Where To Eat In Mayfair
A guide to 25 of the best spots around Mayfair.
Even if the only experience you have of this part of central London is being fined £2000 for rolling an unlucky number during a heated game of Monopoly, you should still know that London’s most expensive area has some more than decent places to eat. From an old-school Japanese spot serving top sushi and a small cafe serving a banging full English, to fluffy French toast (that won’t require you to take out a mortgage), here are some of our favourites.
photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
This slick seafood spot with mermaids coming out of the walls and shell-shaped lamp shades is laid-back and fun, and will whisk you far away from Mayfair. Plus the dishes at Saltie Girl, a US import, are hit after hit. From a lobster roll with an industrial amount of butter and a side of homemade salt and vinegar crisps that would make Walkers' stocks plummet if word got out, to a lobster waffle that has the perfect ratio of sweet to savoury. You should absolutely save some stomach space for dessert because the freshly baked milk chocolate cookie might just be one of the best desserts in London.
Apricity is a fine dining restaurant in Mayfair that has thrown the snoozefest tasting menu playbook in the bin, and replaced it with a warm, chatter-filled dining room where seven wildly creative courses can be enjoyed for less than £100. The food is best described as globe-trotting, with dishes like a tempura take on sauerkraut and exceptionally meaty hand-dived Scottish scallops with rich black pepper pork belly. The signature fig leaf ‘chouxnut’ dessert is all the evidence you’ll need to know that this place isn’t afraid of frying or, crucially, having a good time. Come with your closest friend, or for a sophisticated date night that revolves around spicy natural wine and hand-feeding each other sourdough.
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Roji is a plan ahead, book in advance, get excited for kind of spot. The 10-seater omakase spot in Mayfair is a special place that comes to mind when we get the inevitable “what is your favourite restaurant in London?” question. The intimate setup, with wooden wrap-around counter seating, gives you a front-row seat to the open kitchen. Description of each course, from the oyster limushi to the eight rounds of nigiri, only adds to the anticipation, especially when you see the wide-eyed astonishment of people served before you. The cost is also pretty serious at £170, but it feels like a fair price to pay for a meal so memorable.
photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
Like finding a tenner in some long lost jeans, coming to Bibi feels like making the ultimate discovery. Hidden in plain sight on a corner just seconds away from the chaos of Oxford Street, this Indian spot is small but significant, with a menu of incredibly designed dishes. There’s the melt-in-your-mouth orkney scallop in a tangy lemonade dressing and tender grilled chicken in a cashew and yoghurt whey sauce that you’ll want to lick off the plate. We could also gush about the counter seating or the fun gola mocktails, but the reason you should come here—and the reason you’ll definitely return—is for the sensational food.
At Ikeda there’s a personal note from Paul Simon by the toilets. There’s one from Steven Spielberg (and other celebrities) too. Fergus Henderson says it’s one of his favourite restaurants in London. But those aren’t the reasons to go to this old-school Japanese spot. The sushi and sashimi is. Ikeda’s so-called ‘supreme assortments’ are just that. Each one comes with a mix of fatty to very fatty tuna, yellowtail, octopus, and more. It’s delicious, high-quality fish that melts away until you’re mourning it. And, importantly, the rice is also perfect. Aside from the famous friends downstairs, the restaurant is extremely low-key. But, if you can get a seat or two on the counter opposite the chefs, then you’ve done very well. Ikeda is expensive but it’s also very worthwhile.
Starting your day with peanut butter and banana-heavy French toast just because you can is what life is all about. And you should make that decision at Popina. This little spot has scrambled eggs and all the other usual breakfast culprits on the menu, plus some exciting alternatives that you should get involved in, from their house special ranchos with lime guacamole to the green shakshuka and raclette cheese melt. But the French toast section—yes, a whole section—is where it’s at. It includes a Nutella marshmallow melt that sounds just as good as it tastes. And the best part? A full English and a coffee here won’t cost you more than £20.
photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli
Across the road from Green Park is Hide, a £20 million mega-restaurant-thing that feels like it’s intent on taking over the world. The interior of this place is the vision of a Bond villain who was tormented by bark as a child. There’s just so much wood. It’s really quite something. The ground floor, aptly named Ground, serves from breakfast to dinner. Some dishes are quite lovely—agnolotti, crab tart, and a bit of grilled octopus—but it should also be on your radar for its downstairs bar, cleverly named Below. And if you’re looking for a more casual spot, their chandelier-clad cafe, Hideaway, serves one of our favourite lobster rolls in London, as well as the world’s bougiest waffle station.
