Best Restaurants in London

London is a city full of the best restaurants in the world, making it the undisputed dining capital of the world (ok we may be a bit biased but we’re standing by it). But what are the absolute best restaurants in London? For us, they’re the ones that blow us away when it comes to the food, make us feel at home when it comes to the service, and have us itching to Instagram when it comes to the interiors. They’re the places we want to keep coming back to, the places that we instantly recommend to everyone, and yes, the places we dream about when we open our fridge and find half a lemon and a bottle of ketchup staring back at us.

Our top London restaurants list covers everything from fine-dining and Michelin-starred menus to street food and cheap eats. High-end Chinese food, Middle Eastern small plates, simple British fare, modern Mexican grub, authentic handmade pasta for under a tenner…. we love the lot.

We’ve got stalwarts like Yauatcha (we will never get bored of their prawn and beancurd cheung fun) and Jose Tapas Bar, the OG spot from Jose Pizzaro, who also happens to be one of the nicest chefs in the game. Local neighbourhood gems like Rochelle Canteen and Quality Chop House have also made the cut. Then there’s a museum cafe serving up food way beyond cakes and sandwiches, an East London spot serving up some of the most creative food in town, and a fifteen-course menu from one of the country’s best chefs.

So here you go. In no particular order (narrowing it down to 25 was a hard enough task, we can’t be playing favourites anymore than that), these are the best restaurants in London… for now.

CHISHURU

3 Great Titchfield St., Fitzrovia, London W1W 8AX

Just under a year after she closed her Brixton site, Adejoké Bakare’s Chishuru has finally re-opened in its shiny new Central London location. The new site, which is located on Great Titchfield Street, is bigger than the Brixton original but still not huge by any means – there’s a maximum of 55 covers, split across two floors. They’ve done a great job on the space, however, with earthy-toned walls, splashes of light green, modern artworks, and smart spotlights. On the food front, it’s all very simple: there’s a £65 set menu at dinner and a £35 menu at lunch. Within that you’ll get some starters/snacks, choose your main course from three options, and then finish with a dessert. It’s truly all fantastic with a thick fermented rice cake (Sinasir) topped with white crab meat, pumpkin and sorrel purée; fiery peppercorn broth,topped with eko, meat floss, kale, and corn tofu; Egusi, grilled hispi cabbage stuffed with caramelised shallots, utazi leaf, and a superb wild watermelon seed sauce; and Ngalakh, a rice ice-cream, with ginger cream and a dusting of baobab powder amongst the standouts.

LLAMA INN LONDON

Llama Inn London, Willow Street, London

Cult Brooklyn fave Llama Inn has landed at The Hoxton in Shoreditch, in a beautiful rooftop restaurant complete with outdoor terrace. Llama Inn London has a dedicated entrance through the yellow door on Willow Street, so you don’t have to go through the hotel – look for the llama graphic to get in the right lift. It’s a lovely space, filled with plants, terracotta tiles, mid-century furniture, and booth seating opposite the long bar, with tables and an open-air terrace at the back. Headed up by restaurateur Juan Correa and chef Erik Ramirez, the contemporary Peruvian restaurant has the same ethos of the Williamsburg original with a menu shaped by Erik’s Peruvian-American upbringing. It’s a pleasingly concise menu so you can try a fair few of the dishes – don’t miss the scallop and dragon fruit ceviche, the crispy squid with corn and yuca ceviche, the charred cabbage anticucho and the caramelised pork chop with a zingy cucumber salad and green sauce.  On the Llama Inn London cocktail list, there are some familiar favourites from Llama Inn’s NYC site, including the ‘Chupetini (one shot martini)’, made with Japanese gin, dry vermouth, umami bomb & blue cheese olives, and the ‘Llama Del Rey’, made from pisco quebranta, dark rum, red wine, chicha morada, and pineapple. The food and drink offering is more than exciting enough on its own to draw you into Llama Inn but the rooftop location, and its views of the East London skyline, is the cherry on top. One of the best restaurants in Shoreditch.

