The 25 Best Restaurants In London

Meet our 25 highest-rated restaurants.
The 25 Best Restaurants In London image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Have you ever woken up and thought, “Gosh, I’d love to eat at a second-best restaurant today?” Of course you haven’t. Whether you’ve lived in London your entire life or are visiting for the first time, it’s human nature to want to experience the best of the best. And that’s exactly why we wrote this guide.

These are the highest-rated restaurants in London—the ones we can’t help but go back to again and again. Food and experience are both taken into consideration, and any type of dining establishment is fair game. On this list you’ll find fancy restaurants, everyday hangouts, and takeaway spots. Every city has its classics and its hot new places, but these are restaurants where greatness is guaranteed.


photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch



$$$$Perfect For:BYOBBig GroupsCatching Up With MatesClassic EstablishmentImpressing Out of Towners
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At the end of your meal at Singburi, you will finally take a breath. The last chunk of moo krob would have long been eaten, the final remnant of jungle curry sauce wiped with your finger. It’s at this point you’ll realise that this meal—this brilliant, frenetic, sour, spicy, sweet, and superb blitz of a Thai extravaganza—will soon be over. And that’s when you’ll realise how brilliant Singburi is. The BYOB Leytonstone spot is not only London’s finest Thai restaurant but the best across the city. Full of energy and flavour and often a complete faff to get a booking (call, call, and call again), there is nowhere in London as reliably vibrant as Singburi.

photo credit: Rob Greig



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St. John is London’s most famous British restaurant and the place in which we have most actively fantasised about holding both our wedding and wake. It’s a white-walled haven in Clerkenwell that’s been proudly serving roasted bone marrow, gargantuan pies, and homemade doughnuts since the mid-‘90s. Much of St. John’s lore is thanks to Fergus Henderson, the chef who pioneered nose-to-tail cooking, but a large portion of its longevity is shown in the fact that both he and Trevor Gulliver (his co-founder) are here almost daily, having a Fernet Branca at the bar or devilled kidneys and mash in the dining room.

photo credit: Endo at the Rotunda

This spot is Temporarily Closed.



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Spending £250 on a meal is not normal behaviour, but Endo at the Rotunda is not a normal restaurant. It all starts exactly where you never want to end up: Westfield White City. From there, things can only go up. Eight floors up a tower in the ex-home of the BBC to enjoy an omakase meal like no other. From the futuristic room looking over London to the exquisite pieces of sushi handed to you by Endo—the owner, head chef, and headliner—as he performs behind his 10 or so-seater counter-cum-stage, this entire meal is unforgettably excellent. Endo at the Rotunda is temporarily closed and will reopen in late summer 2024.

We’re not meant to have favourites, but to be completely honest we’ve got a real soft spot for Normah. One welcoming chef, one cosy restaurant, one roti beef rendang that will inevitably become two when you just need to double check that a roti can be this gloriously soft and flaky. Yes, this tiny, low-key Malaysian spot inside Queensway Market is the kind of place where sharing seems like a good idea—the fried chicken, laksa with king prawns, assam pedas seabass, and that roti beef rendang are all essential orders—but you’ll quickly become as protective over the food in front of you as a poodle with a chicken bone. And you’ll want to protect chef Normah at all costs too.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

London isn’t lacking in French restaurants but we’re extremely confident in saying that Bouchon Racine is the absolute crème de la crème. Everything at this seductive bistro in Farringdon feels like it’s made to be dunked or glugged. A chip into your bavette’s sauce Saint-Marcellin, a tear of baguette into celeriac remoulade, a glass of cognac after the final spoon of sumptuous crème caramel. Like all the true greats, it feels like you could stay in this lived-in room above a pub forever. But like many greats, it isn’t as easy to get a booking as you would like. Try, try, and try again because Bouchon Racine is as delightful as they come.

