City of London

The City, also known as the Square Mile, is the historical centre of London; the Roman settlement of Londinium was in this spot, and you can see ruins of a Roman temple at the London Mithraeum near the Bloomberg HQ, before the area grew into a hub of commerce and trade in the late 16th century. As the financial centre of London, modern landmarks like the Walkie-Talkie, the Cheesegrater and the Gherkin now dominate the skyline in between the historic St Paul’s Cathedral, the Monument, the Bank of England and the Tower of London. That also means that during the week the City is awash with bankers, traders and other high-flyers, which in turn means many of the places to eat and drink in the area are designed to impress – nothing helps close a business deal like a fancy meal and some expensive wine.

High-end restaurants like City Social, Angler and Bob Bob Cite are perfect if you’re out to impress (and if you’ve got cash to splash). One advantage of all those shiny new skyscrapers is the views you get from so many stories up – Duck & Waffle and Sushisamba in the Heron Tower and Sky Garden in the Walkie-Talkie boast some of the best views in all of London. But there’s more to the City than slickness and money; there’s culture here too. Fittingly for where London started, the Museum of London calls the City home and the Barbican is a world-class centre for the arts, not to mention one of the most famous examples of brutalist architecture in the world.


Rosslyn is an Irish and Aussie-inspired coffee house pouring shots without the pomp. These guys only care about what tastes good, offering seasonal coffees carefully selected each and every week. Expect a flat white like none other and great conversation with the baristas behind the bar.


1 Granary Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AA

Caravan really knows what it’s doing when it comes to all-day dining. The globally-inspired small plates menu features a mash-up of Asian, European and Middle Eastern flavours. That means you can tuck into everything from stilton & peanut wontons to broken lamb meatballs to sourdough pizzas, and that’s before you get onto their bangin’ brunches – hello baked eggs, hello jalapeno cornbread, hello pork belly on kimchi pancakes. Caravan also takes their coffee very seriously, so not only can you buy it freshly poured but you can order a whole range of blends and kit to improve your own coffee game.


27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ

The Soho House group transformed the old Midland Bank in the City, designed by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, into The Ned, a mighty luxury hotel. It’s a nod to 1920s glamour – think crystal chandeliers, marble columns and frilly lampshades, with many of the building’s original features still intact. The 250 bedrooms range from intimate crash pads to large-scale suites and it’s also home to eight restaurants (including Cecconi’s, Malibu Kitchen, and Electric Bar & diner), a rooftop bar, two pools and a spa. It’s as boujee as they come.


Koya City, Bloomberg Arcade, London

At its heart Koya is all about the udon noodles. You can choose from hot noodles in hot soup; cold noodles to dip into hot soup; and cold noodles with cold sauce to dip or to pour. Hot noodles and hot broth is the most popular and has the greatest number of options, and keep an eye out for the day’s specials when ordering – we’ve have spectacular bowls from there, like kedgeree-inspired number that had a thick curry soup, flakes of smoked haddock, and an egg. Koya’s menu of small plates are no after thought either. The tonkatsu (available at dinner only) here is exceptional, easily the best we’ve found in London and even rivalled many we’ve had in Japan. Other highlights were the crispy prawn heads (a regular special from Soho that have found a permanent home here) and the marinated mushrooms.

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Old Spitalfields Market Unit B SP 4 London E1 6EA

Bleecker is all about keeping it simple, serving up US-style burgers and fries with shakes, sodas and beers. No fancy starters, sides or specials, just rare breed, dry-aged beef cooked medium rare with homemade burger sauce, American cheese and a sesame seed bun. And when it tastes this good, you don’t need anything else. Order a double cheeseburger and prepare to go to burger heaven.


54 James St, London W1U 1HE

Flipping out some of the sloppiest burgers in London town, Patty & Bun are famed for their juicy patties, neon signs and bangin’ tunes. You can’t beat their ‘Ari Gold’ with an aged beef patty, cheese, pickled onions, smokey P&B mayo, ketchup, lettuce and tomato, all in a brioche bun. Add in some rosemary salted chips and a couple of beers and you’ve got yourself a damn good dinner.


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.


