What and where to eat in London

World-Class Restaurants from Quite Literally Every Corner of the World

With 270 nationalities and 300 different languages spoken, London is - according to this writer- quite easily home to the greatest and most diverse cuisine the world has to offer.

Luke Abrahams
15 June 2023

London has some of the best restaurants in the world. Household names rub shoulders with celebrity chefs and their pioneering techniques, and gob-smacking interiors making headlines constantly. And the best part is you can quite literally taste the flavors of the globe without ever leaving the boundaries of the “Square Mile.” Wherever you go, you’re in for one of the greatest and tastiest culinary experiences of your life.

Say ‘Ello to the Mighty London Restaurants Worth Traveling out of Zone 1 for.

Trullo, Highbury

Whenever someone asks me where to eat in London, I always preach local. That’s not to say that the bucket list options aren’t great, it’s more a case of growing support for your local ‘neighborhood restaurant ethos.

The very fresh and made-to-order plates of pasta here are simply excellent. The signature eight-hour pappardelle beef shin ragu is a must-try and the reason locals keep coming back.

Address: 300-302 St Paul’s Rd, London N1 2LH, UK

Kudu, Peckham

Kudu has been a firm favorite in southeast London for years. Order loads of sharing plates – the bread and seaweed butter is to die for – and if you find yourself here at the weekend, don’t miss the brunch, a hit with locals since the pink-loving space opened back in 2011.

Address: 119 Queen’s Rd, London SE15 2EZ, UK

The Hotel Restaurant for a Show: The Ritz, London

Housed inside the Ritz hotel, black tie is mandatory for the “Best of British” menu rustled up by chef John Williams. With all the China plate domes, live performances, grand piano, and crêpes Suzette with a show, it’s easily one of London’s most theatrical restaurants.

Address: 150 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9BR, UK

The pinnacle of London’s finest Michelin eats and where to go for a special experience.

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair

This is the home of London’s finest haute French cuisine, courtesy of celebrity chef to the stars, monsieur Alain Ducasse. Set deep inside the iconic Dorchester Hotel, the three-Michelin-starred menu featuring homemade pasta, tender veal, and bejeweling caviar is served with a dose of culinary theatrics.

Address: 53 Park Lane, London W1K 1QA

Core by Clare Smyth, Notting Hill

Clare Smyth was the first chef in UK history to win three Michelin stars when she was at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Her Notting Hill eatery is fun, and the food is immensely technical but also playful. A perfect combo for the Instagram feed.

Address: 92 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2PN

St John Restaurant, Farringdon

Farringdon’s St John is all about bare-bones cooking. Think roast bone marrow, ox tongue, and all the fruits of the sea. The wines and desserts are just as good, and don’t leave without savoring the Madeleines.

Address: 26 St John St, Barbican, London EC1M 4AY

The Brits love a curry, and London is home to some of the greatest Indian restaurants the island has to offer.

Jamavar, Mayfair

It’s all about the biryani at this Mayfair-based, Michelin-starred institution. Small plates burst with flavor, and the goat kebabs and excellent tandoori have kept the restaurant at the top of its game since it opened in 2016.

Address: 8 Mount St, London W1K 3NF

Dishoom, King’s Cross

London’s Restaurants Get Booked Up and Fast

For anywhere that’s been famous for years, it’s worth booking well up to one month in advance of your visit to grab a table, especially for things like afternoon tea. The same goes for the small neighborhood restaurants, too. Walk-ins are possible, but extremely rare. Thursday is the new Friday in London thanks to the arrival of a work-from-home culture, so it’s also best to target the most popular spots on a Friday night now…who knew?!

Aside from the uber-pretty interiors, the star of the show is the menu. There are a plethora of options to choose from, but the black dhal, chicken ruby and bacon naan (brekkie only) are the household names you must try.

Address: 5 Stable St, London N1C 4AB

The London spots that do green grub best

Mallow, Borough Market

Though it’s surrounded by butchers and burger shacks, Mallow trumps all the meaty competition as Borough Market’s first plant-based destination. Because it’s so low-impact focused, the menu changes constantly, so you’ll savor something new with every visit.

Address: Mallow, 1 Cathedral Street, London SE1 9DE

Farmacy, Notting Hill

Inspired by her visits to vegan restaurants in LA and New York, Camilla Fayed’s Farmacy ticks all the boxes when it comes to trendy and delicious green eats. The Got No Beef burger, artichoke pizzetta, and mushroom tacos are menu stalwarts, and it’s well worth checking out the afternoon tea.

Address: 74 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH

From pancakes to tacos and the fluffiest eggs, these are just some of the greatest brunches London has to offer.

Where the Pancakes Are, Southwark

To the point and super minimalist, this charming independent little spot is well and truly about the pancakes. Gluten, dairy-free, and vegan options are available topped with fresh fruits, bacon, and perhaps the best maple syrup in London.

Address: Arch 35a, 85a Southwark Bridge Rd, London SE1 0NQ, UK

Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone

If you want to try one of the poshest brunches in London, be sure to check this spot. The brunch menu is pricey, but the black truffle scrambled eggs with a dash of grated parmesan are worth it. Arrive early to ensure you get the best spot in the umbrella-flecked garden.