If Coya was a person it would be the beautiful, popular friend of a friend who’s annoyingly nice and intimidatingly cool. Basically, as a person we’d probably find them depressing to be around. But as a restaurant we love them. This slick Mayfair spot mixes Peruvian cuisine with Chinese and Japanese influences. It also has some of the best guacamole we’ve tried in London, as well as some mind-blowingly good crab tacos and some very good wagyu sliders. Plus the OTT interior makes it perfect for a celebratory meal.
Some restaurants are simply superb at being restaurants. They’re excellent at serving delicious food that you wouldn’t usually eat, and that also makes you think ‘blimey I’ve eaten’. Plus they have an atmosphere to match. Kitty Fisher’s is one of these. This is a classic establishment in all senses. This is a place to unashamedly splurge in. On food, drink, and loud conversation.
When you go out to eat you don’t usually expect to have an invigorating experience (aside from a run-in with a particularly funky Aesop soap in the toilets) but at Scully that’s exactly what you get. From the moment you’re given a bowl of spiced chickpeas, the food in this modern St. James’s restaurant acts as a taser for your taste buds. There are heaps of vegetables, herbs, and charred bits of meat and fish, and everything here is completely unique but similar in that they contain excessive amounts of flavour. The space itself is slick and comfortable, but evenings at the counter are your best bet. Whatever time of day you come, it’ll be the food that steals the show.
We’re pretty sure that the Queen was born in Claridges. That, or, someone comes from the palace to spray the place with royal air once a week. That’s one of the reasons why you’re going to be paying £75 for tea. Another is the Mayfair location, the live pianist and cellist, and the fact that everything—from the sandwiches to the scones—tastes just a bit better than it does almost everywhere else. You’re also definitely going to want to spend some time with the pastries. The vanilla bourbon religieuse alone blows the sweet section of every other afternoon tea out of the water.
Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine
The first thing you need to know about this upmarket Chinese spot is that it serves some of the best dim sum in London. Think creative takes on prawn toast, excellent soup dumplings, and prawn cheung fun you’ll happily ghost their decent duck for. This place is huge, with leather seating, an amber-clad bar, white tablecloths, and some pretty hefty price tags. It’s perfect for a business meeting that’ll impress your boss’ boss or splashing out on a whole lot of dim sum on your day off. The atmosphere is a little dull but what it lacks in buzz it makes up for in baked venison puffs.
photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli
If you haven’t eaten in the Wolseley then frankly you’re doing London wrong. This is a truly classic establishment. Its setting is about as grand as you can get and the food is decent as well. Come for a classy breakfast or brunch—including one of London’s best full English fry-ups—and pretend this lifestyle is completely normal for you.
If you’ve accidentally left your bowler hat on the bus, there are a couple of places in Mayfair that will welcome you as your scruffy self. Delfino’s Pizzeria is one of these places. It’s casual, relatively inexpensive, and the food is all very solid. A really top pizza or pasta here won’t cost you more than £20. Just don’t go expecting Mayfair-style decor or service, everything here is far too rough and ready for that.
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
A casual tapas restaurant that serves suckling pig with five different types of fried potato you say? Where do you book? Well you can’t at the counter in Sabor, which is an all-action bar area serving up some excellent tapas. But if it’s the pig you’re after, you can head upstairs to the Asador which is a little more formal but still very fun. This place is loud, proud, and probably not what people think of when they think of Mayfair.
