A Guide to London’s Top Restaurants

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London is renowned for its array of fine dining options and the cosmopolitan, varied nature of its restaurant scene. Some of the best restaurants on Earth reside in the English capital and with millions of visitors to the city every year, establishments cater to all manner of tastes.

While by no means a definitive list, here we offer advice on some of the best places to eat out in the whole of London, where guests can be assured they will enjoy not only a fantastic level of service, but also some of the finest dishes that can be found anywhere in the world.

Barbecoa, City of London

Launched by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, Barbecoa is a modern steak restaurant in the heart of the capital that draws on the best traditions of wood-fired cooking to create a range of delicious offerings – not just steaks – that diners will simply love.

Guests are treated to the sights and aromas of the eatery’s open kitchen, as the skilled chefs create such delights as smoked Dorchester prime rib of beef with rosemary jus and vindaloo-spiced lamb chops with daal and house saffron yoghurt.

Meanwhile, those who prefer a more intimate dining experience can also book their own private table away from the crowds.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Knightsbridge

Opened at the start of 2011, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal can be found at the exclusive Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London and serves classic British cuisine that has been awarded two Michelin stars.

One of the most sought after reservations in the whole of London, the restaurant prides itself on bringing back historical British classics and given these dishes a new lease of life. To achieve this, executive chef Ashley Palmer-Watts draws on elements of molecular gastronomy and traditional 15th and 16th century cooking techniques to deliver a truly mind blowing experience.

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, City of Westminster

One of only four three Michelin-starred restaurants in the whole of the UK, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester is simply another level when it comes to delivering a unique dining experience that guests will come back for time and again.

Offering a taste of classical French gastronomy at its best, the establishment serves a range of modern, refined dishes that place only the finest and freshest ingredients at their heart.

The philosophy of only working with the best seasonal produce is what helps the renowned Ducasse stay ahead of his esteemed rivals, while at the same time the chef has built his reputation upon a bedrock of mouthwatering cuisine that strives for perfection.

Murano, Mayfair

The residence of renowned Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett, the food at Murano is a reflection of her upbringing and offers a taste of the best British and European produce that gave Angela such delights growing up.

The menu is based around ‘fun’ rather than ‘fine’ dining, but that does not mean the dishes are not immaculately presented and enticing to both the eye and the palate.

Murano offers a sophisticated and relaxed dining experience that guests will enjoy, while also providing an extensive selection of outstanding French and Italian wines.

Boisdale of Canary Wharf, Canary Wharf

A lively restaurant focused on showcasing the best of Scottish cuisine, Boisdale of Canary Wharf offers outstanding views for guests across both the Thames and the City, but it is the exemplary food that will have visitors returning time and again.

Offering live music, a whisky bar, a cigar terrace, oyster bar and much more, guests are guaranteed a great experience when they visit this exclusive establishment.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay was established in 1998 and has gone on to become one of the finest restaurants in the whole of the UK, with its three Michelin stars making it a true Mecca for food lovers from across the globe.

Chef patron Clare Smyth continues to fly the flag for elegant and modern French cuisine at the restaurant, with menus available for a la carte dining, light lunches and grand banquets.

Typical dishes on offer at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay range from sauteed foie gras with roasted veal sweetbreads, carrots, almonds and cabernet sauvignon vinegar to ravioli of lobster, langoustine and salmon poached in a light bisque with oxalis and wood sorrel.

Hakkasan, Mayfair

A modern Cantonese restaurant in the heart of London’s exclusive Mayfair, Hakkasan offers a range of traditional Asian flavours with a modern twist, all in the elegant surroundings of the establishment’s refined dining room.

Providing a true taste of China, dishes include such delicacies as Peking duck with Qiandao caviar, jasmine tea smoked chicken and grilled Wagyu beef with enoki mushrooms.

Diners can enjoy a vibrant and inviting atmosphere at Hakkasan, with the brand having now expanded to cities across the globe, including Miami, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Shanghai.