RAMBUTAN

10 Stoney Street, London SE1 9AD

The long awaited debut restaurant of Sri Lankan cookbook author Cynthia Shanmugalingam has opened in Borough Market – and it’s already proving a big hit. The site features a big open kitchen with a very impressive grill so be sure to grab a seat at the counter top and watch the show. The menu is all killer, no filler with a couple of snacks, selection of short eats, meat, fish and veg and just one dessert, a mango soft serve sorbet – which you’ll be lucky to squeeze in after working your way through the rest. Highlights include the chunky mutton rolls filled with curried lamb; the very delicious red pineapple curry (what might be one of the best veggie dishes on offer in London right now); tempered potatoes; and the black pork dry curry with some fresh roti. Don’t miss the snacks either, especially when washed down with banana negronis or calamansi iced tea.

JOSEPHINE BOUCHON

315A Fulham Rd., London SW10 9QH

With a couple of notable exceptions, Fulham isn’t exactly bursting with great restaurants; so the arrival of Claude Bosi’s new place Josephine – which would be big news in any residential London neighbourhood – feels like an especially big dea. Inspired by Claude’s hometown of Lyon, Josephine is a gorgeous, classic French bistro, decked out with vintage prints, thick red velvet curtains, antique mirrors and candlelit marble tables. Named after Claude’s grandmother, the menu is inspired by the dishes that Josephine would cook for him when growing up, so you can expect traditional hearty French fare at every turn – onion soup, frog’s legs, terrine, and poireaux vinaigrette are just a few of the starters on offer for example. And you can follow those with the likes of chicken and mushroom vol au vent, sweetbreads with morel mushroom sauce, and whole rotisserie-cooked chicken with salad, a rich gravy, and potatoes. If you love big sharing puds then you’re in luck too as Josephine does rice pudding with caramelised apple and a chocolate mousse. All wines are from Rhone Valley, including Josephine’s own label wine, available in red, white and rosé, served in Bouchon-style metre wine, where the bottle is left on the table for guests to help themselves. At the end of the meal, the wine is measured with Josephine’s ruler and you pay only for what you’ve drunk – assuming you haven’t just nailed the whole bottle of course. 

RESTAURANT ST BARTS

63 Bartholomew Cl, London EC1A 7BG

Restaurant St Barts is the new restaurant from the team behind Nest in Hackney and Fenn in Fulham. From a slightly ramshackle room on a busy main road in Hackney to St Barts, a beautiful modern dining room in a quiet, pretty square opposite St Bartholomew’s church, this latest venture is a huge jump and a marker of how far they’ve come. The food here is excellent and we’ll be surprised if anything comes along that feels more assured and exciting than this. As with their other restaurants, St Barts follows a set, tasting menu format – although the days of the incredible value £28 menu at Nest are long gone. At St Barts, the 15-course menu is £120 at dinner, and boy is it worth it. When you first arrive you’ll be sat in the cosy bar area at the front of the restaurant and from here you can have a cocktail or glass of fizz while the first round of snacks arrives, including offal kebab, cod fritters, and goats cheese & onion tart, and then it’s onto a proper table in the dining room for the second half of the meal. It’s one of the openings of the year for sure.

MANTECA

49-51 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3PT

Manteca in Shoreditch is the third iteration of a restaurant that started at 10 Heddon Street before moving to Soho, and now finally settling here in on Curtain Road. Of all these, the new place is the one that really feels like their home. If you’ve been to Manteca before and loved it then you will definitely be a fan of the Shoreditch restaurant. All the elements are there – the in-house charcuterie, the nose-to-tail menu, and the fresh pasta – and now it’s all wrapped up in a beautiful new space and a bold menu that combines some of their classic dishes with several new ones. Don’t miss the incredible mortadella, made fresh in house; the crisp, rich pig head fritti; the clam flatbread; the n’duja mussels; and the tonnarelli with a brown crab cacio e pepe sauce.