A grand jaw-dropper of a hall hidden beneath Bury Street, this European spot has been serving stylish debauchery and cocktails since 1929. It has a truly inspiring history of getting Very Important People pissed—everyone’s favourite royal nan, Queen Lizzie, popped by for a buzzing dinner in 1956 and made history as the first reigning British monarch to eat at a public restaurant. These days it’s still host to a live band, slick cocktails, and lots of outfits you definitely can’t put anywhere near a washing machine without some higher power screaming ‘DRY CLEANING ONLY’. It’s perfect for a night of lobster dishes and Sinatra singalongs with friends, but it’ll also work for a romantic late-night drink after a particularly schmoozy date.
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
Pollen Street Social
Mayfair has a fair few fine dining restaurants, but Pollen Street Social is perhaps the best of the lot. This isn’t stuffy like a lot of fine dining places and you don’t feel like you’re chained to the chair for a four-hour meal, which is always a plus. The set lunch is priced at £75 and it’s an excellent choice for special occasions or as a treat for your parents.
Gymkhana is one of London’s best Indian restaurants. The food and atmosphere manages to be both refined and unprecious simultaneously. Wild muntjac biryani and and soft shell crab are must-orders. They’re the kind of things you’ll think about wistfully when taking your grandchildren out for a McDonalds in the future, because you spent all your money on this meal.
Mayfair is really quite a destination for upmarket Indian food. Bombay Bustle is probably on the more casual end of this spectrum, but that doesn’t make it any less good. The achari lamb chops here are mighty tasty and a must-order. Whether you’re at the bar or sitting down, this is a very tasty and comfortable restaurant for everyone.
When you first walk into Ruya’s dining area you realise that, bizarrely, you can’t see the other end of the room. It’s like the world’s longest swanky corridor, complete with bar area and three separate kitchen areas. Once seated you’ll get some fairly tasty, if a little overly refined, Anatolian dishes. The aubergine crisps are particularly nice and the kebabs are cooked excellently.
The Colony Grill Room
The Colony Grill Room is a brasserie inside The Beaumont Hotel with enough gold detailing and black and white portraits of 1930s screen sirens to remind you you’re in Mayfair, but the food is actually both very tasty and home-cooked comforting. Grab one of the leather booths for a breakfast of buttermilk pancakes or come in the evening and make your way through their vast whisky collection, Don Draper-style.
Mayfair may be one of the few places on the planet where it’s easier to buy a tiara owned by a tsarina, than an affordable lunch. Luckily, Ergon Deli has decently priced homemade pies, salads, and cold and hot mezze dishes starting at £5. This Greek deli also has a good collection of peinirili which are basically boats of dough filled with egg, feta, and meat. Open from 8am to 6pm during the week, they’ve also got you covered for breakfast and dinner dishes, from honey yoghurt bowls to octopus on hummus.
When it comes to flashy and glitz, Park Chinois is as Mayfair as you can get. It pays homage to old-school dinner and dance clubs for the rich set in Hong Kong, and it delivers on that promise. You’ll find sexy red velvet and gold all over the shop, and a live brass band playing swing remixes of Beyoncé and Bruno Mars (which is legitimately great). It mainly caters for those who fly to Paris by private jet just to grab some croissants for breakfast. Because they are ‘#blessed’ with ‘#wealth’. But if you manage to ignore the reality TV stars and the perfectly fine Chinese cuisine at outrageous prices, you can have a pretty decent night.
photo credit: Paul Winch Furness
When it comes to old-school restaurants, you always have to ask the question: has this place still got ‘it’. In the case of Scott’s, one of London’s oldest seafood restaurants, the answer is: sometimes. Scott’s is at its best on a summer’s day, out on the terrace, downing wine and oysters at someone else’s expense. At its worst, it’s an expensive way to eat overcooked fish.
Titu is one of the area’s best value for money spots. This tiny gyoza specialist on Shepherd Market will feed you extremely well for around £50 including drinks. Obviously there are cheaper gyoza out there, but remember that this is Mayfair and the gyoza in question are filled with wagyu beef and foie gras. Just don’t go here for a quiet or intimate conversation, unless you want everyone in the restaurant (including the servers) to get involved.