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Shopping In Central London Ahead Of Latest Retail Figures

Where to Eat Near Oxford Street When Christmas Shopping Has Drained Your Soul

Close to the madding crowd, find steadying sandwiches, sustaining soups, and sublime sushi

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It’s a little known fact that T.S. Eliot’s “I never knew death had undone so many” in The Wasteland does not derive from Dante’s Inferno, but from the time T.S. Eliot walked the length of Oxford Street at the beginning of December to buy presents for his fellow Modernists. Unfortunately, it also applies on most weekends.

Seek edible solace in this blend of actually good grab-and-goers, a couple of queue-worthy restaurants, and pitstops for coffee or something stronger.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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BAO Fitzrovia

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One of the slickest dining options in the area, Bao’s second full restaurant takes bookings, offers a black cod bao that isn’t on the menu in Soho, and does a lunch set menu that offers about as much pleasure that £15 can buy in this part of the city. A bao, a chicken chop, and a rice bowl make a stirring trio, while an early dinner when gifts are gotten should include the beef tendon nuggets and mushrooms with lovage.

The Great Thai

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Per Eater London contributor Jonathan Nunn, “this isn’t going to compare to the boat noodles with pigs blood on a Bangkok side street, but it’s as good as it gets round the back of Oxford Circus.” Precisely in the spirit of this guide, “this” means not the entire restaurant, The Great Thai, but the boat noodles at The Great Thai, possibly the most restorative bowl out there in Fitzrovia, with enough white pepper to clear away shopping bag blindness. Slurp.

Shu Xiangge Chinese Hot Pot

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Passing a sign for New Oxford Street might be terminal — “there’s more???” — but why not bring friends together to compare purchases and ask what it all means? Or, forget all that, and focus on the bubbling hot pot. The avid following at Shu Xiangge is here for the offal and the fragrant, spicy beef fat oil broth, so get dunking and don’t splash anything on that new jumper that got picked up in the “just browsing” time.

Shu Xiangge [Official Photo]

Paul Rothe & Son

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For a sandwich, head to this storied shop, which might seem counterintuitive for a guide detailing places for post-shopping, given the lack of space to sit down. But: Paul Rothe is so profoundly steadying that a grin and the offer of lunch from one of the affable staff is all a weary shopper could need. And: Its dizzying array of fillings means that however wild, that strange sandwich dreamt up across queues is closer than a weary shopper might think. Soups and toasties too.

Honest Burgers - Oxford Circus

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Burgers are good. Honest Burgers has space to sit down where Patty and Bun often does not. Want a burger? Go here.

Laksamania

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Presumptuous prejudices about a restaurant called Laksamania aren’t unjustifiable, but skipping this Fitzrovia gem based on those prejudices is. The six laksas — five of them curry laksa, one assam, sour, with tamarind and mangosteen — are deeply satisfying at any time of year, but particularly so after a hard day’s shopping.

Hoppers St. Christopher's Place

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Hoppers’ winning mix of Sri Lankan Tamil and South Indian Tamil cooking might seem a bit bustling for a refuge from bustle, but the queue’s virtual and lunch is bookable in pairs, if deciding to eat pre-soul draining. It gets bandied about but the bone marrow varuval really is superb, so too the Jaffna-style lamb chops. Cocktails, particularly the “Arrack Attack,” will revive the most zombified corpse.

Maroush

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Set menus play the hits for the tired and indecisive at the Marylebone outpost of London’s most venerated Lebanese restaurant group, with a sweeping range of grills, salads, and mezza if wishing to assemble the perfect “thank god that’s over” meal. Prices lean more treat than value, but a hefty lamb arayes and a salad crackling with sumac and chilli will see off any festive demons and keep wallets in line too.

Sushiology by Atariya

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Some of the most heinous crimes in grab-and-go dining have been committed against sushi, so leave it to the experts if only nigiri, sashimi, and maki will sate after a schlep up and down the aisles. Atari-ya is one of the city’s best Japanese fishmongers and sushi bars, so give Wasabi and its siblings a wide berth and go here instead.

The Brass Rail

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Before revolting at the directive to eat inside perhaps the most galling symbol of capitalism’s grip on London know that a visit to The Brass Rail will be rewarded with, honestly, what is still some of the best salt beef in the city. Ask for fat, if there’s any going — cuts tend to be scrimpingly lean — and browse the chocolate room after.

