Fun restaurants in London to visit in 2016

DATE: 14 Apr 2016 | BY
Bunga Bunga London Bunga Bunga's unique bar

Fire-eating ballet dancers, opera singers, rock and roll ramen and interactive menus are all included in our rundown some of the most fun restaurants in London.

Eating out is about so much more than just the food – a meal can and should be an occasion in itself, whether that’s thanks to a buzzing atmosphere, a particularly cool crowd, a tongue-in-cheek setting, or a menu that turns things on its head. Perhaps you’re heading out to party afterwards - or perhaps you want dinner to be the party. Whichever it us, from singing waiters to cabaret artists, from restaurants in the sky to secret Soho basements, here’s our pick of the most fun restaurants in London.

 

Shaka Zulu

At Shaka Zulu, the fun is in the menu. The restaurant, which boasts a far from subtle South African-inspired decor, offers a wide-selection of game meats - and we're not talking pheasant or pigeon. Here you'll find such South African delicacies as ostrich, springbok and even zebra. If you have a weak stomach, this restaurant isn't for you. 
 

Shaka Zulu Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8AB

Bel Canto

Bel Canto is a hidden gem (literally!) amid London's eateries, mainly because it's hidden from view on the ground floor of the Corus Hyde Park Hotel. But if you're one of the lucky few who manage to find it, you're in for a treat. While the food alone is enough to rave about, Bel Canto offers plenty of entertainment to accompany your feast, including live performances from opera singers and live pianists. How's that for an unforgettable dining experience?
 
Bel Canto 1 Lancaster Gate, W2 3LG 
 

Bob Bob Ricard

What makes this Soho restaurant one of the funnest places for drinks and dinner in London? Could it be the sumptuous, Orient Express-style interiors? The menu of nursery food as eaten by the children of oligarch (Chicken Kiev, pie with truffle gravy, lobster macaroni and cheese)? The excellent selection of vodkas? All these are fun, it’s true - but frankly, when every table has its own ‘press for champagne’ button, is there really anything else you need to know?


Bob Bob Ricard 1 Upper James Street, W1F 9DF

 

Dar Marrakech

Dar Marrakech is a family-run restaurant famed for its tip-top North African cuisine - especially the couscous. It is the ideal spot to indulge in some shisha or, if you prefer some entertainment with your meal, belly dancers are available on request. If you’re looking for menu recommendations, try ordering the royal couscous. Delicious!
Dar Marrakech  403 High Street, Stratford, E15 4Q
 

Bubbledogs

Sandia Chang is a woman on a mission. The co-founder of Bubbledogs wants to change the way we think about champagne. A passionate champion of small and little-known producers, Sandia wants to demythologise and democratise the world’s finest sparkling wine. Her solution? A champagne bar that serves not oysters or caviar, but… hotdogs. It shouldn’t work, but it does, and the daily queues round the block are living proof.

Bubbledogs 70 Charlotte Street, W1T 4QG 

Dans Le Noir

Dans Le Noir is unlikely to disappoint anyone looking for a truly unique culinary experience. Francophiles may have guessed from the name that this unusual restaurant is based around the premise of eating and drinking completely in the pitch darkness. You will be led to your table by one of the restaurant’s blind guides and will choose between one of four surprise menus. Dans Le Noir is probably not for control freaks, but is great fun for those who embrace the concept and it certainly offers something fun that is different from the usual London restaurant experience.

Dans Le Noir, 30-31 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU

No 20

Located on the ground floor of the Sanctum, London’s first rock’n’roll hotel, No 20 serves modern British cuisine in sumptuous Soho surroundings. By day, it offers breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. By night, it’s open until late for cocktail lovers. Whatever time of day you visit, we recommend the Jacob’s Ladder rock’n’roll ribs.

Sanctum Soho, 20 Warwick Street, Soho,  W1B 5NF

Duck & Waffle

Duck and Waffle The view from the Duck and Waffle
From the super-fast glass lift that shoots you up to this 40th floor restaurant, to the unbeatable views from its floor-to-ceiling windows, Duck & Waffle is pure fun. The excellent, rich, US-style brunches (including the signature dish from which it takes its name) are the main draw, but it’s also worth knowing that they’re open (almost) 24/7 with just a brief hiatus in service between 5am and 6am - so if your fun started much earlier and you don’t want it to stop, this is the place to head.
 
