Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Bar Italia

Hairy Bikers on Harleys just do not fit in well here.
Notice the burnt out El Cantara restaurant at the back
Anglo Italian flavour
Sunday evening, the lightness of it all is the only good thing about British Summer Time
Cappuccino- Grade 'B-'
Not cheap at £2.60

Truth be told, the coffee here is not the be all and end all. You come here to watch Soho life and be part of it. The ambience here is unique in London.

The ongoing pursuit for the best coffee in London goes on. Now if I hadn’t been indoctrinated with the Australasian (Kiwis, don’t jump on me with this term, it’s purely geopolitical) way of making coffee, Bar Italia would certainly be one of my top three coffee places in London.

This place is an institution and it beggars to be in the itinerary for anyone visiting London. Followers of the Italian Serie A football league revere this place. The ambivalent ambience is somewhat unique to Bar Italia, so much so that I think they should trademark it. I’m surprised that Benetton hadn’t figured on utilising Bar Italia and its vibrant customers for its advertising campaign.

The cappuccino* is, as you’d expect, good. But it’s not the best, you’ll need to venture around the corner to Amato for what I think serves the best Italian caps in London. As frothy coffees go, flat whites still reign supreme.

Custard doughnut- huge and messy to eat. Lip smackingly gorgeous.

Bar Italia is a vital organ of Soho, like warts and all, it simply cannot be overlooked nor ignored. I’ll only be back if there are no seats left in either the Milk Bar or Amato. And I’ll also come back if my beloved Arsenal is playing an Italian team; I love to see Italian men weep when the mighty Gunners do the honours.

*Annoying comments relating to how cheap an equivalent cup would be in Italy will be removed without hesitation. We should all be impervious to the fact that London is costly!

22 Frith Street
London W1D 4RP


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