The 18 Best Restaurants In Fitzrovia
photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
For most people, Fitzrovia is ‘that bit up from Oxford Street’, or ‘that posh part of central’. It’s where you accidentally venture when you’ve overshot the station or want to peer at expensive homes and even more expensive dental practices. But these restaurants make a case for a deliberate visit. The likes of George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, and Dylan Thomas ate and drank here, and now you can add your name to that list. This is our guide to the best restaurants in Fitzrovia.
After relocating from Brixton, Chishuru's home is right in the thick of things in Fitzrovia, and you shouldn't wait around to pay a visit. The modern West African spot is simply too thrilling. Its two-floor spot is spacious and cosy all at once, with terracotta tones and a changing tasting menu featuring spices and sauces you’ll want to mainline. When we visited, moi moi with duck liver and a sour, pungent duck egg sauce stood out.
Slicing into the gooey, oozing slice of jamón tortilla at Broken Eggs, a Spanish spot, is the most chic we’ve ever felt eating eggs. The whole restaurant is like a Kinfolk shoot come to life. Come during the day for excellent tortillas filled with smoky meat, grilled courgettes, and soft, buttery potatoes. In the evenings, tables fill up with glasses of fruity sangria and simple but elegant dishes: cheesy croquetas and pan con tomate topped with fresh, juicy tomatoes. It's a go-to spot when you're craving some Spanish sunshine.
Sitting down at 64 Goodge Street, taking a tear of warm complimentary (yes, complimentary) bread, and swiping up the remains of scallops with a luscious beurre blanc sauce, you’ll realise that this is some of the finest French food in London. The corridor-sized, dimly lit room in Fitzrovia knows its crowd—those who welcome food so rich it’s debaucherous—and duly delivers. Every bite and sip is like being welcomed into heaven by a block of beurre d'Isigny with wings.
This Philadelphia-inspired spot is a casual dive bar where you’ll find an excellently messy, shredded rib-eye steak-filled sub that’ll leave your hands sticky and your tummy happy. The walls and ceilings are chaotically covered with dollar bills and Philadelphia Eagles memorabilia, and there are TV screens that switch between American football and Danny Devito films. It’s the type of restaurant that you can head to for a quick in-and-out lunch, or happily spend an entire evening.
The George is a delicious and decadent take on a pub. The downstairs bar is Great Portland Street’s usual mix of slurring suits and those trying to ignore the slurring suits, while the upstairs dining room gives off an energy that mixes the Tudors and the posh bit of the Titanic. The friendly staff will very much encourage you to eat the foie gras and order the mandatory fruit trifle for dessert—don’t resist. The George isn’t just extravagant, it’s also extremely enjoyable.
Carousel has cracked the eternal question of “how can you be a hot hot hot restaurant and also be timeless?” The answer is, have a rotation of impressive guest chefs from across the world in your buzzing open kitchen and also have a classic all-day neighbourhood wine bar up front. Whichever one you go for, know that the atmosphere hits the sweet spot between cool and charming so it’s perfect for low-key birthdays, cool but casual date nights, and catch-ups with that friend who’s really into the food scene.
This Italian bar and kitchen serves bigoli with such perfect al dente bite that we have officially added ‘stop eating mediocre pasta’ to our five-year life plan. Outside of epiphany pastas, Cin Cin is also home to some big-price, big-summer-energy fishy mains and satisfying Italian small plate classics. Ideal for date nights and aperitivo-fuelled, four-hour catch-ups, the sophisticated dining room is a truly lovely place to be but when the sun is shining, you can’t beat its pavement seating.
Circolo is from the same people as Gloria and Ave Mario and just like its loud, proud, and Aperol-fuelled sisters, this Italian trattoria is a restaurant to party in. It’s a Disney-ish take on the Italian riviera, with thousands of bottles of spirits lining the walls, fake plants hanging from the ceiling, and enough chintzy tableware to make an Antiques Roadshow superfan faint. The food is the back-up dancer here, but that doesn’t really matter. Because the courgette flowers are crunchy, the pasta tastes decent enough, the meringue pie is great, and you’re not really here to eat.
