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The original pork bao, at Bao’s Fitzrovia site
The “classic” bao at Bao
Tomas Jivanda/for Eater London

Where to Eat Near Oxford Street

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

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The “classic” bao at Bao
| Tomas Jivanda/for Eater London

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.

1. BAO Fitzrovia

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31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia
London W1T 2JN, UK

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.

2. The Great Thai

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14 Riding House St, Fitzrovia
London W1W 7HR, UK

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.

Boat noodles and larb at The Great Thai in Fitzrovia, one of the best value restaurants in central London The Great Thai [Official Photo]

3. Shu Xiangge Chinese Hot Pot

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43 New Oxford St, Holborn
London WC1A 1BH, UK

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]

4. Tōu

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Arcade Food Theatre, 101-103 Oxford St
London WC1A 1DB, UK

It’s possible to pay £14 for a lot of terrible single dishes in the vicinity of Oxford Circus, but a visit to Tōu at Arcade Food Theatre will yield a £14 Iberico tonkatsu sandwich which is nothing short of outstanding — and, for the avoidance of doubt, is not a ham sandwich. The space as a whole is also useful if wishing to collect oneself before choosing from a variety of viable options housed in one building — pasta by Lina Stores, peri peri chicken from Casa do Frango, and much more — sort of like the department store everyone is wishing they could use as a one-and-done option.

The famous Iberico pork katsu sando by Tata Eatery’s Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng, which will feature at the new sando shop, Tou TOU [Official Photo]

5. Paul Rothe & Son

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35 Marylebone Ln, Marylebone
London W1U 2NN, UK
020 7935 6783

For a sandwich that does not cost £14, 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.

The white-painted exterior of Paul Rothe and Sons sandwich shop, one of the best value restaurants in central London Paul Rothe [Official Photo]

6. Honest Burgers - Oxford Circus

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4 Market Pl, Fitzrovia
London W1W 8AD, UK

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

Burger and onion rings at Honest Burgers, London Justin De Souza

7. Sweet Chick

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8 Market Pl, Fitzrovia
London W1W 8AG, UK

Comfort, chicken, waffles, and buzz, all backed by one of the greatest rappers of all time. This is not one of the more relaxing options out there vibe-wise, but a plate of chicken with batter that shatters, a waffle that might include sour cherry — to be clear, if asked for — and a side of potatoes and gravy to sink into might be just the ticket. There’s a hefty brunch menu if needing to pregame.

John Seymour and rapper Nas will open Sweet Chick on the former site of Carluccio’s in Market Place, off Oxford Circus in central London Sweet Chick [Official Photo]

8. Laksamania

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92 Newman St, Fitzrovia
London W1T 3EZ, UK

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.

Laksamania serves great Laksa near Oxford Street and Oxford Circus Laksamania [Official Photo]

9. Hoppers St. Christopher's Place

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77 Wigmore St, Marylebone
London W1U 1QE, UK

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.

Best restaurants in Soho, London: Sri Lankan food at Hoppers Hoppers [Official Photo]

10. Maroush

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4 Vere St, Marylebone
London W1G 0DH, UK

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.

11. Sushiology by Atariya

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20 James St, Marylebone
London W1U 1EH, UK

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.

Sushi on Oxford Circus by Atariya Sushiology by Atari-ya [Official Photo]

12. The Brass Rail

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300 Oxford St, Marylebone
London W1A 1AB, UK

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.

Salt beef at The Brass Rail in Selfridge’s The Brass Rail [Official Photo]

13. Quo Vadis

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26-29 Dean St, Soho
London W1D 3LL, UK

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.

London’s most iconic dishes: smoked eel sandwich at Quo Vadis Ola Smit/Eater London

14. Koya Soho

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50 Frith St, Soho
London W1D 4SQ, UK

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.

Udon noodles and Japanese small plates at Koya, with an upcoming restaurant opening at Market Halls Victoria this November Ola Smit/Eater London

15. Homeslice Marylebone

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50 James St, Marylebone
London W1U 1HB, UK

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.

Pizza at Homeslice Pizza, which will open a new London restaurant in St. Christopher’s Place

16. Market Hall West End

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9 Holles St, Marylebone
London W1G 0DB, UK

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.

Katsu sando with tofu and egg at Market Hall West End on Holles Street Market Hall West End [Official Photo]

17. Liu Xiaomian at The Jackalope

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43 Weymouth Mews, Marylebone
London W1G 7EQ, UK

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.

Liu Xiaomian’s spicy numbing noodles will arrive at the Holborn Whippet pub in London Liu Xiaomian [Twitter]

1. BAO Fitzrovia

31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2JN, UK

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.

31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia
London W1T 2JN, UK

2. The Great Thai

14 Riding House St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7HR, UK
Boat noodles and larb at The Great Thai in Fitzrovia, one of the best value restaurants in central London The Great Thai [Official Photo]

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.

