The 11 Best Restaurants In Victoria
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
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 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.
photo credit: La Poule Au Pot
For times when you’re in Victoria but would like to be transported literally anywhere else, there’s charming French restaurant La Poule Au Pot. It’s stuffed to the wooden beams with baskets of dried flowers, hanging grape decorations, and yellowing framed prints, while well-dressed groups sip wine as though it’s a gathering in one of their charming French farmhouses. The food is just as transportive and wholesome—wine-infused beef bourguignon, rich cassoulet, and perfectly cooked guinea fowl, all served with vegetables that are heavy on butter and bacon.
Like nut butter protein balls for dessert, anything called a ‘superfood salad’ makes us suspicious. Not the ones at Mood though. On any given day this little sandwich shop and salad bar has an excellent spread of options. Choose the buckwheat base for a nutty hit and load it up with the crispy okra with harissa and parsley, and sticky, miso aubergine. The best option is the lunch tray—it’s a chunky salt beef reuben sandwich on rye bread with a choice of two salads. There are a couple of tables to sit in and quietly work through your mountain of salt beef, but really this is a casual takeaway spot. It's always worth the 10-minute walk from Victoria station.
photo credit: Ben Venuti
Less than 10 minutes from the station, Ben Venuti is an Italian deli with suntrap seating, a racing green front door, and shelves stuffed with bottles of sauces and jars of pickled things. The sandwiches are made fresh—slices of coppa and prosciutto are cut to order and fresh mozzarella is plucked out of its little water bath and torn open. Perfectly bronzed cannoli shells also sit empty, waiting to be piped with silky smooth pistachio cream. There’s street-side seating but nothing inside, so on rainy days you’ll have to take away your food.
There are several food outlets at Market Halls Victoria, but Gopal’s Corner is the stall where you’ll find a queue starting to form the moment it opens at 12pm. And after that? It’s a free-for-all with buzzers vibrating against tables as order after order of roti canai are delivered to hungry diners. This spot is from the folks behind Roti King, and just like the Malaysian mini-chain, it’s got a winning formula of reasonably priced, soft, flaky flatbreads served with bowls of hearty curry. Just opposite Victoria Station, it’s a quick win for commuters and coach-goers.
Victoria Street isn’t exactly loaded with interesting options for coffee, but if you peek behind Pret, you’ll find Iris & June. This place serves great coffee, tasty stuffed milk bread sandwiches, and a warm welcome. The lofty space and museum-like white walls make it a good spot for business meetings fuelled by toasted slices of banana bread with butter. The lack of wifi also means you can have catch-ups without having to fight for space among a sea of laptops. Come early and stay for the 12pm roll-out of focaccia.
photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
Royalty get all the good stuff. By which we mean, crowns and easy access to Chestnut Bakery on Elizabeth Street. We can’t confirm whether members of Buckingham Palace regularly invest in huge merguez flatbreads and the zucchini and pistachio loaf, but they 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. 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.
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. There’s an airy, all-neutral main dining space at the back, but the orange booths and marble window counter seats are more fun.
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. The old-school Scottish restaurant serves haggis, whole grilled lobsters, and hefty slabs of prime rib-eye. Know that the dining room can feel a little serious, 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 if Cubans are your thing.
photo credit: Stan Lee
Bleecker started as a market stall, but all of London’s carnivores were happy when they opened bricks-and-mortar spots. The double cheeseburger is one of the best in London, but there are other even meatier options to appeal to your most carnivorous instincts. It has good milkshakes, a nice selection of craft beers in the fridge, and a couple of counters for you to sit and eat at. Simple, easy, meat cravings covered.
Before Victoria became synonymous with carbon dioxide emissions and chain sushi restaurants, it was associated with a certain level of affluence. Buckingham Palace is a diamond's throw from 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—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 excellent afternoon tea service.