Rosie Paterson finds the 71 best restaurants in town and gives advice for everything from work lunches to godchild treats.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden (above)
Has shown no sign of slowing down since opening in early 2015. Booking is essential—opt for a table in the winter conservatory.
Order: The sesame-seasoned avocado-and-spinach Benedict.
King’s Road, SW3 (020–3301 0300; www.theivychelseagarden.com)
Vegetables receive equal billing on each of the artfully presented plates. Kick-start your morning with a brunch cocktail at the equally enticing bar.
Order: The kimchi and minced-pork Chinese pancake.
Granary Square, N1 (020–7324 4466; www.grainstore.com)
A modern-day institution, where the pasta-heavy brunch menu is too often overlooked.
Order: Zucchine flowers, anchovies and mozzarella cicchetti.
Burlington Gardens, W1 (020–7434 1500; www.cecconis.co.uk)
Order: The shakshuka.
Warwick Street, W1 (020–7494 9584; www.ottolenghi.co.uk/nopi)
The Modern Pantry
Order: The coconut waffle.
St John’s Square, EC1, and Finsbury Square, EC2 (www.themodernpantry.co.uk)
FOR FOOD ON THE GO
Satisfy your sweet tooth with Sammie Le’s ice-cream macaron sandwiches. Check the website for pop-up locations.
Fins & Trotters
The long queues in front of every stall are testament to its success, with guaranteed light, crispy batter and fantastically fresh fish.
Mountain’s Boston Sausage
You’ll work up an appetite deciding between the sausage-meat Boston Burger and famous Boston bap.
Borough Market, SE1 (01205 362167; www.bostonsausage.co.uk)
Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack
Foley Street, W1 (020–7436 0921; www.bonniegullseafoodshack.com)
Anna Mae’s Mac ’n’ Cheese
Never out of fashion, it continues to embody perfectly prepared, simple food and elegant design.
Order: The Whitfield estate grouse.
Mount Street, W1 (020–7495 7309; www.scotts-restaurant.com)
Ask for a table next to the window with views over Borough Market, where many of the ingredients are sourced.
Order: The pork belly.
Stoney Street, SE1 (020–3006 6111; www.roast-restaurant.com)
Designed by Sir Edward Lutyens and located inside the former Reuters building, the restaurant boasts characteristically Conran, Art Deco-inspired interiors.
Order: From the business-lunch menu.
Fleet Street, EC4 (020–7583 8385; www.lutyens-restaurant.com)
Order: The lamb pappardelle with Pugliese olives.
St James’s, SW1, and Tavistock Street, WC2 (www.cafemurano.co.uk)
Order: The calamari con peperoncini.
Lower Sloane Street, SW1 (020–7259 0235; www.caraffini.co.uk)
FOR PUB GRUB
London’s only Michelin-starred pub focuses on British game and wild food.
Order: The black-pudding scotch egg.
Walham Grove, SW6 (020–7386 1847; www.harwoodarms.com)
Riverford at The Duke of Cambridge
Riverford has teamed up with this north London institution to create Britain’s only certified
organic pub. Order Macaroni cheese, with greens and basil.
St Peter’s Street, N1 (020–7359 3066; www.dukeorganic.co.uk)
The Duck & Rice
This Chinese gastro-pub boasts a wealth of Cantonese- style comfort food.
Order: The wasabi prawns.
Berwick Street, W1 (020–3327 7888; www.theduckandrice.com)
Fox & Pie
Order: The homemade pies.
Stoke Newington, N1 (020–7254 6455; www.foxandpie.com)
The Tommy Tucker
Order: The monkfish vindaloo.
Waterford Road, SW6 (020–7736 1023; www.thetommytucker.com)
The Crooked Billet
Order: The Dorset lamb medallions.
Wimbledon Common, SW19 (020–8946 4942; www.thecrookedbilletwimbledon.com)
FOR SUNDAY LUNCH
Show-stealing interiors worthy of what is arguably London’s best steakhouse. Don’t miss the duck-fat roasted potatoes.
Multiple locations (www.thehawksmoor.com)
Mac and Wild
Specialists in Scotland’s two greatest exports: venison and whisky. Game is supplied by owner Andy Waugh’s family.
Great Titchfield Street, W1 (020– 7637 0510; www.macandwild.com)
Prepare for the week with a martini and a leg of Cornish lamb.
