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London Travel Guide

The 15 Best Restaurants in London

Eat your way around the world without ever leaving London.

London is an exceptionally diverse city, and its rich and varied cuisines reflect this at all different price points. From the most traditional British classics to new trendy openings and a selection of the city’s best food markets, the London food scene will have you spoiled for choice and always coming back for more.

Keep reading to find out what was the late Anthony Bourdain’s favorite restaurant in the capital, where Karl Marx and Damien Hirst liked to eat eel sandwiches, where to find the best Sunday roast, and even a carbonara served in a whole cheese wheel. These are London’s best restaurants.

Related: The Things You Need to Eat and Drink in London

1 OF 15

St. JOHN Marylebone

WHERE: Central London

Founded by Fergus Henderson OBE and Trevor Gulliver, St. JOHN is a true icon of modern British cooking. This charming haunt in the upscale Marylebone neighborhood is one of London’s most respected gourmand addresses, but still manages to feel as unpretentious and welcoming as ever. The menus change daily and are all inspired by Henderson’s nose-to-tail philosophy, with crowd favorites spanning from bone marrow on toast and mussels on toast to deviled kidneys, rarebit, and braised beetroot with crème fraîche. Fergus Henderson is a living legend, and St. JOHN is unmissable.

Related: The Complete Guide to London’s Neighborhoods

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Señor Ceviche

WHERE: Central London

Originally a pop-up, this unpretentious Nikkei Peruvian pisco bar grew in popularity until young chef Harry Edmeades, aka Señor himself, decided it was high time to make his permanent mark on the capital. The first Señor Ceviche branch opened in the picturesque surroundings of Kingly Court’s first floor, just off Soho’s famed Carnaby Street, where friendly staff, catchy music, and moody lighting set the tone for what is bound to be a terrific foodie experience. The menu is rich and varied, the dishes just as colorful as they are fantastic. The yellowfin tuna and ponzu tiger’s milk ceviche, crispy pork belly, and decadent slow-cooked ribs with Yakiniku sauce steal the show.

INSIDER TIPDon’t miss the weekend bottomless brunch or the £5 pisco cocktails during happy hour for an authentic Peruvian dining feast.


3 OF 15

Gloria and Circolo Popolare

WHERE: Central London, East London

These popular Italian hits have only been around for less than five years, but they’ve earned a special place in the heart of Londoners. Between the kitsch trattoria decor, the Italian staff, and the playlist of Neapolitan favorites playing all night long, fresh products imported from local Italian producers and homemade pasta will make any Italian feel right at home, it’s impossible not to fall in love with Shoreditch’s Gloria and Fitzrovia’s Circolo Popolare. The nduja meatballs and carbonara served inside a giant pecorino wheel are absolute must-haves, but so are the burrata, Stracciatella antipasti, and the truffle mafaldine. Make sure to leave some space for the tiramisu, a real showstopper.

For the newest kid on the block, try Ave Mario, the latest opening by the same restaurant group behind Gloria and Circolo Popolare, Big Mamma Group—you can trust that they know what they’re doing, as their pizza has been voted the third best in the world.

Related: The Best Things to Do in London

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WHERE: East London

The 360-degree views from the 38th floor of Bishopgate’s Heron Tower are spectacular, but SUSHISAMBA is not just a stunning floor-to-ceiling backdrop to a romantic date or a special celebration. With tamarind salmon ceviche, butterscotch miso pork belly, the signature samba rolls, and Kobe beef Ishiyaki—one of the few places in the world to serve authentic Kobe beef—this Peruvian, Brazilian & Japanese restaurant packs a punch of color, flavor, and fun, all alongside the kind of exquisite presentation that can make any meal feel sky-high. SUSHISAMBA now also counts locations in Covent Garden, Las Vegas, Amsterdam, and Dubai, but with the highest outdoor dining terraces in Europe, the Heron Tower flagship restaurant remains a crowd favorite, and for good reason.

