Bar Italia Soho: A Must-Visit for Coffee Lovers and History Buffs

Bar Italia Soho: A Must-Visit for Coffee Lovers and History Buffs

Art print bar Italia

Bar Italia Art Print - A unique gift idea

A hidden gem on the high street

Looking for a unique hidden spot for an espresso and a biscotti? Look no further than Bar Italia, an authentic Italian cafe tucked away in the heart of Soho. This atmospheric spot has an edge that's rarely seen on the British high street, offering a taste of old-world charm and the perfect respite from the forced cheeriness of chain coffee shops.

Interior of Bar Italia

The interior of Bar Italia 

History and famous faces 

Opened in 1949 by Lou and Caterina Polledri, Bar Italia has a rich history as a social hub for working-class Londoners, artists, and musicians. Today, it's still a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, known for its delicious coffee and well-filled, fresh paninis and snacks. And if you're lucky, you might even spot a celebrity or two - Suggs from Madness and the late David Bowie were both regular customers.

Madness band

Suggs from Madness, a regular visitor

One of the standout features of Bar Italia is its connection to television pioneer John Logie Baird, who gave the world's first public demonstration of a working television in the attic rooms of the building in 1926. A blue plaque commemorates this historic moment, adding to the cafe's charm and character.

Pioneer John Logie Baird demonstrating the first television

Demonstrating the first television

A unique gift idea

If you're a fan of Bar Italia or looking for the perfect London print for a coffee lover, check out my painting of the cafe, available as prints in my shop along with other London prints. So next time you're in Soho, skip the chain coffee shops and step into Bar Italia for a truly authentic experience.


Art print of Bar Italia by Laura Willis

My painting of Bar Italia, prints available shop for London prints including Bar Italia.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.