QUALITY CHOP HOUSE

88-94 Farringdon Rd, Farringdon, London EC1R 3EA

Clerkenwell’s Quality Chop House turned 150 in 2019. Despite some brief closures, there’s been a restaurant on the same site since 1869; back then it was a ‘progressive working-class caterer’ and now it’s one of the most beloved restaurants in town. Will Lander and Daniel Morgenthau have been running it since 2012 (they’re also behind Portland, Clipstone and Emilia), with Shaun Searley heading up the kitchen. Aside from the amazing interiors, complete with rickety old church pews, the food here always hits the mark. It’s classic British cooking with dishes like duck liver parfait with truffle and beef fat brioche; peas and jellied eel with a herb salad; Highland beef with ramson sauce; those famous confit potatoes; and broccoli with dripping breadcrumbs. And for dessert, don’t forget THAT treacle tart. A true London classic.

DA TERRA

8 Patriot Square, London E2 9NF

We’ve loved Da Terra since it opened in 2019 (which won a Michelin star in 2020 and added a second in 2021) and it’s just as good as ever, offering one of the best fine dining experiences in London. Da Terra offers blind tasting menus, so the only choice you have to make is if you want the short or long version. Da Terra is headed up by chef Rafael Cagali, who is originally from São Paulo but has lived in the UK for 20+ years, and though there are definitely elements of Brazilian cuisine in the menu but it’s certainly by no means a Brazilian restaurant, taking a much broader scope in style and invention, with dishes like carabinero and tomato bisque spiked with vodka; hamachi sandwiched between thin layers of pumpkin and bathed in tucupi; aged turbot served with manteiguinha beans, farofa, and a rich seafood coconut milk broth with dende oil; and baba with pistachio and caviar. The food at Da Terra is technical and accomplished but the restaurant never loses sight of delivering fantastic dishes that you actually want to eat.

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DARBY'S

3 Viaduct Gardens, Nine Elms, London SW11 7AY

We absolutely LOVE Darby’s, Robin Gill’s restaurant next door to the US Embassy in Nine Elms. Although it’s a big space in a brand new shiny building, the designers AvroKO have done an incredible job making it feel like a homey, lived-in restaurant with a large central bar area and nice booth seating around the sides. Robin, who’s an amazing chef and all round nice guy to boot, has also smashed it out the park on the food front. The menu is classic by nature – think oysters, grilled fish, and steaks – but it’s all been executed with great care and attention. And when the classics are done well, they’re really very hard to beat. With a big selection of oysters, a couple of these and a pint of Guinness or glass of champagne makes for an excellent start. Darby’s has its own bakery in house so a round of sourdough and cultured butter is another must, as is the lobster roll which comes slathered in roe mayo and sandwiched in a glistening brioche bun. For dessert, you need to order the truffled Baron Bigod cheese which is melted over thin slices of sourdough and served with fig and walnut and the Pump Street chocolate mousse with Guinness gelato.

ROCHELLE CANTEEN

Rochelle School & Club Row, Arnold Circus, London E2 7ES

Rochelle Canteen, run by Margot Henderson and Melanie Arnold, has long been one of London’s favourite spots. Housed in a former school bike shed on Arnold Circus in Shoreditch, accessible only through an unmarked door that, when buzzed in, leads you through a pretty garden and to a small dining room, it’s always been a hidden spot for Londoners to enjoy. Aside from being an excellent setting to enjoy a leisurely weekend lunch, the cooking is really quite good too. Simplicity is the order of the day so, although menus change daily, expect dishes along the lines of Queenie scallops, grilled in garlic and butter; the skate wing with burnt butter and samphire; and, our favourite, braised lamb with peas and mint.

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JOSE TAPAS BAR

104 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3UB

This is the original spot from one of London’s best, and nicest, chefs – José Pizarro. José Tapas Bar is all about simple dishes made with great produce and you can’t go wrong with a plate of Iberico ham and a glass of sherry to kick things off. From there, we can highly recommend the pan con tomate; croquettes filled with rich squid ink and prawn; tortilla; and beautiful boquerones, practically swimming in olive oil, garlic and parsley. There’s also larger plates such as thin slivers of Iberico pork neck, cooked medium rare and served simply with a sprinkle of salt and a few red peppers, and baked vegetables in tomato sauce, topped with a fried egg and goat’s cheese. And a cheeky side of patatas bravas never goes amiss too.

