The Best Restaurants in London
Collected by Emma John , AFAR Local Expert
London is home to some of the world's top restaurants and greatest chefs, as well as a diverse ethnic culinary scene and a seemingly endless supply of gastropubs and pop-ups.
10 Adelaide St, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4HZ, UK
Like all of the best Spanish tapas restaurants, Barrafina has no tables. In London’s Covent Garden, all the eating is done at a long marbled bar, lined with red leather stools, and there are no bookings: you get here first, you get served,...
Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JJ, UK
There’s a feeling of calmness when you walk into the stripped-back dining room at Lyle’s. Located at the industrial Tea Building in Shoreditch (the site of the old Lipton warehouse) the space is furnished almost entirely in white. The...
10 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London W1J 7QF, UK
Kitty Fisher’s is the antithesis to the New York exposed brick brand of cool. Named after a Georgian courtesan, this tiny restaurant in Mayfair is rather a wood-clad room flickering with candles and exuding a intimate, “make yourself...
36 The Cut, South Bank, London SE1 8LP, UK
Widely credited as one of the UK’s first modern gastro pubs, The Anchor & Hope is famed for its Sunday lunch, which include options as varied as wild rabbit and a seven-hour lamb shoulder served on a sharing plate to carve at the...
41 Beak St, Carnaby, London W1F 9SB, UK
Not many restaurants outside Italy advertise their cuisine as Venetian, but then there aren’t many quite like Polpo. Now a stable of six eateries, the brand began in 2009 as a Soho bacaro serving informal small plates with Prosecco and...
25 Warren St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 5LZ, UK
Honey & Co. began life as a tiny Middle Eastern restaurant behind Warren Street tube station, and while its size and location hasn’t changed, word has spread. There are only ten tables (and five seats at the bar counter for...
181 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1A 1ER, UK
In the shadow of Buckingham Palace lies Fortnum & Mason, the department store with a royal warrant famed for its loose-leaf tea, luxury picnic hampers and sweet treats, including an excellent selection of macarons. You can buy all of these...
26 St John St, Clerkenwell, London EC1M 4AY, UK
It’s apt that St. JOHN’s flagship restaurant is located in a former bacon smokehouse on the fringes of Smithfield meat market; chef Fergus Henderson’s menu explores every cut of meat imaginable. The restaurant itself is...
69 Colebrooke Row, Islington, London N1 8AA, UK
Small to the point of accidental intimacy—just getting yourself seated could spark your next relationship—this is the kind of noirish bar that wants to fly under the radar. Which is, presumably, why they’ve never named it. To...
12 Upper St Martin's Ln, London WC2H 9FB, UK
For those who love a chicken tikka or a lamb rogan josh, Britain is a famously fulfilling destination, with some of the best Indian food you’ll find outside, well, India. The curryhouses on Brick Lane will ladle out masalas and rice until...
8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, UK
Over the past two centuries, the covered market at Borough, not far from London Bridge, has become one of the country’s most famous foodie spots. From Wednesday to Saturday each week hundreds of traders gather to sell homemade breads,...
Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL, UK
Museum cafes are often depressing affairs, white formica boxes where you grab a curling sandwich on your way to the next piece of tourism. But the main cafe's trio of rooms are nothing like that. Designed, respectively, by William Morris,...
160 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1J 9EB, UK
It's pronounced "Wool-zee," and it's a former showroom for the smart old cars that bear its name. Now a restaurant, it's been restored to its original 1930s glamour with a gorgeous art deco slant. If you want a true taste of old Mayfair and St...
9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG, UK
A gloriously eccentric venue, Sketch isn’t a restaurant so much as a collision of ideas, design, food, and frivolity in a large Mayfair townhouse. Its Parlour serves all day breakfast and then evening cocktails in an ambience that’s...
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