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Fitzrovia area guide

There are loads of things to do in Fitzrovia, from great restaurants, bars and pubs to museum and more

Between Marylebone and Bloomsbury, and just north of Soho, Fitzrovia finds itself right in the midst of things. Traditionally boasting some of the capital's best boozers, it's also now an area with a bit of a reputation for its restaurants - and with good reason, getting a table at some proves practically Herculean. There's quite a bit of history too, with its bohemian past playing host to the likes of Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw and Arthur Rimbaud - the latter's libertine legacy lasting.

What are your favourite Fitzrovia haunts? Let us know in the comments.

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Homeslice, Fitzrovia
Restaurants

Homeslice, Fitzrovia

A second branch of the popular pizza spot on Neal's Yard. 

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Store Street Espresso
Restaurants

Store Street Espresso

The clientele at this coffee bar smack-bang in the centre of uni-land, just a minute from Tottenham Court Road, combines academia and commerce. Quite apart from the enviable location, there’s much to entice. First is the long, attractive room with bright walls and skylights at the back. Second is the food, which is a cut above many basic coffee bars and very reasonably priced by West End standards; most sandwiches and baked goods are around £1 cheaper than at many comparable places. You’ll even find that rarity, a top-notch vegetable quiche. Third is the service, which is unfailingly friendly and well informed. Finally, there’s the coffee, all of it espresso-based. Most beans come from Square Mile, but there’s a changing roster of guest beans well worth investigating. On our visit, it was a Yirgacheffe roasted in (wait for it) Detroit, Michigan. The espresso from these beans is possibly the best we’ve had all year: properly tiny, lovely crema, with a rounded sweetness that required no sugar. A flat white was also judged a triumph. Store Street? We’d rather call it Star Street.  

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Revival Retro Boutique
Shopping

Revival Retro Boutique

From the ’20s to the ’60s, Revival Retro will have something in the style of each decade.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Sir John Soane's Museum

Sir John Soane's Museum

When he wasn’t designing notable buildings (among them the original Bank of England), Sir John Soane (1753-1837) obsessively collected art, furniture and architectural ornamentation. In the nineteenth century, he turned his house into a museum to which, he said, ‘amateurs and students’ should have access. The result is this perfectly amazing place. Much of the museum’s appeal derives from the domestic setting. The modest rooms were modified by Soane with ingenious devices to channel and direct daylight, and to expand space, including walls that open out like cabinets to display some of his many paintings (Canaletto, Turner, Hogarth). The Breakfast Room has a beautiful domed ceiling, inset with convex mirrors. The extraordinary Monument Court contains a sarcophagus of alabaster, so fine that it’s almost translucent, that was carved for the pharaoh Seti I (1291-78 BC) and discovered in his tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. There are also numerous examples of Soane’s eccentricity, not least the cell for his imaginary monk ‘Padre Giovanni’. In May 2015 the Museum opened Soane's private apartment and Model Room to the public. The apartments had not been open to visitors for over 160 years, so guests paying a visit to the fully restored model room, bedroom, bathroom, book passage, oratory and morning room will get a true glimpse of London's past.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Bradley's Spanish Bar
Bars and pubs

Bradley's Spanish Bar

Don't be fooled by the name: this red and yellow boozer just off Oxford Street's ropier end is not a hotspot for sherries and fine tapas (see nearby Barrica for that). In fact, it’s not even a bar. Bradley’s is definitely a pub, and with its jumble sale decor and tattered furniture, it sure puts the 'shabby' in 'shabby chic'. But don't be put off: Londoners love Bradley’s for its low-key and unpretentious vibe. At the tiny two-floor venue, the atmosphere is warm and friendly (except for when there's a Spain v England football match on), the drinks are a fair price for area and, the real showpiece, there's a vinyl jukebox pumping out Motown classics and disco bangers in the ground-floor bar. So fond of this place are the locals that in summer months the thirsty post-work crowd forgo chairs and tables (and walls) and take to the street outside, much to the annoyance of taxi drivers who use Hanway Street as a sneaky shortcut.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants in Fitzrovia

Dabbous
Restaurants

Dabbous

The hype surrounding Dabbous’ 2012 opening has not entirely diminished and securing a booking can be tricky, so it’s a pleasure to arrive and find a relaxed, friendly restaurant. 

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Bonnie Gull
Restaurants Book online

Bonnie Gull

After starting as a pop-up in Hackney in 2011, Bonnie Gull landed in Fitzrovia in 2012. The premises do a good job of evoking a seaside shack, with simple tables and chairs, a lot of blue and white (notably the jaunty awning), and ropework on the wall. 

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Book online
Honey & Co
Restaurants

Honey & Co

This modest, Israeli-run café was one of the most welcome new openings of 2012, but to some extent has become a victim of its own success. The small tables and chairs are packed closely together, with little elbow room; finding a spare table at short notice is rarer than finding a burning bush in the desert.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Fino
Restaurants

Fino

Fino led a new wave of quality-focused modern Spanish restaurants in the capital and remains at the top of its game, even if London’s scenesters have moved on to trendier tapas-grazing grounds such as sister restaurant Barrafina. 

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars

Things to do in Fitzrovia

Grant Museum of Zoology
Museums

Grant Museum of Zoology

The Grant Museum may have moved in 2011 into new premises – a grand room in a former library in the UCL complex – but it looks as if this zoological museum, the only one of its kind in London, has been here for a century or more. 

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Pollock’s Toy Museum
Museums

Pollock’s Toy Museum

Pollock’s Toy Museum, a quirky museum of old plaything,s is housed in a pair of wonderfully creaky, unrestored Georgian town houses. Pollock's is named after Benjamin Pollock, the last of the Victorian toy theatre printers. 

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Bars and pubs in Fitzrovia

Oskar's Bar
Bars and pubs

Oskar's Bar

Dabbous the restaurant is startlingly inventive in its use of ingredients such as herbs and flowers, so it should come as no surprise that the cocktail bar in its basement is similarly inventive. 

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
The Remedy
Bars and pubs

The Remedy

In the 90s and Noughties, ‘ABC’ – Anything But Chardonnay – was the term used to describe a movement that avoided the obvious, the mass-produced, the populist. More than a decade later, in a city that’s now brimming with exciting and unusual wines to try, there’s no excuse for ordering the usual. 

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Reverend JW Simpson
Bars and pubs

Reverend JW Simpson

The Reverend JW Simpson is a curious name for a bar, but there’s some history here. Surely no building in London has gone from such piety to profanity. This basement space was, apparently, home to the titular vicar until the late 1980s; in more recent years, it was known as the Capricorn Club. 

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Lucky Pig
Bars and pubs Buy tickets

Lucky Pig

Lucky indeed are those who manage to find this underground drinking den. It’s hidden away in the basement of an unassuming Fitzrovia backstreet, and the only apparent indicator is a set of fairy lights. Strung around the building’s bannister, they lead drinkers down into the underbelly of a speakeasy-themed cocktail bar.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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