10 GREEK STREET

10 Greek Street, London W1D 4DH

Given the rate at which restaurants open and close in this city, anywhere that survives more than a couple of years can easily become a classic. It opened in 2012 (so not brand new but certainly not old) yet that’s exactly what it feels like at 10 Greek Street. It also massively helps that there’s some fantastic cooking and an effortlessly convivial atmosphere happening inside. The staff have nailed the art of relaxed service and diners are more than happy to talk across tables – it’s a small restaurant but you don’t actually mind being sat close together. The concept here is simple in that there is no concept; just a daily changing menu, broadly European in style, built around what produce is best and chalked up on the blackboard. The wine list at 10 Greek Street is as well-curated as the food menu. It’s short but varied and there are no crazy mark-ups – you can get glasses under a fiver, which feels like a steal. Great food, great wine, zero pretension, all delivered without blowing a hole in your wallet.

THE GARDEN CAFE

Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB

A museum cafe isn’t somewhere we’d usually think of when recommending restaurants but The Garden Cafe has changed all of that. The restaurant, inside the Garden Museum in Lambeth, serves a small menu of beautifully presented, simple dishes that taste every bit as good as they look. We were wowed by cured sea trout, venison wellington and a buttermilk pudding topped with fresh rhubarb and honey. The menu changes daily and the bad news is at time of writing the restaurant is only open for lunch and on Friday evenings – although we’re hoping that might change!

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YAUATCHA

Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DL

When it comes to the finest dim sum in town, Yauatcha is pretty hard to beat in our book. It now has two locations, the original in Soho and the newer one in Broadgate Circle, and we never tire of going in for some prawn and bean curd cheung fun, xiao long bao, or char sui buns. Admittedly it’s not the cheapest but you can have the Taste of Yauatcha menu, surely one of the most insanely good value eating experiences you can have in London. Aside from dim sum, Yauatcha makes some pretty mean cakes and macaroons too.

LISBOETA

30 Charlotte St., London W1T 2NG

Nuno Mendes is back in London and he’s brought a bit of Lisbon with him for his new restaurant Lisboeta in Fitzrovia. Taking over three floors of a townhouse on Charlotte Street, the restaurant is a love letter to Nuno’s home city and gives Londoners the chance to eat, drink and live life like a Lisboeta. The ground floor features a long bar made from repurposed tram wood and limestone from Lisbon, and is a place where you can dip into petiscos (aka little plates) and a glass of Portuguese wine. Upstairs in the main dining room, lunch and dinner is served ‘tasca’ style, with a menu including Goan spiced pork pies, Carabineiro prawns with garlic & piri-piri, chourico & beef tartare, slow-cooked lamb shoulder in a red wine stew, and egg yolk & pork fat custard with port wine caramel.

AULIS

16 St Anne's Ct, London W1F 0BF

Aulis, Simon Rogan’s London chef’s table restaurant, has reopened with more seats (12) as well as a lounge for pre- and post-dinner drinks. Head Chef Charlie Tayer is still looking after the stoves alongside wingman Oli Marlow, Simon’s Exec Chef for the group. The tasting menu, based around British ingredients, uses produce from Simon’s own Lake District farm and tries to be as sustainable as possible, replacing citrus for vinegars and the like. Happily it’s as good as, if not better, than before with dishes like pig and eel donut; crispy chicken skin with Cornish crab; cheese and truffle pudding; crab bone custard with rosehip vinegar and marinated trout roe; peas from Simon’s farm served with beef tendons in broth; and a delicious spin on a cheese course, frozen Tunworth cheese with truffle honey and hazelnut. For a tasting menu experience in London that’s well worth the money (£175 a head) Aulis might just be the most failsafe option there is. Brilliant cooking, interesting wines and just enough story telling to keep you interested but not send you to sleep. All you need to do now is score yourself a seat.

