Best restaurants in London 2016: where to eat out in the capital

DATE: 01 Aug 2016 | BY
hawksmoor steak restaurant london Hawksmoor is renowned for its succulunt steak dishes

Discover the best restaurants in London and find out what we made of them - and why they're oh so special

With such a dizzying array of restaurants on offer, deciding where to eat out in the capital can be a daunting decision. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Here's our list of the best restaurants in London, from Flat Iron – a popular haunt with steak lovers – to Gordon Ramsay’s Petrus in Knightsbridge. Whichever one you go for, you won’t leave disappointed.

 

Marco Pierre White Sydney Street Grill

If you have a penchant for fine dining, look no further than Marco Pierre White’s Sydney Street Grill. This restaurant is a favourite among Chelsea’s upper class diners – not least because it’s owned by one of the world’s most celebrated chefs - and serves everything from succulent steaks to hearty chicken pies. Also on offer is a wide selection of puds (the white chocolate cheesecake with raspberry is to die for!) and an extensive wine list, so you may want to avoid being the designated driver.

Marco Pierre White Sydney Street Grill, 4 Sydney Street, Chelsea, SW3 6PP

 

The Five Fields

The Five Fields is fast earning a reputation as one of the best restaurants in London. Located in Chelsea, The Five Fields serve elegant, modern British food and are committed to using native British artisanal produce. The chefs have worked in some of the finest restaurants in the world and their experience can be easily recognised in the luxurious tasting menu which includes seasonal fresh fish and lesser seen meat like roe deer and Herdwick mutton. Book your table now before everyone finds out about The Five Fields!

The Five Fields, 8-9 Blacklands Terrace, London SW3 2SP

 

Franco Manca

Franco Manca pizzas combine a sourdough base with great quality ingredients. Think cured organic chorizo or Gloucester old spot hand-sliced sausage, cooked in a wood-burning brick oven, matched to friendly staff and reasonable prices.

With locations across London, a meal at Franco Manca is a must.

Franco Manca, 144 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, London W4 1PU

 

Petrus

Gordon Ramsay's Petrus may stretch the budget, but we guarantee this’ll be a meal to remember. The cuisine is modern European, with perfectly balanced yet punchy flavours; think suckling pig belly with pork fillet, apple sauce and Madeira jus or Dorset snails served with crispy chicken wings. The desserts are legendary, staff are attentive and the wine list extensive; Petrus is truly an unmissable London experience.

Petrus2 Kinnerton Street | Knightsbridge, London SW1X 8EA

 

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Located in the Mandarin Oriental on Knightsbridge with a view of Hyde Park, Heston Blumenthal’s London venue provides a spectacular dining experience. A meal here gives you a gastronomical journey through the ages with quirky dishes dating back to the 14th century. Try the Meat Fruit to start, a true ‘Blumenthal dish’, and follow it with any of the perfectly cooked mains. Desserts range from taffety tart to quaking pudding and all are guaranteed to delight.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA

 

Flat Iron

Simplicity is key with the Flat Iron – a bustling steakhouse situated slap bang in the middle of London, just off Regent Street. They don’t take bookings and there’s only one thing on the menu - steak - but that’s not to say this restaurant can’t mix it with the big boys. There’s a selection of sides to die for (the beef dripping chips are a must), while the welcoming staff and designer décor will make this meal one to remember.

Flat Iron, 17 Beak Street, London W1F 9RW

 

Wolkite Kitfo

Wolkite Kitfo is a family run London restaurant that serves authentic Ethiopian dishes in the traditional style. The restaurant specialises in kitfo, a lean spiced beef dish which originates from the south-west of Ethiopia. They also offer delicious lamb or beef stews served on injera flat breads. Wolkite Kitfo has gained an excellent reputation for their friendly and warm customer service from staff that are passionate about the food that they are serving. Wolkite Kitfo is the perfect place for you if you want to try something exotic in one of London’s hidden gems.

