; after years spreading his gamey gospel, Mac & Wild is his church. The meat comes mainly from his father’s estate – the menu details who shot what and where – and the concept is driven home in the stylish dining room, which combines animal skins with black-and-white prints that storyboard a hunt. Happily, these deer did not die in vain: the haggis pops, Venimoo burger and the outrageously tender chateaubriand are all must-orders.
The only thing adorning Portland’s pristine white walls is its blackboard menu, which ranges from Nordic-influenced creations, such as hay-smoked Dorset char with fermented carrots, to old-school oh-là-là (think ricotta-and-mushroom ravioli topped with Périgord truffle shavings). The hard, school-style chairs contribute to the dining room’s purposefully pared-back aesthetic but not to diners’ comfort – self-medicate that numb bum with wines from the outstanding list, which ranges from ‘textbook’ to ‘leftfield’ to ‘special’, plus privately sourced single bottles.
Not to be outdone by its starry sibling Zuma, this Japanese stunner dazzles from the moment you walk in. You’ll have to be someone or know someone to get the best seats in the house, at the counter surrounding the robata grill, but service is outstanding and the vibe is the shizzle wherever you’re sat. As for the izakaya-style dishes, they’re pricey – if we mention caviar-topped wagyu sushi, you’ll understand just how pricey we’re talking here – but worth the splurge.
Find more restaurant options in the area
Soho has a great range of restaurants to satisfy any culinary craving. If you want to try a traditional British restaurant, try Dean Street Townhouse. If you're more in the mood for authentic tapas, there's Barrafina, and for sumptuous spicy asian buns, try Bao. Read on for our recommendations for the best restaurants in Soho.