The Best Restaurants in London: The 2019 Edition

Looking for the best restaurants in London? Check out this food-lover’s guide – where to eat in London, area by area. 

London is brimming with restaurants – some fabulous, others… not so much. 

I’ve been steadily eating my way around London as long as I can remember – there have been highs, there have definitely been lows (I for one am thankful that the miniscule portions of nouvelle cuisine have faded to a bitter memory), but these are the spots that I’m recommending right now in 2019. 

This guide to the best restaurants in London features a mix of old favourites and brand spanking new, each deserving of a special place in your little black book of great eats. 

Best Restaurants in London: Central London 

Frenchie 

Frenchie
Frenchie

Covent Garden

If you want to flex your serious foodie credentials, then you’d best drop by Frenchie. This is the place to go when you’re looking to impress (or chow down on some amazing food).

The first Frenchie, fittingly, debuted in Paris and soon found itself with a six-month waiting list for a table. 

This one is in the heart of Covent Garden and has received much the same acclaim, although the wait is not quite as horrendous. Bookings are still strongly advised, though.

Address: 16 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8QH

Bob Bob Ricard 

Bob Bob Ricard Interior
Hello Bob Bob

Soho

First things first, there’s a button at Bob Bob Ricard that says ‘press for champagne’ – and does exactly as suggested.

It’s a great way to start, but it’s the food that really brings things home. A menu of British/Russian fusion may sound interesting, and it is.

It’s also absolutely delicious.

The interior decor is suitably lavish with just a hint of kitsch. If you ask me, Bob Bob Ricard is one of the restaurants to go to in London.

Address:1 Upper James St, Soho, London W1F 9DF

Hutong at The Shard 

London Bridge

I love Hutong at The Shard because it delivers for both food and views. 

Halfway up the Shard and inspired by the scrumptious food of Northern China, this place is sure to impress.

Presentation is on-point and there’s a few dishes that are just ideal for those who prefer things on the spicy side. Don’t worry, though, there’s options for all palates.

Address: 33/The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY

Hawksmoor Seven Dials 

Seven Dials

There’s a time and place for a dainty salad, but let’s be honest – sometimes you just want to bite into a delicious, hearty steak.

For those times, I highly recommend Hawksmoor Seven Dials. The menu is a carnivore’s delight, with incredible steaks that are cooked to utter perfection.

Hot tip: if you’re going for dinner, have a light lunch beforehand. The portion sizes are seriously generous.

Address: 11 Langley St, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9JG

Padella 

Padella
Pasta at Padella

Borough Market

Fancy food is great and all, however, you’ve got to admit that pasta is a seriously enduring classic. 

I mean, no matter how many top restaurants in London I try, I still can’t go past a perfectly prepared pasta dish.

Padella does pasta just how I like it – nothing too fancy, just absolutely delicious. And with generous doses of parmesan on top. Yum.

Address: Borough Market, 6 Southwark St, London SE1 1TQ

Bao Soho

Bao Soho
Bao Soho

Soho

It took a little while, but Taiwanese street food arrived in Soho with a bang – in the form of Bao Soho.

This popular restaurant in London (of course) does a mean bao, or steamed bun, but the menu boasts even more deliciousness.

Dining here is pretty laid back, so it’s the perfect place to pop in with friends.

Address: 53 Lexington St, Soho, London W1F 9AS

Blacklock Soho

Soho

For an experience that’s lavish in all the right ways, you’d best check out Blacklock Soho, one of the top-rated restaurants in London.

The location is one of the main unique points of this London restaurant – it’s set within what used to be a Soho brothel.

Today, things are a little better behaved and instead it’s one of the city’s best steak restaurants. It’s a great place to drop in before or after catching a show.

Address: 24 Great Windmill St, Soho, London W1D 7LG

Pollen Street Social

Mayfair

This great restaurant in London promises ‘unformalised formal dining’, and I am so there for it. Who doesn’t want to eat ah-may-zing food, without any of the snobbery?

At Pollen Street Social, you’ll find amazing dishes which rely heavily on locally sourced ingredients. It’s all amazing, but if it’s on offer – the Cornish sea bass is a revelation.

Address: 8-10 Pollen Street, Mayfair W1S 1NQ

Galvin at Windows 

Mayfair

Delicious French cuisine and divine London views are what’s on offer at Galvin at Windows.

It’s one of the best posh restaurants in London, so you’d best book a table if you’re looking to splurge on a very memorable experience.

It’s not just me who thinks this restaurant is seriously epic – it’s managed to earn itself a Michelin star as well. Pretty amazing.

Address: 22 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1BE

Holborn Dining Room 

Holborn

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that British cuisine is no good – if they try, send them to Holborn Dining Room for an education.

This ever-popular brasserie serves up amazing British fare (the pies are to die for) in an elegant yet vibrant atmosphere.

It’s a favourite amongst both locals and visitors, so you’d best book a table and find out what the fuss is about.

