The 18 Best Restaurants in London (Slideshow)

The dining scene in London is exciting, rich, experimental, and always evolving

18) Kitchen W8

Opening in 2009 in Kensington, Kitchen W8 has already garnered a Michelin Star. With everything sourced in the UK, the food is exquisite. The restaurant has described its menu as “English food with French soul.” You can expect such decadent dishes as shoulder of lamb with heritage carrots and new season’s peas, and, for dessert, Barkham Blue with hazelnut bread, port and raisins. It’s affordable, too – the set lunch menu is £21 ($35.61) for two courses and £23 ($39) for three courses.

17) Amaya

Amaya has to be one of the best Indian restaurants in the city. It has a great open kitchen where you can watch the chefs in action. Their menu is constantly changing but all you need to know is that the food is super tasty! Immediately served after being freshly prepared, highlights from The Michelin Starred restaurant’s menu includes char-grilled jumbo Madagascan prawn, soft mouth melting griddled foie gras, and flash-grilled rock oysters cooked in coconut. 

16) Berners Tavern

Berners Tavern is all about all day dining. The restaurant specializes in breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, and late supper. It is headed by Michelin Starred executive chef Jason Atherton. Berners Tavern’s numerous menus include crispy Middle White back bacon sour dough sandwich or grilled kipper with herb butter for breakfast; aged beef tartare with wild garlic salsa verde with chopped duck egg and croutons; Middle White pork, and pistachio pate for lunch/dinner, and warm cinnamon donut and coconut crème brûlée for dessert.  

15) The Wolseley

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon tea is what The Wolseley does best. If you are ever lucky enough to get a seat, expect glamour surrounded by art deco.  With its cooking in the style of the Grand European tradition, the breakfast menu includes classics such as smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and the Wolseley fishcake with poached egg. The main menu features dishes such as Austrian pork belly and The Wolseley Fish Stew. If extravagant dining is your thing, then take time to sample the Champagne Tea from the “Afternoon Tea” menu. The Wolseley is the very picture of dramatic dining!

14) Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs

Lovers of intimate dining should take time to sample Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs’ food. "When people eat with us at Kitchen Table, we want them to feel like we're cooking for them at home,” head chef James Knappett told us. “We've designed the table so that everyone can be seated around us, watch us cooking, and talk to us about what we're preparing.” Utilizing fresh ingredients such as goat, monkfish, scallops, duck, and rhubarb to create a warm menu, the value is great, too — you can get 12 to 14 courses for £78.00 ($132.32). 

13) 10 Greek Street

Intimate, simple, and great cooking are words that come to mind when describing 10 Greek Street. The head chef is Cameron Emirali and you can choose from veal carpaccio; Gloucester old spot pork with crushed Jersey royals, spinach and asparagus; chocolate mousse; and lots more. There is a chance for normal punters to enjoy the food at the Soho-based restaurant as there is a no-booking policy.

12) The Gate

The Gate serves fresh vegetarian food with a Middle Eastern twist, and vegetarian cooking has never tasted so good. Of course there is a soup of the day, but you will also find colourful dishes such as roasted halloumi skewer in a tikka marinade with red onions; a mezze platter; and smoked tofu with a spring mint vegetable roll.  If you fancy a break from meat or you just want to sample vegetarian cooking, give The Gate a try.

11) Maggie Jones

Tucked away in Kensington, Maggie Jones has been in business for more than 40 years. The restaurant is beautiful inside and exudes a cosy and rustic feel. So what can you expect from Maggie Jones? Well, the inspiration is French bistro and there are delightful offerings of duck liver pate, roast stuffed shoulder of pork with apple sauce, wild boar sausages and vegetable pot pie. The prices are not too high, either!

10) Quo Vadis

Found in the hub of bustling Soho, Quo Vadis offers beautifully delicate dishes such as pork belly, Borlotti beans, and spinach; hake, onion salad, and parsley crust; and duck breast, blackcurrant, elderberry, and prune. With tasty treats such as melon sorbet, almond tart, apricots, and torta di grano saraceno, the puddings are revered too. Diners are often stunned by the interior and the high level of service proffered by waiters. 

