15 best restaurants in London
Our favourite places to eat. Enjoy awesome food and stunning decor.
Never failing to produce the wow factor, the Wolseley is one of London’s best-known all-day fine-dining venues. Visit for breakfast from an indulgent menu featuring everything from a mixed basket of pastries to eggs benedict and grilled kipper. Book in for lunch or dinner to sample oysters and caviar on the café menu or the likes of veal Holstein and plats du jour on the a la carte. Afternoon tea is also a decadent treat in the stylish surroundings of this historic eatery in London’s bustling core.
160 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EB
Tel: 020 7499 6996 www.thewolseley.com
If your wallet is happy to wager £20 on a starter and £38 on a main course, the River Café is a classy venue serving quality cuisine. Feast on first courses like seafood pasta and follow on with wild sea bass or slow-roasted veal, sipping a glass of fine Italian wine. An unpretentious atmosphere and excellent service ensure this restaurant is always full, so book ahead – and save space for the extensive dessert menu and creamy cheese board.
Thames Wharf Studios, Rainville Road, London W6 9HA
Tel: 020 7386 4200 www.rivercafe.co.uk
Tel: 020 7201 3833 www.dinnerbyheston.com
Best of British
Heston Blumenthal’s contemporary and innovative – yet still traditional – two-Michelin-starred Knightsbridge restaurant is, despite its name, open for lunch and dinner. Inspired by historic British gastronomy, dishes include Powdered Duck Breast (circa 1670), Hereford Ribeye (c.1830) and Cod in Cider (c. 1940), as well as sumptuous starters and decadent desserts, such as Sambocade (c.1390). Diners can gaze out onto Hyde Park for a touch more history, sipping from a selection of wines and cocktails.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA
Complex culinary genius
Food, art and music – these are the triple attractions of restaurateur Mourad ‘Momo’ Mazouz’s visionary venue. Cuisine is imaginatively bold, ground-breaking and delicious. Savour anything from satay prawns to a beef and foie gras burger in the vibrantly decorated Gallery, enjoy a Gourmet Rapide Lunch in the fine-dining atmosphere of the Lecture Room, or stop by for afternoon tea in the vintage surrounds of the Parlour. Don’t forget cocktails in the cosy East Bar or from the fairy-tale feel of the Glade.
9 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XG
Tel: 020 7659 4500 www.sketch.uk.com
Asia de Cuba
The dramatic colonnades of Asia de Cuba, set within the stunning 5-star St Martin’s Lane Hotel, make the perfect backdrop for sampling sharing plates of Asian and Cuban cuisine. Peruse the artworks while you dine on dishes such as Char Siu Beef Short Ribs or Cantonese-style Red Snapper from the a la carte menu, or treat yourself to the richly varied Tasting Menu including Calamari Salad and Cuban BBQ Chicken. This cool Covent Garden location offers a surprisingly intimate hideaway.
45 St. Martin's Lane, London WC2N 4HX
Tel: 020 7300 5500 www.morganshotelgroup.com/originals/originals-st-
Veggies in vogue
Focusing its attention on vibrantly prepared vegetables, some of which are served with meat or fish, Grain Store doesn’t fall into the trap of recreating the cuisine of a particular continent. The stylish interior and 80-seat outdoor terrace set the scene for brilliant brunch dishes like potato pancakes and quinoa granola, and lunch and dinner creations like steamed seaweed sushi and braised endives. Top it all off with a Brunch Cocktail or a crafty mix like the Green Tomato Margarita later in the day.
Granary Square, 1-3 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB
Tel: 020 7324 4466 www.grainstore.com
For famous sushi
Who hasn’t heard of Nobu? This Michelin-starred restaurant, which boasts Robert De Niro as one of its partners, is one of London’s best-known. Situated on the ever-elegant Park Lane, its menu combines stunningly fresh sushi with South American influences, creating a trademark of innovation. Drawing on simple Japanese design and offering views of Hyde Park through floor-to-ceiling windows, Nobu appeals to the celebrity set and those willing to spend their pounds on a classy meal.
19 Old Park Lane, London W1K 1LB
Tel: 020 7447 4747 www.noburestaurants.com/london/experience/introduction/
Oxo Tower Restaurant & Brasserie
Whether you choose the restaurant or brasserie at the Oxo Tower, you’re in for a fabulous fine dining experience and views to match. The intimacy of the restaurant is home to modern, seasonal British dishes and a vegan menu, accompanied by a wine list of more than 800 international varieties. The open-plan kitchen of the brasserie, meanwhile, produces creative, intensely flavoured global dishes served in an airy space that gives the feel of dining in the sky, to a background of live music.