Wolkite Kitfo, 82 Hornsey Road, London N7 7NN

 

Roxie Steak & Wine Cafe

If you’re looking for top-notch food but value a chilled, casual and friendly vibe in equal measure, Roxie Café is the place for you. The reasonably priced menu is full of hidden treats, while the meat sharing platter is a must if you simply want a bit of everything. Whether you’re located in south west London or not, this stylish restaurant is worth travelling for.


Roxie Steak & Wine Cafe803 Fulham Road, Fulham, SW6 5HE

 

Mildreds

London’s vegetarians are not pleased about Mildred's spreading popularity. Whatever the time of day, you will probably have to wait to get a table at this incredibly popular vegetarian restaurant. All of the ingredients used are organic and the restaurant endeavour to work with small suppliers where possible. There are specials every day as well as staple favourites like their delicious mushroom pie and pumpkin and ricotta tortelloni. The flavoursome food will please even the most committed carnivores and many will rethink their views on vegetarian food after a meal here.

Mildreds, 45 Lexington Street, London W1F 9AN

 

Polpo

Polpo – which means octopus in Italian – is a stylish and atmospheric restaurant with an extensive yet good value menu (most dishes are priced under £10). It’s busy at dinner time but arrive before the rush and you’ll walk right in, greeted by friendly and knowledgeable staff who are happy to help. Menu highlights include the delicious Piadina Smash, a novel meatball sandwich, and the chilli and garlic prawns. Delicious!

Polpo 41 Beak Street, London

 

Hawksmoor Seven Dials

If you’re in pursuit of the capital’s finest steak, none come close to Hawksmoor (although a handful of other restaurateurs may disagree). Ask any Londoner for their favourite steak joint and they’ll no doubt point you in the direction of this stylish, classy and upmarket establishment, just a stone’s throw from Covent Garden tube station.

Each cut is taken from British-bred cows and cooked to your preference and the service is by far one of the friendliest we’ve experienced in London. One word of warning though; side dishes are charged separately, so don’t go wild if you’re watching the pennies.

Hawksmoor Seven Dials 11 Langley Street Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JG

 

The Living Room

Gorgeous inside and out, The Living Room gives a perfect blend of fine food and quality service. The traditional British dishes mixed with exotic ingredients will set your taste buds alight – and the scotch bonnet cocktail is a Living Room must-have. Situated just off busy Regent Street, it’s the ideal location for a post-shop, pre-theatre dinner for two.

The Living Room 3-9 Heddon Street, London W1B 4BE

 

Balthazar

Balthazar offers French classics from stone bass ‘en papillote’, steak au poivre and duck confit, to a comforting onion soup, tarte tatin and gratin dauphinois. If you skipped French lessons in school, don’t feel intimidated when reading the menu – staff are extremely polite and helpful, while the French’s take on British classics (such as the duck shepherd’s pie) is an experience in itself.

Balthazar 4-6 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ

 

Homeslice

Think you can manage a 20" pizza on your own? Homeslice probably wouldn't encourage it, but with their delicious toppings you'll be surprised how much you'll be able to eat. This isn't your run of the mill pizzeria - you can still get the traditional Margherita but this is the place to try aubergine, cauliflower cheese, spinach and harissa or goat shoulder, savoy cabbage and sumac yoghurt. These pizzas might sound like unusual combinations but the proof is in the taste. Established in 2011, there are now three locations in London and that's only going to grow. If you can't get a booking then make sure you get there early to avoid the queues.
 

Homeslice Neal's Yard13 Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9DP

Sushi Samba

Situated on the 38th and 39th floor of the Heron Tower, few restaurants in London can claim such an incredible setting - or such incredible views. Sushi Samba offers a tantalising blend of cuisines including Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian, as well as an impressive cocktail menu. Expensive but truly unique, Sushi Samba struggles to be beaten in an already overflowing market.