Address: 1 Chiltern St, London W1U 7PA, UK

Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, Clerkenwell

Be warned, this is Instagram heaven. Its laidback menu features very, very good huevos benedictos, fluffy pancakes, and a house Bellini that rivals anything you’ll get in Italy. Make sure your phone is fully charged because you’ll literally photograph everything.

Address: Northampton Rd, London EC1R 0HU, UK

From traditional Sunday dinners to gourmet gastropubs, these are the places that get Londoners through the doors year-round.

The Quality Chop House, Clerkenwell

The 150-year-old plus Victorian dining room has a magnificent meaty two- or three-course dining menu that features all the classics. Must-try sides include the restaurant’s legendary confit potatoes; the cheese selection and mighty desserts are well worth the extra calories, too.

Address: 92-94 Farringdon Rd, London EC1R 3EA

Blacklock, Shoreditch

When it comes to trendy roasts, nothing quite beats this Shoreditch superstar. The vibe is nostalgic with slow-roasting whole joints of meat – beef, pork, or lamb – or a lush veggie version headlining the menu. The gravy is often lauded as the tastiest in London, as are the family-sized portions that might just make you go up a jean size or two.

Address: 28-30 Rivington St, London EC2A 3DZ

Orange Public House, Belgravia

Don’t be fooled by the Orange’s posh Pimlico location because, at heart, it’s a deeply down-to-earth gastro pub. Plump plates are the real deal, with half chicken roasts featuring all the traditional sides, from Yorkshire puddings to spuds (potatoes) and greens wowing the palate.

Address: 37 Pimlico Rd, London SW1W 8NE

For great flavors that won’t cost you a fortune

Dumplings Legend, Chinatown

This restaurant legend often gets voted one of the best Chinese restaurants in London. The pork dumplings are legendary, and you can get a whole set for as little as £7.50 ($9). Trust us, that’s a cheap lunch in London Town.

Address: 15-16 Gerrard St, London W1D 6JE

Lina Stores, Marylebone

Fancy a trendy Italian for dinner? All sorts of small-plate, handmade pastas, filled or lathered in tasty ragu, can be shared at this Instagram-famous pasta joint. The antipasti is decent, and the cannoli is worth the extra cash for dessert.

Address: 13-15 Marylebone Ln, London W1U 2NE

Bao, Soho

London has some of the tastiest Vietnamese food outside of Asia. In Bao, devour two steamed buns filled with braised pork belly, greens, and peanuts for as little as a tenner –- £10 ($12.50). There are several outposts across the city, from Borough to King’s Cross, so you’re well covered.

Address: 53 Lexington St, Carnaby, London W1F 9AS

The one place you have to eat in London right now

Bacchanalia, Mayfair

Meet Bacchanalia. Aside from all the Greek salads and pasta, it’s well worth visiting just to get a peek at the place. Overseen by artist Damien Hirst, expect 400 square meters of marble and more than 300 books of 24-carat gold leaf paint.

Address: 1-3 Mount St, London W1K 3NA

All the British classics, from the classiest afternoon teas to the greasiest English breakfasts that you must gobble up on your next trip to London.

Afternoon tea

It was in the year 1840 that the concept of afternoon tea was born when the Duchess of Bedford confessed her love for sweet treats and snacks before dinner. Flutes of champagne, finger sandwiches, macarons, and scones can be enjoyed in the city’s plethora of hotels, from the iconic Savoy to Claridge’s and sketch, one of the capital’s most trend-setting restaurants.

A full English breakfast

Britain’s most famous culinary relic can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxons. Terry’s café in Smithfield’s Market offers the full London English experience – sausage, bacon, fried egg, tomatoes, baked beans, and of course, a slice of black pudding – mugs of tea and walls plastered with Union Jacks included.

Bangers and Mash

First things first, “bangers” are sausages, and “mash” is mashed potatoes. The parcels of meat used to explode out of their skins while they were being fried and scorched, and thus “bangers and mash” was born.

The Mighty Scotch Egg

This is perhaps the most iconic of English grab-and-devour snacks. The bread-covered, pork meat-filled, and eggy staple is found everywhere, from street food stalls to supermarkets. You’ll find some of the best on the stalls of Borough Market, and of course, at Fortnums on Piccadilly.

Fish and Chips

Ask anyone around the globe and they’ll tell you there’s nothing more British than fish and chips. The quintessentially London street food began life as fried fish sold by Sephardic Jews in the 17th century before it became the battered delight we all love and know today. The Golden Hind in Marylebone is one of the best.

About the author

Luke AbrahamsLuke Abrahams is a London-based freelance journalist specializing in news, luxury lifestyle, and travel features. Luke was previously the features social media editor at the London Evening Standard. His work has appeared in more than 25 U.K. and U.S. publications, including British Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, The Times, Town & Country, The Telegraph, Condé Nast Traveller, Time Out, House & Garden, Suitcase, Elite Traveler, Insider, and more. So far, Luke has visited 82 countries. His favorite is Italy, and it always will be.