48 Frith Street, Soho. Top Dog
No prizes for guessing what’s on the menu at Top Dog Diner, says Beena.
This revamped American diner snuggles into the beating heart of London’s Soho, rubbing shoulders with jazz club Ronnie Scott’s. With vibrant, friendly staff, waltzing around and charming customers, the atmosphere is pleasantly relaxed.
The menu is well-thought-out and caters for most: for vegans and vegetarians there’s options like cauliflower and kale or tofu hot dogs, as well as craft beers, whisky and calorific milkshakes.
For meat lovers like me, there’s a veritable indulgence of meaty hot dogs and burgers. These can be dressed in anything from chilli cheese, Gochujang mayo or kimchi.
I went for a classic American burger, along with cheesy sweet potato fries. The fries were crisp and moreish and served with lashings of cheese clinging to every deliciously calorific bite. To go with this, I chose a citrusy light Flying Dog Pale Ale. All of this with change from £20 felt pretty reasonable for a West End diner.
The burger itself Ã¢â‚¬â€œ two patties of aged-beef sourced from award-winning London butchers, Turner & George, are flame grilled and served just pink inside. Tender and succulent with a hint of a crust, it is packed with a muddle of sauce, cheese, lettuce and pickles and served in a toasted brioche bun.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised: the food is good and reasonable, especially as it is not the kind of place I would necessarily have picked. It’s a little too retro for me and the vibe is understated hipster.
With the odd neon sign adorning the wall and its retro refectory look, complete with distressed wooden tables, it would not usually have charmed me. But having eaten there, I would come back again if I was in the area.
Top Dog will soon be opening a bar upstairs in the theme of a retro drinking den providing retro twists on classic cocktails.
Open daily from lunch until late.