Address: 252 High Holborn, Holborn, London WC1V 7EN

Bocca di Lupo

Bocca di Lupo
Bocca di Lupo

Soho

This Soho haunt is a fave not just with me, but also plenty of celebs as well. If those with oodles of money choose to spend it here, it must be good – right?

It sure is. The Italian dishes at Bocca di Lupo are quite traditional, relying on fresh produce and exceptional cooking skills to really make them tick. Don’t miss it.

Address: 12 Archer St, Soho, London W1D 7BB

Nopi 

Nopi
Nopi (c) John Carey

Soho

What started as a humble deli by Jerusalem-born chef Yotam Ottolenghi has eventually turned into a seriously incredible London restaurant.

Nopi opened almost ten years after the deli, but it offers the same amazing serving platters, perfectly balanced spices and fresh ingredients that made Ottolenghi a legend.

The decor is beautiful, the service is great and the food is spectacular – what’s not to love?

Address: 21-22 Warwick St, Soho, London W1B 5NE

Hoppers 

Soho

Never had a hopper? You are in for a treat. They are delicious Sri Lankan pancakes, topped off with a fried egg – and no one does them better than here.

You’d hope so, given the name and this restaurant’s penchant for cooking up amazing Sri Lankan dishes. 

With fresh produce paired with just the right amount of amazing spices – get ready for your tastebuds to be totally delighted at Hoppers.

Address: 49 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 4SG

The Wolseley

Piccadilly

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and breakfasts don’t come much better than those on offer at the Wolseley.

Luckily they serve them up late, so even if you had a few cocktails the night before, you can still enjoy the famous brunch. That is, if you can get a table – it’s best to book.

Address: 160 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9EB

Kerridge’s 

Kerridges
(c) Kerridges

Westminster

Proving that luxury dining does not need to mean a frosty atmosphere, Kerridge’s Bar and Grill has a warm and inviting vibe.

Be greeted with a smile and then take a seat at the elegant restaurant inside the Corinthia Hotel.

The menu is proudly British and totally divine, using in-season ingredients and innovative approaches on classics. It’s seriously good stuff.

Address: 10 Northumberland Ave, Westminster, London WC2N 5AE

Gymkhana 

Mayfair

London loves a good Indian curry, but if you want to try the gobsmackingly good high end version, you’d best head for Gymkhana.

You’re sure to be totally smitten by the amazing dishes. It’s traditional Indian cuisine with a high-end, inventive twist – and it’s scrumptious. In fact, it’s even got its own shiny Michelin star.

Address: 2 Albemarle St, Mayfair, London W1S 4JH

Best Restaurants in East London 

St John 

Farringdon and Smithfield

For over twenty years, St John’s has been on a mission to revolutionise British food.

Offering up amazing takes on old classics, St John’s has all the dishes you recognise – with exceptional twists that you don’t.

There’s a reason this has been a must-go restaurant in London for more than two decades – this food is seriously ace. Plus, there’s a fab wine list to match.

Address: 26 John Street, London EC1M 4AY

Gloria

Gloria
(c) Gloria

Hackney

Any restaurant that’s described as ‘vivacious’ is one I have to check out – and Gloria certainly did not disappoint.

Amongst a sea of good restaurants in London, Gloria stands out for its fun approach to creating delicious food.

Everything about this place is a little ‘extra’ – from the decor to the portion sizes. And I am so here for it.

Address: 54-56 Great Eastern St, Hackney, London EC2A 3QR

Duck & Waffle

City of London

If you ever want to have some delicious European cuisine, 40 storeys into the air at any time of day or night, there’s the Duck & Waffle.

With a fun approach to British cuisine, with elements borrowed from our European neighbours, the food at the Duck & Waffle is seriously good.

Best of all, it’s open 24/7 so literally any time you get a craving for it, she’s open.

Address: Level 40 of the Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

SushiSamba 

City of London (also Covent Garden)

At first glance, Japanese, Peruvian and Brazilian may seem like an interesting choice for fusion cuisine. But trust me, you’ll be totally convinced from the first mouthful at SushiSamba.

Located in the heart of London, the menu is innovative and exciting, bringing together amazing flavours and super fresh ingredients.

Equally impressive is the amazing views – it’s located on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower and they’re staggeringly good.

Address: 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Tayyabs 

Whitechapel

Proving that you don’t need to rely on a flashy interior to succeed in London town, there’s Tayyabs.

The decor of this longstanding favourite may be humble, but the Punjabi-inspired dishes are astronomically good.

I mean, it must be, since this Whitechapel stalwart has had its doors open since way back in 1972.

Address: 83-89 Fieldgate St, Whitechapel, London E1 1JU, UK

Gunpowder 

Spitalfields

For some of the best Indian in London (yes that’s a big call, and yes it’s well deserved), you’ve got to try Gunpowder.

Located not far from Brick Lane, head chef Nirmal Save has used wonderfully authentic recipes and a dash of creativity to create a stunning menu.

The result is one of my favourite London must-try restaurants, with a welcoming vibe.

