Not sure where to eat in London? We don’t blame you. The city is home to over 20,000 eateries, and around 72 of them are Michelin-starred.
Some of London’s best restaurants are so well-known, they’ve gained A-list status across the globe. Here’s our pick of the ones you have to visit…
You can’t go wrong with dining at London’s most famous hotel. Just the palace-style décor alone will make you feel like you’re among royalty. The Michelin-starred fare includes dishes like native lobster, dover sole and fillet of deer, while desserts include chocolate soufflé and poached rhubarb. And, if you head there on a Friday or Saturday, you’ll enjoy live music and dancing along with your meal.
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This famous Covent Garden restaurant is all about style and glamour, with stained glass windows and contemporary art fixtures. It’s an A-list favourite too – everyone from Kate Moss and the Beckhams, to Elton John and even the Royal Family. So if you fancy some star spotting, this is the place to be. The menu pairs modern British dishes like shepherd’s pie, with Asian-influenced options like Korean spiced barbecued ribs. There’s something for all tastes.
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This trendy Notting Hill venue regularly appears on the ‘world’s best restaurant’ list. It’s the proud owner of two Michelin stars, and serves modern European cuisine and wild English game. Firm favourites include the flame grilled mackerel with smoked eel, and for dessert the brown sugar tart with stem ginger ice cream. Pick the tasting menu to take the full flavour journey.
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DINNER BY HESTON BLUMENTHAL
The inspiration for the menu at this famous eatery came from the kitchen archives at Hampton Court Palace and old cookbooks from the British Library. So, you’re guaranteed a classic British experience here, with flavour combinations dating back to the 14th-century. Main courses include spiced squab pigeon and powdered duck breast, while the dessert offerings include brown bread ice cream and spring tart. Finish off with a good old British cheese platter for the perfect finale.
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London heritage meets European glamour at this iconic restaurant, which is still fairly new on the city’s culinary scene. The rich and varied dishes include oysters, steak tartare and grilled halibut. But, it’s not just about lunch and dinner here. The all-day menu boasts a fancy breakfast option, afternoon tea and even late-night snacks too.
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THE OXO TOWER RESTAURANT
This restaurant is housed in the iconic OXO Tower building on the South Bank. You’ll enjoy views of St Paul’s and the other famous City of London landmarks while you dine. British seasonal produce is used in the menu here, dishes like free range chicken with carrot crumble and Marinda tomato tart to tuck into. The impressive wine list will wow you too – with hundreds of options for you to choose from.
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If you’re a bit of a history buff, you’ll love Rules. It’s London’s oldest restaurant which was established back in 1798 by Thomas Rule. Charles Dickens, Laurence Olivier and Charlie Chaplin are just some of the famous folk who have graced this place with their presence. The heritage restaurant offers game dishes, oysters, pies and puddings, so you’ll be in for a hearty meal.
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Seasonal British ingredients are used to create the modern Indian dishes at this colonial-style restaurant. While London lines up loads of Indian restaurants for you to choose from, Gymkhana is one of the best. You’ll find a combination of Indian classics and unique ingredients here, like pig’s cheek vindaloo and Kesar Pista Chicken Chops. The sibling trio who run this place also own trendy restaurant Hoppers, which specializes in Sri Lankan street food.
Find the nearest Big Bus Stop to Gymkhana
This family-owned restaurant fuses nature with elegance for a unique dining experience. Step into this venue and you’ll be greeted with an array of plants and flowers at every corner. The fare here has a distinct ‘freshly-picked’ feel with dishes like spring pea and courgette ragu, heritage radishes and artichoke alla romana to try. Don’t miss the signature Petersham rose petal prosecco too.
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Dine in London’s tallest building to enjoy both sophisticated fare and amazing views of the city. It’s located on the 32nd floor of the Shard and specialises in grilled and rotisserie dishes. Think bbq black cod, grilled dover sole and free range chicken for the mains. And, new york cheesecake, chocolate truffles and brownie sundaes for dessert. Yum.
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You’ll taste the very best of London's food scene if you tick just one of these restaurants off your list. And once you’ve done dinner, don’t forget to sample a full English breakfast, a Sunday lunch and an afternoon tea, too. You’ll need fuel for all that sightseeing, after all…