14 Great Restaurants Near Oxford Circus For A Post-Shopping Meal guide image

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14 Great Restaurants Near Oxford Circus For A Post-Shopping Meal

Because if you’re going to brave W1, you might as well eat some excellent sushi, pasta, and London’s best gelato.

All Londoners are contractually obligated to describe Oxford Circus as a consumerist pit of despair. But where will you find us when it’s the 23rd of December or on the day the summer sales kick off? Marching down New Bond Street, carrying 18 bags with pointed elbows at the ready, that’s where. Because there’s no denying that when it comes to some heavy-duty retail therapy, there’s nowhere with as many options as Oxford Circus. But once you’re finished surveying the racks or willfully ignoring those bleak notifications from your Monzo app, you’re probably going to need somewhere to refuel. That’s where this guide comes in. From a great bagel-packing brunch spot to kick off your day, to one of London’s flashiest dim sum restaurants, these are the places that are perfect for a top meal near Oxford Circus.


THE SPOTS

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8.1

Arcade Food Hall

££££

103-105 New Oxford St, London
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Home to everything from saucy little Nepalese momos to hefty Margot Henderson sandwiches, this big glossy space on New Oxford Street is a food hall from the people behind Bao and Gymkhana. It’ll work just as well for a tom yam mojito-fuelled, post-shopping catch-up, as it will for an emergency round of Manna’s crispy chicken tenders when they don’t have your size in those New Balances. You’re definitely going to want to get involved in North Indian pao buns from the Hero stall, and the deeply satisfying sate marrangi from Indonesian street food spot, Bebek! Bebek!.


Sometimes in life, you just need a bagel. That being said, it’s worth noting that The Good Egg doesn’t just do any old bagel, it does some of the best in London. At the Middle Eastern spot in Kingly Court, the shawarmas and absolutely anything involving aubergine is also worth an order. And just in case you’ve started doing the mental arithmetics of how you’re going to hold those 12 shopping bags and eat labneh at the same time, don’t worry, they have seating. Take a load off, eat a proper sit-down lunch, and then order some babka for the road. After all, you need to keep your strength up, don’t you? 


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After a tourist stopped directly in front of you to take a picture of a pigeon, and you encountered your fourth set of street dancers in under a mile, a vein you never knew you had is trying to break out of your temple. Before you physically implode, head to Pastaio. This place does great handmade pasta, and they’re open from 12pm until late. It can get a little busy around dinnertime, but it’s a great spot to swing by mid-afternoon.


49 Dean Street, Soho, is one of London’s best-known, much-loved, and dependable institutions of happiness and hangovers. That’s because it’s home to The French House, and has been for what the historians refer to as ‘donkey’s years’. The floorboards and wooden bar of this boozer have seen things. Some good, some bad, and some that look like Hugh Grant recreating his mugshot. Legendary downstairs bar aside, you’ll want to go up to the food. Expect Anglo-French classics like rillettes, braised oxtail, and Paris brest with chocolate sauce.


Bao is a legendary Taiwanese restaurant that makes people say profound things like ‘f*ck me, this is delicious’. And yes, when we say ‘people’, we are referring to ourselves. Basically a modern Soho landmark, this cool and casual restaurant’s Taiwanese classics should be at the top of your agenda. You absolutely need to order the pork confit bao, but honestly you could order the entire menu and not find a single dud. In case the stress of the wild, wild streets of W1 are getting to you, you should also know that they make a mean negroni. 


Everyone loves a party. Except maybe that Airbnb owner you woke up at 4am because ‘the keys ran away’. But mostly, everyone loves a party, especially the kind of grown-up, octo-hummus-charged party you’ll find going on at The Palomar. It’s the perfect sign-off to a day of shopping, featuring several glasses of orange wine, dipping a chunk of kubaneh bread in tahini, and smiling when you meet everyone’s favourite party guest, the falafel. 