Quo Vadis

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White tablecloths; pies; chips; chops; salads; smoked eel sandwiches; martinis; profiteroles; class and comfort in spades, sans fuss. This is one to book as a sort of lodestar for the entire shopping process, knowing at the end of it all there will be a deep bowl of soup; something braised long with love, perhaps a partridge; and a pudding menu so good that it’s entirely reasonable to turn up — even unannounced — just to drown in custard and cream.

Koya Soho

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Serene, unadorned, and consistently superb, Koya’s paean to all things udon and soba induces a soporific reverie that not even several hours in Selfridges can blunt. If spirit has not been vanquished, consider the specials board, which might carry tempura prawn heads; if not wishing to think: kinoko atsu-atsu; tempura on the side; maybe an onsen egg. Bliss.

Homeslice Marylebone

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Bookable, for pre-planned pizza, and with a large walk-in area, for “oh god, please, anything will do” pizza, Homeslice does a good job of pleasing fusty traditionalists and possibly too freewheeling spirits. Options by the slice are single degree deviations from familiar formulas — salami, not pepperoni, is hardly jumping the shark — while 20” pizzas ideal for families or the indecisive 50-50 flavour splitter might showcase spiced lamb, savoy cabbage, and sumac yoghurt.

Market Hall West End

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12 food stalls, 1000 seats, and food ranging through Gopal’s Corner’s superb roti, Yatai’s modish katsu sandos, and fresh pasta from Pastaio, this is where to come when eating all the brain says is “I need food.” Figure out the details after.

Liu Xiaomian at The Jackalope

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A pared-back menu of Chongqing noodles, based on the heat and numbing qualities of chilli, ginger, garlic and Sichuan peppercorns, served with either minced pork, minced pork with chickpeas, beef, or vegetables. A quality addition to Marylebone’s dining options, and perfect for pre or post shopping either as a pump up meal or a corpse reviver.

Omotesando Koffee

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Probably the best option for some restorative caffeine in the area alongside Kaffeine (detailed below) this minimalist outpost from Japan proffers expertly made filter coffee; silky milk drinks; and for those wanting to match cold with cold, perhaps the best iced coffee in the city.

Kaffeine

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Perfect for either a high-quality, rareified brew or a dessert-like milky drink and some generously buttered banana bread, Kaffeine is a perfect pit-stop. There’s also the original branch on Great Titchfield Street for those closer to the Oxford Circus tube.

And now the ultimate in cold vs cold: some of the finest gelato in the city, taken in a tub or a cone, ideal for a fortifying hit of sugar before things begin or a serene come-down after a surfeit of shopping.

BAO Fitzrovia

One of the slickest dining options in the area, Bao’s second full restaurant takes bookings, offers a black cod bao that isn’t on the menu in Soho, and does a lunch set menu that offers about as much pleasure that £15 can buy in this part of the city. A bao, a chicken chop, and a rice bowl make a stirring trio, while an early dinner when gifts are gotten should include the beef tendon nuggets and mushrooms with lovage.

The Great Thai

Per Eater London contributor Jonathan Nunn, “this isn’t going to compare to the boat noodles with pigs blood on a Bangkok side street, but it’s as good as it gets round the back of Oxford Circus.” Precisely in the spirit of this guide, “this” means not the entire restaurant, The Great Thai, but the boat noodles at The Great Thai, possibly the most restorative bowl out there in Fitzrovia, with enough white pepper to clear away shopping bag blindness. Slurp.

Shu Xiangge Chinese Hot Pot

Shu Xiangge [Official Photo]

Passing a sign for New Oxford Street might be terminal — “there’s more???” — but why not bring friends together to compare purchases and ask what it all means? Or, forget all that, and focus on the bubbling hot pot. The avid following at Shu Xiangge is here for the offal and the fragrant, spicy beef fat oil broth, so get dunking and don’t splash anything on that new jumper that got picked up in the “just browsing” time.

Shu Xiangge [Official Photo]

Paul Rothe & Son

For a sandwich, head to this storied shop, which might seem counterintuitive for a guide detailing places for post-shopping, given the lack of space to sit down. But: Paul Rothe is so profoundly steadying that a grin and the offer of lunch from one of the affable staff is all a weary shopper could need. And: Its dizzying array of fillings means that however wild, that strange sandwich dreamt up across queues is closer than a weary shopper might think. Soups and toasties too.

Honest Burgers - Oxford Circus

Burgers are good. Honest Burgers has space to sit down where Patty and Bun often does not. Want a burger? Go here.

