LDNGuide

The 19 Best Restaurants In Marylebone

An old-school deli, one of London's best upmarket Indian spots and, er, the Chiltern Firehouse.
Fairuz table spread

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Marylebone is one of those central London areas (also looking at you Mayfair and Fitzrovia) where your overriding association is big houses, big buggies, and a big old bill wherever you go to eat or drink. That last part may be true of a lot of places around here—you certainly have a wide choice of restaurants that use tweezers to assemble your food—but there are also lots of great, good-value ones too.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Koray Firat

Turkish

Marylebone

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerSpecial OccasionsDate Night

The food at this Turkish spot in Marylebone is on the pricier side, but doesn’t disappoint. Expect to annoy yourself by describing a hockey puck-sized falafel as ‘moist’, perfectly charred tavuk sheesh as ‘juicy’, and icli kofte as—worst of all—‘succulent’. Come to Ishtar for reliably tasty lunches and dinners that feel suitably special, without requiring a tie and weeks of pre-planning.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

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This Mediterranean restaurant in Marylebone prides itself on a lavish decadence that could seem vulgar if the extortionate food wasn’t so goddamn delicious. The room has a warm amber hue and it’s hard not to lean in from the very first bite of moreish pan con tomate. Flavours at Lita don’t introduce themselves, they charge like an elephant with a thirst for Old Fashioneds and salt. The move is to share some smaller plates at one of the many lively counters, and go for a Galician beef rib or a whole turbot in a group. Just try not to think about the bill.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

At this walk-in only, NYC-style pizza spot, exposed brick and chequered tablecloths transport you to the streets of Williamsburg. There's a dimly lit lamp on each table, a projector plays The Sopranos, and diners fill the buzzy, industrial-looking room, dipping chewy margherita crusts into fiery scotch bonnet sauce, and getting messy with a sweet onion jam-heavy mushroom slice. If you’re only getting one, it should be the marinara with pools of stringy, creamy stracciatella.

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

Queues for London restaurants are commonplace these days but Royal China on Baker Street is one of the OG spots that’s had a line outside long before any algorithm. The more casual sibling to Royal China Club across the road, this legendary Cantonese restaurant channels the atmosphere of a dim sum convention, an airport terminal, and a wedding you’ve crashed—all at once. Slippery char siu cheung fun and wonderfully textured turnip cake should be on your table, and a bowl of crispy chilli beef never goes amiss—although frankly, everything here is a hit.

This Argentinian-influenced pizza spot in Marylebone is from the people behind Zoilo (an Argentinian steak place around the corner) and the crispy-based pies are all-round winners. The pituca is our favourite: earthy mushroom and sharp parmesan top this moreish white base pizza, and the crusts should absolutely be dipped in the sriracha mayo. In the evening, the tiny space has serious date night lighting, so try to get a corner table and settle in until closing. 

We get teary-eyed whenever we think about this romantic Lebanese restaurant on Blandford Street. The rustic walls and candlelight make it charming enough that there’s the possibility we’d fall in love with Severus Snape if he took us to dinner here. The cosy front section of Fairuz teeters into ‘accidentally dipping your pitta in the next table's moutabal’ territory, which is fine if you’re in a group. But if you’re hoping to seduce someone over creamy aubergine fatteh, head there early to snag the hidden-away back corner.

Carlotta is unapologetically over the top. Big booths, big ego, big diva energy. This Italian spot in Marylebone is busy with people taking pictures of themselves in all the mirrored surfaces and the more-is-more, lavish space. Some of the dishes are hit and miss, so our go-to is the creamy fettuccine alfredo al tartufo. But the dramatic interiors and bathroom taps straddled by a virgin Mary statue are a not-so-subtle hint that you’re not really here for the food. Just make sure you don’t leave without trying the wedding cake, it’s delicious.

Arguably London’s most revered restaurant name, St. John’s Marylebone restaurant serves dinky, delicious small plates that are best enjoyed with a glass that’s never left dry. There’s something about this version of St. John, smack bang in central London, that screams daytime grazing and gulping. Like all St. John spaces, it’s white and bright, with their innately composed staff gliding around the upstairs bar area and the downstairs dining room, always with a deep-fried rarebit in hand.

The oldest of old-school sandwich shops, this century-old Marylebone deli will do anything you like. You’ve got old friends like coronation chicken, a variety of cheeses on offer, pastrami, and all manner of sandwich mixes to peer into under the counter. We like to keep things classic with the egg mayo, anchovy, and chive combination on springy white bread. Inside it’s a mix between a caff, a deli, and a kind of Ye Olde Chutney Emporium. There are half a dozen or so tables plus a little counter, and it’s first come first served.

