Department of Coffee and Social Affairs
One of the first instigators of making quality coffee mainstream, DOCSA is all about celebrating the humble coffee bean from origin to cup. The Soho location has plenty of seating, a delicious menu of brunch goodies (think quiche, think pancake stacks) and, just in case you don’t fancy coffee, there are some tea and juice offerings too.
Sister restaurant of Milkbar (also in Soho and around the literal corner), Flat White lives up to its name and is an excellent spot if you’re a fan of Australia’s arguably favourite coffee. Double shots are standard, beans come from the reputable Swedish Drop Coffee Roasters and you can find an emphasis on single origin beans.
Vegetarian dining at its finest! This quaint Soho spot is perfect for a quick and filling lunch for even the most ardent meat lovers. Something for everyone, the menu travels all over the world; you can have gyoza to start, kebabs to follow and polenta cake to finish.
Back in 2017 there was a little ramen burst in the London food scene and in every single ‘Best London Ramen’ list you can absolutely bet that Koya featured. A good spot to catch up with friends and colleagues, slurp up a bowl of udo and maybe enjoy a cheeky tumbler of sake, Koya feels like stepping out of central London and into somewhere far calmer.
Chin Chin Labs Dessert Bar
Naturally I’m going to be a little biased because I’ve personally eaten my own body weight in Chin Chin Labs ice cream but if you’re in Soho, popping into their dessert bar is kind of mandatory.
Whilst seasonal flavours switch up every couple of months (Green grass? Strawberry & Hay? The taste of the smell of a Christmas tree?) their signatures have all the basics beyond covered. Tonka bean is a classic. Valrhona chocolate is dense and rich. Burnt butter caramel is a fan favourite; butter yet (see what I did there), you can have any flavour you’d like scooped into a brownie ice cream sandwich. Oh, and if it’s raining, try a hot chocolate with blow torched marshmallow fluff for the ultimate pick me up.
Just in case your sweet tooth can handle a little more (surely, a bite?), Soho is also home to pastry chef extraordinaire Joakim Prat and his delightful choux creations. Eclairs are already a pretty delicious treat - but the eclairs at Maître Choux go above and beyond. Colourful, extravagant and indulgently bougie, they’re a treat on the eyes first and tongue second. If you’re still peckish, they also sell bags of chouquettes - perfect for sharing with your fave colleagues.
Milroy’s of Soho/The Vault
You don’t have to know much about whisky to enjoy this hidden Soho gem. With practically nowhere to sit, Milroy’s feels more like you’re queuing in an old-school apothecary than a whisky bar (think slightly funner medication!).
But that’s not the best part. Walk through to the back and you’ll be faced with a hefty floor-to-ceiling bookshelf which, if pushed, will take you down to its partner cocktail bar, The Vault. With dim lighting and plush seating, this smoky setting is the perfect place to cosy up and sip on a tasty cocktail (I’d recommend the Old Fashioned).
The universal sign for ordering a pint of Guinness in Ireland is to give the barman a nod and hold up one index finger. No words need to be spoken. Luckily the guys at the Toucan - a real cult favourite amongst those who know where to find a good pint of plain in the city - speak the same language.
This spot was set up by a pub-owner who was adamant that there be a better Guinness offering in the city centre (and decades later he still hasn’t let us down). Another spot with minimal seating, Toucan is particularly recommended on a sunny evening, when this tiny pub overflows into Soho’s bustling streets, and you’re guaranteed to meet some interesting characters!
Covent Garden and Seven Dials
Covent Garden and more specifically Seven Dials are some of the quaintest cobbled streets in central London. Cute boutiques, quirky shoes and jewellery, more brilliant ice cream and hands down the best macarons (I said it) a macaron fiend can find, it’s a lovely area to ramble and uncover at the end of a long day.
Head to Chinatown
And whilst you’re there: indulge in a few well loved treats! Golden Gate Cake Shop may be tiny but every interior item is a gem - try their char siu baos if you want to taste the real deal. Happy Lemon is a perfect spot for more authentic bubble teas (think cheese foam and tea jelly). Slink onto Kova if you’d like to see what all the mille crepe cake fuss is about (and go for something fruity).
Find the seven noses of Soho
There’s not much to it. There are seven noses dotted around Soho for anyone with the curiosity and inclination to seek them out. It’s both a fun treasure trail of sorts and the opportunity to smell victory with some nose based selfies.
Want to work in Soho? Desana has you covered - we partner with several gorgeous Soho spaces, including Huckletree and Work.Life.