Formerly the capital of beatnik counterculture, Soho has evolved into a multicultural tourist hotspot that offers visitors everything from swanky restaurants and cozy cafés to great live music and gritty sex shops.
During the day, the main thoroughfare of Old Compton Street doesn’t hide from the fact that it’s the center of London’s gay community, with tons of restaurants, bars, and live theaters pulsing with patrons ready to spend their “pink pounds.”
Although the live music scene may be a shadow of its former self – the careers of The Rolling Stones, The Sex Pistols, and Eric Clapton were all launched here – the beat lives on at stalwart DJ-driven clubs like The Roxy, as well as in the odd jazz joint like Ronnie Scott's, which has survived Soho’s transformation.
Nearby Covent Garden had much more placid origins as the one-time home to London’s largest fruit and vegetable market, but this district has become even more tourist-driven than Soho in recent years. Home to the Royal Opera House and the majestic St. Paul’s church, the area is best known as the home to London’s theater district. Most of the city’s grandest live performance venues surround the Covent Garden Piazza, a famous market hall and entertainment center that routinely fills with street performers, professional actors, and hordes of tourists, allowing visitors to catch everything from experimental one-woman shows to mainstream musical hits.
The streets of Covent Garden and Soho may be bustling with out-of-towners, but it’s for a good reason – from dining to dancing, shopping to sightseeing, this is one area of London that no visitor should miss.
Party Earth Review The Phoenix Artist Club is kind of like a high school theater club, if that club was located in the basement of a West End theater, served lots of booze, and was populated by the ... more
1 Phoenix Street
London WC2H 8BU
Party Earth Review Minimal space, nightly DJs and a crowd united by a common interest in the latest live indie music make The Social the most aptly named bar in the city despite its out-of-the-way location ... more
5 Little Portland Street
Westminster, London W1W 7JD
French Restaurant / Lounge
Party Earth Review An elegant retreat for French-fusion cuisine and bubbling flutes of champagne, Café des Amis is a smart little restaurant and lounge in the heart of London’s theater district. Just ... more
11-14 Hanover Place
London WC2E 9JP
3 Kingly Street
London W1B 5PD
Bar / Gay Club
4 Carlisle Street
London W1D 3BJ
Reviewed by Courtney Grace R.
"MY TAKE: Honest Burgers is a no-nonsense kind of place. They focus on making great, traditional burgers with out all the fluff you get at some other ..." more
4a Meard Street
London W1F 0EF
Reviewed by Courtney Grace R.
"MY TAKE: Think rave but much, much classier. It’s another one of London’s guest-list only clubs, but just as a function of the style of the place th ..." more
78 Wells Street
London W1T 3QL
Party Earth Review Although it may look like a fairly ordinary upscale bar and restaurant by day, at night The Loop transforms into a packed club that’s perfect for partiers looking to really let their ... more
19 Dering Street
London W1S 1AH