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Can’t Miss London Restaurants | Where to Eat in London

Can’t Miss London Restaurants | Where to Eat in London

When you are visiting a city, you want every meal to be something special. This list of where to eat in London makes sure that you will get to experience diverse cuisines at these delicious London restaurants.

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After 12 trips to London, and many extended stays in the city, I am sharing my list of where to eat in London. These can’t miss London restaurants cover everything from where to get curry to the best places for classic British cuisine.

Where to Eat in London:

This list of London restaurants is divided into several categories: global cuisine, British food, breakfast and brunch, afternoon tea, pubs, cocktail lounges, the most instagramable London restaurants, and food halls and markets.

If your favorite London restaurants aren’t on the list, leave a comment and share them with us!

Where to Taste Global Cuisine:

London is a melting pot – I think more so than New York City. Foods from all over the world and welcomed and celebrated, and you can find meals that you just don’t see in other cities. Here are some of my favorite spots for global cuisine in London. A visit to London is a opportunity to try foods that you might not have access to at home – take advantage!

The Palomar

An Israeli restaurant just beside Piccadilly Circus – a perfect location for pre-theater dining, this small gem of a restaurant serves cuisine from Jerusalem with modern and global influences. Discover foods like whole josperized sea bass with herb salad, candied lemons, and pine nuts, shakshukit with beef, lamb, and pistachios, and artichokes with stilton cream and smashed nuts.

This restaurant only seats 56 people (including the bar), so I highly recommend making a reservation.

Bombay Bustle

The tiffin tin carriers of Mumbai are the inspiration for this gorgeous Indian restaurant in Mayfair. The restaurant is decorated to make you feel as though you are on an impossibly elegant train. The menu has a mix of curries and tandoor dishes, and you will find your favorites like paneer butter masala while discovering new authentic Indian foods like dum tar kari biryani.

Bombay Bustle also offers multi-course prix fix menus, one of which is vegetarian. Unlike Dishoom, Bombay Bustle is on Open Table so you won’t have to wait to get in.

Dishoom

This restaurant has a cult-like following in London, and for good reason. The food pays homage of Irani cafes in Bombay and lives up to the poetic descriptions on the menu like, “Gunpowder Potatoes: the seduction is in the tumble. Potatoes with brown skins, smoky-grilled, broken apart, tossed with butter, crushed aromatic seeds and green herbs.” Is your mouth watering yet? With a menu written with so much love, you know the meal is going to be wonderful. I love the Murgh Malai and the Chicken Ruby.

They do not take reservations for dinner, but they do for lunch! I have found that the line for dinner moves quickly, and they will bring you hot chai to sip while you wait.

What to do in Mayfair and Marylebone | Nopi London

Nopi

The cuisine at this restaurant is inspired by Mediterranean flavors and ingredients. Signature menu items include eggplant and manouri fritters and coriander seed crusted burrata. It’s also about bold flavors. The upstairs is more formal, while the downstairs has casual communal seating.

The Soho restaurants serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and pre-theater meals.

Andina/Ceviche

Andina and Ceviche are sister restaurants with multiple locations that serve up affordable Peruvian cuisine with creative twists. They balance trendy modern cuisine and Peruvian street food with a menus that include items like avocado pancakes, chicharrón pork sandwiches, and pachamanca chicken with sweet potatoes. The thing I love about the restaurants is that they get the spice level just right. The spice is there, but it never overwhelms the other flavors in the meal.

These restaurants accommodate those on gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets well.

Where to Eat British Food:

Get any negative stereotypes out of your mind. Britain has mastered the art of creating roasted meats with flavorful gravies. Sunday roasts, pot pies, shepherd’s pies, and full English breakfasts show that British cuisine is something to be savored.

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Maggie Jones’s

Decorated in a way that makes you feel as though you have stepped in to a country home, Maggie Jones’s has been serving up traditional British food for 40 years. Try roast chicken with bread sauce or a steak and kidney pie.

Dean Street Townhouse

From the same group that owns Soho House, Dean Street Townhouse is the trendiest place to eat British cuisine. They serve food all day, so you can go for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner.

The Ivy

The Ivy has several locations and each is beautifully decorated in a way that adds formality while making you feel at home. The Ivy locations all have pretty similar menus and with meals like shepherd’s pie, whole sea bass, and apple and stilton salad.

Brown’s Brasserie

Brown’s Brasserie is an upscale group of restaurants that serve old school British food. The Covent Garden location is a convenient location for a pre-theater meal. Brown’s serves food all day, including afternoon tea. Brown’s has some of the traditional British foods that can be a little harder to find, like toad in the hole and fish pie.

Where to Eat Breakfast and Brunch:

These restaurants are my favorite spots to start my day and fill my belly.

Dishoom

I love their Indian take on an Full English Breakfast, The Big Bombay, which comes with bacon, pork sausage, masala baked beans, green field mushrooms, grilled tomato, home made buns, and eggs.