If you’ve been privileged enough to experience fine dining-style restaurants multiple times, it can be easy to disregard another Michelin-starred spot. But Ikoyi is one of those restaurants, complete with a £150+ tasting menu, that will make you wonder whether a higher power has been resurrected in the form of a bowl of crab custard. The Strand restaurant is West African in influence and haute in style. The combination of these things—in the form of dishes like ginger and kombu caramelised plantain and irresistible smoked jollof rice—makes Ikoyi a truly unique eating and drinking experience. 

​​London has an excellent Indian restaurant scene. But Bibi is something special. Every dish at this Mayfair spot is exciting and innovative. You’ll think the grilled Lahori chicken in a creamy cashew and yoghurt whey sauce is the star of the show. Only to have the raw Orkney scallop in a lemonade dressing arrive at your table and make you feel things you didn’t think you could feel for a mollusc. The evening tasting menu will convert raw fish haters, surprise people who think they’ve tried it all, and please literally everyone. When you’re sat in the warm, plush room, with arched mirrors, intimate booths, and comfortable counter stools, you’ll realise that there’s no way you’ll be able to pick a star of the show until you’ve tried everything.

If you haven’t stood in Sainsbury’s Crystal Palace’s car park shovelling jerk pork belly into your mouth and sucking the meat of a smoky chicken leg that would make the Marlboro man do a double take, you haven’t eaten jerk properly in London at all. Tasty Jerk is the most elite Jamaican spot in London. The takeaway-only joint opposite Selhurst Park is a must. Its pork belly marries a ludicrously charred and crunching exterior with melt-in-your-mouth fat, while the chicken surrenders from the bone almost immediately. Hunch over the counter if you like or find your own space in the big Sainsbury’s behind. Either way, get extra homemade jerk sauce. It’s better than water.

There’s no point beating around the bush with Dim Sum & Duck: it’s the best all-round Cantonese restaurant in London. The dumplings, from xiaolongbao to cheung fun, are superb. The ho fun is slippery and full of the aroma of wok hei. Yes, the walk-in only queues are consistent. And no, it isn’t fine dining service. But whether you squeeze into its box-sized dining room or get a spot under the canopy out front, the food very quickly takes permanent residence in your brain. Specifically the part that looks like a merry-go-round and has different delicious foods manically turning 24/7.

There’s no food in London that you should be more thrilled to eat on the pavement, at a bus stop, or leaning against the counter than Alhaji Suya’s. The Nigerian, specifically northern Nigerian, takeaway spot in Peckham is run by masters of grilled meat, who make delicious and fiercely addictive portions of lamb, chicken, and beef suya. The tozo—a fattier cut of beef—is our favourite. The meat is meltingly soft and smoky, begging to be covered in generous handfuls of Alhaji’s homemade yaji. Once you eat this suya, well, you’ll realise that some of the best restaurants around don’t need waiters, table service, or anything extra at all.

Highbury and Islington is one of the busiest stations in the UK, but at Trullo everyone feels like they have all the time in the world. The neighbourhood Italian is a restaurant that isn’t just loved—it’s utterly adored. Everything from anniversaries to afternoons off are celebrated here, be it with a plate of glorious beef shin pappardelle or over a bottle of barolo. If adult playgrounds were a thing, they would likely look like this. All waltzing candles and white tablecloths begging to be stained. Despite being the older sibling to pasta spot Padella, it’s the bigger plates you should pay most attention to. That and the tiramisu to finish.

Some restaurants are special while also feeling like they could exist in other cities, but Kurisu Omakase is special in that it feels utterly unique to London. The sushi omakase experience mixes Japanese cooking with head chef Chris Restrepo's Thai-Colombian heritage, genuine brilliance, and inimitable made-in-Brixton charm. Restrepo wows you with confit uni butter risotto and pieces of 18-times-sliced scallop nigiri, while also entertaining you with stories about family holidays and juicy dinners sealed by NDA. This is a purposefully informal experience with food that is simply out of this world. An uncommon combination that, together, makes a restaurant that represents the best of London.

