The Best Restaurants In Victoria
Whether you’re in the market for a great lunch with your colleagues or something to distract you from that imminent seven-hour coach, these are the best restaurants in and around Victoria.
Sure, 99% of our memories of Victoria involve being late for a train, being late for a coach, or – hello professionalism – being late for a meeting. But technically that isn’t Victoria’s fault so we’re not going to hold it against this area of London. Although it might not have the same concentrated number of excellent restaurants as other parts of this city, there are still some real winners here. You just need to know where to find them, which is where this guide comes in. From an excellent no-brainer bakery to a fine dining Chinese restaurant with a ‘trust me’ tasting menu, these are the Victoria restaurants that are definitely worth your time.
Chestnut Bakery Belgravia
The Queen gets all the good stuff. By which we mean, corgis and easy access to Chestnut Bakery on Elizabeth Street. We can’t confirm whether Lizzie regularly invests in huge merguez flatbreads and the zucchini and pistachio loaf, but she really should. Sweet, savoury, or loaded with cheese, everything here is very satisfying and if you’re in the market for a proper little sugar high, you can’t beat the sweet zing factor of the twice-baked lemon meringue croissant. There are several tables available for an eat-in situation but you can also take your cinnamon bun on a romantic stroll back to the office.
Hunan is one of the ultimate ‘if you know, you know’ restaurants in London. The Chinese fine dining restaurant is discretely located on the Belgravia side, with a ‘trust me’ tasting menu situation. There’s no menu, just tell them what you don’t like and they’ll do the rest. We’ve tried incredible prawn toast and crispy duck here, along with spicy pork that arrives on your plate in a bag. It’s a great shout for lunch, but ask for the seats closest to the window as the back of the restaurant can feel a bit cramped.
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photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
Every group of mates has a designated ‘nice one’, and in Victoria, Lorne is it. The menu skews British with some Mediterranean influences – think a nice piece of smoked eel with new potatoes and Sicilian cucumbers, or a cracking chocolate pavé with praline that would rival anything in France. The wines are excellent and it’s also more grown-up than a lot of the other options in the area.
The Rail House Cafe
This is the sister restaurant to the Riding House Cafe, an Infatuation staple in central London for its all-day, any day menu of tasty brasserie-style small plates, coffees and cocktails. Likewise, the Rail House Cafe is an excellent restaurant Swiss army knife for Victoria, and can make a good brunch spot as well as a casual spot for drinks or a group dinner in a snip. It’s a massive space with a trendy feel that fills with an up-for-it crowd in the evenings, and there’s a pretty bar, as well as lots of sofas to sprawl on. Life is short—get the cheesecake.
Boisdale of Belgravia
Whether you’re an MP or a proud tartan enthusiast, Boisdale is the restaurant for you. If you’re not either of those but are on the lookout for great steak or live music near Victoria station, then Boisdale will also work. An old-school Scottish restaurant that serves haggis, whole grilled lobsters, and hefty slabs of prime ribeye, the dining room here can feel a little serious at times, so for a more raucous time head for their downstairs bar. They have live jazz every night of the week, oysters delivered straight to your table, and classic drinks you can swirl in time with the music. They also have a cigar terrace, so if Cubans are your thing – hey, we don’t know what you’re into – you’re also in luck.
photo credit: Stan Lee
Bleecker started as a market stall, but all of London’s carnivores were happy when they opened a bricks-and-mortar spot in Victoria. The double cheeseburger here is one of the best in London, but there are other even meatier options, just in case you really hate your cardiologist. It has good milkshakes, a few good craft beers in the fridge, and a couple of counters where you can sit and eat. Simple, easy, meat cravings covered.
The Goring Dining Room
Before Victoria became synonymous with carbon dioxide emissions and chain sushi restaurants, there was once a time, long ago, when it was associated with a certain level of affluence. The Queen does live around here, after all. The Goring hotel is a fitting throwback to this era, and so is its lovely dining room, which serves modern takes on old-world British dishes like lobster omelette and Hereford beef short rib. You can expect all the trappings of a traditional fine dining joint—set menus, silver service, petits fours—and lunch is a good way to make the most of it. It’s a good shout for treating your parents or friends from out of town, especially when you factor in the Goring’s bar and afternoon tea service.
Timmy Green feels like an evolved version of every bright and breezy coffee shop you’ve ever stepped into. It’s the kind of crisp clean space that makes you feel like you definitely have your life together or at the very least, you’re a person who has access to coconut French toast. The coffee’s good, and they also do things like popcorn shrimp sandwiches and salads you actually want to get involved in. But really you’re here for that brunch, which they have every day until the mid-afternoon and it’s dog-friendly too.
No 11 Pimlico Road
The fact that the majority of Victoria’s eating options are concentrated in a couple of mostly unattractive, soulless developments should be an indication that you’re not going to find a tonne of indie cafes and organic matcha bars here. While 11 Pimlico Road’s look is what we’d lovingly call ‘vanilla’ and would feel a little basic elsewhere, in Victoria it’s a godsend. You can get a plate of banana and coconut pancakes for brunch, and it’s a chilled, airy spot to kick back with an Aperol spritz on a sunny day.
Sometimes you wake up and realise that the last vegetable you ate was that potato six days ago. And yes, if we’re being honest, that potato had been deep-fried and came in a faux bacon rub. Behold, Urban Greens, the perfect place for certified Exciting Salads. On Palmer Street, they offer up a big menu of vegetable medleys packed full of habanero, hummus, sesame-marinated glass noodles, peanuts, pickled carrots, Norwegian shrimp, and other things that laugh in the face of a sad caesar. Our personal favourite is the beef saigon number because of the winning texture combination of broccoli crunch, tender pulled brisket, and little surprise bites of peanut. Although there is some seating, these hefty salads are perfect for a grab-and-go work lunch. Or if you’re feeling wholesome, find a nice little spot in St James’s Park.
A short walk from the station, modern Chinese restaurant A Wong is idolised with a fervour normally reserved for religious figures or Beyonce. However for us, each visit has been pleasant, if somewhat short of the promised magic. That isn’t to say it isn’t a good restaurant - the dim sum at lunch is good value, and the evening dishes like dong po pork belly and kung pao chicken are interesting and delicious takes on classics. And though the food’s creative and borders on fine dining in places, the smart dining room never feels uptight. Hit it up for a posh lunch, or a dinner with a few friends in the evening.
Iris & June
Victoria Street isn’t exactly loaded with interesting options for coffee, but if you peek behind House of Fraser, you’ll find Iris and June. It’s a sleek, modern-looking Kiwi coffee shop dishing out perfect flat whites and lattes, and it’s a good spot for the usual coffee shop activities, like obsessively checking your Instagram feed, or pretending to care about whatever your co-worker is babbling about. They do sandwiches and salads to go, and there’s also a brunch menu where you can get a posh mushrooms on toast or bacon sarnie.