Balans Society

There are a handful of Balans Society restaurants in London and they serve breakfast and brunch (in addition to lunch, dinner, and late night food). The atmosphere is trendy without being obnoxious. I love a big hearty breakfast for a day of site seeing and this is a perfect spot for it. I dined at the Soho location with my cousins and and we loved the classic eggs benedict and the super spicy eggs in hell.

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The Ivy

The St. Johns Wood location of this restaurant group is our go-to for Sunday brunch when we are in London. The menu focuses on classic egg dishes like eggs benedict and full English breakfast, but there are also sweet options like pancakes. It can be a little busy, especially on a Sunday, but you can make a brunch reservation.

The Best London Restaurants for Afternoon Tea:

Afternoon tea is a celebration – even if you don’t have anything to celebrate. The warm scones with clotted cream and jam, the artfully arranged finger sandwiches, the pastries that are almost to pretty to eat, and the pages long list of tea selections make afternoon tea a can’t miss experience when you visit London.

Brown’s Hotel

This five-star hotel is my sister’s favorite spot for afternoon tea. This afternoon tea is a feast! Settle in for a couple of hours and leisurely enjoy trays of freshly made scones with clotted cream, finger sandwiches, and dainty pastries. Brown’s offers multiple afternoon tea menus to choose from and during the holidays they have a festive afternoon tea.

Fortnum & Mason

This high-end department store specializes in gifts and food items like teas, chocolates, wines, and cookies. The Piccadilly store has a tea room, and they have been making Battenberg cake and serving tea since 1926! They are one of the official grocers and tea merchants to the Queen. This is the place to bring kids since there is a children’s afternoon tea menu.

Claridge’s

The afternoon eat at this luxury hotel comes highly recommend, but I haven’t had the chance to try it myself. The hotel has been serving afternoon tea for 150 years, and they have the tea menu includes Claridge’s own tea blend. Tea is served in the Art Deco style foyer, and features locally sourced ingredients.

Essential London Restaurants The Ivy Chelsea Garden

The Ivy Chelsea Garden

A beautiful restaurant with a large outdoor garden, a large section of which is covered for use year-round. While tea at a hotel like Brown’s can cost £65 and up, The Ivy is a more affordable option at £18.95. It isn’t as big of a feast, but it is still a generous amount of food, and it still has the classic scones and finger sandwiches.

The Goring

Fun fact: Kate Middleton spent the night before her wedding at The Goring, so it has the royals seal of approval. My sister loves this hotel and highly recommends the afternoon tea, and at £49 it is more affordable that Fortnum & Mason and Claridge’s.

B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

If you are pressed for time and want to kill two birds with one stone, hop on B Bakery’s vintage double decker bus and enjoy afternoon tea while cruising around London seeing some of the city’s most famous sites.

Pubs for Grabbing a Pint or a Meal:

Pubs are London’s meeting places. After work people in suits hold pints fill bars to the point where they are spilling out into the streets. These are my picks for pubs that have character and a touch of history. On Sunday you might want to pop into a pub for a traditional Sunday Roast.

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The Churchill Arms

This iconic pub is known for being elaborately decorated with flowers in the summer, and 80+ Christmas trees in December. Inside the pub is filled with antiques and artifacts of London life. Don’t miss the great Thai restaurant in the back.

The Scarsdale Tavern

This neighborhood pub is the spot where Meghan Markle grabbed drinks with Piers Morgan before her first date with Prince Harry. It is a neighborhood pub with great pub food.

The Duke of York

Located beside the cricket field in St. Johns Wood, this is a locals hangout that serves a great Sunday Roast.

Morpeth Arms

The basement of this pub used to be a prison where there prisoners of Millbank were detained before boarded ships to Australia.

The Spaniards Inn

This Hampstead Heath pub dates back to the 1585 and what mentioned in Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers. They serve food all day long and on Sundays they have a Sunday Roast where you can pick between beef, lamb, and vegan meals.

What to do in the City of London Ye Olde Mitre 2

Ye Olde Mitre

One of the oldest pubs in London, this pub is located down a tiny alleyway that makes it easy to miss. This pub is popular with the bankers in the neighborhood after work, so you might want to go in the afternoon instead of the early evening. And be aware that this pub is closed on weekends.

The Owl and Pussycat

A Shoreditch pub on the ground floor, with a cocktail lounge on the second, The Owl and Pussycat is a new pub in a building that has housed pubs since the 18th century. You will find a fun young crowd at this pub, located in one of London’s trendiest neighborhoods.

The Ten Bells

The Ten Bells in Spitalfields is allegedly where Mary Kelly, one of Jack the Ripper’s victims, was last seen alive.

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Shakespeare’s Head

The location on pedestrian-only Carnaby makes this a great place for people watching. On chilly nights, I love the cozy atmosphere inside.

Chic Cocktail Lounges:

London has many spots for a great cocktail; I am sharing a few places that are anything but ordinary.

