A Friendly Guide to London’s Must-Try Restaurants
London is a diverse and vibrant city, and its culinary scene is no exception. With so many options to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start. In this guide, I’ll take you through some of the best restaurants London has to offer, from hidden gems to the most popular spots. Whether you’re after a classic fish and chips or a Michelin-starred experience, there’s something for everyone in this great city.
1. Classic British Fare
First, let’s dive into some of the best spots to enjoy traditional British cuisine.
The Harwood Arms
The Harwood Arms is London’s first Michelin-starred pub, offering a unique twist on British classics. Located in Fulham, this cozy spot focuses on game and wild food, with ingredients sourced from local farmers and suppliers. Make sure to try their famous Scotch eggs and venison Wellington. Don’t forget to reserve a table, as it’s quite popular!
Established in 1798, Rules is London’s oldest restaurant. This Covent Garden classic serves traditional British dishes in a timeless setting, with an emphasis on game, pies, and puddings. Treat yourself to their hearty steak and kidney pie, and wash it down with a fine British ale.
2. International Flavours
London’s culinary scene is a melting pot of flavours from around the globe. Here are some of the best international eateries in town.
Dishoom is an all-time favourite for Londoners seeking an authentic Bombay café experience. With several locations across the city, Dishoom serves Indian classics and innovative dishes that will satisfy any palate. Don’t miss their legendary bacon naan roll for breakfast or the mouth-watering black daal for dinner.
For fresh pasta lovers, Padella in Borough Market is a must-visit. This tiny Italian spot serves handmade pasta dishes at reasonable prices, with a no-reservations policy that adds to its charm. Make sure to arrive early to avoid long queues, and don’t leave without trying their cacio e pepe.
3. Fine Dining
London’s fine dining scene is world-renowned, with numerous Michelin-starred establishments to choose from. Here are some of the best.
Core by Clare Smyth
Located in Notting Hill, Core by Clare Smyth is the first restaurant by the acclaimed British chef. Focusing on British ingredients and sustainability, Core offers a unique dining experience with impeccable service. Opt for the tasting menu to fully experience Clare Smyth’s culinary vision.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is the flagship restaurant of the famous British chef, boasting three Michelin stars. Located in Chelsea, this intimate and elegant spot serves contemporary French cuisine with a British touch. The tasting menu is a must, showcasing the finest seasonal ingredients.
4. Casual Eats and Street Food
For those looking for a more relaxed dining experience, London has plenty of casual eateries and street food markets to explore.
Honest Burgers is a local favourite, offering juicy burgers made from British beef and homemade rosemary chips. With several locations across London, it’s
the perfect spot for a laid-back meal. Make sure to try their signature Honest Burger, or go for one of their creative monthly specials.
Borough Market is a food lover’s paradise, featuring a diverse range of international street food vendors and artisanal products. Wander through the stalls, sampling delicious bites like Ethiopian stews, Spanish tapas, and French pastries. Don’t miss the gooey raclette from Kappacasein, or the salt beef sandwich from Northfield Kitchen.
Flat Iron, with its various locations throughout London, is a must-visit for steak lovers. This casual eatery specializes in tender, perfectly cooked flat iron steaks at an affordable price. Served with a side of house salad and the option to add various delicious sides, it’s a carnivore’s delight.
5. Vegan and Vegetarian Options
London is home to many fantastic plant-based eateries, catering to vegetarians and vegans alike.
Mildreds is a popular vegetarian and vegan restaurant with several locations across London. Serving up an eclectic mix of international dishes, Mildreds is perfect for a leisurely brunch or a satisfying dinner. Highlights include the Sri Lankan sweet potato and green bean curry, and the mushroom and ale pie.
By CHLOE. is a trendy vegan eatery originating from New York, with a London outpost in Covent Garden. Offering a range of plant-based comfort food, By CHLOE. is perfect for a casual lunch or dinner. Don’t miss their famous Guac Burger, made with a black bean-quinoa-sweet potato patty, or their drool-worthy vegan mac and cheese.
6. Sweet Treats
Finally, let’s explore some of the best places to satisfy your sweet tooth in London.
Crosstown Doughnuts is a must-visit for anyone craving a sweet treat. With locations across the city, Crosstown offers a variety of handcrafted doughnuts made with sourdough and high-quality ingredients. Choose from classic flavours like vanilla glazed or indulge in more inventive options like yuzu and matcha.
Chin Chin Labs
Chin Chin Labs, located in Camden Market, is an experimental ice cream parlour known for their innovative flavours and liquid nitrogen freezing technique. The menu changes regularly, so there’s always something new to try. Don’t miss their signature hot chocolate, topped with a torched marshmallow.
There you have it – a friendly guide to some of the best restaurants London has to offer. I hope you enjoy exploring London’s diverse and delicious culinary scene as much as I do.