All you need is one meal at Chishuru to start thinking about Oxford Street as an area you want to spend time in. The modern West African restaurant is a breath of fresh air for this hectic part of the city and, in fact, the whole of London. After relocating from Brixton, Joké Bakare has expanded both Chishuru’s ideas and space, and from our first sip of the weapons-grade plantain sazerac, we knew that this restaurant had something special. The two floors are warm, comfortable, and cosy. The kind of place you could nod off in if the sauces and spices weren’t as thrilling as they are. Lunch and dinner are a set menu roller coaster of flavours, from moi moi with a deeply savoury, sour, and pungent duck egg sauce, to grilled and stuffed napa cabbage with chuggable egusi.

The Devonshire is one bonnet and an orphan away from being the set of a Dickens film—in the best way possible. At the flawless pub and British restaurant in Soho, roaring fires make cheeks flush, groups sink bottles of 2019 Barolo Sorano, and perfect Guinnesses are served to those who are two pints away from doing their best "please, sir, I want some more" impression. The people behind The Devonshire understand that pubs should be warm places and the soundtrack in the dining room is all humming conversation and the crackling fire responsible for your fall-apart Iberico pork ribs. The menu single-handedly rehabilitates the image of dishes like suet pudding which comes with buttery, light pastry and rich beef stew. The temptation to hunker down in the dimly lit, wood-clad space for just one more—sticky toffee pudding or pint—is hard to resist.

Curry recommendations can send you all over London, but it’s close to Heathrow Airport where you’ll find the silkiest charsi chicken karahi and the most gargantuan Afghan naans. If anything, Taste of Pakistan is more hectic than a departures terminal. The Pashtun favourite is more akin to a club, with 4x4s pulling up outside come dinner and hordes of friends and families settling into the paired-back, white-lit dining room ready to take down several frisbee-shaped chapli kebabs and mountains of kabli pilau. A restaurant with this much buzz often has a face and Taste of Pakistan’s is Naseer—proprietor and all-round guv’nor—who works the room making sure everyone is happy. Needless to say, they are.

Come to Rochelle Canteen’s garden in Shoreditch whenever possible: for lunch, for dinner, for a glass of crémant and a knickerbocker glory. This joyful greenhouse of a restaurant is a stalwart of the British dining scene in London and it’s as stylish as they come. Tabi heels tuck into sensational suet pies and there’s no doubt that Margot Henderson—head chef, powerhouse, and part of the British culinary monarchy alongside her husband Fergus Henderson of St. John—has made this restaurant hidden in the garden of a former school a complete masterclass in modesty.

We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve eaten at Noble Rot. Yet, somehow, every meal, drink, or plate of bread at the gates of heaven, masquerading as a wine bar and restaurant in Bloomsbury, has felt almost perfect. The daily changing menu dots around European and British influences—from their trademark slipsole to a plate of roast guinea fowl and spätzle. Plus it’s got the best set lunch menu in London: £26 for three courses of sheer joy and genuine value. You can pop into its idyllic front bar for a glass of Chin Chin and be made to feel just as special as those chugging their way through the Bordeaux region at the back. 

Meals at Zeret Kitchen come with an overwhelming side of peacefulness. At every table you’ll see hands neatly ripping at injera, pinches of kitfo being expertly dispatched, and warm catch-ups taken to the next level by a scoop of shuro wot. There’s so much to love about this slow-paced Ethiopian restaurant in Camberwell and everyone seems to naturally adjust to its calming atmosphere. The gentle orchestral soundtrack probably helps, and so too does the brilliant food. There’s injera for days here and the sour, springy flatbread is perfect alone, but even better with misir wot and chicken tibs on top. The same goes for the restaurant itself in that groups of friends politely pitch up here midweek, but you can just as easily enjoy Zeret’s home away from home feeling on your own.