5 OF 15


WHERE: Central London

This famed Japanese noodle bar is an authentic udon paradise straight from the imagination of Head Chef Shuko. Koya’s intimate Soho joint was the first one to open in 2010 and remains the most popular: a hotspot with a cult following, but worth any wait. Peer right into the open kitchen to see the chefs at work, browse both cold and hot traditional udon offerings, and fall in love with this low-key but all the more impressive corner of Japan in Central London. Try the English Breakfast udon with egg bacon and shiitake, the lamb cumin miso udon, and the sweet tofu, all over some tasty sake.

6 OF 15

Mildreds Soho

WHERE: Central London

Fashionable Mildreds may be small and laid-back, but its 100% vegan menu packs a punch of flavor. The Soho branch—which has been around since 1988—gets quite busy, but you can always head to one of the many other Mildreds locations in Covent Garden, Dalston, King’s Cross, and Camden to get your fix of the same plant-based deliciousness that turned many Londoners’ minds around about vegetarian food being bland. If you go for a hearty breakfast or a weekend brunch, make sure to try the banana pancakes, cardamom porridge, and kimchi toastie with a side of sweetcorn fritters. Whether lunch or dinner is on the menu, you won’t want to miss the tempeh soba, the Sri Lankan coconut curry and the BBQ pulled “pork” buns.

7 OF 15

Royal China Baker Street

WHERE: West London

If you’re looking for London’s dim sum heaven, there’s only one answer. Royal China comes heavily recommended from a host of Chinese transplants in the capital, and while it now counts a few different locations spread all over town—including its fancier cousin, Royal China Club—the flagship restaurant in Baker Street remains an institution. The menu is one Cantonese delight after another; while the dumplings really steal the show, the crispy duck and fluffy bao buns are also a must-eat. Just remember dim sum is a lunch-only affair, so head there early in the day and be prepared to wait in line on the weekends.

8 OF 15

The French House

WHERE: Central London

A piece of London history stands in the heart of Soho, at 49 Dean Street. The legendary Grade II-listed French House pub is where Charles de Gaulle is thought to have written his wartime rallying speech after the fall of France, but regulars have also been known to include the caliber of Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali, Lucian Freud, and Dylan Thomas. Opened in 1891, the pub is more than 130 years old and only serves half pints every day of the year except on April 1st. The atmosphere alone makes this bohemian haunt an essential stop, but French classics like oysters and scallops, sole à la meunière, ox cheek, and pork rillettes add to the unmissable charm.

9 OF 15

Lina Stores

WHERE: Central London

This iconic Italian joint has been around since 1944, and for good reason. Lina Stores will have you drooling over its authentic selection of delicious cheese, cold cuts, and pasta dishes—freshly homemade on the spot every single day. Head to the stylish restaurant on Greek Street in the heart of London’s buzzing Soho for a catchup with a friend over a plate of fresh pappardelle, or take your romantic date to the next level by sitting at the bar and watching the chef make your crab linguine right in front of you, you won’t regret it. All are best enjoyed with a limoncello or a spritz in true Italian style.

INSIDER TIPPrefer take-away? No problem, there’s a Lina Stores deli a few streets over, on Brewer Street. Both deserve bonus points for truly affordable prices, which can be a rare find in London.

10 OF 15


WHERE: Central London

There’s no way around it: more than ten years on, trendy Dishoom still lives up to the hype. London’s most popular Indian restaurant can count on a dedicated fanbase of enthusiasts ready to line up around the block, and every single night, line up they do all throughout the West End. With original twists on modern classics such as paneer pineapple tikka, bacon naan, and sweet-tangy house chaat, but also traditional dishes like chicken biryani and lamb boti kebab that are just as delicious, this buzzing Bombay-style café is an innovative feast of soul and elegance that fully deserves its reputation as a London must-visit. Portions are big, but all worth it, and breakfast is an impressive affair of reimagined British and Indian fusion. Kitsch, vibrant, and always fun.

