Where To Celebrate Your Birthday When It’s All About You

9 restaurants that celebrate with a little more than a candle in a pudding.
Where To Celebrate Your Birthday When It’s All About You image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

There are three types of people in the world, and only one of them doesn’t think it’s cripplingly awkward for a restaurant of strangers to sing, clap, and even celebrate with them on their birthday. If that sounds like you, then read on. The restaurants on this guide do a bit more than write your name in chocolate. Whether through vibes, vocally enthusiastic staff, or Stomp-inspired use of kitchenware—these restaurants make sure that everyone in the restaurant knows that, yes, it’s your birthday.


photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch



$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsBirthdaysCasual Weeknight DinnerClassic EstablishmentDinner with the ParentsLiterally Everyone
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A night at Ciao Bella isn’t really a night at Ciao Bella unless you’re singing, clapping, and ugly dancing on your chair in celebration of someone on the other side of the restaurant. There’s so much to love about this old-school Italian institution on Lamb’s Conduit Street, not least that it is an absolute ball for a big-deal birthday. Tables of cheekbones in neon pieces and statement heels share hunking piles of spaghetti al cartoccio before toasting a friend, while middle-aged families do exactly the same. Cakes can be brought in no problem but, if not, massive portions of tiramisu can be served too. It may not be as glitzy as other restaurants, but Ciao Bella is where everyone can shine.

With pumping afro-beats, neon lighting, and big platters of jollof rice on the table—Enish is an easy choice for a birthday where you want to be loud (and proud) about the night being 99.9% all about you. The Nigerian mini-chain has a few spots across London, from Brixton to Finchley, but you’re guaranteed a pumping atmosphere and some special attention at any location. The clubbish vibe, unlike many London restaurants, comes with good food like tender beef suya or vibrant grilled tilapia with plantain. Whether there’s a live band or a DJ playing, you should just make sure you’ve got some special birthday requests ready.

This Pakistani restaurant in Tooting is a non-stop party in a fake palace. It doesn’t get more OTT than the birthday celebrations here—waiters waving sparklers form a conga line and weave their way to lucky tables as a birthday song blasts out over the speakers. That’s right, Royal Mahal has its own birthday remix track. Stroke your throne-like velvet seat as loyal subjects (read: friends) slap the table and generally adore you. Need more drama? The dynamite chicken is served in a silver goblets with a side of billowing dry ice. Just know that this birthday ritual will happen roughly 12 times on any given night, so you will have to share the spotlight. 

Look, Jin Kichi isn’t going to write your name in caramel calligraphy. Nor is it going to stick a sparkler in a piece of black cod. But this homely izakaya-style spot in Hampstead is a low-key choice for high-key people. Friends, families, and Kate Moss call it a go-to. And if it’s good enough for her, it should be good enough for you. Birthdays are celebrated decadently with melt-in-your-mouth uni nigiri and tsukune yakitori straight from the charcoal grill. Where you sit in this winding, maze-ish space is up to you. There’s the sushi counter, there are tables, there's a counter around the flaming robata, or there are little hidden booths. No matter where you are, one thing’s for sure: every member of staff is coming out to sing to you by the end of the meal.

Disclaimer: a birthday at Maramia isn’t about raising a glass to tell everyone how much you appreciate them being there. Or taking wholesome pictures for your ‘birthday dump’ post. No, a birthday dinner at this Palestinian spot in Notting Hill is a Party with a capital P. At around 9pm the music is turned all the way up: good-bye pleasant conversation, hello party people. Birthdays are a big occasion here, so while service might be a bit spotty, the excellent msakhan and dancing-on-chairs energy means that this will be a birthday to remember. 

photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli



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Wallflowers look away now, Decimo is a foliage thirst trap of a restaurant on the 10th floor of The Standard, London hotel in King’s Cross. This is where wildly confident birthday guys and girls come for boozy, taco-fuelled parties. The Spanish-Mexican restaurant is open-plan with floor-to-ceiling windows, two big buzzing bars, skyline views, and six-foot cacti. Big groups can pile into the curved, fabric booths—a.k.a. the best seats in the house—because let's be honest, even with that skyline, you are the view.  It’s open until late so there’s plenty of time to throw back pricey pork belly tacos that may require an emergency Depop declutter tomorrow. 

Nothing says “this is about me” like pressing a button for champagne as you sit in a dining room that’s 90% reflective surfaces. Being shy is not a thing at Bob Bob Ricard. The City restaurant has a menu that’s equivalent to driving around in a Lambo with the top down and Kanye West blaring out your speakers. You’ll be taking selfies between mouthfuls of caviar and proposing toasts to yourself with Russian standard platinum vodka. This French-leaning restaurant does genuinely tasty food, and it knows that sometimes there’s nothing wrong with showing off. But can it really be ALL about you if you’re sharing a dining room? For private events, book out the red and gold salon modelled on the Royal Yacht.

Da Mario doesn’t need an excuse to have a party. On Friday nights the downstairs dining room of this Italian spot in Kensington fills up with hungry Londoners and long tables of rowdy birthdays. If you’re after loud singing, getting up from your chair, and some excellently creamy celebratory tiramisu—this old-school Italian restaurant is for you. The menu is long enough to please everyone, the food is satisfying whether you go for a 'nduja-topped pizza or a cream-heavy rigatoni, and the servers are always on hand to sing happy birthday in a chaotic fashion. What’s not to love?

The mammas at this Italian restaurant in Chelsea make it their own personal mission to make you smile on your birthday. It starts with them shovelling a ladle of a new lasagne they’re trialling onto your plate and ends with the most endearing musical collective you’ve ever seen. Every chef and mamma will line up, birthday conga-style, banging pots and pans. That lady that just made you a killer pollo ripieno is suddenly owning a tambourine like Stevie Nicks auditioning for a Sean Paul music video. You might even get pulled up to bust a few moves with one of the mammas. It’s a whole, serotonin-boosting thing.

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