Marylebone’s premier Viennese brasserie feels like it’s from another time. Gold-framed portraits of men with moustaches and women in cocktail dresses hang from semi-tiled walls, the toilet doors have a little golden curtain rail, and any number of things feel like they could happen in this room—from a murder to marriage. What most people are here for is gold-hued and crispy: Fischer’s schnitzel is a flat, crisp piece of meat, big enough to throw around the park on a sunny day, that’s best paired with chips.

We would like to award Kol’s branded leather tortilla pouches with the title of Item We Would Most Like To Steal From A Restaurant. But frankly, we love most things about this upmarket, British-produce Mexican-inspired restaurant on Seymour Street. It’s a fabulous fine dining experience that passes in a mirage that goes from dazzling welcome broth spice fest to a glorious gooseberry salsa, quicker than you can say “another mezcal margarita please”. Getting a booking is harder than trying not to steal tortilla accessories, so sign up for Kol’s newsletter to get first grabs at new reservation releases. 

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The mousakas at Opso is a thing of béchamel wonder. It’s a deconstructed take on traditional moussaka, involving a foundation of grilled aubergine, layers of braised beef ragu and béchamel, and topped with—insert sentimental tear here—crunchy potato crisp slivers. It is undoubtedly the standout dish at this upmarket Greek restaurant but the tzatziki, cherry pavlova, and tableside lamb shank show are all instant crowd-pleasers too. 

Cavita on Wigmore Street is one of those restaurants you want everyone to see you at. Ideally while engaged in a hilarious conversation with a fabulous friend and drinking just the right number of spiced watermelon margaritas. Hint: enough that you get a little teary-eyed over all the lovely ceramics, not so many that you try to chat up the divine pig’s head tamal. Don’t write this place off as just a gorgeous foliage haven though—the Mexican food is excellent, the service is friendly, and splitting the whole grilled octopus is a must if you’re rolling with a group. 

Given our heartfelt love of cheap wine and trips to the Waitrose alcohol aisle, our favourite acronym is BYOB. Bringing your own booze is exactly what you can do at this old-school Persian restaurant hidden on Crawford Place, which makes this place perfect for an affordable Marylebone dinner where you can still get joyously tipsy. But even without all that, it also serves truly enormous flatbreads, juicy kebabs, and tender lamb that yes, you absolutely should dip in the shallot yoghurt.

No restaurant in Marylebone sums up the area better than Trishna. It’s an absolutely delicious, eye-wateringly expensive Indian restaurant that appears to be sort of casual, but isn’t really. It’s Gymkhana’s sibling, but more seafood-y. The whole Dorset crab is a must, as are the lamb chops, but just be wary that things add up here. Come for a special occasion or even better, when it’s not on you.

Although it’s more spacious than the Soho original—with a couple of outdoor tables which are where you want to be sat on a sunny day—Hoppers in Marylebone also serves some of the best Sri Lankan food in London. Things like bone marrow varuval and kothu roti are reliably excellent, and you should get involved in their drinks menu. The Ceylonese ice tea is flowery and refreshing. Set over two floors, there’s a big, bright, slightly corporate-feeling space upstairs, and a more romantic underground seating area with coves and larger tables.

Some restaurants are made for those of us who eat everything. The omnivores, the all-consumers. Lurra is one of those. You’ll want to eat everything at this Basque grill spot. The Galician blond beef for sure, the turbot if you’ve got enough people, and of course some jamón and padron peppers to get you started. It’s a really tasteful restaurant—both in its Scandi aesthetic and in its food—so bring your favourite people to enjoy it with.

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

Royal China Club on Baker Street is a Cantonese restaurant that plenty of people get a little misty-eyed about. It’s an institution where the chilli oil or hoisin-stained white tablecloths can bring back all kinds of memories. The lengthy dim sum menu is legendary for good reason. It ranges from the familiar (prawn cheung fun, say) to the fancy (crispy rolls with scallop and foie gras), so don’t be surprised that it can easily add up to west London club prices. That said, this is a club where everyone’s welcome and has a good time.

Lots of places serve our beloved national dish of fish and chips, but that doesn’t mean they get it right. The Golden Hind is one of London’s legendary chippies that does. The cod is so long it overhangs the plate, the chips are chunky crispy, and the mushy peas are mushy—as they should be—rather than crushed. A classic.

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