157a Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ

They’re all about the steak of course and if you’re looking to splash out on beef, there’s really no better place to do it. Alongside the steaks are all sorts of other goodies including beef dripping fries, lobster mac & cheese and THOSE ‘Rolos’ for dessert. Breakfast is naturally a meaty one, with a smoked bacon chop, sausages, black pudding, short-rib bubble & squeak, grilled bone marrow, trotter baked beans, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and HP gravy. It’s meant to be for two but everyone likes a challenge, right? As you’d expect from somewhere that dishes up some of the best steaks in the city, Hawksmoor knows a thing or two about knocking up one of the best Sunday roasts in London, yes it’s beef and only beef here on Sundays. Rumps of beef are started over charcoal before going in the oven to re-create that traditional spit-roasted flavour and you get a nice, fat slice along with duck fat roasties, carrots, greens, roasted shallots and garlic, a big ol’ Yorkshire pudding and plenty of bone marrow and onion gravy to drown it in, and you will want to drown it because that sauce is something else.


The City of London Distillery brought gin distilling back to the area after a very long absence so it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing when it comes to the booze. Not only do they whip up a dry and a sloe gin, they’ve got a warm spiced Old Tom version and a premium (and award-winning) gin named after Christopher Wren. You can go on tours of the distillery, have a go at making your own gin, or just drink at their bar whilst admiring their impressive copper stills.


1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR

Brigadiers brings some serious SPICE to the Indian restaurant scene in London. The menu is huge and everything sounds amazing so choosing is definitely the hardest part. The half rack of lamb chops are pretty exceptional, crusted in spices and served on a bed of soft tandoori onions, as is the kid goat shoulder with two paratha breads and the sagafella oysters. Brigadiers is another winner for the JKS group and it’s worth at least a couple of visits to get through as many dishes as possible.

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1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ

If you’re after a fancy rooftop Coq D’Argent is the one. The leafy gardens with proper lawns and perfectly pruned plants (we said it was fancy) is a big hit with city workers – with a French-inspired restaurant menu that includes caviar, lobster, and chateaubriand and a bar menu with plenty of bubbly, whisky and a cigar list, we’re not surprised. But hit it up at the weekend and the place is likely to be dead quiet, unlike most rooftop bars.


Murger Han, Eversholt Street, London

Murger Han is a X’ian Chinese restaurant with branches in Euston, Mayfair and the City that seriously delivers the goods, and is super cheap too. The speciality here is Biang Biang noodles. They are made fresh in house every day and hand pulled by the chef into one giant 12 foot sheet and then cut into wide, thick strands before cooking. The noodles are spot on and come with some epic sauces – we particularly love the braised pork, tomato, egg, and chilli sauce. Sides such as gyoza are excellent too, as well as the murgers themselves – a flat bread stuffed with stewed beef or pork.


Flat Iron Square, Union Street, London SE1 1TD

The family behind Churchill’s opened Bar Douro, first in London Bridge and then a bigger site in the City, dedicated to Portuguese tapas, wines, and port. It’s a great place to pop in for a glass of wine and a few small bites such as crisp golden salt cod cakes; milk fed lamb rolls; soft octopus with sweet potato; and hake belly with tomato risotto. And if you swing by around lunchtime make sure you pick up the daytime-special roast pork sandwich topped with oozing Serra cheese.


Duck & Waffle takes all-day dining to the max, serving up their modern European menu round-the-clock, 40 floors up. Yep, you can get seriously good food, including their signature duck & waffle dish, ox cheek doughnuts with apricot jam, lobster cocktail, and torrejas with cinnamon ice cream, and seriously good views whatever time of day or night.


30 Rivington St, London EC2A 3DZ

Blacklock brings quality chops to the people of Soho, the City, Covent Garden and Shoreditch. It’s all about the meat here, with a range of steaks, big chops, skinny chops, burgers at lunchtime and specials up on the chalkboard. For us, the best way to go is still the All In, which gets you three varieties of pre-chop bites and you get a pile of perfectly cooked beef, lamb and pork chops sat on top of thick fingers of flatbread, so all those meaty juices run down and soak in, plus sauces and sides. And not forgetting a big spoonful of white chocolate cheesecake scooped right from the bowl. Blacklock also does one of the best Sunday roasts in town and classic cocktails for a fiver. Bring on the meat sweats.


The team behind Old Street Records, Northcote Records and Venn St. Records have added a new venue to the family with Eastcheap Records, now open on Eastcheap (duh!) in the City. Just like the other bars, Eastcheap Records is serving up pizza and 2-4-1 cocktails every day as well as hosting live music every night of the week – everything from live hip-hop to 80s hair rock to brass band carols. It’s the home of live music, cocktails and good times in the City.