FALLOW

52 Haymarket, St. James's, London SW1Y 4RP

Fallow was the third pop-up to go in to the revolving space of 10 Heddon Street (the others being what became Manteca, and Pacific) and due to COVID, it had a slightly longer tenure than was expected. Now it’s moved to its very own permanent home just across the way at St James’s Market and things have been taken up another notch with a very sexy looking 65-cover dining room with a bar, wraparound terrace, and seven-seater chef’s counter overlooking the open kitchen. Style-wise, chefs Will Murray and Jack Croft are continuing the same sustainable approach that won them so many plaudits at the residency. At first glance the menu appears a bit overwhelming – there are snacks, breads, raw bar, small plates, large plates, grill, steaks and sides sections – but it’s full of gems, like caramelised cauliflower croquetas, fallow deer tartare with homemade crisps, mushroom parfait (made using mushrooms grown in the restaurant’s basement) confit cabbage, dairy cow fillet steak, and crispy boulangere potatoes. Chef Anna Williams who was previously Head Pastry Chef at Dinner by Heston, has joined the team and she’s certainly made her mark with the desserts so make sure to save room.

BIBI

42 N Audley St, London W1K 6ZP
OPENING HOURS
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 5:30 – 10:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:30 – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 3:00 PM, 5:30 – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 12:00 – 3:30 PM, 5:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 3:30 PM, 5:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

Indian restaurant BiBi is part of the JKS group and ran by chef Chet Sharma, who’s earned his stripes working at some of the country’s best Michelin-starred restaurants including Moor Hall and L’Enclume. Oh, and Chet also has a PHD in physics from Oxford University – which is really not something you can often say about a chef. Chet has a very strong debut in the can with BiBi, full of crowd pleasing hits, familiar notes and more adventurous moments. The Indian menu is split in to five sections – snacks, chaat, sigree, sides and desserts – and you’ll want to ensure a spread of six to eight dishes across these. The must orders in our book include the Wookey Hole (that’s the cheese fyi) cheese papad, giant cheesy crisps with a creamy dip and mango and green chutneys; the raw belted Galloway beef pepper fry, an Indian riff on a beef tartare, spiked with spices and fermented Tellicherry peppercorns; the chukh masala tikka; and the Swaledale lamb belly gallouti, glistening with rich fat and crispy skin. All in all, BiBi is a great restaurant, with truly exciting and inventive dishes on offer, and a fresh, contemporary take on Indian cuisine.

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PAPI

1f Mentmore Terrace, London E8 3SD

After a series of deliveries, pop-ups and residencies, Matthew Scott has finally taken Hot 4 U permanent and he’s got Charlie Carr of Wingnut Wines in on the action too. With Papi, open on a London Fields backstreet, combines the creative cooking (who can forget the garum pom bears and whisky bone marrow luge?) we’ve come to know and love from Hot 4 U, with Wingnut Wines’ selection of under-represented natural wines. Split across two floors, the intimate downstairs cocktail bar nods more heavily to the Hot 4 U days, with Ribena Negronis, Strawberry Nesquik Daiquiris, pig’s trotter nuggets with mustard smiley faces on offer. Upstairs in the main 28-cover dining room, Matthew’s signature mix of sustainable, zero-waste and fun cookery is still on show, just in a slightly more refined way. And what a menu – smoked rabbit kielbasa, cheeseburger tartare, garlic bread with cheese, ABC tomatoes, get it all!

HUMBLE CHICKEN

54 Frith St, London W1D 4SJ

Angelo Sato first opened Humble Chicken in Soho in 2021 with a focus on yakitori and ‘comb-to-tail’ chicken cookery, and he won us over with tasty skewers, inventive small plates and quick poured pints of Asahi Super Dry. Instead of resting on his laurels, Angelo overhauled the concept (the look of the restaurant hasn’t changed, so it’s still counter dining) and has turned the yakitori-centric offering into a broader Japanese eight-course tasting menu that takes inspo from his heritage, as well as his time spent in top kitchens like Eleven Madison Park and Restaurant Story. He’s showcasing some serious cooking without taking himself too seriously, with playful nods like chicken chopstick holders and piggy face bao buns and top-tier dishes like oysters with citrus kosho beurre blanc and burnt chicken fat; shokupan with chicken liver pate, fermented red cabbage and miso sesame butter; Wagyu Angus short rib served with pickled daikon, yakiniku sauce, barley miso and lettuce leaves; and chicken achilles yakitori with charcoal fat, daikon and kosho.

