These restaurants are more than just see-and-be-seen hot spots—excellent food adds to the buzz. If you’re looking to save, visit at lunch, when the set menu is usually half of what it would cost to eat there at night.
Great Queen Street
It’s always packed at Covent Garden’s top gastropub, which serves old-school British classics in a stripped-down oak-floor-and-table saloon. (32 Great Queen St., Covent Garden 020/7242–0622, see review )
Giaconda Dining Room
Try inventive dishes like crispy pigs’ trotters and egg mayonnaise at ridiculously low prices at this Australian-run beacon on London’s "Tin Pan Alley." (9 Denmark St., Soho 020/7240–3344, see review)
Wild Honey scores with inventive Modern European dishes at knock-down prices in swanky Mayfair. Set lunch comes in at less than £19. (12 St. George St., Mayfair 020/7758–9160, see review)
The A-list dodge the paparazzi and come here to celebrate. Seafood from stone bass to goujons of lemon sole is enjoyed in a fashionable salon and oyster bar. (20 Mount St., Mayfair 020/7495–7309, see review)
Claude Bosi moved lock, stock, and barrel from Ludlow to Mayfair and now takes London by storm. Feast on Shropshire veal or cherry soufflé. (29 Maddox St., Mayfair 020/7629–2999, see review)