The celeriac shawarma at Rovi is kind of a big deal. In fact, it’s borderline life-changing. Yes, you probably should order another one even if it’s just you, it’s that good. Then again, pretty much all of the vegetable dishes at this Middle Eastern-leaning spot on Wells Street deserve a shout out. The kitchen specialises in non-meat dishes that rival most carnivore options we can think of in London. The restaurant itself is bright and charming, in a minimalistic way. It’s a great spot for a grown-up, sit-down meal.
This restaurant is pronounced ‘Mary’. It’s important you know how to say it, because as soon as you try the food at this excellent fine dining spot you’ll want to tell people about how the pea custard has ruined mushy peas for you forever. It’s a sophisticated South Pacific-meets-French spot with a velvet-clad bar upstairs and a serious dining room situation underground. Although there are à la carte options, what you really want to get involved in is one of the tasting menus. A full three-hour, wine pairing, blow-the-budget evening is where Mere really shines.
In our opinion, Portland is the ideal place for anyone who’s curious about the Chef’s Table experience they’ve seen on Netflix, but doesn’t necessarily want to commit a huge chunk of their salary to dinner. You can order from the brilliant regular menu of small plates—where a three-course lunch is around £50, or from a pricier six-course tasting menu for dinner. The modern British food is creative and tasty. Think Iberico pork with sticky black garlic ‘jam’, or a crisp chicken skin bite with a light chicken liver mousse.
Here’s a likely conversation: “Where should we meet?”, “I dunno, central”. Ah yes, Fitzrovia is to friendships what Clapham Junction is to trains. All pals are going to pass through here at some point, and when you do, you should head to Yalla Yalla. This Beirut spot has a long menu of classics like lamb kibbeh, moussaka, and tahini. But this place really comes into its own when sharing, with mezze feast set menus and shawarma platters, plus cosy interiors which make it prime casual catch-up material.
Clipstone is the younger and even more informal kid sister to Portland. The food takes after its older sibling with lots of creative small plates, but with the added bonus of a pizza oven charring delicious things that you definitely want in your body. The modern European cooking’s never show-offy, and it’s another good spot for anyone looking to dip their toes into fine dining, but without the price tag or time commitment.
Meraki is a big, bright Greek restaurant run by the people behind Zuma and Coya, but you wouldn’t know it. Things here are pretty relaxed. It’s a spot where you could eat with either your somewhat stress-inducing mother in law, your cool east London mates, or messy baby brother, without fuss. The food is great overall, get the chops, any of the mezze options, and make sure you try at least one of their pasta dishes.
London has some pretty nice sushi spots where you don’t have to deep dive into your sofa to fund a dinner. Sushi Atelier does excellent raw fish at a pretty decent price, and it also comes with some exciting twists. Expect your sushi to be topped with anything from foie gras to BBQ sauce to parmesan—things that sound like they wouldn’t work, but actually do brilliantly. Use this restaurant for a quick fun meal or for an affordable but high-quality sushi dinner.
Having dinner at Berners Tavern feels like eating inside the Sistine Chapel, or at least a really, really rich guy’s house. The posh brasserie food’s good, but you’re really paying for the atmosphere—it’s a rite of passage to pretend that the ridiculously ornate decor and high ceilings are no big deal. It’s excellent for celebrations with a group, or when you’re going all-out to impress someone. If you don’t want to commit to a full meal, the bar’s excellent for an epic drink before you hit a show.
We like to visit Sagar for the kind of vegetarian food that tastes home-cooked. It’s comfortable and you can always get a table, and the south Indian food is incredibly consistent and always tasty. There are the usual dosas and thali set menus if you’re famished, and don’t miss the papadi chat, which is a mixed salad of lightly fried bread, potatoes, tangy sauce, and yoghurt.
Koba is a swish Korean spot that’s perfect for giving friends an intro to the joys of Korean barbecue, bubbling stews, and pajeon. The seats at the bar are nice, but the sleek restaurant at the back is where the real action is. You’ll feel like you’ve been seated at a high-tech art installation with futuristic induction fans at each table that make sure you don’t smell of smoke after a few rounds of sizzling short ribs and seafood. Koba’s a little pricey, but for the experience it’s worth the cost and it’s especially good for a small group hang.