Great Windmill Street, W1 (020– 3441 6996; www.theblacklock.com)
Canonbury Road, N1 (020–7354 1144; www.smokehouseislington.co.uk)
Pimlico Road, SW1 (020–7881 9844; www.theorange.co.uk)
The Truscott Arms
Shirland Road, W9 (020–7266 9198; www.thetruscottarms.com)
The Gladwin brothers—Richard, Oliver and Gregory— now have a restaurant apiece since Nutbourne opened in September. Following Rabbit in Chelsea and The Shed in Notting Hill, it showcases similar rural-inspired ingredients and a 14-seat butcher’s table, overlooking the open grill.
Ransomes Dock, SW11 (020–7350 0555; www.nutbourne-restaurant.com)
The first British outpost of Gregory Marchand’s popular Parisian empire.
Henrietta Street, WC2 (020–7836 4422; www.frenchiecoventgarden.com)
Known for its eclectic menu and intimate atmosphere, it’s best to book early to secure a spot at the open kitchen or alfresco coffee bar. Order The cornflake-crusted popcorn chicken.
Foley Street, W1 (020–3137 1302; www.foleysrestaurant.co.uk)
On track for being launched next month, Aquavit aims to offer the best of Nordic cuisine and design.
Carlton Street, SW1 (www.aquavitrestaurants.com)
In its 90th year, but has just reopened after refurbishment. A new dining room now lies behind the infamous stained-glass windows, with a dedicated members’ space and restaurant on the first floor.
Dean Street, W1 (020–7437 9585; www.quovadissoho.co.uk)
There will be a heavy emphasis on customer service when rustic Italian Margot—the brainchild of former Bar Boulud maître d’ Paulo de Tarso and Nicolas Jaouën of La Petite Maison—opens this month. Try the crab taglioni (above).
Great Queen Street, WC2 (www.margotrestaurant.com)
Opening in early 2017, this is already shaping up to be one of the Soho House Group’s most ambitious projects. More than 200 bedrooms and an indoor and outdoor pool will accompany the nine restaurants.
Poultry, EC2 (020–7420 4953; www.thened.com)
FOR FINE DINING
London has an enduring love affair with French bistro dining, but, unlike its competitors, Little Social’s tea-stained walls and cosy leather banquettes belie a deceptively British menu.
Order: The côtes de porc (above)
Pollen Street, W1 (020–7870 3730; www.littlesocial.co.uk)
Aulis, Fera at Claridge’s
Wander through the kitchens and you will stumble upon Aulis, a six-seater development table where your own chef will conjure up one gastronomic delight after another, all within tantalising touching distance.
Order: Development menus at £150 per head.
Brook Street, W1 (020–7107 8888; aulis.feraatclaridges.co.uk)
Chef Tom Sellers’s celebrated epilogue to his two-night pop-up, Foreword. Updates on classic flavour pairings feature heavily on the tasting menus, made up of ‘chapters’ that can reach into double figures. Order: The Full Story dinner menu.
Tooley Street, SE1 (020–7183 2117; www.restaurantstory.co.uk)
The Ritz Restaurant at The Ritz London
Order: The turbot with chestnuts, truffle and Champagne.
Piccadilly, W1 (020–7493 8181; www.theritzlondon.com/dining-drinks/ritz-restaurant)
Order: The beef sirloin onion.
Shepherd Market, W1 (020–3302 1661; www.kittyfishers.com)
Order: Corrigan’s game pie.
Upper Grosvenor Street, W1 (020–7499 9943; www.corrigansmayfair.co.uk)
FOR AN OCCASION
Best for father-and-son outings. Makes a mean lobster omelette.
Beeston Place, SW1 (020–7396 9000; www.thegoring.com)
Duck & Waffle
Admire the mellow, winter sunrise from a 40th-floor perch.
Bishopsgate, EC2 (020–3640 7310; duckandwaffle.com)
45 Jermyn Street
Best for a favourite godchild.
St James’s, SW1 (020–7205 4545; www.45jermynst.com)
Berners Tavern at London Edition Hotel
Best for surprising your other half.
Berners Street, W1 (020–7908 7979; www.bernerstavern.com)
Best for your grandfather’s 80th birthday.
Maiden Lane, WC2 (020–7836 5314; www.rules.co.uk)
Best for Mothering Sunday
Kensington Church Street, W8 (020–7221 9225; www.sallyclarke.com/restaurant)
Best for meeting the parents.
