The Top 10 London Restaurants
As one of the most exciting and international culinary scenes in the world, London offers a wealth of fantastic dining options. We reveal our selection of the top 10 restaurants by occasion in London:
1. Best Overall Experience It’s so difficult to find that elusive mix in a restaurant of delicious & wholesome cuisine, cool-yet-not-trying-too-hard stylish modern decor, and a fashionable-yet-relaxed eclectic crowd who are actually having fun while they eat. However, the team at Bocca di Lupo have managed to crack this secret with their wildly popular restaurant in the heart of London’s trendy SoHo district. Make sure you finish the night with a scoop of heavenly fresh gelato at their new gelateria, Gelupo, just across the road.
2. Best Local Gem As London’s latest ‘It’ place, Polpo is a cool Venetian-styled tapas bar (‘bacaro’ in Italian) in central London's Soho. Set within the ground floor of an early 18th century building, Polpo offers a high-quality, tasty and affordable sharing menu of affordable Italian tasting plates. We also love chef Fergus Henderson’s wife’s Rochelle’s Canteen, which is hidden in London’s East End and serves a heart-warming lunchtime menu of modern British cuisine.
3. Best Modern British Cuisine With rave reviews and a multitude of awards for its high quality and affordable cuisine, Arbutus offers a daily-changing menu of innovative interpretations of European bistro classics. We also love Corrigan's Mayfair, the latest venture of acclaimed Irish chef Richard Corrigan. From the handsome blue-veined marble bar serving expertly poured golden martinis, to the chic blue leather banquettes of the main restaurant where the real people-watching action takes place, Corrigan’s redefines the concept of quintessential British cuisine.
4. Best For Trendy Scene Zuma offers a sophisticated contemporary twist on the traditional Japanese Izakaya style of informal dining, where dishes are characterised by exquisite texture and flavour such as the lobster tempura with spicy ponzu. Another glamourous option is the multi-award winning Hakkasan, which is a glamourous low-lit asian den of seduction and exclusivity.
5. Best For Seafood Having first opened its doors in 1851, Scott’s is a veritable London institution steeped in history and was frequented by none other than Oscar Wilde and Ian Fleming for decades. Scott’s is famous for sourcing some of the freshest responsibly sourced seafood in town, one of the main factors that keeps drawing in the crowds each night and lengthening the weeks-long waiting list.
6. Best International Cuisine Amaya offers some of the most sophisticated Indian cuisine in London, within a sultry, low-lit dining room that is as chic as its fashionable clientele. At the height of Anglo-tapas fever, Londoners were blessed with a glut of quality Spanish restaurants that introduced the culture of sharing ever-shrinking plates. Top of the pile is Barrafina, now a Soho institution, universally adored by the masses, that is still one of the best tapas bars in the capital.
7. Best Gastropub As the original and still one of the best gastropubs in town, chef Fergus Henderson was a self-trained chef when he opened St John in 1994. Since then, his restaurant has won a Michelin star and Henderson has become one of the most celebrated figures in the world of gastronomy. The original purveyor of nose to tail cooking, Henderson famously proclaimed that “if you're going to kill the animal it seems only polite to use the whole thing".
8. Best New Restaurant As New York’s most celebrated 3 Michelin star chef, Daniel Boulud has finally transported his successful Bar Boulud restaurant concept to Europe’s shores as a modern re-creation of a French inspired bistro. Another exciting new venture in the East End is chef Nuno Mendes’ restaurant, Viajante, which is Portuguese for ‘Traveller’ and represents Nuno’s journey around the world foraging elements from various cuisines to create the concept for his menu.
9. Best For Brunch Ottolenghi is a wildly popular spot for weekend brunch, serving a delicious menu of brunch staples such as freshly baked breads, delicious egg-based dishes, fresh salads and sumptuous baked treats to tempt your taste buds. Another popular breakfast spot is the Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell, where the kitchen team produce a creative, flavoursome menu of fresh and healthy breakfast favourites with a modern touch.
10. Best Cafe The Fernandez & Wells experience centers upon providing a relaxing shrine for you to sink into a comfortable daze. There are three Fernandez & Wells café-bars all in close proximity to one another, where the St Anne’s court branch caters for coffee lovers, the Beak St branch is mainly for cakes, while the Lexington branch has an open kitchen which offers delicious savory fare and a superb wine selection.