Meet our 25 highest-rated restaurants.Less
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.
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.
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.
One restaurant, one chef, one roti beef rendang that will inevitably become two when you just need to double check that a roti can be this gloriously soft and flaky. Yes, this low-key Malaysian spot inside Queensway Market is the kind of place where sharing seems like a good idea—the fried chicken, laksa with king prawns, assam pedas seabass, and that roti beef rendang are all essential orders—but you’ll quickly become as protective over the food in front of you as a poodle with a chicken bone.
London isn’t lacking in French restaurants but we’re extremely confident in saying that Bouchon Racine is the absolute crème de la crème. Everything at this seductive bistro in Farringdon feels like it’s made to be dunked or glugged. A chip into your bavette’s sauce Saint-Marcellin, a tear of baguette into celeriac remoulade, a glass of cognac after the final spoon of sumptuous crème caramel. Like all the true greats, it feels like you could stay in this lived-in room above a pub forever.
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.
London has an excellent Indian restaurant scene. When you think you can’t possibly top that with anything different or special, Bibi enters. Every dish at this Mayfair spot is exciting and innovative. With things like a grilled lahori chicken in a cashew and yoghurt whey sauce that is so tender and creamy, you’d think it was the star of the show, only to have the raw orkney scallop in a lemonade dressing arrive at your table and make you feel things you didn’t think you could feel for a mollusk.
Tasty Jerk is the most elite Caribbean spot in London. The takeaway-only joint opposite Selhurst Park is a must. Its pork belly marries a ludicrously charred and crunching exterior with melt-in-your-mouth fat, while the chicken surrenders from the bone almost immediately. Hunch over the counter if you like or find your own space in the big Sainsbury’s behind. Either way, get extra homemade jerk sauce. It’s better than water.
There has never been any point beating around the bush with Dimsum and Duck: it’s the best all-round Cantonese we’ve eaten in London. The dumplings, from xiaolongbao to cheung fun, are superb. A trio of delicate glass wrapper prawn and chive dumplings and a foursome of bathing pork balls have taken permanent residence in a very important part of our brain: the part that looks like a merry-go-round and has different delicious foods manically turning 24/7.
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.