The Best Restaurants In London


The Best Restaurants In London

The restaurants to try this spring. From new game-changers to old favourites.

Sebastian Schoellgen
Mar 5, 2023

Our 12 must-visit restaurants in the capital. From Hammersmith to East London. Bring your appetite and start making reservations…

River Cafe, Hammersmith

Of course, River Cafe can’t be missed in our edit. An institution by famous chef Ruth Rogers, specializing in Italian cuisine. Located on the banks of the River Thames in Hammersmith, it's known for its exceptional Italian food, excellent-mannered service, and its stunning terrace. Reserve far in advance!

Casa Cruz, Holland Park

Juan Santa Cruz’s restaurant Casa Cruz in Holland Park is easily the chicest dining spot in West London. It has sublime Argentinian food and the most beautiful bathrooms in town.

7 Saints, Notting Hill

7 Saints , for a romantic dinner, it’s our favourite spot.. It has a delicious seasonal menu and a spot-on atmosphere — just make sure you book ahead.

Spring, Somerset House, Covent Garden

Spring’s daily-changing menu of seasonal British food might include the likes of slow-cooked pork with sage, fennel and blood orange, or sirloin with Jerusalem artichokes, grilled leeks, cime di rapa and aïoli. For dessert, try the likes of bitter chocolate pavé with bourbon, rye and marmalade ice cream, or sample St Jude cheese with truffled honey, walnuts and carta di musica. The extensive wine list is supplemented by inventive cocktails, seasonal juices, and house-made liqueurs and minerals. Led by Skye Gyngell, formerly head chef at the Michelin-starred Petersham Nurseries, Spring is housed in a restored 19th century drawing room that had previously been closed to the public for 150 years.

Evelyn’s Table, Soho

Evelyn’s Table is an intimate 12-seater counter dining experience, led by Head Chef Luke Selby and his two brothers, Nat and Theo, serving an evolving menu built on their formative experiences, a love of British produce, Japanese techniques and classic French training.

Bocca di Lupo, Soho

Honest regional Italian cuisine in Soho. Despite the buzzy feel and glamorous surroundings, Bocca di Lupo is still a family business, a small and humble trattoria at… heart. They specialise in the obscure and delicious highlights of food and wine from all across Italy's twenty regions. If they can make something themselves, they do - gelati, breads, sausages, salame, pickles, mostarda, and pasta of course - the rest is carefully sourced from Italy.

Maison Francois, St James

Maison Francois Francois O’ Neill joined forces with Ed Wyand (who was behind Hackney’s Verden) and chef Matthew Ryle (ex-Dorchester) to bring you an all-day brasserie near Piccadilly Circus. Although Gallic in character, the produce will be very British with Loch Ryan oysters shucked at lunchtime alongside charcuterie and terrines as well as heartier brasserie plates such as ravioli dauphine with comte and wood-fired John Dory.

Jikoni, Marylebone

The food at Jikoni is spired by immigrant cuisine and the rich, shared flavours and cultures across parts of South Asia & the Far East, the Middle East, East Africa and Britain. Born in Kenya of Indian parents and brought up in London, chef Ravinder Bhogal takes culinary inspiration from these sources and more.

St John Restaurant, Farringdon

St. John is an all-day, all-night, and all-seasons restaurant. For us, it's simply an institution. But the food isn’t the main reason St. John is a London institution. The main reason is that this bar and restaurant does the simple things right. It will make you a proper cocktail, or pour you a fine pint, as you get through an egg mayo sandwich or some rarebit at the bar. It will seat a raucous group of you at 7 pm, and still be asking if you want more at 11 pm. It will make a pie (for two) that is quite clear for more. That’s why when somebody asks what you’re doing next weekend, and you answer St. John, it needs no further explanation at all. Their new Marylebone location will be opening in October.

Café Cecilia, Hackney

Café Cecilia If you have an interest in London’s culinary scene, chances are you’ve heard about Café Cecilia, the restaurant helmed by chef Max Rocha, serving breakfast and lunch in a gleaming new space overlooking Regent’s Canal in Hackney, East London. The restaurant is named after Max’s grandmother, is merely six months old and it’s already the darling of the restaurant world. It’s not surprising, though, given Max’s CV: The River Café, St John’s Bread and Wine, Spring. Rocha’s food is an unfussy riff on the meals his mother, Odette, made for him and Simone when they were growing up in Dublin: homemade Guinness bread; a pork, apricot and pistachio terrine; deep-fried sage and anchovy fritti; slow-cooked rabbit ragù with tagliatelle; and, for dessert, a version of Odette’s famous chocolate pot.

Campania, Shoreditch

Campania Tucked away on a cobbled road off Columbia Road, this is easily one of our favourite restaurant in London for a date night. The interiors are super rustic, the staff is always the loveliest and the southern Italian cooking is always delicious. I order the gnudi, the ragu and the tiramisu — plus they make a great Negroni.

Rochelle Canteen, Shoreditch

In the summer, there’s no better lunch spot than Rochelle Canteen. It’s Margot Henderson’s restaurant in a walled garden in an old school in Shoreditch. Eating its perfectly simple and seasonal dishes under the vines with a glass of rose is one of London’s greatest pleasures.’ ©Emma Louise Pudge

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