London is full of incredible restaurants, bars, and pubs. And I’ve eaten at a fair few of them! But there are some foodie experiences that are just head and shoulders above the rest. So, here are 20 of our absolute favourite food spots in London to eat, drink, and generally be merry in London.
Restaurants, Bars and Pubs in London
If you’re looking for a great steak and even better wine, you need to head to BOTTLES. What sets them apart from many of their counterparts is that each wine is handpicked – there are no boring wines here! They also focus on organic and biodynamic wines, which I really appreciate.
They are all very friendly, so if you don’t know what wine to pick, one of their sommeliers will happily help you pair your wine to your meal. My favourites include the starter of sourdough bruschetta, burrata and preserved courgettes, and of course the beef onglet steak. I still dream about that steak!
Need some Italian food? (Me to0.) Head to Lamezia in Islington. This is a traditional family-run Italian restaurant that doesn’t pull their punches when it comes to flavour. You can really tell that this is a labour of love – the restaurant is even named after the a city in Italian region of Calabria that the family comes from!
They specialise in fresh pizza and pasta made from authentic Calabrian ingredients, and they often update their menu to make the most of seasonal ingredients. The last time I visited, I got the cured meat platter and burrata to start, and then the gorgonzola pizza and crab pasta as mains. The cheese at this place is out of this world!
3. Rude n Boomin
This is the perfect place to eat in London for a spot of brunch. Rude n Boomin creates incredible smoothies, coffees and breakfast foods that’ll get you ready and energised for even the busiest of days.
I definitely recommend the Boomin’ sandwich with spicy chickpeas, the açaí bowl, and The Mexican toast with guacamole. All of this is served with a side of quirky humour – for example, two of their juices are called Bery Clever and Vits&Pieces. I personally love it!
4. Wingmans Chicken
This restaurant does not play around with its chicken. Wingmans serves chicken burgers and wings that will knock your socks off – and not just because of the level of spice!
I definitely recommend the Seoulja Boi wings, which have a Korean gochujang hot sauce that is topped with diced pineapple and pickled daikon. Or if you’re feeling up to the challenge, the Jamaican’Me Crazy wings which has a scotch bonnet sauce.
There’s a reason why Wingmans gives you rubber gloves whenever you order their wings!
5. The Gun
This pub has been an East London staple since the 17th century. I might not know how good it was back in the day, but I can safely tell you that right now it’s a fantastic place to eat and drink. Everything they serve (from the food to the cocktails) is absolutely top-notch.
In particular, I really like their brunch! I’ve had the house-cured salmon with scrambled eggs, as well as their full English, and let me tell you, neither of them disappoint. Paired with a bloody Mary or a gin and tonic? You’ll be in heaven. There’s a reason why The Gun is the winner of gastropub of the year in East London!
You probably wouldn’t think to blend Brazilian and Japanese food, but that’s exactly what they do at Temakinho. Not only do they sell freshly-made sushi, but also empanadas, ceviche and poke!
The way they mix flavours in their food (and also their delicious cocktails) is an experience that you cannot afford to miss.
This restaurant is also stunning – even if they didn’t make incredible food, you would want to go here just to see how gorgeous it is in person.
7. Haché Burgers
Burgers in a chic-Parisian-inspired restaurant? It’s more likely than you think. Haché Burgers has elevated the normal burger into a fine-dining experience. Their buns are hand-shaped artisan ciabattas, and they don’t just serve beef burgers – they serve steak burgers. They have a load of vegan and vegetarian burgers too, including the This Isn’t Canadien, which includes a Beyond Meat vegan patty, plant based bacon, and Rubies in the Rubble mustard mayo.
I’d also recommend heading there on ‘Gin Wednesdays’, when you can drink unlimited gin & tonics and any burger. That’s a good deal if ever I’ve heard one!
8. Lost Boys Pizza
This is the home of the vampire pizza, which has a completely black pizza base. Don’t worry, it’s not burned – the pizza dough actually has charcoal in it! Apart from looking incredible, this makes Lost Boys’ pizza very light and airy. You definitely won’t feel greasy and stuffed after eating one of these pizzas.
Lost Boys Pizza is also a great place to come for some killer cocktails, including their Pineapple & Sage Daiquiri and their Necroni (and no, that is not a typo!)
9. Cheeky Chicos
If I’m in the mood for margaritas and Mexican fusion food, I head to Cheeky Chicos. They fuse Mexican dishes with British ingredients, leading to amazing combinations such as their fried chicken tacos or the steak and mash burritos.
Some of my personal favourite items are their crispy pork and edamame and tofu tostadas. Pair them with a Cadillac margarita or their version of a bloody Mary, and you’re in for a great time.
10. The Hercules Pillars
Sometimes you don’t want anything fancy, just some high-quality traditional pub food. And if you’re in London, you’ll want to head down to The Hercules Pillars. A charming English pub that can be found minutes away from Holborn Station, they serve classic English dishes along with a host of real cask ales.
