Top ten restaurants in London

To celebrate this blogs second birthday I have updated my list of the top ten restaurants in London. The list is dominated by new restaurants that have either just opened this year, or I have just discovered in the past year. Some old favourites still make the cut though, Vinoteca, which I have moved down one spot from being my number one restaurant to being number two and Tayyabs which holds a fairly steady position in the list as what I believe is the best value curry house in London.
Pea and mint bruschetta at Polpo
As always, this is a subjective list and is limited to restaurants I have eaten at in the past year. This means some great restaurants that were in the list last year, haven’t made the cut this year as I haven’t managed to get back to them so cannot vouch for their continuing standards. Obviously I haven’t eaten at every restaurant in London so I am sure to have missed some hidden gems out. Do let me know what you think I should include or exclude so I know where to try over the next year.


1. Polpo
Love the small plates of simple Italian food. Love the buzzing, intimate atmosphere. Love the wine pricing system. Don’t love the wait for a table (no bookings taken).
Details: 41 Beak Street, Soho W1F9SB (Ph 020 77344479) Tube: Oxford Circus


This was my number one restaurant last year and I still love the way it comfortably straddles the divide of wine bar and restaurant. The bavette steak is to die for.
Details: 7 St John Street, Farringdon EC1M 4AA Tube: Farringdon


Tristan Welch is doing fabulous things with the food at Launceston Place and this is serious Michelin star territory. Such a good restaurant that I’ve ear marked it to take my parents to on their upcoming visit to London.
Details: 1 Launceston Place, Kensington W8 5RL (Ph 020 7937 6912) Tube: Kensington High Street


How could I leave the one restaurant in town with a “Push for Champagne” button out of my top ten? I love the crazy eccentricity of Bob Bob Ricard not to mention the Russian cusine on offer.
Details: 1 Upper James Street, Soho W1F 9DF (Ph 020 3145 1000) Tube: Tottenham Court Road
After my trip to Lebanon this year I have fallen in love with Lebanese food and this tiny eatery specialising in Beirut ‘street food’ has a great fun vibe to it. Not to mention the great lamb shifa.
Details: 1 Greens Court, Soho W1F 0HA (Ph 020 7287 7663) Tube: Oxford Circus

This basement restaurant at The Mandarin Oriental features brilliant charcuterie, burgers and celebrity spotting galore. Did I mention the adorable and highly eccentric sommelier who has put together a top wine list? One place that you probably won’t opt for a beer with your burger.
Details: 86 Knightsbridge, Knightsbridge SW1X7LA (Ph 020 7201 3899) Tube: Knightsbridge

Salt marsh lamb at Launceston Place
From going the whole hog (literally) and ordering an entire suckling pig to snacking on great bar snacks like bone marrow and fresh from the oven madelines, St John’s is an iconic restaurant that I just keep on going back to.
Details: 26 St John Street, Farringdon EC1M4AY (Ph 020 72511 0848) Tube: Farringdon
Cheap as chips with the most brilliant, tender lamb chops you will ever taste. Tayyabs is the place that shows how Pakistani food should be done.
Details: 83-89 Fieldgate Street, E1 (Ph 020 7724 9543)
Worth mentioning for their amazing – explosion of goodness right in your mouth – XLB dumplings alone.
Details: 82 Queen’s Way, Bayswater W2 3RL (Ph 020 7221 2280) Tube: Bayswater
My favourite Thai in London. The lamb shank green curry is a particular winner.
Details: 15 Greek Street, Soho W1D 4DP (Ph 020 7437 1071) Tube: Oxford Circus

If you liked reading this you might be interested in reading last years list or for other London lists try this one for the top ten creme brulees in London.


  1. Great list Gourmet Chick! Makes me want to hop on a plane to London! 🙂

  2. Great post, GC. I love so many of these places too – I wish Polpo would take reservations (I would go there much more often).

  3. Interesting mix.

    Great to see St John keeping it’s place and you remind me that I need to get to Vinoteca… yesterday !

  4. Very good list, some of your Top Ten will clearly make it into mine as well, such as e.g. Launceston Place. Terribly, still haven’t tried places like St. John’s, Vinoteca or Tayyabs – very high on my to do list!

  5. Oh no, I ‘ve only tried 3/10 of your fantastic list. I have got to get back to london and do some serious eating.
    My favourite on your list is Tayyabs. Have you tried their peshwari naan? TO DIE FOR!!!
    *kisses* HH

  6. Gosh, I must try Leong’s Legend.

  7. Some wonderful restaurants in your list. London is spoilt for choice once you know where to go. Must definitely check out Yalla and Polpo soon. Was at Tayyabs on Monday night for about the 6th time and it never fails to impress. Remarkable! One change I’d have on my list is the Ledbury restaurant.



  8. Louise at Vinoteca

    What a great collection of restaurants! We are very excited here at Vinoteca to have made it in to the list!


  9. I’m sure I eat out a lot and yet I’ve only made it to 3 of these 10 restaurants. I need to do some serious troughing work.

    You’ve got me thinking hard about my top 10. I think it’d definitely involve Chilli Cool and Silk Road.

  10. Polpo is definitely one of my faves! I love their their tapas style dishes and the place reminds me of New York! Great list! x LondonZest

  11. Happy Birthday! Too many I haven’t visited, must get eating more!

  12. Lorraine – Thanks – you should!

    Greedy Diva – Perhaps their new restaurant which will open will- Polpetto

    Gregory – Yes I am a big Vinoteca fan.

    Ute – So many restaurants, so little time…

    Heavenly Housewife – Tayyabs is brilliant isn’t it

    Douglas Blyde – the XLB are fantastic there

    Mr Fionn – I agree The Ledbury was in my top ten list last year, but as I haven’t been to it in the past year I could not include it in my list.

    Louise – Thanks Louise

    Gin and Crumpets – I did like chilli cool but I didn’t LOVE it

    Emily – It has a great atmosphere doesn’t it

    Kavey – Thanks

  13. Hey,

    Great List – I really neeed to check out Vinoteca – that name just keeps popping up!!!

    We reviewed St Jon over the weekend – check it out if you like


  14. Mise en Place -yes I highly recommend Vinoteca.

  15. Love your blog, my list of restaurants to try is getting longer! A question for you and anyone else that wishes to respond. Where would you go for a New Years Eve dinner in London? If money was no object and if it was?

  16. Hi Nikki – If money was no object I would go to The Ledbury! If it was but you wanted a treat Chez Bruce is going a three course menu for £60 a person which is only £15 more than their usual menu which is not too steep an increase for New Years Eve. What I tend to do though is go for something more low key like a pub near my house so I can walk home if needs be and don’t have to worry about a taxi. In previous years I have been to the Prince Alfred and Formosa Dining Room and Julie’s in Holland Park which were both good without being spectacular. Good luck!

  17. Went to Launceston Place in December for hubby’s birthday and had the tasting menu. It was just the ticket! The room was very intimate – almost like being in someone’s’ front room.The scallops were to die for and would you believe they even had Laphroaig flavoured ice cream! I was a bit miffed he did not get a Michelin star in January – he deserves it!

  18. I went to Patara Thai in December on your recommendation and can’t thank you enough for introducing me to it! I’ve been 3 times since and each time my dining companions have been amazed at the quality of the food, the ever-so-friendly staff and the general atmosphere.

  19. MeLikeyUK – Good to hear it is still going strong

    Bex – So glad to hear you liked Patara I find it a great stand by as well.

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