Favourite London Restaurants

Seared scallops, broad bean puree and black pudding at Vinoteca

Choosing a favourite restaurant, or even a top 10, is an impossible task. Like picking bridesmaids. Or a favourite child. Or a best pair of heels. Or a favourite 80's dance move (although I'm quite partial to a moonwalk). So here, without prejudice as to order, are some of my all time most beloved places to eat in London, listed by cuisine and price. Bon appetit!

You might also like to read my blog post on my Top 10 Favourite London Restaurants for 2010.

BB = I visited Before I started Blogging, or have not blogged for some other reason which is likely to involve cocktails


  • The Waterside Inn (£££, Bray, 3 Michelin Stars - classical French food in elegant surrounds - excellent all round)
  • Gordon Ramsay at 68 Hospital Road (£££, Mayfair, 3 Michelin Stars, BB - yep, I have to give Big Sweary kudos for this one)
  • Le Gavroche (£££, Mayfair, 1 Michelin Star - ultra formal, but I still dream about the souffle)
  • Chez Bruce (£££, Wandsworth Common, 1 Michelin Star, BB - casual but superb; don't miss the cheese trolley)
  • Bistrot Bruno Loubet (££, Clerkenwell - great food, casual atmosphere)
  • Galvin Bistrot de Luxe (££, Marylebone - a touch of Paris in London)

  • Afternoon Tea at Claridges (££, Mayfair, BB - my favourite place for afternoon tea in stunning surrounds. The quintessential London experience for any visitor)
  • Rules (££, Covent Garden - old school, British - I took my parents when they visited London this year)
  • The Ivy (££, Covent Garden)
  • Bob Bob Ricard (££, Soho - quirky, fun, great food and a well priced wine list. Not to mention that it perfectly acceptable here to shoot a glass of vodka with every course)
  • St John Restaurant  (££, Clerkenwell - I debated whether to put this one in here as the service can be frosty, but I still have crush)
  • 32 Great Queen Street (££, Covent Garden - hearty, British gastropub food in casual atmosphere)
  • Vinoteca (££, Clerkenwell - feels like a Melbourne wine bar, with great food and wine, and a total lack of pretension). I also love the new Vinoteca in Marylebone.

  • Barrafina (££, Soho, BB)
  • Salt Yard (££, Fitzrovia, BB)
  • Bar Pepito (£-££, Kings Cross, tiny Spanish sherry bar which packs loads of atmosphere, sherry flights and lovely jamon Iberico)
  • Still to try: Cambio de Tercio

Other Modern European:
  • The Ledbury (£££, Notting Hill, BB - just fabulous and winner of National Restaurant of the Year 2010; 30 year old Australian chef, Brett Graham, holds 2 Michelin stars for some brilliant, original fare which is a joy to eat)

Fusion (in the best sense of the word):

  • Nahm (£££, great food, soulless atmosphere. Expensive, but the best Thai food I've had in London)
  • Busaba Eathai (£, Soho and Marylebone - It's not amazing, and it's my only chain to make the list, but worth it for the Thai calamari and good Thai restaurants in London are slim pickings I'm afraid.)
  • Need to re-try Patara

  • Cay Tre (or Viet Grill) (£, Bethnal Green - for some reason, not blogged here, but I love it)
  • Fernandez & LeLuu Supper Club (£-££, London Fields - my only supper club to make the list, but its one of the best places I can think of for terrific Vietnamese food in fun surrounds.)

  • Kikuchi (££, Fitzrovia - feels just like Tokyo)
  • Still to try: Asakusa

  • Hakkasan (££-£££, Soho/Fitzrovia, 1 Michelin Star - Chinese food in glamourama setting)
  • Yauatcha (££-£££, Soho, 1 Michelin Star - Dim Sum in style)
  • Young Chen (£, Chinatown - my choice of the cheapies)

Steak houses/burgers:
  • Goodman (££-£££, Mayfair - superb steaks, burgers and service)
  • Hawksmoor (££-£££, Shoreditch and Covent Garden) - superb steaks, burgers and service - and fabulous cocktails. Oh, and did I mention the brunch...?)
  • I also highly rate the burgers at Bob Bob Ricard, Bar Boulud and Byron Soho

  • The Wolseley (Piccadilly - for the scene and the beautiful room, rather than the coffee)
  • Fernandez & Wells (Beak St, Soho - I also love their wine bar around the corner on Lexington St)
  • Flat White (Soho)
  • Milk Bar (Soho)
  • The Providores - downstairs (Marylebone)
  • Lantana (Fitzrovia)
  • Tapped & Packed (Fitzrovia)
  • Ottolenghi (Notting Hill - not blogged here)
  • Leila's (Shoreditch, not blogged here)
  • Brewed Boy (Rupert St, Soho. Ok, he's not a restaurant, but it's my list - just try him)
  • Still (desperate) to try: too many to list here

Supper Clubs:
  • The Humble Kitchen (£-££, Shoreditch, professional home cooking with fun, friendly, casual atmosphere - the night is likely to end with some dancing on the tables - around £25 and via a raffle ticket system, £15 for your choice of perfectly paired wines selected by THK)
  • Friday Food Club (£-££, Blackheath, professional cooking by trained chef in funky surrounds - £25-£35, BYO)
  • Fernandez & LeLuu (£-££, London Fields, their Vietnamese food is fantastic, authentic, and this is another place where you're likely to end the night dancing on the tables - £35, BYO. Blog post coming soon.)

Lobster at The Waterside Inn

I'll be adding to this page, and beautifying it, with time....

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