From Shoreditch to Soho, Covent Garden, Islington, and Mayfair, London boasts some of the best restaurants in the world; a plethora of options if you will. Whether it’s fine-dining, Michelin star dishes that leave you speechless, or quirky, authentic cuisine that transports you straight to the homeland, the ever-growing list of restaurants in London is sure to impress.
But how do you decide where to go? Avoid wading through countless reviews, we’ve put together a list of our top 20 best restauranFromts in London.
Best Restaurants in London with Michelin Stars
Looking to impress? There are 165 Michelin star restaurants in the UK with London being one of the top-ranked cities in the world. A Michelin experience is well worth the hype. While it may be more upmarket and expensive, there’s a reason these chefs are surrounded by accolades.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea
Known for his fiery temper and furrowed brow, Gordon Ramsay has quickly become one of the most famous Chefs on television. While his TV personality may be loud and crude, his food is far from it. With a subtle mix of classic and modern techniques, this flagship restaurant delivers elegant French cuisine boasting only the finest seasonal ingredients. It’s no wonder he’s gained three Michelin stars over the years.
Top dishes to order include ravioli with lobster, langoustine, salmon and sorrel, Herdwick lamb with courgette, romesco, black olives and marjoram followed by a delicate raspberry soufflé with pistachio ice cream.
The Araki, Mayfair
Talk about intimate dining! This hidden gem only seats nine guests at Chef Mitsuhiro Araki’s table of luxury. The counter alone is a 200-year old piece of Cyprus wood, a natural material that absorbs just the right amount of moisture from the rice, a shoo-in for the perfect consistency. Take it all in as the chefs prepare some of the world’s greatest sushi before your eyes. With an ever-changing menu of excellence, The Araki experience is well worth the long waiting list for reservations.
Amaya opened in 2004 quickly earning its Michelin star status. Think authentic, sleek and stylish Indian cuisine. Amaya’s tapas-style dining is somewhat unconventional with dishes carefully designed for sharing, a memorable gourmet adventure of eclectic Indian flavours. Make sure you book a table near the theatrical open kitchen so you can watch the chefs manning their various stations. From tandoors to tawa skillets, sigri grills and dramatic interior design, they’ve got the goods to deliver the ultimate trendy experience.
Satisfy your inquisitive palate with seasonal dishes like grilled duck breast with spiced toasted coconut, smoked chilli lamb chops with slow-roasted royal cumin and garam masala and tandoori ocean wild prawns.
A Wong, Pimlico
Forget your book-length menus, kitsch decorations and orders by numbers, Andrew Wong’s offers elevated Chinese cuisine with bold flavours and daringly authentic ingredients. This upmarket eatery encapsulates the importance of sharing dim sum style food, highlighting the heart of Chinese culture with flavours from each Province. Taking inspiration from China’s 14 national borders, the menu is an ode to the country’s diverse culinary landscape.
Park yourself at the bar if you can’t get a table and take in the countless dishes at your leisure. Must-try dishes include braised abalone, shitake mushroom, sea cucumber and abalone butter, Chengdu street tofu, soy chilli, peanuts and preserved vegetables and Yunnan seared beef with mint, chilli and lemongrass.
City Social, City of London
Surrounded by wraparound views of bustling London from the 24th floor of Tower 42, City Social offers low-key glamour with a Michelin star menu to match. Created by Jason Atherton, this gorgeous space has become a go-to for City suits who want to impress with a delicious take on Modern British cuisine. Offering a range of dishes from the al la carte menu to bar snacks and private dining, you’re sure to find precision-tuned contemporary flavours.
Top recommendations include lobster tortellini with fennel and yuzu bisque, South Coast halibut with baby gem, girolles and creamy dashi and Josper cooked rib-eye served with triple cooked chips, béarnaise and peppercorn sauce.
Angela Hartnett’s flagship restaurant Murano takes all the preconceptions about stuffy fine-dining out the window. Perhaps the most welcoming, comfortable and warm atmosphere exudes from the beautifully dressed tables to the smiling, down-to-earth servers. Throw in the generous Italian portions and you’ve hit the jackpot with this Michelin starred slice of magic.
Celebrate seasonal flavours with dishes like crab risotto with grapefruit, basil and pickled celery, beef carpaccio with pecan, caviar and truffle and smoked pork belly with sauerkraut, romesco and seasonal greens.