Oxo Tower, Wharf House Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH
Tel: 020 7803 3888 www.harveynichols.com/restaurant/the-oxo-tower/
Pollen St Social
London’s cool collective
‘Deformalised dining’ is the name of the game at Pollen Street Social, a contemporary Michelin-starred bistro priding itself on customer service. Whether you’re after tapas and a cocktail, an elegant three-course meal or an imaginative tasting menu, it’s all on offer. Part of Chef Jason Atherton’s popular string of ‘Social’ eateries, it’s no wonder he’s had to expand his empire. We love the Colchester Crab Salad to start and the Lake District Lamb as a main – and as for dessert, well – we love them all!
8-13 Pollen Street, London W1S 1NQ
Tel: 020 7290 7600 www.pollenstreetsocail.com
In with the Italians
Drawing on the Italian influences of owner Angela Hartnett, Murano is known for serving up fresh flavours through seasonally delicious dishes in an elegant, art-deco-style environment. With just 60 seats, there’s a feeling of exclusivity despite the reasonably priced menu. Meals are served in the traditional Italian way of first course, second course and dessert, complemented by a classy wine list. Boasting a Michelin star, the restaurant serves the seductive likes of scallop ceviche and Cornish sole.
20 Queen Street, London W1J 5PP
Tel: 020 7495 1127 www.muranolondon.com
Cool and quirky
London’s trendiest types head for this still-secret gem in the former Wapping Power Station, where the hydraulics and machinery are on full view. There’s certainly no other setting like it, with an ever-changing art gallery (recent themes have included ‘the lady from the sea’) as well as a unique 3D cinema. As far as food goes, try grilled octopus followed by lemon sole, after generous helpings of crusty bread and olive oil. Australian wines and colourful cocktails are the best of the drinks menu.
Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, London E1W 3SG
Tel: 020 7680 2080 www.thewappingproject.com
Designed to inspire indulgence and serving a sophisticated twist on informal Japanese izakaya-style cuisine, Zuma delivers an authentically Asian experience in the heart of high-class Knightsbridge. As well as the main dining area, there’s the sushi counter and robata grill, tosho table and kotatsu room. Izakaya dishes can be shared or sampled individually, with favourites including the dynamite spider roll (no arachnids involved!) and chefs here are happy to alter dishes to suit diners’ tastes.
5 Raphael Street, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DL
Tel: 020 7584 1010 www.zumarestaurant.com/zuma-landing/
For classic cuisine
Owner Bruce Poole and head chef Matt Christmas combine their talents to create top-notch modern food with a French-Mediterranean twist at Chez Bruce. Wander into this Wandsworth location, open for nearly 20 years, for a relaxed and informal yet elegant ambience. Old-fashioned cooking methods are used to create specials such as home-made bread, slow-cooked braises, offal and classic desserts.
2 Bellevue Road, Wandsworth Common, London SW17 7EG
Tel: 020 8672 0114 www.chezbruce.co.uk
Number one in Notting Hill
Fully deserving of its two Michelin stars, The Ledbury rates as a popular critics’ choice in London. With lunch and dinner, set menus and a tasting menu starting at £110 per person, there is a stunning selection of signature dishes. Maybe you’ll try the jowl of middle white pork for lunch, the flame-grilled mackerel for dinner, and feast on fabulous desserts like banana and chocolate malt tartlet. The exemplary wine list and an exceptional reputation mean advance bookings are essential.
127 Ledbury Rd, London W11 2AQ
Tel: 020 7792 9090 www.theledbury.com
Simplicity and style
Reflective of the seasons, Richard Corrigan's award-winning restaurant in uber-luxe Park Lane specialises in game and wild fish on an enticing international menu. For a taster of the decadent dishes, try the weekday lunchtime and early evening menu from just £25 for two courses, including fillet of cod with spiced rice, and toffee and banana pudding. An a la carte selection, Sunday lunch and vegetarian menus combine in a contemporary setting that makes for one of the city’s plushest locations.
28 Upper Grosvenor Street, Grosvenor House, AJW Marriott Hotel, London W1K 7EH
Tel: 020 7499 9943 www.corrigansmayfair.co.uk