Much like if you went to see Paul McCartney and left before he sang Blackbird, you’d not only be missing out on the chance to ugly cry with hundreds of weeping strangers, but you’d also be missing out on the best part of the set. It would be exactly the same if you went to Sri Lankan spot Hoppers without getting involved in the headline act, their huge egg hopper. As well as having some stupidly tasty food on offer, their whole exposed brick and warm light glow thing make it the perfect spot for a low-key date, or a proper catch-up with your favourite person.


All dumplings are cute in our opinion, but seeing as we’re eternally hungry, we’re probably biased. That being said, this little corner restaurant has a menu that might get those ‘ALERT, ALERT, CENTRAL LONDON GIMMICK’ alarm bells ringing—think cheeseburger and cauliflower cheese dumplings—but they’re actually all very tasty. For the traditionalists, they’ve also got prawn or pork belly dumplings, and the platters for £15 make it perfect for a casual, mid-shop stop. 


Sushi Atelier is a beautiful, fishy unicorn. OK, that sounded better in our heads, but stay with us. This laid-back spot in Fitzrovia is that rare London restaurant that, not only serves genuinely excellent sushi, but shockingly, it’s also relatively affordable given the quality of the fish. On the menu you’ll find everything from octopus carpaccio, to snow crab sashimi, to yellowtail truffle rolls, but our game plan is to go for one of the omakase selections or sushi sets. Although we’re big fans of sitting up at the counter where the action is, if you’re rolling with a group there’s more seating downstairs.


Outside of running for the bus when we’re a savage, sweaty, hour behind schedule, shopping is our favourite form of cardio. Joe Wicks eat your bloody heart out, because these PE legends took the stairs in the Nike store. After being on your feet all day, head to Meraki for a pick-me-up, blow-out meal. This Greek restaurant on Great Titchfield Street is a bit flash and a lot of fun. The atmosphere here is always 10/10 and importantly, so is the wine and the feta-packed courgette pasta. 


Given we once left a party because there was a three-minute queue for the bathroom, the fact we’re willing to wait in line for the udon at Koya should tell you a lot. This little corridor of a restaurant in Soho specialises in udon, and whether you go for some hot udon in cold broth or for a tempura donburi that we’ll probably request on our deathbed, you’ll be set for a seriously excellent—and seriously affordable—meal. It’s also perfect if you’re heading to the theatre, or you need to grab a top alternative breakfast before a day of shopping. You might have to queue but once you’re in, they’ll feed you fast.


Do you like listening to those bedtime stories for adults where Stephen Fry or Harry Styles whisper things like ‘shh, go to sleep, you are not a terrible person’? Yes? Then Kolamba will be right up your street. It’s an incredibly zen, Sri Lankan restaurant on Kingly Street that serves punchy flavours with a side of relaxation and foliage. Although the sharing plates can be a little hit or miss, dishes like the parippu and crispy chilli cuttlefish are proper bangers. Basically, this is how we imagine spas to be if you got a dry fried beef chatti roast instead of a massage—a trade we’d happily make any day. 


Say the words ‘Liberty, dahling!’ out loud. Let them marinate in your mouth, feel them deep down to your greedy little soul. Once you’re in that ‘fuck it, I am a socialite’ mindset and have thrown some serious cash around, get yourself to Yauatcha. This high-glam, high-end Chinese restaurant serves excellent dim sum and the kind of beautiful patisserie that will make even the most aggravated shopper bust a smile. Don’t skip the venison puffs. 


They didn’t have the jacket in your size. That manager asked you not to touch the candles, even though you wore your ‘fancy coat’. And you saw some entirely unrepeatable things in that candy shop, that turned out to be a sex dungeon. Ah Soho, you strike again, you glorious freak. But when it’s all become a little too much to handle, opt for ice cream. Gelupo serves the best gelato in the city, and there’s nothing quite like a scoop of cherry stracciatella to get your energy levels back up. FYI they’ve also got coffee and biscotti covered. 


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