14 Hills, on the 14th floor of 120 Fenchurch Street with Thomas Piat (previously of Bar Boulud) heading up the kitchen, is a tropical oasis that’s capable of beating any winter blues. Not only are the interiors dreamy – the outside has been brought in with plants from floor to ceiling – but the views are amazing, especially as the sun goes down and the room is flooded with light. The onyx bar takes centre stage and it’s worth stopping here sip on a couple of cocktails as both The Hive and the signature Fourteen 75 are pretty knockout. You can’t beat chicken kiev loaded with garlic and parsley butter, alongside the gratin dauphinois for a dose of creamy naughtiness and with desserts like sharing portions of apple and blackberry pie with clotted cream, you won’t wanna skip pudding. All in all 14 Hills is a great place to visit with the views and decor really adding to the experience. Go take a look at the forest in the sky.


Angler opened at South Place Hotel in the City back in 2012, and only a year later it was awarded a Michelin Star. Located on the top floor, the Conran-designed space shows off floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor terrace surrounded by the City’s skyscrapers. Angler, of course, is all about the seafood with Chef Gary Folks at the helm and creativity at the heart of the menu. Expect art-like, intricately presented dishes, like yellowfin tuna tartare with avocado & wasabi, roast octopus, and rabbit agnolotti with langoustine, that make you think twice about spoiling them with your knife and fork. Angler is run like a tight ship, the service is faultless and meticulously carried out. If you’re serious about your seafood, this is the Angler for you…


The City of London is known for its skyscrapers, so of course there’s a gym inside one of them that’s 125 metres up with 360-degree views of the capital below. BXR City at 22 Bishopsgate, designed by luxury studio Bergman Design House (founded by Marie Soliman and Albin Berglund), has a members-only gym floor with the highest climbing wall in London, a boxing training area, and state-of-the-art equipment from Technogym, Wattbike, Eleiko and Hammer Strength. The gym is also home to the pay-to-train Sweat by BXR studio, where you can take pilates, yoga, strength & conditioning and Versaclimber classes, so there are plenty of ways you can work up a sweat at the highest gym in the City.


1Rebel is a ‘pay-as-you-train’ boutique fitness studio offering highly intense fitness sessions against a backdrop of live entertainment. They’ve got six studios across London but their Broadgate studio is an underground playground where the gloves come off and beast mode comes on. Whether you want to reshape (that’s quickfire rounds of high-powered treadmill sessions, dynamic weights + lots of endorphins) or ride (a 45-minute sweat sesh on the bike that’ll blow your mind), 1Rebel will put you through your paces.


Bob Bob Ricard City, the sister restaurant to much-loved Bob Bob Ricard, is located on the 8th floor of The Leadenhall Building, or the Cheesegrater as its better known. The City location takes the glitzy spirit of the original and ramps it up a few notches. They’ve gone all out on the interiors with opulent decor, red banquettes, gold and brass fixtures, and the famous ‘Press for Champagne’ buttons. The menu is a mix of French and Russian influences, so that means vodka shots, caviar, oysters and truffle alongside steak tartare, chicken & champagne pie, escargots, turbot coulibiac and armagnac doughnuts. Much like the original Bob Bob Ricard, Bob Bob Ricard City is a lot of fun and perfect for a birthday or other celebration (but it’s not cheap).


For some seriously traditional grub head to Polo Bar, the twenty-four hour cafe serving up great British classics all day and night long. So whether you’re peckish first thing in the morning or need to satisfy those midnight munchies, these guys will sort you right out. The menu has everything from pancakes to bangers & mash to late-night hot dogs but it’s the all-day brekkies that really hit the spot. They do a whole range of fry-ups, including an American one (with sweet potato fries & pancakes) and a Mighty one with two types of bacon, two types of potato, sausages, mushrooms black pudding, tomatoes, beans and toast.


The first thing you notice about Sushisamba is the view – being on the 38th & 39th floors of the Heron Tower gives the restaurant a pretty good spot to look out over London from, not to mention the highest outdoor dining terrace in Europe. The next thing is probably the decor, including all the lights hanging from the bamboo ceiling in the dining room and the orange tree sculpture on the terrace. Luckily the food matches up to the surroundings. The Japanese-Peruvian-Brazilian menu includes dishes like wagyu gyoza, tuna ceviche, seabass antichuchos, lobster soba noodle and samba sushi rolls, which taste as good as they look. It’s spenny though, so save a trip up here for a special occasion – or for when someone else is paying.


Already a sought after manicure spot in Fitzrovia, Kensington and inside Harrods, nail salon Townhouse has made a move east with a brand new site near Liverpool Street. The stylish spot, complete with minimal glam interiors, is just around the corner from Spitalfields market and Liverpool Street tube station. You can get all the classics at Townhouse’s Liverpool Street location – manicures, pedicures, gel colour and nail art – as well as some bonuses, including a strengthening treatment, massages, nail repair and callus removals. Colours can be chosen via their QR code system, which lets your browse the full Townhouse colour library, with over 150 to choose from. And it gets better: you can sip on a free cocktail while you have your treatment and take advantage of the great WiFi if you can’t afford to take too long of a break from work.