What to do in Mayfair and Marylebone | Mr. Fogg's Residence

Mr. Fogg’s Residence

This is the Mayfair home of Mr. Fogg and his wife. The cocktail menu is inspired by Mr. Fogg’s journey around the world. It is good to know that the various Mr. Fogg’s bars seem to have distinct menus and different themes within the Around the World in 80 Days universe.

The Evans and Peele Detective Agency

Before you enter this speakeasy, you meet with the detective in his office to discuss your case. The place stays on theme and fun without being cheesy, and the drinks are great. Plus, they take reservations.

Cahoots

Another speakeasy, this one is located in an old Underground station, and uses that as its theme. It’s cheeky and lighthearted and located just below all the action in Carnaby.

Essential London Restaurants Mr. Foggs Gin Parlor 2

Mr. Fogg’s Gin Parlour

In London there are several bars based on the life of the fictional character Philea Fogg of Around the World in 80 Days. Above Mr. Fogg’s tavern (a traditional pub) you will find the gin parlour, once the home of Mr. Fogg’s Aunt Gertrude. The decor matches the theme with patterned curtains, upholstered fainting couches, and lady’s hats hung on the walls. As you would expect, the gin menu is extensive, and they offer a variety of tonics too.

The Most Instagramable London Restaurants:

London’s restaurants are some of the prettiest. Luckily, they food is just as pleasing as the aesthetics.

Peggy Porschen

This pastry shop has London’s most photographed facade. The floral decorations change seasonally, and the cakes are just as pretty as the shop itself. Do expect it to be crowded, especially on a weekend.

Sketch

This über popular resturant has multiple dining rooms with different themes to explore. Find Michelin-starred food at The Lecture Room & Library, or have tea in the iconic all pink space called The Gallery. Be sure to check out the bizarrely fascinating pod toilets in the bathroom too.

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The Blake

The Blake Hotel has a small courtyard that is chic and quiet. You can even eat inside a giant golden birdcage.

Saint Aymes

This spot has a flower adorned facade, and is inspired by Wes Anderson and Nana’s flower garden. They are known for their unicorn latte, this place is made for girly girls wanting to take instagram photos.

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Biscuiteers

A cookie shop with a storefront that looks like a drawing from a storybook.

Drunch

The Mayfair location of Drunch is covered in flowers, and they serve brunch all day. The menu features a mix of classic egg dishes, sweet brunches like pancakes and french toast, and sandwiches.

Essential London Restaurants The Ivy Chelsea Garden 5

The Ivy Covent Garden

The covered garden is simply stunning. I know I have included The Ivy on this list a few times, but I genuinely love it. And this is one of the prettiest restaurants I have ever seen.

Aubaine

Located on the second floor of Selfridges, you will find a restaurant with a wisteria covered ceiling. The wisteria is there year-round, plus holiday touches in November and December. They serve three meals of modern French cuisine each day.

Dalloway Terrace

This restaurant is known for it’s covered terrace that is decorated with seasonal florals. It’s so pretty that anyone can fall in love with it. The menu is a bit more niche, with items like pigeon pie and guinea fowl.

What to do in Mayfair and Marylebone | Elan Cafe

Elan

A tiny coffee shop/cafe in Mayfair, Elan is known for its floral wall in the downstairs of the cafe.

Food Halls and Markets:

Food halls are perfect for a casual meal when you can’t decide exactly what you want.

Borough Market

Borough Market

Borough Market is just over the London Bridge in Southwark. This market has a mix of produce and food stalls. It’s a popular place for locals to get lunch, and a destination for foodies. You can find food stalls preparing Ethiopian, German, French, and Argentinian meals.

Harrods Food Hall

The iconic stores has devoted an entire floor to their food hall. You can find everything from fine dinning to quick eats. This is also where you can find the Harrods Tea Rooms.

Selfridges Food Hall

This food hall features a mix of food stands and high-end grocery items including a butcher, cheese shop, and hard to find food products from around the world. It’s a nice spot to grab lunch while shopping Oxford Street.

Old Spitalfields Market

Like Camden Market, Old Spitalfields Market mixes food and stopping together. This market has a great mix of foods from fish and chips to Taiwanese pancakes and Jamaican chicken. I love the falafel at Pilpel.

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Camden Market

While Borough Market focuses solely on food, Camden market is a destination for antiques and vintage shopping. Camden Market isn’t a quick lunch stop, it’s a place you will want to spend a couple of hours exploring.

The big difference between Borough Market, Old Spitalfields, and Camden Market is that the food areas of Camden Market are not covered. If the weather isn’t agreeing, Borough Market and Old Spitalfields are the better options.

I would love it if you would share your favorite London restaurants recommendations in the comments.

More London Travel Guides:

5 Day London Itinerary
150+ Things to Do in London
What to do in the City of London
What to do in Mayfair and Marylebone
What to do in Soho
What to Do in Notting Hill
What to Do in Chelsea and Kensington
What to Do in Camden
What to Do in St. Johns Wood
What to Do in London at Christmastime
Harry Potter Filming Locations in London
London Packing List
24 British Foods to Try in London
What to Know about Visiting London

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