I love to relax here away from the hustle and bustle of London, surrounding myself with the smell of homemade food and draught beer.
11. Mamounia Lounge
This is a fantastic Middle Eastern restaurant in London and cocktail bar that provides an authentic Moroccan experience.
I last went for their Moyen Orient Afternoon Tea, which was an international take on the classic afternoon tea experience, based on the restaurant’s Lebanese and Moroccan inspirations. Small bites included ricotta sandwiches with harissa and cucumber, which were followed by mille-feuille with creme patissiere and chocolate-dipped madeleines with coconut.
12. Hop & Roll
I can’t believe I’ve got to number 12 on this list, and I haven’t mentioned any street food yet! Well, that changes now. Hop & Roll is a Sri Lankan street food vendor that specialises in authentic Sri Lankan hopper. This is a dish made up of a bowl-shaped pancake, spicy curry potatoes, pol sambol (spicy coconut relish) and seeni sambol (spicy relish). This is a notoriously difficult dish, and Hop & Roll has perfected it!
You can find this street stall at Kerb Markets and Venn Street Market. Head down there – trust me!
13. Tapas Revolution
I’ve said before that Tapas Revolution has a taste of Spain with every mouthful, and I stand by that sentence! Their selection of tapas, wine and beer really makes you feel like you’re having dinner in Madrid.
One of my favourite things to eat at Tapas Revolution is their selection of meats, specifically jamon! They have a special starter of Serrano ham that has been dry-aged for up to 24 months, served with breadsticks. Now that is a fantastic way to start a meal.
14. Comptoir Libanais
What can be said about Comptoir Libanais that hasn’t already been said? These Lebanese restaurants serve Middle Eastern food at its very finest. I really like the fact that they switch up their menus with the seasons – there’s always something new on offer!
No matter what seasonal plates they’re offering, I always start with their mezze platter, which includes hummus, baba ghanuj, quinoa tabbouleh, falafel, natural labneh flatbread and pickles. It’s just that good! Their lamb kofta tagine with mint yoghurt sauce is also a fantastic choice.
15. The Lampery
Looking for a spot of tea and cake? Afternoon tea at The Lampery is definitely a great choice for you. Inspired by their patron, Samuel Pepys, and their passion for authentic British cuisine, they’ve created one of the most perfect afternoon tea experiences available in London!
Their cocktails are particularly good, and many of them infuse alcohol and tea. Two of my favourite cocktails are their Orange Mall (gin, amaretto and apricot liqueur) and their Sheer Thrill (gin, lemon and jasmine tea sorbet).
16. Leadbelly’s Bar & Kitchen
You can find the best locally-sourced, in-season British produce at Leadbelly’s in Canada Water. Known for their industrial-chic vibe and friendly service, this is a lovely bar that I’ve visited time and time again.
Interestingly, they also serve a 98% gluten free menu, though you never would have guessed it. Or missed the gluten, to be honest! Last time I was there I went for brunch and I had their eggs benedict with smoked salmon, spinach and poached eggs. Fantastic stuff!
17. Old Compton Brasserie
No matter whether it’s time for brunch, lunch or dinner, you’re going to want to head over to Old Compton Brasserie. They serve modern British cuisine complemented by a cutting-edge cocktail selection. A quirky standout includes ‘The Paul Raymond’ which is an ode to the ‘King of Soho’ made with champagne, strawberry, white chocolate, and verJus, served in a faux fur jacket flute.
And that’s not to say that the cocktails outshine the food – I still dream about the slow roasted pork belly that I had the last time I visited this incredible restaurant.
Get ready, because Edú is no ordinary restaurant. It fuses contemporary Spanish food concepts with influences from other world cuisines. This restaurant created the ‘mixto’ concept, which came from the desire to move away from the classic tapas bar menu whilst staying true to traditional Spanish ingredients and recipes.
Instead, their signature dishes include the Spanglish burger, wild mushroom croquettes and patatas bravas fries (which are topped with Manchego cheese and a chorizo crumble). This is Spanish food like you’ve never had it before.
19. The Mayfair Chippy
This is your local fish and chip shop, with a classy twist. Fish & chips is their specialty, but they also serve British classic dishes such as pulled lamb shepherd’s pie and delicious Cornish fish and shellfish specials.
Of course I had to go for their fish and chips, which was the classic British pairing served with mushy peas, chip shop curry sauce and tartar sauce on the side. The fish always has a delightfully light batter, and the chips are nice and chunky.
20. Cinnamon Kitchen
Last, but certainly not least, there’s Cinnamon Kitchen. This isn’t just a restaurant – with its open tandoor grill, this is a interactive dining experience!
Owner Vivek Singh marries modern Indian flavours with Western techniques in a way that honestly has to be tasted to be believed. I am obsessed with the tandoori lamb chop, as well as the tandoori chicken breast with pepper sauce. Served with peshwari naan and grilled long aubergine? This is a meal that you just cannot beat.
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