The Best Big Comforting Bowls Of Soup In London
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
Maybe you’re cold. Maybe you feel like a human snot bucket. Or maybe you just really want a bath but forgot to check there was one in your flat before moving in. For whatever reason, sometimes you just need to eat a bowl of delicious hot liquid, and that’s OK. Because there are some situations in life that are exponentially improved by going to a restaurant and eating some really good soup. From a tiny Korean walk-in spot that serves a huge, spicy yukgejang to a no-menu Harringay restaurant with some serious broths, these are the best places to go in London when you just really fancy some soup. And if you're looking for noodle soups specifically, check out our guide on Where To Eat Noodle Soup In London.
When London’s weather turns more bitter and spiteful, it’s essential to know where to go for a meal that’s warm and buttery in both feeling and flavour. Haringey Corbacisi on Green Lanes is one of those places. The no-menu restaurant specialises in soups and stews—just wander up to the counter and see what’s on offer. Sade paca, a lamb and yoghurt soup made up of tender meat, a paddling pool of butter, and enough minced garlic to slay a vampire via soliloquy, is a favourite.
Look, classic Heinz cream of chicken soup has our hearts. But the soup at Jolene, well, that’s our mistress. This bakery, cafe, and restaurant on Newington Green—aptly named after that Dolly Parton song about similar betrayals of the heart and soul—is usually full of people who look like they make excellent playlists and it serves some really tasty soups that tend to be around the £6 mark. Although their blackboard menu changes daily, you can expect everything from sweetcorn chowder, to minestrone, to our personal favourite, the pumpkin and bean soup with rosemary.
El Rancho De Lalo is a lively Colombian restaurant in Brixton Village that makes its mission to fill everyone with piping hot and freshly made soup. Expect something heavy on root vegetables, like cassava and carrots, as well as corn, parsley, and fresh lime. It’s a bowl of goodness that we could eat every day and would if we lived nearby.
Greenberry is therapy in restaurant form. It’ll soothe that part of your soul that whispers ‘move to the countryside, we could get a dog’ every single day. Up on Primrose Hill, this place has got that whole idyllic home county thing going on, with a menu to match. Expect eggy brunch dishes, pastries, chunky sandwiches, and you guessed it, big, comforting soups.
You know that noise you make when you take your first sip of an excellent soup—that satisfied hum that sounds like Barry White warming up his vocal chords? That is exactly the noise you’ll make when you eat Rochelle Canteen’s soup. This British restaurant in Shoreditch is one of our all-time favourites, partly because we’ve never had a bad meal here, but also, that soup. The menu changes regularly, but if the pumpkin and sage one happens to be on, prepare to be very happy and very soothed.
St. John are experts in all things hearty and hug-like, and their soups are no exception. At the exact moment your eyes start watering from the cold, the folks in their Clerkenwell kitchen start making a superb daily soup or broth. Previous winners have included a cauliflower soup so smooth we wrote our number on the napkin below it, and lamb broth that was practically baaing.
Every day Persepolis makes either ash (an Iranian noodle soup) or a vegetable soup that comes with warm flatbread for the excellent price of £5.50. That’s just the kind of place this Persian-influenced deli and cafe in Peckham is. Everything here is simple, fresh, and homely. And also vegetarian. If you’re looking for a sanctuary as well as soup, this is your place.
In the immortal words of soup enthusiast and Very Wise Person—our nan—there isn’t anything you can’t put in a soup. For full disclosure, she usually says this while holding a hand blender like a lightsaber. The Attendant in Shoreditch does a daily, changing soup and you’ll find all kinds of different ingredients and options, ranging from your classics to vegetable-heavy numbers. Grab one of their sourdough sandwiches while you’re here too. Hello excellent dipping potential.
The way to do Dotori is to turn up at 5pm on the dot. That’s because this no-reservations, cash-only, Korean and Japanese restaurant is pretty much always teeming by 6pm. The reason being is that this Finsbury Park spot makes some very tasty food. The Korean menu is our favourite and soup-wise, you’ll want to be looking at the enormous yukgejang—it’s a spicy beef broth filled with beef and vegetables—but there are some excellent tofu options as well.
You get the feeling that some of the old blokes having a lone bowl of soup in Lemonia have been wiping their bowl of fagges (spicy lentil soup) clean with warm pitta bread for the best part of a decade. To be honest, we don’t blame them. This classic Greek restaurant in Primrose Hill is an old favourite, and when their bowls of avgolemono (chicken broth with lemon and rice) and fagges are this generous and warming, you can see why there are so many loyal regulars.