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The Best Things to Do and See in Soho, London

Picture of Christina Dean
Updated: 6 August 2018
If you want to be entertained, head to Soho. Once known as the centre of sleaze, the neighbourhood has cleaned up (though not totally) and seems to be permanently buzzing with people, whether they’re spending in the independent stores, drinking and eating in one of the many bars and restaurants, exploring Chinatown or picking up seats to a show. It’s impossible to be bored in Soho, so check out our list for some of the best things to see and do in the area.

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Choccywoccydoodah

Choccywoccydoodah is simply a must for chocoholics, anything that can be made out of chocolate, from truffles to towering chocolate sculptures, they’ll make it. Like the original Brighton site, the London outpost of Choccywoccydoodah has a bar du chocolat where you can sample some of their creations, but if you want something more magical head to the secret garden on the second floor.

30-32 Foubert’s Pl London, UK +44 20 7734 9713

Choccywoccydoodah | © fry_theonly/Flickr
Choccywoccydoodah | © fry_theonly/Flickr

Go crate digging at Sister Ray

You can’t say you’re into vinyl if you’ve never been to Sister Ray. One of London’s most iconic record stores, Sister Ray, which began life as a stall in Camden Market, is the place to come to dig for records as their collection is both extensive and in excellent condition. They have some of the best staff in the business, so don’t be shy about asking for recommendations.

75 Berwick St, London, UK +44 20 7734 3297

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Explore contemporary art at Riflemaker

Co-founded by Virginia Damtsa and Tot Taylor, Riflemaker is a contemporary art gallery in what used to be (surprise surprise) a gunmaker’s workshop, and they’ve taken great care to retain the building’s original atmosphere. Such a historic setting proves to be a great backdrop for modern art and they’ve hosted exhibitions popular from Josephine King and William Burroughs in the past.

79 Beak St, London, UK +44 20 7439 0000

Dine on Dim Sum at Yauatcha Soho

Chinatown is full of places to get dim sum but none so stylish as Yauatcha Soho. It’s also pricier than most other establishments but you can get dim sum all day and your definitely don’t feel short changed when it comes to the food, especially their prawn and beancurd cheung fun and venison puffs. Push the boat out and get some of their exquisite desserts too.

15-17 Broadwick St, London, UK
+44 20 7494 8888

Rock Out at Hank’s Guitar Shop

Even if you can’t shred it on an axe, Hank’s Guitar Shop is still well worth a visit to browse their impressive selection of rare and vintage guitars. They have years of experience in trading instruments and gear, so if you’re after something specific the staff can usually source it for you.

27 Denmark St, London, UK +44 20 7379 1139

Listen to Live Jazz at Ronnie Scott’s

Ronnie Scott’s is one of the most celebrated jazz clubs in the world and a Soho institution. Many famous faces including Nina Simone, Prince, Ella Fitzgerald and Jimi Hendrix have graced the stage at Ronnie Scott’s and many international artists play regularly, so you’re guaranteed to hear great music every night of the week.

47 Frith St, London, UK +44 20 7439 0747

Ronnie Scott's neon | © vjlawson2001/Flickr
Ronnie Scott’s neon | © vjlawson2001/Flickr

Press for Champagne at Bob Bob Ricard

A glamorous day on the town is not complete without a stop at Bob Bob Ricard. This Russian-British restaurant is unashamedly luxurious with opulent décor and a menu studded with rich ingredients – caviar, oysters, lobster, truffle – they have it all. But it’s the ‘Press for Champagne’ buttons at the tables that this place is famous for, so throw caution to the wind and splash out.

1 Upper James St, London, UK +44 20 3145 1000

Press for champagne | © Fimb/Flickr
Press for champagne | © Fimb/Flickr

Look Out for the Seven Noses of Soho

As you stroll around Soho keep an eye out for noses on the walls and buildings. Installed by artist Rick Buckley in 1997 as a protest against the increase of CCTV cameras on the streets, there were originally about 35 noses (made from plaster casts of his own nose) attached to buildings in Central London. Seven remain in Soho and since Buckley didn’t initially take credit for them, many urban myths about their origin sprung up. For example, it’s said if you can find all seven great fortune will come your way. Now we can’t vouch for that, but it doesn’t hurt to look, does it?

London Peculiar Photowalk | © Betsy Weber/Flickr
London Peculiar Photowalk | © Betsy Weber/Flickr

Pick Up Some New Kicks at Axel Arigato

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Swedish brand Axel Arigato’s Soho sneaker store was actually an art gallery. It’s got tall white walls with lots of metal and concrete accents and huge terrazzo stone tables that act as plinths for the trainers to be displayed. Like the store, the shoes are minimalist, modern and elegant – good luck leaving with just one pair.

19-23 Broadwick St, London, UK +44 20 7494 1728

Take a Trip Back in Time at Cahoots

Step into this underground bar decked out like an old tube station and be transported back to 1940s Britain. It’s retro all the way at Cahoots, from the vintage carriage seats to the piano sing-a-longs to the cocktails served in teacups, hip flasks and milk bottles. It may be quirky and kitsch, but it’s jolly good fun too.

13 Kingly Court, London, UK +44 20 7352 6200

#squiffypicnic #cahoots #1940s #cocktails #bffs

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Experiment With Ice Cream at the Chin Chin Dessert Club

Nitrogen ice cream wizards at Chin Chin Labs have expanded out from Camden with a dessert club on Greek Street, making it the ultimate ice cream shop. You can get scoops frozen right in front of you but you should go all out with one of their madder creations, like the Choux-Wich (that’s an ice cream sandwich made with a choux bun), a Miracle Cone (sugar-free ice cream that tastes sweet once you pop a magic pill) and the Avo-Taco (a waffle taco filled with avocado ice cream).

54 Greek St, London, UK