11 OF 15

Food Markets

WHERE: Throughout London

While technically not a restaurant, food markets are the beating heart of London’s foodie scene, and they more than deserve their spot on the list. From East London’s Spitalfields Market and Broadway Market to Chelsea’s posh Duke of York Square Market and Seven Dials Market in the West End, the hustle and bustle of these iconic London locations are always worth a visit.

Head south of the river for one of the newest additions to London’s crowded food market scene, the delicious Mercato Metropolitano, and you can’t miss the lively Brixton Market, with its authentic feel and cuisines from all around the world. Try some of London’s best food producers at Southwark’s Maltby Street Market, but keep some space for the most famous stalls of all: you could spend an entire day browsing the foodie heaven that is Borough Market in London Bridge, and honestly? You should! You won’t regret visiting the colorful stalls of Greenwich Market, and of course, Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts’ romantic backdrop, Notting Hill’s Portobello Road Market. Finally, no London stay is complete without a stop at the sprawling Camden Market, one of the best places to find your next new favorite dish. Next time you’re in town, try to sample as many cuisines as possible for a guaranteed good time.

Related: The Best Parks and Gardens in London

12 OF 15

The Smoking Goat

WHERE: East London

One of London’s hottest new openings, The Smoking Goat, is a fabulous explosion of Thai taste and heat and a welcome fresh addition to the trendy Shoreditch scene. This Bangkok-style barbecue bar is known for its punchy and spicy flavors, with fresh ingredients and a feverish open kitchen on display. It is fun, fiery, and now legendary. The locals won’t stop talking about the bone marrow massaman curry, lardo fried rice, fish sauce chicken wings, and lemongrass duck laab anytime soon, so join in on the fun.

13 OF 15

Quo Vadis

WHERE: Central London

Mixing traditional British cuisine with a bold vision and an intimate atmosphere, Quo Vadis is an irrefutable Soho institution. From its opening in 1926 to its makeover in early 2023, the lively restaurant and private members’ club (and former brothel) has lived quite the history: Damien Hirst owned it for some time, Karl Marx wrote most of “Das Kapital” on the premises, Gordon Ramsay named it his favorite restaurant, and its smoked eel sandwich is as famous as Soho itself.

Have your pick of the three-course theater menu or browse the à la carte offerings—but beware of the generous portions—and try to spot a celebrity or two. Its Michelin-starred sister restaurant, the tapas god Barrafina, shares Quo Vadis’ ground floor and deserves a visit, too. Don’t miss the art exhibits on the second floor of the “Great Dame of Dean Street,” which still lives up to its legendary reputation.

14 OF 15

The Palomar

WHERE: Central London

Michelin-Star Chef Assaf Granit’s Jerusalem-in-London outpost, The Palomar, is hip, hip, hip. And it is good! This Mediterranean hotspot serves mouth-watering sticky aubergine, fattoush salad, seabass ceviche, labneh and butternut squash purée, truffle polenta, and pork belly on a sea of apricots alongside excellent cocktails and a real atmosphere of old-school Soho fun. Think intimate Ottolenghi-style but with more of a chaotic character, and make sure to sit at the bar to fully get to know your new favorite Israeli dining spot.


15 OF 15

Booking Office 1869

WHERE: Central London

A Sunday roast is a British classic, but a roast at one of London’s most beautiful dining rooms goes one step further. The stunning Booking Office 1869 on the first floor of St. Pancras International Station—right next to the hotel entrance—is a decadent three-course affair set against the building’s gothic backdrop, with the added touch of 1930s decor. Join the chic French tourists waiting for their Eurostar and the North London regulars who fell in love with this revamped bistro mixing tradition with modernity, and make sure to try one of the signature drinks alongside your roast roll rib-eye and Yorkshire pudding.