Duck & Waffle Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
 

Powder Keg Diplomacy 

This Clapham restaurant and bar is a Victorian-inspired fantasy with a distinctly colonial feel, and a bit of steampunk thrown in for good measure.

The food served in the elegant conservatory restaurant is delicious, traditional British - pheasant, devilled kidneys, custard tart – while the drinks menu is outstanding. From the peerless craft beer and ale selection to the expertly-made cocktails, punches and libations, this is madcap escapism at its finest. 

Powder Keg Diplomacy, 147 St John’s Hill, SW11 1TQ  

Bone Daddies

If you call yourself a ‘rock and roll ramen bar’ you’d better be sure you can deliver. But with its New York take on this cult Japanese food, grungy feel, blaring soundtrack and achingly hip crowd, Bone Daddies steps up the mark. Don’t come expecting an intimate, peaceful dinner, but if you want to try some of the richest and most addictive noodle soups anywhere – all washed down with shochu (Japanese ‘vodka’) – then this is the place.
 
Bone Daddies 31 Peter Street. W1F 0AR 

Bel Canto The sumptuous surroundings in Bel Canto

Bunga Bunga

Bunga Bunga is a tongue-in-cheek Italian themed bar and restaurant that doesn’t do subtlety, and is all the better for it. The pizzas and pastas are generous and tasty, the aperitivo cocktails are all too easy to drink, and for the brave (or foolhardy) keen to push the distinctly Eurovision vibe to its limits, there’s always the infamous karaoke to follow…
 
Bunga Bunga 37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW11 3BA
 

La Bodega Negra

This Mexican street food spot and margarita bar is easy to miss at first glace. You have to pass through what looks like a Soho sex shop (but don’t worry, it’s just a cunning façade) to make your way downstairs to the vaulted basement restaurant. The atmosphere is dark, sultry, buzzing and thoroughly grown-up, while the spicy tacos and tostadas hit the spot.  
 
La Bodega Negra 16 Moor Street, W1D 5NH

Inamo

Inamo London Inamo's interactive menu

If your idea of fun involves gadgets and technology, then Inamo is the place to head for a taste of the future. Interactive menus are projected down onto the tables: use your fingers to scroll through and finally pick your meal from the fine selection of pan-Asian dishes, then keep an eye on its progress through the kitchen with the ChefCam feature. You can even tweak the lighting and mood around your table.

And when you’ve finished, you can even use them to order your taxi home.

Inamo 4-12 Regent Street, SW1Y 4PE and 134-136 Wardour Street, W1F 8ZP
 

Pizza East, Shoreditch

The rebirth of the Tea Building was the first step in the ongoing transformation of this patch of East London into one of the city’s trendiest neighbourhoods. On its ground floor you’ll find Pizza East - a vast, vibrant, casually cool space that’s always buzzing. Bright young things sit around the central open kitchen with its wood ovens, where chefs turn out delicious pizzas that are perfect washed down with a glass or three of the famous prosecco on tap.
 
Pizza East Shoreditch 81 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HU

Circus

At this restaurant, bar and cabaret, you can never be entirely sure what your night will entail – they don’t like to give away too many detail of the evening’s entertainment. Suffice to say that Circus knows how to put on a show: it might be trapeze artists, or perhaps fire-eating ballet dancers, that entertain you as you work your way through the pan-Asian menu. Even the kitchen itself is turned into a spectacle, with shutters letting you look through onto the chefs hard at work. After dinner, it’s time to kick back the tables and let the dancing commence…

Circus, 27-29 Endell Street, WC2H 9BH

Sarastro

If stuffy fine dining is your thing then you may want to give Sarastro a miss; this Covent Garden restaurant is focussed on fun rather than pretentiousness. It evokes a carnival atmosphere in its exuberantly decorated premises and offers a Turkish orientated menu full of culinary delights. Fancy having your dinner in an opera box? Then Sarastro is definitely the place for you. It is truly unlike anything else in the capital and is right to bill itself as ‘the show after the show’.

Sarastro, 126 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5SU

 

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