LDNGuide

Where To Eat In London After Midnight

From Soho to Shoreditch, these are the best late-night restaurants in London.
Chicken Shawarma Plate on a wooden table.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The city that never sleeps might be referencing New York, but we know a 24-hour London bus route and late-night pizza place that says differently. Londoners love going hard, getting food, then going home. But you should know that a sad, soggy burger isn’t your only option. From post-12am sit-down restaurants doing hand-pulled noodles, to wine bars serving small plates that hit that one-for-the-road spot, this is the late-night guide you and your desperate stomach have been waiting for.

THE SPOTS

Pakistani

Whitechapel

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsBirthdaysCatching Up With MatesDining SoloHalalVegetarians

Until 1am daily

Lahore’s grilled lamb chops are famous for good reason and this big Pakistani grill in Whitechapel is something of a classic establishment for groups, and anyone after a good-value meal. Open until 1am, anything off the grill should be priority. That said, the curries and biryanis are crowd-pleasers too.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Until 6am daily

For shisha obsessives and shawarma lovers, this Lebanese spot on Edgware Road is something of a west London institution. The red glow of Cafe Helen’s signage is a siren call for anyone needing comfort late at night or early in the morning. Be it baskets of warm flatbread and bowls of creamy labneh, or piles of dripping shawarma meat with a mound of rice. There’s plenty of seating inside but you can swing by the takeaway shop next door too.

Until 2am daily

You can find this brightly lit, pared-back canteen of a restaurant up towards Turnpike Lane, slightly apart from the Grand Parade’s array of Turkish and Kurdish. But it’s worth seeking out for a straightforward menu that won’t tax your tired brain. Your choice is simple: a chopped and fried beef mixture laden with sumac and parsley; wrapped in dürüm or bread; big portion or small; single or multiple. And don’t skimp on the piquant green pickled peppers that arrive at your table either.

Until 1am on Friday and Saturday

Wolfable curries, self-pour three-litre Singha beer towers, and one of London’s best desserts—Speedboat Bar in Chinatown is the stuff of late-night dreams. You can keep pinching yourself but the cartoon cats, pool table, and deep-fried pineapple pie with taro ice cream aren’t going anywhere. And neither are you, until 1am when you sadly have to leave this good-time Thai spot. 

Until 1am daily

No stretch in London rewards the hungry late-night wanderer quite as much as Green Lanes. You can take your pick from smouldering ocakbasi grills but it’s Diyarbakır that we find ourselves in at any time of day. The charred lamb ribs and juicy adana kofte are both carefully spiced, perfect for a big spread in the shiny and always-humming dining room.

Until 3.30am daily

Everyone has that one friend who stops drinking after their third glass and who lovingly butters a piece of toast for you. For us, that friend is Old Town 97. This converted townhouse is one of the best spots in Chinatown for big group tables, a quick turnaround, and a 3.30am closing time. They serve lots of Cantonese classics, but what you’ll really want to get involved in is the stir-fried duck in black bean sauce or the fried udon with shredded duck.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Until 2am Monday to Thursday, until 2.30am Friday to Sunday

When it’s late at night, it’s essential to know where to go for a meal that’s warm and buttery in both feeling and flavour. Haringey Corbacisi on Green Lanes is one of those places. The no-menu Turkish restaurant specialises in soups and stews—just wander up to the counter and see what’s on offer. Sade paca—a lamb and yoghurt soup made up of tender meat, a paddling pool of butter, and enough minced garlic to slay a vampire via soliloquy—is a favourite. The space is also extremely comfortable.

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Until 1am on Friday and Saturday

This cosy Sager + Wilde outpost on Hackney Road is a great wine bar to know about when you want to be led astray by the smell of crispy, gooey, melted cheese toasties. It’s an intoxicating scent, particularly when half-cut, but once you’ve wolfed one of them down, you should check out the wine list. They’ve got everything from natural to fortified covered, or get a cocktail. Small, cool, and reliable.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Sömine Restaurant image

Sömine Restaurant

Until 1:30am on Friday and Saturday, 12:30am all other days

Sömine is a restaurant with patience. Specifically, patience for people like us. Yes, we have been walking into this late-night Turkish restaurant in Dalston for going on a decade to ask if they do lahmacuns. And no, their refusal to do so has never stopped us from sitting down. Everything you could possibly want is here: tender homemade köfte, warm flatbreads to soak everything up, another beer that you don’t really want.

Until 2am Friday and Saturday

Midnight in Dalston. You’re starving. You need something quick, filling, and delicious. This is where a couple of slices of Voodoo Ray’s pizza come in. The New York-style pizza is as tasty as it is big, and a slice is just under a fiver. If you’re with friends, split a whole pie and regret nothing.

Until 3am on Friday and Saturday

Cecconi’s is the Soho pizza bar you need in your life, if what your life is lacking in is a straightforward Italian spot where late-night meals are encouraged. There’s a very nice counter to sit at or, if being up high would be a dangerous decision, there’s also plenty of seating that will make sure your feet are firmly on the ground. The pizzas are decent—the thin kind with a fat doughy crust. 

Until 3am daily for drinks, 2:30am for food

Meatliquor W1 is a loud and proud diner meets bar, just off Oxford Circus. This place serves their classic burgers, dirty fries, and wings until 2am and strong cocktails until 3am every day. Just don’t expect it to quieten down the later you’re there. This place stays rowdy all night.

Until 1am on Friday and Saturday

Your flat smells of damp, your roommate left their underwear on the shower rail again, and you’re going to be renting for the rest… of… your… life. When London life gets you down, remember that you can get a posh sausage roll, or eat ham, egg, and chips with proper silverware, while reclining in Scrooge McDuck’s own armchair past midnight in Soho. Dean Street Townhouse is a go-to for British comfort food that always hits the spot, served in an upmarket but relaxed restaurant.

Until 4:30am on Friday and Saturday

Lanzhou Lamian Noodle Bar does tasty Chinese hand-pulled noodles (la mian) until 1.30am most nights and until 4.30am on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s basic in setup—cheap and cheerful cafe interiors—but if you just want a delicious, satisfying bowl of noodles, it’s a good call late at night when your options involve either a lamb doner or a night bus. Go for the roast pork or beef brisket noodle soup.

Until 5am daily

Bar Italia is a legendary institution, mostly because it attracts the entire spectrum of Soho on any given day. It’s an old-school Italian cafe by day, serving strong espresso and sandwiches, but at night it turns into a magnet for everyone who’s up way past their bedtime. The food’s totally fine—you’re looking at snacks, Italian desserts, and so on—but you’re really here to watch the mix of people come and go, from actors finishing for the night at local theatres, to eccentric artsy types and career lushes.

Open 24 hours

The best nights end with a few of you standing around a bollard on the street, eating cream cheese bagels or salt beef sarnies, and ripping into your mate’s new online dating profile. Beigel Bake on Brick Lane has set the scene for this countless times, not only because it’s open 24/7, but also because the bagels and salt beef are brilliant. It’s a classic go-to if you’ve been drinking in Shoreditch and just want something cheap and delicious.

Open 24 hours

Making the decision to head to Duck & Waffle isn’t one you should make lightly. On paper, it sounds barely believable—an actual 24-hour restaurant that happens to be perched at the top of the Heron Tower in the City. The views are impressive and catching the sunrise is worth cancelling your brunch plans for. The downside is that it’s absolute bedlam once you reach the bar at the top. The restaurant, where it’s much more civilised but still upbeat, serves food until 5.30am and breakfast from 6am.

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