CORE by Clare Smyth, Notting Hill
Created by Clare Smyth, the only female Chef in the UK to bag three Michelin stars, CORE celebrates the finest seasonal ingredients with a relaxed dining experience in the heart of Notting Hill. The menu epitomises farm to fork dining with a focus on sustainable eating. Far from pompous, this fine-dining establishment exudes elegance and fun with playful gastronomical delights to boot.
Top picks for the menu include Isle of Mull scallop tartare, potato with dulse beurre blanc, herring and trout roe and duck with red grapes, thyme, honey and Timut pepper.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Knightsbridge
Known for his fascination with molecular gastronomy, Heston Blumenthal takes things to a new level with his aptly named restaurant, Dinner. Originally sprung from his mild obsession with savoury ice creams, the theatre of this experience finds the perfect sweet spot of historical and contemporary cuisine. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Dinner is yet another trophy of innovation and a new favourite for many.
Push your boundaries with dishes like Earl Grey tea cured salmon, roast marrowbone with smoke anchovy, snails and radish and Iberico pork chop with pea’s pudding, blood pudding, pickled onion and mint oil. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.
Locanda Locatelli, Marylebone
Giorgio Locatelli, one of London’s most highly regarded Italian chefs, reimagines Italian cuisine at this well-groomed Marylebone location. Nothing can truly prepare you for this experience, it’s sure to exceed your every expectation. From superbly crafted pasta to melt-in-your-mouth risotto and succulent tagliata, you can taste the love in every bite.
Top recommendations include prosseco and scallop risotto, pasta parcels filled with Osso Buco and chargrilled Scottish rib-eye steak with smoked aubergine, red onion and rocket pesto.
Clove Club, Old Street
Everything about the Clove Club screams opulence from the austere dining room to the lavish, blue-tiled kitchen and intentionally avant-garde menu. Priding itself in a relaxed atmosphere, the Clove Club has a new take on Michelin service, leaving the wine top-ups to the patrons. It’s a masterpiece of contemporary dining; thoughtful and precise and oh-so-delicious. The tasting menu changes daily but is guaranteed to delight.
Best Restaurants in London without Michelin Stars (that are still bloody good)
Looking for something authentic but not quite as fancy (and expensive) as Michelin star dining? London is littered with all types of cuisine, the ultimate playground for your tastebuds. Treat yourself to a multitude of options with a little more budget to spare.
Sushi Atelier, Fitzrovia
Run by the team behind Chisou in Mayfair and Knightsbridge, Sushi Atelier delivers a diverse menu of hardcore sushi, elevating traditional taste with modern techniques. Think tiny dollops of seaweed paste, lightly charred scallops and sticky glazed eel. The decor may scream cultural stereotypes but there’s far more to this unique spot. Even the geisha mural splashed on the back wall is brandishing blowtorches; a mere glimpse into this unique gem.
Must-have dishes include BBQ tuna oshizuhi, yellowtail truffle and the notorious nine kind sashimi set.
Cornerstone is the definition of details done right. While it’s all very simple, it’s nothing short of spectacular. Seafood is delightfully delicate and Head Chef Tom Brown treats it with impeccable care curating dishes that hero each ingredient. Every dish highlights his understanding of the essentials; the pearly flesh of perfectly cooked fish. If seafood gets your tummy rumbling this experience will certainly exceed expectations.
Top-ranked dishes include pickled oyster with celery, horseradish and fresh dill, soy cured gurnard with cucumber, ginger and lime and roast Cornish cod with celeriac, anchovy and chilli.
Dubbed the go-to place by local chefs, Bright offers the ultimate “foodie” experience. A permanent fixture of the award-winning P Franco, Hackney’s local wine bar, Bright’s ever-changing single sheet menu is a refreshing take on seasonal delights. The dishes are daring, challenging and beautifully executed. Pair any of them with the vast selection of exotic wines and it’s a guaranteed delight.
Named after Sri Lanka’s fermented rice and coconut milk pancakes, Hoppers transports you to the backstreets of its homeland with authentic street food served on an entirely new level. Known for it’s friendly staff, the restaurant succeeds in its genuine mission to educate patrons about this delectable cuisine. From hoppers to dosas, kothus and roasts, there’s something for everyone to fall in love with.