Parsons Green Lane, SW6 (020– 7371 8517; www.amusebouchelondon.com/claudes-kitchen)
TURN UP UNANNOUNCED
Granger & Co (above)
Order: Shrimp burger.
Westbourne Grove, W11 (020–7229 9111; www.grangerandco.com/notting-hill)
Order: Black house daal.
Boundary Street, E2 (020–7420 9324; www.dishoom.com/contact-shoreditch)
Order: Salted-caramel mousse Multiple locations.
Berber & Q
Order: Smoked pork belly.
Acton Mews, E8 (020–7923 0829; www.berberandq.com)
Order: Dover sole.
Queen Victoria Street, EC4 (020– 7248 3062; www.sweetingsrestaurant.co.uk)
Order: Crab croquettes
Multiple locations (www.barrafina.co.uk)
FOR GASTRO GLOBETROTTERS
The home of gluttonous, Japanese-style street food that you’ll dream of long after the final bite.
Order: The tasting menu.
Old Compton Street, W1 (020–7734 7492; www.bonedaddies.com/restaurant/shackfuyu)
Indulge in exquisitely spiced Indian delights at celebrity chef Atul Kochhar’s Michelin-starred restaurant.
Order: Changezi Chaapein—smoked Tandoori lamb cutlets with ginger, cumin and rogan jus Berkeley Square, W1 (020–7629 8886; www.benaresrestaurant.com)
High-end Hawaiian fusion fare.
Order: Poke-marinated, finely chopped tuna on a bed of seasoned rice.
Mill Street, W1 (020–3794 8448; www.blackroe.com)
Order: The seafood risotto.
Langton Street, SW10 (020–7351 0761; www.lafamiglia.co.uk)
Order: The Baak Low tasting menu.
Worship Street, EC2 (020–3535 1888; www.hkklondon.com)
Order: The solomillo Ibérico.
Seymour Place, W1 (020–7724 4545; www.lurra.co.uk)
A hidden gem at the heart of Borough Market boasting a menu dictated by the stalls on its doorstep.
Order: Chicken-liver pâté.
Stoney Street, SE1 (020–7403 7436; www.elliotscafe.com)
Continues to push the boundaries of Japanese-style small plates in its laidback Marble Arch and King’s Road residences. Order Wagyu beef sliders with steamed buns and umami mayo.
King’s Road, SW3, and Kendal Street, W2. (www.kurobuta-london.com)
A vibrant addition to Marylebone’s white-tablecloth establishments, serving seafood and charcoal-grilled meats with a Peruvian twist.
Order: Yellowtail tuna with pickled potato, XO and cucumber.
Thayer Street, W1 (020–7935 9393; www.pachamamalondon.com)
Order: The seared beef carpaccio.
Gillingham Street, SW1 (020–7769 9771; www.tozirestaurant.co.uk)
Order: The Keralan fried chicken.
Brixton Station Road, SW9 (www.kricket.co.uk)
Order: The pea-and-mint arancini.
Goodge Street, W1 (020–7637 0657; www.saltyard.co.uk)
FOR PRE-THEATRE DINING
J. Sheekey Atlantic Bar (above)
Excels at seafood and offers a pleasing mix of informal and formal dining areas.
Watch: Half a Sixpence at the Noël Coward theatre (October 29–February 11, 2017)
St Martin’s Court, WC2 (020–7240 2565; www.jsheekeyatlanticbar.co.uk)
Les Deux Salons
A grand Parisian restaurant, located just off Trafalgar Square.
Watch: An opera at the London Coliseum.
William IV Street, WC2 (020–7420 2050; www.lesdeuxsalons.co.uk)
This bastion of tradition is a show in itself, from the monogrammed china to the highly attentive service.
Watch: The Book of Mormon at The Prince of Wales’s theatre.
Jermyn Street, SW1 (020–7629 9955; www.wiltons.co.uk)
Portrait at the National Portrait Gallery
Watch: The Entertainer at the Garrick Theatre (until November 12).
St Martin’s Place, WC2 (020–7312 2490; www.npg.org.uk/visit/shop-eat-drink/restaurant.php)
Spring Restaurant at Somerset House
Watch: The Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre.
Lancaster Place, WC2 (020–3011 0115; www.springrestaurant.co.uk)
Watch: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at The Gielgud Theatre (until February 18, 2017).
Brewer Street, W1 (020–7292 3518; www.hixrestaurants.co.uk)