the most fun restaurants in london
Between Brexit, climate change, and the coronavirus, we need to find fun wherever and whenever we can get it, and that includes dinner time. There’s nothing wrong with serious food cooked by serious chefs, lengthy menus of challenging dishes, and proper plates and glasses, but sometimes you need a meal that’s so ridiculous in a restaurant that’s so over the top you don’t really know where to look. So if you’re after more fun-dining than fine-dining, then read on for our favourite fun restaurants in London…
Bob Bob Ricard & Bob Bob Cite
Throw caution to the wind and ignore your bank balance (at least for one night) by making use of those ‘Press For Champagne’ buttons at Bob Bob Ricard and Bob Bob Cite. Whether you prefer the decadence of the Soho restaurant or the futuristic feel of the City site, having fizz on demand never gets old.
Gloria & Circolo Popolare
There’s OTT and then there’s Big Mamma OTT. First we had Gloria, covered in plants on the outside and decked out like 1970s Capri on the inside, and then we got Circolo Popolare, with its wall-to-wall bottles and foliage-filled ceilings. It’s Disneyland for Italian dining. The food is just as maximalist; carbonara served out of wheels of cheese, ten-level lasagnas and lemon meringue pies the size of your head. While the food might be a bit forgettable, a night here is anything but.
From the jungle-inspired interiors (lots of plants, lots of gold, lots of butterflies and peacocks) to the huge open kitchen stocked with great cuts of meat and pineapples dripping with caramel, Amazonico is the South American equivalent of stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia. It’s a lot of fun and, despite the bank balance breaking prices, there’s a lot to take your mind off real life here.
10 Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6BR
There’s not many places that could draw people on the basis of their loos, but nowhere else has those Insta-famous egg pods that Sketch does. Aside from snapping toilet selfies, there’s the forest-themed Glade room, complete with fluffy carpet; the lavish Parlour; the very fancy three Michelin-starred Lecture Room & Library; and the entirely pink Gallery, decorated with David Shrigley artwork.
9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG
The Ivy Asia
The Ivy isn’t exactly synonymous with minimalism but with The Ivy Asia, the decor has been taken to a whole new level. There’s pink onyx and glowing green stone floors, a gold mirrored bar, lifesize samurai warrior statues in the toilets, and a massive cherry tree. Basically no surface has been left ungilded and that’s before you even get onto the food (yes this also has gold on it).
20 New Change, London, EC4M 9AG
Don’t go to either branches of Bunga Bunga if you just want a quiet dinner and glass of wine. Do go if you want metre-long pizzas, karaoke, cocktails in the mugs shaped the heads of Berlusconi and Don Corleone, sharing bevs served in gondolas, and statues of David, and immersive dining experiences like My Big Phat Roman Wedding. It’s A LOT.
167 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5PG
37 Battersea Bridge Road, London SW11 3BA
Counter restaurants are a fun time just by virtue of having no separation between diners and chefs – everyone can see everyone and you all end up chatting no matter what group you arrived in. Freak Scene takes this to another level though by asking if you want to kick things off with a wet puss (it’s a shot, get your minds out of the gutter); serving food like wonton bombs, sashimi pizza and chicken-fried chicken; and rounding off meals with sake bombs.
54 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 4SL
You really can’t go wrong with a good rooftop restaurant and Seabird, on the 14th floor of The Hoxton, Southwark, has a corker of a terrace. Not only do you get epic views over London, there’s a lot to look at inside the restaurant too – with a marble raw bar, rattan furniture and palm trees it’s pure summer vibes in there, and that’s before you get onto the towering shellfish platters, toucan cocktails and THAT Manchego cheesecake.
40 Blackfriars Rd, South Bank, London SE1 8PB