14 Riding House St, Fitzrovia
London W1W 7HR, UK

3. Shu Xiangge Chinese Hot Pot

43 New Oxford St, Holborn, London WC1A 1BH, UK
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.

43 New Oxford St, Holborn
London WC1A 1BH, UK

4. Tōu

Arcade Food Theatre, 101-103 Oxford St, London WC1A 1DB, UK
The famous Iberico pork katsu sando by Tata Eatery’s Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng, which will feature at the new sando shop, Tou TOU [Official Photo]

It’s possible to pay £14 for a lot of terrible single dishes in the vicinity of Oxford Circus, but a visit to Tōu at Arcade Food Theatre will yield a £14 Iberico tonkatsu sandwich which is nothing short of outstanding — and, for the avoidance of doubt, is not a ham sandwich. The space as a whole is also useful if wishing to collect oneself before choosing from a variety of viable options housed in one building — pasta by Lina Stores, peri peri chicken from Casa do Frango, and much more — sort of like the department store everyone is wishing they could use as a one-and-done option.

Arcade Food Theatre, 101-103 Oxford St
London WC1A 1DB, UK

5. Paul Rothe & Son

35 Marylebone Ln, Marylebone, London W1U 2NN, UK
The white-painted exterior of Paul Rothe and Sons sandwich shop, one of the best value restaurants in central London Paul Rothe [Official Photo]

For a sandwich that does not cost £14, 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.

35 Marylebone Ln, Marylebone
London W1U 2NN, UK

6. Honest Burgers - Oxford Circus

4 Market Pl, Fitzrovia, London W1W 8AD, UK
Burger and onion rings at Honest Burgers, London Justin De Souza

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

4 Market Pl, Fitzrovia
London W1W 8AD, UK

7. Sweet Chick

8 Market Pl, Fitzrovia, London W1W 8AG, UK
John Seymour and rapper Nas will open Sweet Chick on the former site of Carluccio’s in Market Place, off Oxford Circus in central London Sweet Chick [Official Photo]

Comfort, chicken, waffles, and buzz, all backed by one of the greatest rappers of all time. This is not one of the more relaxing options out there vibe-wise, but a plate of chicken with batter that shatters, a waffle that might include sour cherry — to be clear, if asked for — and a side of potatoes and gravy to sink into might be just the ticket. There’s a hefty brunch menu if needing to pregame.

8 Market Pl, Fitzrovia
London W1W 8AG, UK

8. Laksamania

92 Newman St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3EZ, UK
Laksamania serves great Laksa near Oxford Street and Oxford Circus Laksamania [Official Photo]

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.

92 Newman St, Fitzrovia
London W1T 3EZ, UK

9. Hoppers St. Christopher's Place

77 Wigmore St, Marylebone, London W1U 1QE, UK
Best restaurants in Soho, London: Sri Lankan food at Hoppers Hoppers [Official Photo]

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.

77 Wigmore St, Marylebone
London W1U 1QE, UK

10. Maroush

4 Vere St, Marylebone, London W1G 0DH, UK

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.

4 Vere St, Marylebone
London W1G 0DH, UK

11. Sushiology by Atariya

20 James St, Marylebone, London W1U 1EH, UK
Sushi on Oxford Circus by Atariya Sushiology by Atari-ya [Official Photo]

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.

20 James St, Marylebone
London W1U 1EH, UK

12. The Brass Rail

300 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB, UK
Salt beef at The Brass Rail in Selfridge’s The Brass Rail [Official Photo]

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.

300 Oxford St, Marylebone
London W1A 1AB, UK

13. Quo Vadis

26-29 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 3LL, UK
London’s most iconic dishes: smoked eel sandwich at Quo Vadis Ola Smit/Eater London

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.

26-29 Dean St, Soho
London W1D 3LL, UK

14. Koya Soho

50 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 4SQ, UK
Udon noodles and Japanese small plates at Koya, with an upcoming restaurant opening at Market Halls Victoria this November Ola Smit/Eater London

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.

50 Frith St, Soho
London W1D 4SQ, UK

15. Homeslice Marylebone

50 James St, Marylebone, London W1U 1HB, UK
Pizza at Homeslice Pizza, which will open a new London restaurant in St. Christopher’s Place

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.

50 James St, Marylebone
London W1U 1HB, UK

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16. Market Hall West End

9 Holles St, Marylebone, London W1G 0DB, UK
Katsu sando with tofu and egg at Market Hall West End on Holles Street Market Hall West End [Official Photo]

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.

9 Holles St, Marylebone
London W1G 0DB, UK

17. Liu Xiaomian at The Jackalope

43 Weymouth Mews, Marylebone, London W1G 7EQ, UK
Liu Xiaomian’s spicy numbing noodles will arrive at the Holborn Whippet pub in London Liu Xiaomian [Twitter]

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.

43 Weymouth Mews, Marylebone
London W1G 7EQ, UK

Related Maps