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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