The 14 Most Romantic Restaurants In London guide image


The 14 Most Romantic Restaurants In London

The best London restaurants for a properly romantic dinner.

Romantic restaurants can take many forms, whether you’re looking for candlelight to flicker off your wine glass, or hidden nooks where you can brush fingers after agreeing to split the last spring roll. London is full of romantic restaurants—moody, wine-filled, bustling, and otherwise. No matter what kind of spot you’re looking for, this guide has some of the best dinner options across London.



The lighting is low, the nooks are plentiful, and the aubergine fatteh will steal your date’s attention. This Marylebone spot is a great little place to know about when you want homely, warm charm and to scoop superior, nutty hummus into your face—or theirs—with warm pitta. The menu has a mix of classics that you’ll find at most Lebanese restaurants—but at Fairuz they’re a cut above. And there are enough exciting things to keep you coming back, and have you planning your second and third date before you’ve even left. 

If 90% of your romantic fantasies are set in the French countryside, and involve a charming farmhouse with wooden beams, and plenty of private nooks tucked away behind corners—you’re probably going to find La Poule Au Pot an overwhelming experience. The French home-style dishes at this Belgravia spot are real aphrodisiacs. The rich beef bourguignon, mopped up with a soft piece of baguette? It’s enough to forgive the fact they forgot your anniversary two years ago. Maybe. 

Sinuhe is a charming little spot that puts equal thought into making itself a place that people can fall in love, as it does its creamy refreshing mast o khair. There’s a flickering candle on each table, rustic wooden interiors, and a playlist that’s low enough that it blends into the quiet hum of conversation. This Notting Hill restaurant is where you can imagine having an intimate third date, while also making a mental note of how many people it seats so you can book out the whole space for your engagement party. All of the Persian dishes are great, but the mirza qasemi—thick, smoky, with strings of tender aubergine—will steal your heart. 

OTT foliage and dramatic chandeliers in a rustic Georgian mansion are scientifically proven to induce feelings of love. Or at least strong ‘like’. And conveniently, this British restaurant in Vauxhall has both of those things. Despite having more light bulbs than a lighting showroom, the mood at Brunswick House is always set to romance. The menu, which is filled with things like courgette fritters with coconut yoghurt, Brixham crab egg noodles, and a burrata omelette that tastes as extra as it sounds, all mean that this is a memorable meal in a romance novel-worthy setting.

Maramia Cafe in Notting Hill knows a thing or two about romance. The melted wax candles, the single roses hanging from the ceiling, and the menu of Palestinian mezze and traditional dishes will all significantly improve your chances of charming literally anyone. Our must-order is the chicken mousakhan—fresh za'atar-dusted taboon bread filled with pulled chicken breast, caramelised onions, and a generous amount of sumac. Finish with knefeh Naboulsia, a syrupy, cheesy, Palestinian cheesecake. It’s the perfect segue into the “I want to stop dating other people'' chat.

If you’ve got a single romantic bone in your body, Andrew Edmunds will locate it. Open since 1985, this old-school Soho restaurant with a European-inspired menu has been making people fall in love for almost four decades. But not just in love with whoever’s on the other end of the table—in love with this moody, candlelit restaurant. You’ll order from a menu scrawled on a chalkboard—dishes like the cauliflower soup will make you consider cracking out your Nutribullet for something other than peanut butter milkshakes. And rigatoni with borlotti beans is so wholesome it’ll remind you to give your grandma a call.

Casse-Croûte is so charming it hurts. On a corner of Bermondsey Street, this little French spot is home to red and white check tablecloths, a blackboard menu with Garamond calligraphy, and a ceiling covered in flirty lipstick kiss-stamped business cards. In case the decor doesn’t give it away, this is somewhere for regaling and romancing. Tender moments shared over a towering mille-feuille and red wine anniversary kisses over a plate of saucisson and beaufort d’Alpage. You bring the person, Casse-Croûte will do the rest. 

Llewelyn’s is one of the most effortlessly romantic restaurants in London. A wildly charming neighbourhood spot in Herne Hill, this is binge-watching Richard Curtis films in glorious, grilled fish and île flottante-packing form. Seriously, we once saw an actual bird’s nest in their fairy light-wrapped tree outside. The best part? The modern European food is both sophisticated but still downright comforting. Pop to their equally quaint, next-door wine bar, Lulu’s, after dinner for a nightcap.

Who knew that a combination of London’s best wine list and a bar and dining room that is as much made for romance as it is for illicit, intense affairs would be so popular among people who love to stare into each other’s eyes? Noble Rot’s original Bloomsbury location has got that mischievous glint alongside a spoon of chartreuse ice cream, that makes it a breeding ground for burgeoning or established romance. Whether you’re lazily picking at a bread plate or digging into modern European dishes like comté tart, there’s much to love in this restaurant.

Quality Wines manages to make a corner of the Farringdon Road feel quite transportive. To the extent that at some point after your mart-ilda (it’s a martini and a gilda) and oily focaccia—likely when you’re eyeing up the next table’s scallop with ‘nduja butter—you’ll forget that you’re in EC1 and five minutes from a Leyland. You’ll come to the conclusion that you may be in the most perfect place in the world. Quality Wines’ European charm and lean-over-the-table, candlelit appeal is truly second to none.

Campania & Jones is a restaurant where romances are formed or rekindled, whether that be across the candlelit table, or with a plate of ravioli you’re thinking about eloping with. In fact, pretty much everything about this dreamy Italian spot in Hackney shows off heart and tastefulness. From the back room where pasta is made all day, to the antique and candle-filled space that makes the villa from Call Me By Your Name look like Trainspotting, to the shared table of families tucking into tiramisu. It’s a restaurant filled with love.

Caravel is a candlelit barge that’s permanently moored between Old Street and Angel. Its intimate cabin dining room is matched by simply cooked bistro-ish food that dots around from thickly stuffed prawn toast to a chicken liver pâté so smooth that an influencer would be forgiven for trying to contour with it. The flickering mood lighting, a good-value wine list, and the extremely cannily placed cocktail barge, Bruno’s, next door makes for a memorable restaurant that’s as romantic as it is reasonable.

Jin Kichi’s intimate two-person booth is a date night table of dreams. The neighbourhood izakaya-style Japanese spot in Hampstead is a popular restaurant for romances young and old in NW3 and, with fish being expertly cut at the sushi counter and sizzling skewers being rotated around the robata grill, there is plenty to fall in love with here. Even if you’re not in that booth there’s an irresistible excitement around the room that, judging by the regulars, has been around for a few anniversaries.

There’s much to be said about lighting when it comes to choosing a date night restaurant and, in Oren, Dalston has the most delicious, dimly lit restaurant in east London. It’s a tiny space where knees touch and hearts flutter—whether it’s to do with the person opposite you, or the Jerusalem mixed grill remains to be seen. Everything at this Tel Aviv-inspired spot, from marinda tomatoes, to hake and herb-stuffed pitta, is tremendous. If a showy shebang isn’t your vibe, this restaurant more than likely is. If bread is your vibe, well, then this restaurant is a must.

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photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The 14 Most Romantic Restaurants In London guide image