Address: 11 White’s Row, Spitalfields, London E1 7NF, UK

The Smoking Goat

The Smoking Goat
(c) The Smoking Goat

Shoreditch

Some restaurants are all about subtlety of flavour. Then there’s the Smoking Goat, an unashamedly in-your-face Thai barbecue/bar that I seriously love.

The combination of delicious flavours, laidback vibes and friendly service makes one of my top recommended restaurants in London.

It’s all good here, but I especially love the deep-fried prawns – eaten shell and all.

Address: 64 Shoreditch High St, Hackney, London E1 6JJ

Best Restaurants in West London 

Dinner by Heston 

Dinner by Heston
(c) Dinner by Heston

Knightsbridge

Heston Blumenthal is undoubtedly one of the country’s most famous chefs, so it makes sense his fabulous restaurant would make its way onto our list.

While Heston is known for his innovative and forward-thinking approach, he’s been proudly inspired by the past with Dinner.

Weaving together elements from Victorian-era cooking as well as creative new approaches, it’s an amazing take on British cuisine.

Address: Within the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA

River Cafe 

Hammersmith

Fabulous food in an absolutely gorgeous location? Sounds like a winner to me.

I’m talking about River Cafe, an Italian cafe which has been open since 1987. Surely one of the reasons for its ongoing success is its beautiful riverside location.

Another is its penchant for hiring celebrity chefs in-the-making, such as Jamie Oliver and Ben O’Donoghue. Not too bad for a laidback haunt.

Address: Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, Hammersmith, London W6 9HA

Best Restaurants in North London

The Quality Chop House 

Farringdon

Although the Quality Chop House has only been satiating our cravings since 2012, the building it occupies has been a restaurant since 1869.

Things are far fancier nowadays, though – it started off as a seriously gritty place for the local workmen.

While the current iteration has kept some of the cool factor, the food (steaks and more) has been turned way up – much to the delight of visitors, Londoners and critics alike.

Address: 88-94 Farringdon Rd, Farringdon, London EC1R 3EA

Dishoom 

Various locations – Kensington, Shoreditch, King’s Cross, Carnaby and Covent Garden (Shoreditch pictured)

A chain restaurant wouldn’t normally seem like the place to go for an amazing meal, but Dishoom is no ordinary chain.

Inspired by the many Iranian cafes once located in Bombay, Dishoom offers up amazing food in a warm setting.

The result is seriously exceptional, with Dishoom consistently ranked among the best restaurants in London.

Address: various 

Best Restaurants in South London

Flour & Grape

Pasta at Flour & Grape Bermondsey Street
Pasta at Flour & Grape Bermondsey Street

Bermondsey

They say never to trust a restaurant that has too many things on its menu – so the Flour & Grape is keeping things pretty simple.

As the name suggests, the emphasis here is on delicious Italian pasta, paired perfectly with delicious Italian wine.

A seriously winning combination if you ask me.

Address: 214 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, London SE1 3TQ

Nandine

Camberwell 

The best food doesn’t just have great flavours and ingredients, but real heart. That’s certainly the case with Nandine.

This warm and inviting Kurdish cafe was opened by a family displaced by war back in the 1990s.

Offering amazing food including scrumptious baklava and to-die-for mezze platters, it’s grown to be a favourite of many a Londoner.

Address: 82 Vestry Rd, Camberwell, London SE5 8PQ

Levan

Peckham

A newer addition to the London restaurant scene, Levan has wasted no time in garnering itself quite the reputation.

Of course, it’s willingness to encourage day drinking probably helps as well.

There’s a focus here on organic wine paired with cuisine that’s inspired by the great cities of the world – Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and, of course, London itself.

Address: 28 Basil St, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1AS

Jose

Bermondsey

Head chef Jose Pizarro has created an amazing Spanish-style tapas bar that’s worthy of carrying his name.

Jump into this little Bermondsey hole-of-the-wall and you might just think you’ve ended up down the alleyways of Madrid.

The best thing about the tapas at Jose is sharing a bunch of small plates – so you can discover plenty of amazing flavours.

Address: 9-11 Cross St, Wakefield WF1 3BW

The Dairy 

The Dairy
(c) The Dairy

Clapham

London’s multicultural restaurants get a lot of acclaim, but I love what The Dairy has done for British cuisine.

It’s taken your fairly standard fare and turned it into something seriously exceptional.

The decor is a little on the humble side, as the food here speaks for itself. Prepared to perfection, it’s British like you’ve (probably) never tasted before.

Address: 15 The Pavement, Clapham, London SW4 0HY

Kricket 

Brixton

Coming from humble beginnings in Brixton, this Indian place has established itself as one of the most amazing restaurants in London (there are several branches).

It does things a little bit differently, offering up small plates so that you can sample even more of the deliciousness. After all, who wants to have to choose between so many good things?

I recommend making sure the butter crab makes it onto your shortlist at Kricket.

Address: 41-43 Atlantic Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8JL

Where to Find Great Restaurants in London: Map 

Click here for a map of the London restaurants featured in this guide 

London Food Guide: Read Next 

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