You don’t come to Bar Italia because it’s the best place for an espresso or a cannoli (it isn’t), or because it’s cheap (it isn’t). You come here for the atmosphere and camaraderie, the late night buzz (it’s open until 5am) and the people-watching, and to aimlessly yell at the TV when Italian football’s being played. It takes all the intangibles of Soho - everything that makes this confusing maze of streets in central London so great - and puts them all in one place. Like the French House pub a couple of streets away, everyone passes through here at one point or another. It’s an institution - treat it like one.
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40 Dean Street
40 Dean Street is a charming, old school Italian spot that's been serving the people of Soho pasta for almost twenty years.
Barrafina is a legendary Soho tapas restaurant that’s always crowded but always worth the wait.
Inko Nito is a large, casual spot in Soho serving Japanese and Korean inspired sharing plates from the robata grill, plus salads, and sushi.
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Passo is a huge Italian restaurant on Old Street where you’ll instantly like the space, but don’t expect to be as impressed with the food.
The Metro Mercato Metropolitano food market is worth a visit when you want something a bit more chilled out than the usual street food scene.
Quartieri is an excellent Naples-style pizza in Kilburn, with a spicy diavola pizza that you definitely need to try.
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