The Wolseley, Mayfair

Drawing upon almost 100 years of history, The Wolseley opened its doors in 1921 and is a cafe-restaurant in the grand European tradition.

Offering afternoon tea, breakfast, lunch and dinner dining options, The Wolseley is a London icon that has served (and continues to serve) an opulent selection of fine dining classics that are sure to impress.

The a la carte dining menu offers a range of delights for guests to choose from, such as escargots a la bourguignonne au pastis, roast Landaise chicken with morels and spring leeks, navarin of lamb, roast cod with palourde clams and much more.

Pied a Terre, Fitzrovia

This exceptional Michelin-starred establishment serves an exquisite selection of fine dining dishes for guests to enjoy, with a focus on traditional French cuisine and fresh, seasonal produce at its best.

Offering both private dining options for discerning guests and a well-stocked bar for after dinner drinks, Pied a Terre is fuelled by the passion of executive chef Marcus Eaves, who gained his first Michelin star at the age of just 27 and continues to push to deliver both creative and delicious menus that are a treat for the senses.

The Ivy, Camden

A favourite hangout for theatre lovers and luminaries of the stage, The Ivy opened its doors in 1917 and has since become one of the most sought after tables in the whole of London.

Today, the establishment offers not only fantastic dining options for its esteemed guests, but also a piano bar, loft bar, library and more, all chock full of stunning artwork and sculptures that create a luxurious dining experience that is like no other.

Criterion Restaurant, City of Westminster

Located in the heart of one of the busiest attractions in the whole of the capital, Piccadilly Circus, Criterion Restaurant resides in a lavish grade II-listed premises and draws upon a rich heritage stretching as far back as 1874.

Today, the restaurant offers a modern European menu, taking inspiration from classical French cuisine but focused upon only the best produce sourced from across the British Isles.

Diners can expect a luxurious and memorable experience when dining here, while guests are also treated to live music every Friday and Saturday evenings from 7.30pm.

L’Escargot, Soho

The oldest traditionally French restaurant in the capital, L’Escargot opened in 1927 and continues to offer outstanding dishes and a fabulous dining experience to London’s discerning restaurant crowd.

Specialities of the house include, unsurprisingly, snails served in an array of delicious incarnations, as well as French classics ranging from lobster bisque to salade nicoise and coq au vin.

A popular choice among pre-theatre diners, the restaurant resides in a glorious Georgian townhouse in the heart of Soho that is itself more than 200 years old.

Le Gavroche, Mayfair

The first restaurant in the UK to be award one, two and three Michelin stars, Le Gavroche opened its doors in 1967 and has been setting the trend for fine dining on these shores ever since.

Situated in exclusive Mayfair, the restaurant is among the most sought after dining options in London and remains under the expert tutelage of the highly respected Michel Roux Jr.

Opened by his father and uncle, the iconic Michel and Albert Roux, Le Gavroche has built its reputation upon delivering only the very best to its clientele and this is a sentiment that stands true to this day.

Rules, Covent Garden

Established by Thomas Rule in 1798, Rules holds the prestigious title of being London’s oldest surviving restaurant.

Spanning more than 200 years and the reign of nine monarchs, Rules has held open its doors to the capital’s lovers of fine dining and, to this day, the establishment continues to offer outstanding cuisine that has visitors coming back again and again.

It can count among its legendary diners a long list of luminary figures, including Charles Dickens, Evelyn Waugh, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, John Le Carre, Clark Gable and many more.

The Butlers Wharf Chop House, Bermondsey

A renowned steakhouse in the happening district of Bermondsey, The Butlers Wharf Chop House is among the best in a new wave of restaurants that are moving away from the ideal of fine dining and turning to a more relaxed model, where guests can enjoy quality dishes in a more laidback atmosphere.

Devoted to serving the best in modern British cuisine, the establishment offers outstanding views to Tower Bridge and the Docklands, making it the perfect choice for visitors seeking top-notch dining with a great view of the bustling capital beyond.