9) HKK

HKK offers Chinese fine dining and it does it very well. Opening in December 2012, it was not long before the trendy restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star in 2013. As of last month, a new a la carte menu was unveiled. It includes delectable dishes such as Alaskan king crab salad with Tobiko caviar and HKK black truffle noodles. Competitors have a long way to go!

8) Wild Honey

In the heart of London, Wild Honey is another successful collaboration from the duo that created the award-winning restaurant Arbutus. Chef Anthony Demetre and business partner Will Smith have conceptualized a sensational French-inspired menu. The menu is always changing, but some exceptional dishes offered recently include slow cooked salmon and warm salad of grilled fennel with Moroccan lemon; English organic chicken, and slow cooked breast of Welsh lamb. The wine list is impressive, too! Wild Honey is stylishly decorated with rich wood panelling, creating an ambiance that is both modern and warm.

7) The Ledbury

Cooking at its best, The Ledbury has award winning chef Brett Graham, sous chef Greg Austin, restaurant manager Darren McHugh, and head sommelier Anja Breit behind it. The distinction of holding 2 Michelin Stars means you are advised to book eight weeks in advance for a table. With crisp quail's egg with morels; chestnut cream and black truffle; roast breast and confit leg of pigeon with quince; and brown sugar tart served with poached grapes and stem ginger ice cream, the menu is a food lover’s dream.

6) Ottolenghi (Islington Location)

Ottolenghi’s food is not only tasty, but it is truly gorgeous to look at, too. The beautiful Mediterranean dishes are the stuff vitality is made of! Expect mixed seeds lavosh, butter bean tahini, twice-cooked baby chicken with lemon myrtle salt, chilli sauce, and grey mullet with urid dahl and got & sour aubergine. Ottolenghi’s serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and takeaways. With divine dishes such as pork belly, crushed squash with pickled walnut and sake, char-grilled butternut squash, and cucumber gazpacho, the pre-theatre menu is a definite must, even if you are not going to the theater. 

5) Marcus

Marcus (formerly Marcus Wareing) orchestrates dining at its highest level. One need look no further than the menu for proof; the creative and eclectic offerings include goats’ curd with shallot and sourdough; pig cheek served with celeriac and green almonds; veal belly with frogs’ legs, snails and wild garlic; and calçot onions, potato, and truffle. If you love good quality food with a creative twist, what more could you ask for?

4) L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon will prove to be an intricate and luxurious dining experience. Simplicity intertwined with outstanding quality is the ethos of the restaurant. The award-winning menu boasts heavenly concoctions such as warm cheese soufflé with green asparagus veloute, Sologne Imperial Caviar on a Symphony of Salmon Tartar, and Scottish scallops with morel cream and spinach coulis. The wine menu is also something to write home about! Sure enough, the proof is in the pudding: L'Atelier has been awarded 2 Michelin Stars and 3 AA Rosettes. 

3) Dabbous

The food is delicious, the vibe is enticingly relaxed and the reviews have been outstandingly good. Furthermore, the dishes are perfect without being pretentious or expensive! The restaurant has said that “fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables, juices and infusions, and wild foods” are central to its cooking. Not convinced? Think, cod, chestnuts and bitter leaves with smoked butter; avocado, basil and almonds in a chilled osmanthus broth; or chicken with fenugreek, lettuce, and clover. Simplicity at its best.

2) St John

The singular St John’s is so unique that it has been at times divisive. If you really enjoy trying new things or you are a fan of dishes that utilise distinctive ingredients, then you are sure to enjoy the restaurant. The menu changes daily, but roast bone marrow and parsley salad; braised rabbit, savoy cabbage, and Bacon; lambs tongues; cuttlefish and chard; and a wide range of offal dishes often make an appearance. The desserts are heart-warmingly tasty and easy to love — choose from Eccles cake and Lancashire cheese, salted chocolate caramel tart, and strawberry Eton mess.

1) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal has taken originality to a new level. Blumenthal and executive chef Ashley Palmer-Watts worked with food historians and spent many hours at The British Library in search of inspiration for the acclaimed restaurant. It’s like taking a trip back to the past. You can expect dishes such as spiced pigeon with ale and artichokes; Mandarin, chicken liver, and foie gras parfait with grilled bread, and baked Sussex Pond pudding. With enviable views of Hyde Park, the restaurant is based at the Mandarin Oriental.