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SILO

The white building, Queen's Yard, London

Silo (the world’s first zero waste restaurant) is housed in a space above Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick. Despite being in the loft an old warehouse, it’s a cosy room with a great vibe; grab a seat at the kitchen counter and you can watch the chefs at work and bask in the warmth from the grill. Unless you’re here for a quick bite and a glass of wine, we can definitely recommend going all in, sitting back, and enjoying the ride. The menu changes regularly but you’re always going to start with slices of bread, “the Siloaf”, and aged butter. Other highlights include a dish of smoked mackerel with sea buckthorn (one of the few non-veggie dishes), the king oyster mushroom with koji, and the amazing smoked potatoes with brown butter hollandaise. Desserts are ridiculously good too. Silo is incredible achievement both on and off the plate.

HANNAH

Southbank Riverside, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 7PB

Tucked away inside the County Hall building on the Southbank is one of the best omakase restaurants in town. At Hannah, Chef Daisuke take inspiration from the kaiseki style of service and he blends both Japanese and British cooking techniques and ingredients to create a very spesh omakase experience. Seasonality is everything at Hannah so the menu changes often (as do the flowers inside the restaurant and on the plates) but you can expect expertly crafted and plated dishes like seared A5 wagyu with foie gras; sea bream shabu shabu; smoked trout with tozazu jelly; otoro with seaweed soy sauce; ramen noodles with chicken & Iberico ham stock and grilled chicken; grilled lobster with umami butter; ten sushi chirashi bowl; and tonka bean and cherry blossom ice cream.

KEBAB QUEEN

4 Mercer Walk, London WC2H 9FA

Tucked away behind pink curtains downstairs from Maison Bab, Kebab Queen is not your typical kebab shop (despite the kebab shop signage out front). The speakeasy-style restaurant is decked out with chandeliers, electric blue stools, neon lights, herringbone wooden flooring and a marble countertop (that’s heated), which is where you’ll be served your six-course kebab tasting menu. Counter dining is the only kind at Kebab Queen, so you’ll watch the chefs assemble various courses of uniquely-styled kebab, like acorn-fed Iberico pata negra pork and barbequed foie gras served directly on the countertop. Even with the fine dining elements, eating with your hands is strongly encouraged, so get stuck right in.

CORA PEARL

Cora Pearl, Henrietta Street, London

We were already big fans of Cora Pearl, the second restaurant from the team behind Kitty Fishers in Mayfair. And then we went by for the Sunday Roast and we fell even more in love with the place. Any visit to Cora Pearl has to begin with the ham and cheese toastie aka the best toastie in London. This little beauty has ham hock and pig cheek wrapped up in a cheesy bechamel sauce and sandwiched in toasted white bread. The walnut pickle that comes across as a drunk, posh Branston is the clincher. Then there’s the roasts, thinly sliced medium rare beef or tender pork belly served with crispy potatoes, broccoli, Yorkshire puds, cauliflower cheese, carrots and lashings of an excellent gravy. They’re not the cheapest roasts in London but they are worth every penny. Simply one of the best out there.

DIM SUM & DUCK

If you like dim sum and duck, you’re gonna love Dim Sum & Duck. Located in King’s Cross, the simple, small Chinese restaurant serves some of the best dumplings in London – it’s just off the main drag so look out for the queue, which you’ll spot well before the bright blue restaurant. Once seated you can take your pick of fresh translucent dumplings, including the Shanghai pork soup dumplings, which just might be our favourite xiaolongbao in London; the crispy sesame prawn roll, a spin on sesame prawn toast; prawn & chive dumplings; fried duck bao; char siu honey roast pork; and the BBQ roast duck. Then there’s the char siu bao steamed pork bun, custard bun, crunchy tofu skin roll, cheung fun…we could go on and on and that’s before we’ve even mentioned the other Cantonese noodles, soups and rice dishes. It’s BYOB, service is fast and, like the queuing process, it’s also a little manic at times with orders and wrong dishes flying out, but it’s all part of the charm. Absolute gem this one.

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