Meet our 25 highest-rated restaurants.Less
We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve eaten at Noble Rot. Yet, somehow, every meal, drink, or plate of bread at the gates of heaven masquerading as a wine bar and restaurant in Bloomsbury has felt completely perfect. The daily-changing menu dots around European and British influences—from their trademark slipsole and smoked butter to a plate of roast guinea fowl and spätzle—and it’s got the best set lunch menu in London; £22 for three courses of sheer joy and genuine value.
London’s most famous British restaurant and the place in which we have most actively fantasised about holding both our wedding and wake, St. John is a white-walled haven in Clerkenwell that’s been proudly serving up roasted bone marrow, gargantuan pies, and homemade doughnuts since the mid 90s. Use this institution as a daytime escape or a nighttime knees-up.
The BYOB Leytonstone spot is undoubtedly London’s finest Thai restaurant. Full of energy and flavour and often a complete faff to get a booking (call, call, and call again), there are few restaurants in London as reliably vibrant as Singburi. Don’t expect to break the bank but do expect to want to come back every week.
Spending £200 on a meal is not normal behaviour, but Endo at the Rotunda is not a normal restaurant. It all starts exactly where you never want to end up: Westfield White City. From there, things can only go up. Eight floors up a tower in the ex-home of the BBC to enjoy an omakase meal like no other. From the futuristic room looking over London to the exquisite pieces of sushi handed to you by Endo, the head chef, this entire meal is unforgettably excellent.
FYI: a spectacular meal in London doesn’t have to involve a starter and a main, cutlery, or, in fact, somewhere to sit. Because Pockets—a takeaway falafel pitta from London Fields—is one of the finest things you stuff into your face. What they make is a falafel pocket of pure and unadulterated deliciousness and flavour. It involves freshly-made falafels. Wafer-thin cabbage salad. Sumac here. Sumac there. Velvet smooth hummus. Fruity, tart amba. A parsley green sauce. All for £7.
London is a gloomy city. Which also means it’s a city that knows a thing or two about comfort food. And peak comfort comes in the form of a piping hot curry atsu atsu from this udon bar in Soho. Walk-in only, this cupboard-sized space has limited seating and a menu of noodles, soups, and all manner of things that’ll make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. They have restaurants in the City and London Fields as well.
A seductive and clandestine restaurant that’s full of staff giving Phoebe Waller-Bridge-like twinkling glances to everyone they serve—as well as to Phoebe Waller-Bridge herself—Sessions Arts Club is undoubtedly the most artful it restaurant in London. The food, led by Florence Knight (once of Polpo) is elegant, satisfying fare that will have you cooing over calamarata at the beginning of all the glamour and wobbly panna cotta at the beautiful, hazy end.
There’s no food in London that you should be more thrilled to eat on the pavement, at a bus stop, or leaning against the counter than Alhaji Suya. The West African takeaway spot in Peckham is run by masters of grilled meat, making delicious and fiercely addictive portions of lamb, chicken and beef suya. The tozo—a fattier cut of beef— is our favourite. It’s a truly brilliant box of food to experience wherever you eat it.
One trip to this laidback Xi’anese restaurant and you feel like a cold skin liangpi noodle has wrapped itself around your hippocampus, squeezing out pretty much everything else you care about. But it’s not just those chilli oil noodles that are unmissable at this low-key spot in Bloomsbury, it’s the £5 spicy cumin beef burger, the hypnotic chew-factor of the hand-pulled biang biang noodles, and the zingy potato sliver salad that’s like a high five on a sunny day.
Ikoyi is one of those restaurants, complete with a £150+ tasting menu, that will make you wonder whether a higher power has been resurrected in the form of a bowl of crab custard. The St. James’s restaurant is West African in influence and haute in style. The combination of these things—in the form of dishes like ginger and kombu caramelised plantain and irresistible smoked jollof rice—makes Ikoyi a truly unique eating and drinking experience. Which isn’t something you can say often in London.