The ultimate authentic delights include shellfish kothu roti, mutton rolls with Sri Lankan hot sauce and black pork kari served with every sambal you’ve ever dreamed of.
With a short menu of four starters, six pasta dishes and a pudding or two, Padella reignites the glorious, uninhibited love for pasta. The restaurant is a culmination of owners Tim and Jordan’s obsession with fresh, hand-rolled pasta inspired by numerous trips to the motherland. Echoing Italy’s focus on simple, delicately delicious ingredients prepared with the kind of passion you can taste; Padella delivers in spades.
Absolute must-try dishes include gnocchi with nutmeg butter, pappardelle with fennel sausage and peppercorn ragu and ravioli with Neals Yard Westcombe ricotta and sage butter. Let’s be honest though, it’s the sort of menu where you could quite happily order everything.
Scully, St James
Born in Malaysia and brought up in Sydney, Scully is Ramael Scully’s first solo venture and it’s nothing short of a resounding success. Scully’s diverse upbringing exudes through the menu introducing explosions of flavour, technique and colour. Tuck into dishes clearly focused on local, sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients, packed with vibrant tastes and unique blends. Enjoy a myriad of artfully plated courses paired with an enviable collection of wine.
Recommended dishes include sea trou with pistachio sambal, jersey royals and brown shrimp, tomato and coconut salad with green strawberries and tomato shrub and dry-aged halibut with mustard-seed potato, coconut rempah and roasted peanuts.
Tandoor Chop House, Charing Cross
Known as the meeting point of North Indian communal dining and classic British chop house, Tandoor Chop House creates a perfect synergy between the two worlds offering distinct flavours, prime cuts of meat and a vibrant atmosphere. Creating a unique crossroads of street food and fine-dining the menu is aromatic and daring down to a tee. Enjoy a thali style menu giving you the chance to try out everything they have to offer.
Top picks include roasted cauliflower with pomegranate and green chilli chutney, black dahl and smashed cucumber and burrata with mushy peas and korma. Of course, every dish should be paired with copious amounts of garlic naan!
When you still want to eat exciting and inspiring food but your funds are running low, head to Kiln with a group to taste as much as possible. Created by self-taught chef Ben Chapman, Kiln boasts mouth-watering and authentic Thai-style treats chargrilled before your eyes. Located in trendy Soho, this has become the ultimate “foodie” spot without the horrific price tag. Kiln recently earned the top spot at this year’s National Restaurant Awards; keep an eye on this beauty, the future is packed with flavour.
Treat yourself to wild ginger and beef neck curry from Burma, Tamworth pork belly & Kapi curry and sour turmeric curry of turbot. A delightful demonstration of casual Thai dining.
From hundreds of tea lights to wood-veneered walls and limited tables, Bao delivers the stereotypical look and feel of an Asian restaurant. Serving award-winning Taiwanese food, it happily exceeds expectations with truly exceptional flavours and top quality dishes. Be prepared to queue because the word is out about this delectable dining experience. If you’re in the mood for fiery food and perfectly fluffy boa buns, step right up, it’s well worth the wait.
Top recommendations include fried chicken boa, confit pork boa and trotter nuggets but who are we kidding? Order as many plates as possible and feast until you’re full.
Named after a species of antelope, Kudu specialises in South African style small plates. This family-run restaurant shapes its menu around seasonal ingredients, creative plates and a unique splash of imagination inspired by Africa. With a focus on celebrating suppliers, owners Patrick and Amy gather what they can from their garden and vegetable plot, a true farm to fork approach. With two more restaurants on the horizon this flagship proves to be the ultimate culinary experience.
Top dishes to order include octopus potjie served with red pepper, jersey royals and garlic, braai onion squash with goats curd, dandelion and cavolo nero and farmer’s spiced biltong (about as authentically South African as you can get).
London’s every-growing list of top restaurants can be somewhat intimidating but it’s a challenge worth tackling. It’s easy to stick to what you know but there are so many delectable options out there. From Michelin fine-dining to biltong and bao buns, you’re sure to find a gastronomical delight.
I am an experienced writer specializing in travel, food, weddings, and well-being. Continuing my nomadic lifestyle I am currently based on the beautiful island of Malta.
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