Laksamania

Presumptuous prejudices about a restaurant called Laksamania aren’t unjustifiable, but skipping this Fitzrovia gem based on those prejudices is. The six laksas — five of them curry laksa, one assam, sour, with tamarind and mangosteen — are deeply satisfying at any time of year, but particularly so after a hard day’s shopping.

Hoppers St. Christopher's Place

Hoppers’ winning mix of Sri Lankan Tamil and South Indian Tamil cooking might seem a bit bustling for a refuge from bustle, but the queue’s virtual and lunch is bookable in pairs, if deciding to eat pre-soul draining. It gets bandied about but the bone marrow varuval really is superb, so too the Jaffna-style lamb chops. Cocktails, particularly the “Arrack Attack,” will revive the most zombified corpse.

Maroush

Set menus play the hits for the tired and indecisive at the Marylebone outpost of London’s most venerated Lebanese restaurant group, with a sweeping range of grills, salads, and mezza if wishing to assemble the perfect “thank god that’s over” meal. Prices lean more treat than value, but a hefty lamb arayes and a salad crackling with sumac and chilli will see off any festive demons and keep wallets in line too.

Sushiology by Atariya

Some of the most heinous crimes in grab-and-go dining have been committed against sushi, so leave it to the experts if only nigiri, sashimi, and maki will sate after a schlep up and down the aisles. Atari-ya is one of the city’s best Japanese fishmongers and sushi bars, so give Wasabi and its siblings a wide berth and go here instead.

The Brass Rail

Before revolting at the directive to eat inside perhaps the most galling symbol of capitalism’s grip on London know that a visit to The Brass Rail will be rewarded with, honestly, what is still some of the best salt beef in the city. Ask for fat, if there’s any going — cuts tend to be scrimpingly lean — and browse the chocolate room after.

Quo Vadis

White tablecloths; pies; chips; chops; salads; smoked eel sandwiches; martinis; profiteroles; class and comfort in spades, sans fuss. This is one to book as a sort of lodestar for the entire shopping process, knowing at the end of it all there will be a deep bowl of soup; something braised long with love, perhaps a partridge; and a pudding menu so good that it’s entirely reasonable to turn up — even unannounced — just to drown in custard and cream.

Koya Soho

Serene, unadorned, and consistently superb, Koya’s paean to all things udon and soba induces a soporific reverie that not even several hours in Selfridges can blunt. If spirit has not been vanquished, consider the specials board, which might carry tempura prawn heads; if not wishing to think: kinoko atsu-atsu; tempura on the side; maybe an onsen egg. Bliss.

Homeslice Marylebone

Bookable, for pre-planned pizza, and with a large walk-in area, for “oh god, please, anything will do” pizza, Homeslice does a good job of pleasing fusty traditionalists and possibly too freewheeling spirits. Options by the slice are single degree deviations from familiar formulas — salami, not pepperoni, is hardly jumping the shark — while 20” pizzas ideal for families or the indecisive 50-50 flavour splitter might showcase spiced lamb, savoy cabbage, and sumac yoghurt.

Market Hall West End

12 food stalls, 1000 seats, and food ranging through Gopal’s Corner’s superb roti, Yatai’s modish katsu sandos, and fresh pasta from Pastaio, this is where to come when eating all the brain says is “I need food.” Figure out the details after.

Liu Xiaomian at The Jackalope

A pared-back menu of Chongqing noodles, based on the heat and numbing qualities of chilli, ginger, garlic and Sichuan peppercorns, served with either minced pork, minced pork with chickpeas, beef, or vegetables. A quality addition to Marylebone’s dining options, and perfect for pre or post shopping either as a pump up meal or a corpse reviver.

Related Maps

Omotesando Koffee

Probably the best option for some restorative caffeine in the area alongside Kaffeine (detailed below) this minimalist outpost from Japan proffers expertly made filter coffee; silky milk drinks; and for those wanting to match cold with cold, perhaps the best iced coffee in the city.

Kaffeine

Perfect for either a high-quality, rareified brew or a dessert-like milky drink and some generously buttered banana bread, Kaffeine is a perfect pit-stop. There’s also the original branch on Great Titchfield Street for those closer to the Oxford Circus tube.

Gelupo

And now the ultimate in cold vs cold: some of the finest gelato in the city, taken in a tub or a cone, ideal for a fortifying hit of sugar before things begin or a serene come-down after a surfeit of shopping.

Related Maps