Princi is the first London branch of a Milanese bakery chain in the heart of Soho, just a few minutes walk from Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road tube. There’s a self serve cafe area on the right as you enter with long benches and bar-type stools. It’s always packed and finding a seat can be a task but the turnover is pretty quick. They have a huge variety of pizza squares which are heavenly, filled focaccias, pastries, and the most ridiculously enticing selection of brownies and cakes.
They also do pastries and traditional Italian desserts like cannoli and tiramisu. I love just being able to walk up to the counter, see what looks most appealing and choose it! I’m terrible at making decisions and always struggle when I’m choosing from a menu (and sometimes I get food envy when I see other people’s dishes!) but if I can see the food rather than trying to picture it i find it so much easier! You do have to queue to order, and it can be quite a chaotic experience but the staff are friendly and do their best to make it as painless as possible.
The coffee is very “Italian” – it’s amazing but it’s served short and black – ask for a flat white and they’ll look at you like you’re nuts. It was a push to get anything other than an espresso/double espresso but it’s very very good coffee, and to be honest they could’ve served me up pond water and I wouldn’t have cared because THE CAKES!!
They are unreal. They both look and taste amazing and I can’t recommend them enough. I couldn’t decide so went for the praline cake and the chocolate pear cake. I actually thought the praline cake was going to be the better of the two because the topping just looked amazing but the pear and chocolate was up there with the best cakes I’ve ever had. A thick square, moist and sweet from the pear and packed full of dark chocolate chips.. And as if that wasn’t enough it came with a generous spreading of warm Nutella on top. Literally heaven.
The praline cake was more of a brownie with a random biscuit base but it was still amazing and the topping .. Well.. No words needed- look at the picture!
We also went to their restaurant for pizza and it was pretty decent. They offer simple toppings with thick doughy crusts and a thin base, just how I like my pizza. Personally I do prefer a sourdough crust so it didn’t quite beat Franco Manca for me but that’s just my preference and there’s no denying that it was a bloody good pizza.
If you’re round Soho I’d definitely recommend paying Princi a visit. I think overall the cafe food is better but the restaurant offers more refined food and a more relaxed experience so whichever you choose it’s an absolute gem! I’ve never explored the food side of Italy properly (I went for a couple of days with work once but as always when travelling in a big group others were interested in different parts and we had limited time to explore!) but I’ve just booked to go to Rome in August and I’m so excited. This cafe is just how I imagine it to be and I can’t wait! We were considering other cheaper places but I just want to eat all the Italian food.. Pizza, pasta, gelato, coffee, pastries.. What more could I want!? My parents and sister went a while back and I think they think I’m crazy as I’m just into the food side of cities but that’s who I am and I’m lucky I’ve found someone so like me to share it with 🙂
Would I recommend it? YES!
Worth going out of your way for? Yes.. and head to Crosstown too just round the corner afterwards if you can manage it!
Would I go back? Definitely! 🙂