Welcome to London’s highest public garden, right in the heart of the City and found at level 35 of the Walkie-Talkie building. Sky Garden has everything under one glossy glass roof: a white-clothed kinda place in Fenchurch Restaurant on Level 37; a cool and casual brasserie in Darwin Brasserie; and late-night cocktails in Sky Pod. The views go without saying but the real wow-factor comes from the three-storeys of landscaped gardens inside.


Being within a short walking distance of Barbican, Old Street and Liverpool Street stations, the South Place Hotel is a pretty convenient spot to be based from in the City. The 80 rooms come with all the mod cons like Bang & Olufsen TVs, free films on demand, free WiFi, Nespresso machines and so on. There’s a lot to get stuck into outside the rooms too, with the South Place Chop House serving up classic British grub, fancy seafood (and a fancy terrace) up at Angler, speakeasy cocktail bar Le Chiffre, and even a hidden secret garden. For a slick stay in a convenient location with all your drinking and eating needs taken care of inside the hotel, South Place ticks all the boxes.


Coya was a big hit when it first opened in Mayfair back in 2012 and they’ve since expanded globally with locations in the likes of Dubai, Monte Carlo and Abu Dhabi, plus a second London spot in Angel Court in Bank. It’s a stylish spot with lots of dark hand-crafted wooden furniture, original artwork, and an open charcoal grill and ceviche counter where you can watch the chefs in action. The menu features plenty of ceviches, tiraditos and anticuchos as well as dishes like sea bass with aji amarillo, soft shell crab tacos, and ribeye with chimichurri, and there’s an extensive rum, pisco and tequila list in the Pisco bar and lounge. And if you’re looking for a party, the Amazonian-themed bottomless brunch combines food, booze and dancing to create one of the liveliest brunches in London.


Jose Pizarro’s Broadgate Circle restaurant serves up the authentic tapas he’s become known for – think dishes like Jamon Iberico, squid ink & prawn croquetas, Iberian pork cheeks with pumpkin puree, hake with salsa verde, with lots of Spanish wines, sherries and massive G&Ts on the drinks list. It’s a real slice of Spain in the City.


Housing a concert hall, two theatres, two art galleries and three cinemas, the Barbican Centre is a place that celebrates the arts, cutting across all genres and hosting everything from the classical to the boundary-pushing. The galleries have hosted exhibitions on everything from Basquiat to AI and the concert hall has seen everything from opera to electronic music to Japanese drumming – there is literally something for everyone across their programmes. Even if you don’t go for the culture, there’s still a lot to admire at the Barbican, including the plant-filled conservatory and the brutalist architecture across the estate.


Sweetings is a City institution and has been for well over one hundred years, and it is old school to the max. You’ll find it in a Grade II-listed building on Queen Victoria Street standing alongside modern skyscrapers and slightly trendier eateries, but there’s something special about Sweetings. Open just for lunch from Monday to Friday, the seafood restaurant has dishes like smoked haddock & poached egg, bubble & squeak, fish pie, crab bisque, smoked eel, and steamed syrup pudding with custard on the menu. Eating here really is like stepping back in time.


Master sommeliers Xavier Rousset and Gearoid Devaney have brought Burgundy to the City with Cabotte. It’s all about the finest French food and wine, with Ed Boarland (previously of The Waterside Inn and Gordon Ramsey at Royal Hospital Road) heading up the kitchen. His menu features dishes like pork liver farci with smoked sausage cassoulet & pistou, beef cheek Bourguignon, cod with mussels & lobster sauce and tarte tatin. And given that Cabotte is the brainchild of two wine experts and backed by twelve Burgundian producers, the drinks list is extensive to say the least…we’re talking 100 wines with 650 of those coming from the Burgundy region.


Massive Italian food hall Eataly has finally opened in London – it’s stocked with over 5000 products spanning pasta, cheese and cured meats to gelato and olive oil, plus a zero-waste refill station and London’s largest Italian wine cellar. As well as the market and retail areas, Eataly is home to a number of dining counters, including Roman-style pizza at Pizza alla Pala, fresh pasta at the Pasta Fresca Bar, focaccia and salads at Made in Eataly, coffee and pastries at the Gran Caffè. There’s also the La Terrazza di Eataly al fresco restaurant, which serves up Italian classics like tuna crudo, burrata, cacio e pepe, ricotta & spinach ravioli and Torino-style pizzas alongside spritzes from Aperol.