If we simply wanted to round up the best restaurants in London.
But what we thought might be much more useful would be for us to list out our #1 favourite restaurant in each London neighbourhood, so that you know where to go irrespective of where you find yourself in London. Now naturally listing just one restaurant per neighbourhood means that we’ve had to leave out large numbers of amazing London restaurants… and that hurts. So in some instances – mainly just to soften the blow in the event of our #1 choice being full – we’ve listed one or two alternative options for you to consider.
We’ve also dropped in the odd suggestion for amazing cocktail bars near our chosen restaurants, to help you choose a location for pre- and / or post-dinner drinks.
Selected on the basis of a strict set of criteria, namely –
1) Must Serve Supremely Delicious Food,
2) Must Have A Nice Atmosphere, and
3) Must Be Located Somewhere In London
– we’ve picked out what we truly believe to be the best restaurants in London in each neighbourhood.
In an intensely competitive restaurant neighbourhood, The Palomar strike the balance of ambience, food, and service just right. Push open the front door and you’ll be enveloped in a steamy, zaatar-scented, shalom-giving haze, emanating from the sweeping steel dining bar and open kitchen. Take a stool and watch the theatrics, or retreat to the dining room at the back for an intimate Middle Eastern supper.
Portland is an unfussy, independent, relatively small Modern European restaurant which not only specialises in serving high-quality produce and wild game, but which also specialises in serving pie (and when they combine the two in their truffled wild game pithivier, well, that’s reason enough to visit alone). But you’ll find the sleek, pared-back surroundings, Michelin Star rating and monthly-rotating wine list equally persuasive.
From a wine-obsessed pair who also founded a wine magazine (named Noble Rot), this wine bar – aside from serving some of the nicest bottles of grape hooch in the land – is also a restaurant. Book a table in there and you’ll enjoy dishes like raw Hereford beef with pickled walnuts and dripping croutons; smoked eel gazpacho and lovage; cherry and pistachio mille-feuille and an ever-changing French cheese plate: all assembled by a Michelin-star experienced chef, and expertly paired with different wine recommendations each day.
The Ninth is a laidback, neighbourhood date spot in the heart of Fitzrovia. But it’s also – more importantly – serving up some serious (read: Michelin starred) food cooked by chef Jun Tanaka, who’s reached this point after training under Marco Pierre White; before going on to hone his craft in the kitchens of places like Le Gavroche, Chez Nico and Pearl in Holborn. Cloaked in exposed brick walls, antique mirrors and seductive lighting, this is the place to come for razor clam ceviche or pan-fried gnocchi, accompanied by the world’s longest wine list. It’s excellent.
It’s not easy for a restaurant in one of the busiest parts of London to feel ‘neighbourhood-y’. But Parsons – a sibling of nearby wine-drenched eatery The 10 Cases – has local charm in buckets. It alsohas fresh seafood in buckets – the fresh catch of the day informing the daily specials, whilst starters and sides are anchored with the likes of sea trout tartare with Bloody Mary jelly, and Inverawe smoked salmon served on Guinness bread. It’s tiny, and it’s the most romantic fishmongers-turned restaurant you’ve ever been to