There aren’t many places where we’d happily test our quad strength by squatting in an alley to eat a taco—but Sonora Taquería is one of them. There’s almost always a queue at this Mexican spot. A queue that’s full of other believers who’ve made the pilgrimage to Stoke Newington for cheese crust bean quesadillas. These tacos are worth the wait, worth planning your entire day around, and they are worth popping a squat in the neighbouring alley if the handful of seats are taken. The menu is short and ordering is simple—it’s all fantastic. The meat is consistently juicy and well-seasoned—from the smoky cubes of pork in a quesadilla, to the blushing steak in a carne asada taco—and the flour tortillas themselves are soft and chewy, but hold up against a weighty pile of shredded beef. These will become your benchmark tacos in London.

London is a gloomy city. Which also means it’s a city that knows a thing or two about comfort food. And peak comfort comes in the form of a piping hot curry atsu-atsu from Koya in Soho. Walk-in only, this corridor-sized udon bar has limited seating and a menu of noodles, donburi, and Japanese small plates that’ll make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. You can pop in with a friend or come for a solo lunch when it’s raining outside and all you want is your face over a warm bowl, feverishly slurping and snapping up London’s best udon.

Even though the European menu regularly changes, we always know what to expect at Quality Wines. The Clerkenwell restaurant is as intimate as they come and a date here almost always ends in a declaration of love—even if it is only for the bouncy focaccia or daydream-worthy lobster roll. Head chef Nick Bramham has turned this shop-cum-small plates restaurant into a must-visit candlelit destination, be it for a plate geometrically perfect veal and lardo lasagne or a gluttonous post-dinner sour cherry and almond pig fat cannoli. Be it platonic or romantic, love is always in the air. Especially when the wine shelf is involved.

Wherever your loyalties lie football-wise, a meal at Xi’an Impression is essential. The tiny Xi’anese spot is directly opposite Arsenal’s stadium and while this may (correctly) encourage some and (incorrectly) put off others, one bite of their bouncy hand-pulled biang biang noodles is likely to convince anyone otherwise. The functional, box-sized, BYOB space is both a neighbourhood favourite and a destination, and it’s no wonder given the quality of its food. A bowl of biang biang is the classic, while the liangi cold noodles (or rather, room temperature) are arguably the star of the show. But delve deeper into the menu and you’ll find that Xi'an Impression’s standards are consistently high. The sweet and sour chicken is some of the best around.

One bite of Kaieteur Kitchen’s pepper pot is all you need to be hooked. Maybe it’s the carefully stewed oxtail that melts in your mouth. Maybe it’s the aromatic sauce where whiffs of cassava, cinnamon, and cloves travel up your nose before spooning your heart. Either way, the attentive and nurturing service of Faye Gomes (the owner of this wonderful Guyanese spot in Elephant and Castle) will make you want to come back weekly. Kaieteur Kitchen isn’t the most decked out of restaurants—it’s got a handful of small tables on one side and a takeaway counter on the other—but it’s undoubtedly one of the most flavour-packed.

At Imone, you get an aromatic preview of the excellent Korean dishes before they’re on your table. Like your dog’s ears when it hears you opening the snack cupboard, your nostrils will flair as the smell of saewoo bokkum wafts in from the kitchen and golden, crispy pajeon filled with an aggressive—and entirely necessary—amount of spring onion arrives. Not only does Imone serve the best Korean food in London’s Koreatown a.k.a. New Malden, it serves the best Korean food in the whole city. And it does so in an adorable, homely space with a handful of wooden benches in the main room and a secret space out back for loud dinners. The crockery is mismatched, the servers treat you like a guest in their home, and the pajeon is an absolute must.

If you’re looking for the plumpest, most herb-packed summer rolls, or the crispiest, most prawn-heavy bánh xèo, go to Eat Vietnam. The Deptford favourite is without doubt the most consistently excellent Vietnamese restaurant in London. The low-key room and reasonable prices suit any occasion but the attention to detail is seen in everything you eat. Regulars know repeat visits are essential, simply because the menu is so vast and so appealing. Meat-lovers will swoon at barbecue section, with everything from fragrant sườn heo nướng (glazed baby back ribs) to nem nướng nha trang (smoky charcoal pork skewers alongside a gluggable peanut sauce). While vegetarians and vegans are keenly looked after with a separate and similarly excellent menu of specials.

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