Sushi Samba Heron Tower 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

 

Burger and Lobster

Not a lot comes close to Burger and Lobster for a meal packed with true sense of occasion. There are only three items on the menu – a burger, half lobster or lobster roll – all with one £20 price tag. While all three are great, the lobster (which comes steamed or grilled) is our recommended choice. The service is exceptional, though you can’t book a table so turn up early or be prepared to wait…

Burger and Lobster 36 Dean Street, London W1D 4PS

 

Sartori

This top-class Italian restaurant has it all; good service, great food and a reasonably priced menu. Offering some of the best food in London’s West End, Sartori is our go-to Pizzeria when we’re looking for genuine Italian munch - a taste of genuine Italy.

Sartori 15-18 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JE 

 

Pollen Street Social

This Michelin-starred venue certainly lives up to its name. Whatever you’re looking for, Pollen Street offers it all, from a three-course lunch for under £30 to the 8-course tasting menu. Top-notch ingredients are given a fun twist; with dishes including the Full English Breakfast as a starter. The fish courses, venison tartare and pork come particularly highly recommended and the dessert bar is not to be missed.

Pollen Street Social 8-13 Pollen Street, London W1S 1NQ

 

St John Bar & Restaurant

Focusing on authentic British food, St John Bar and Restaurant gets fresh ingredients daily and specialises on an original nose-to-tail style dining experience. With a constantly changing menu, St John offers no frills seasonal dishes with an electric atmosphere. Squeamish eaters need not apply – you’ll often see a full pig being carved in the kitchen – but this Michelin-starred restaurant will leave the taste buds tingling.

St John Bar & Restaurant 26 St John Street, London EC1M 4AY


The Ledbury

The Ledbury is the proud holder of two Michelin stars – and for good reason. Award-winning head chef Brett Graham cooks a small but exquisitely crafted menu, using rich, freshly sourced European ingredients, all of which are matched by a perfectly selected set of wines. If you can’t choose, there’s the eight-course taster menu, including everything from tasty turbot to perfectly cooked quail.

The Ledbury 127 Ledbury Rd, London W11 2AQ

 

Lal Qila Tandoori

Situated just a few minutes walk from bustling Oxford Street, Lal Qila on Tottenham Court Road offers great service, great atmosphere and most importantly great food. A corner of India slap-bang in the middle of central London, Lal Qila serves authentic Asian food and its signature dishes can tingle even the most seasoned taste buds.

Lal Qila Tandoori 117 Tottenham Court Rd, London W1T 5AL

 

Riva

This charming little Italian has long been a favourite with south west London locals for more than twenty years - and with good reason. The menu focuses on authentic Italian dishes from the Lombardy region, served in an intimate setting (there are around 15 tables) and by knowledgeable and welcoming staff. All the usual Italian staples are here, but done exquisitely; calves liver, ravioli and the suckling pig special all come highly recommended. It isn’t cheap, but your money is well spent at this popular local bolthole.


Riva 3-7 Bromley Road Catford, London, SE6 2TS

 

Hache Clapham

Real burgers in real style is the tagline for this gem of a restaurant, situated just a minute’s walk from Clapham Common Tube. Hache serves some of the best and most innovative burgers in London and the Louisiana - which comes smothered in peanut butter - is a must for those craving an all-American style dish. Hache has restaurants in Camden, Chelsea and Shoreditch which all offer a classy and upbeat evening without the painful price tag.

Hache Clapham 153 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7SS

 

Il Girasole

Il Girasole is simply our favourite Italian restaurant in London. It takes top marks for a number of reasons, including the mouth-watering menu, friendly service and relaxed atmosphere. There’s a range of great dishes, all cooked from scratch using authentic Italian ingredients – from antipasti to salads, pasta and pizza – Il Girasole is superb from the get go, and won’t break the bank either.

Il Girasole 189 Garratt Lane Southfields, London SW18 4 DR

 

Navarro's Tapas

Stepping into Navarro’s Tapas feels like you’re in a real Spanish 'casa', rather than in central London. This is classic tapas at its best and all the favourites are here. Good sized portions and a great wine list ensure that you’re well fed and suitably watered in this friendly spot. Popular dishes are perfectly done, chorizo in red wine, croquettas and calamari are the real hits and not to be missed.

Navarro’s Tapas 67 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4PH

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