Restaurants in London
A melting pot of cultures, eating out in London is an international affair. Renowned for its curries, there are hundreds of Indian restaurants to choose from, from upmarket Mayfair to the trendy Brick Lane. Head to Chinatown in Soho for Chinese, or Brixton for African or Caribbean.
A city synonymous with celebrity big name chefs like Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Yotam Ottolenghi, visitors to London can also sample some of the country's finest cuisine, but at a price. For a special gourmet evening out head to one of the famous restaurants in Mayfair, Covent Garden, Soho or Chelsea, but expect to pay for the privilege.
For the ultimate English experience, traditional fish and chips are the order of the day. Get it wrapped up for take away and head to the nearest park for a greasy snack. If the weather is doing its usual thing then head to a cosy gastro pub instead and sample some heart-warming English fare. Although London is home to some hugely impressive restaurants and chefs the city is probably still most famous for its simple pub grub.
Eating out in London is expensive but a lunchtime sandwich and soft drink shouldn't cost more than £8 and an evening meal at a standard restaurant, excluding drinks, can be had for £15.
The Avenue Restaurant and Bar is a favourite with the inhabitants of St James, and produces good modern British and Mediterranean food. This minimalist restaurant is good value and is always packed, despite a sometimes patchy service. The best tables are towards the back, on the mezzanine level. Set menus are usually excellent, and competitively priced. Quality wines are available by the glass. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: 7-9 St James's Street
Telephone: +44 20 7321 2111
1 Lombard Street
Situated in the domed interior of an old banking hall, opposite the Bank of England, 1 Lombard Street has become a city institution. The brasserie is always bustling with investment bankers and offers a full á la carte menu for both lunch and dinner, featuring seasonal specialities and an extensive wine list. The restaurant situated behind the brasserie, is a better bet for discreet conversation and for enthusiasts of haute cuisine. The menu at 1776 includes favourites like Black Angus beef with a breadcrumb crust, garlic snails, and pan-fried black cod with pak choi and ponzu sauce. The formal dining environment provides a tranquil setting for appreciating Juri Ravagli's sophisticated cuisine. Open weekdays only, for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the dress code is smart casual. They run a tapas menu from 5pm at the bar.
Address: 1 Lombard Street (Bank)
Telephone: +44 20 7929 6611
On a quiet side street just off Knightsbridge and a minutes walk from Harrods, Montpeliano is a wonderfully old-fashioned Italian restaurant, where the food is authentic and the service excellent. The owner is always available, the staff are friendly and welcoming, and the atmosphere has a feel of casual elegance. On warm evenings it is possible to dine al fresco on the outside patio.
Address: 13 Montpelier Street (Knightsbridge)
Telephone: +44 20 7589 0032
The bar at this small but atmospheric pub is always buzzing with locals, while the restaurant often draws visitors from farther afield. Set on a side street a few blocks from High Street Kensington the eating area is awkwardly narrow but makes a good spot for a private and romantic evening á deux, or with a small group of friends. The cheddar and spinach soufflé with wild mushroom sauce, the rib eye on the bone, and the sticky toffee pudding are delicious. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: 54 Abingdon Road (Kensington)
Telephone: +44 20 7937 3339
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
One of London's finest eateries, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay opened in 1998 as the chef's first independently owned venture. Today it has three Michelin stars - an honour held by only four other British restaurant. With 14 tables seating 44 guests, this exclusive venue has become a must for connoisseurs of fine contemporary cuisine from around the world. Feast on pan-fried scallops from the Isle of Skye, suckling pig and Manjari chocolate delice. A vegetarian menu is also available. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday, book well in advance.
Address: 539-547 Wandsworth Road, London
Telephone: +44 20 7592 1360
Fire and Stone
A cosy atmosphere with contemporary trimmings and the smell of fresh oven-baked pizza in the air, the trendy Fire and Stone pizza joint in Covent Garden is ideal for a family outing, a casual meal with friends or a romantic dinner. This franchise pizzeria produces a large variety of pizzas, themed on the different flavours of the continents and made with only the freshest ingredients. Complement your meal with some of their quality red wines. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: 31/32 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden
Telephone: +44 207 632 2084
A highly creative contemporary Indian restaurant, Zaika offers sensational Indian cuisine in a cool and vibrant setting. Situated in trendy Kensington, Zaika has won Best Indian Restaurant in the London Restaurant Awards and holds three AA rosettes. Try the tasting menu to get a fuller understanding of the extensive Indian flavours. The Malabar prawns and the Nihari Gosht are also favourites. With great service, plush interiors and excellent cuisine, Zaika is a fail-proof night out. Open for lunch from Tuesday to Sunday, and every evening for dinner.
Address: 1 Kensington High Street, Kensington
Telephone: +44 20 7795 6533
The Gun is a lovely, British-styled restaurant that has gained popularity for its up-market take on classic dishes. Open for lunch and dinner (reservations essential), be sure to try the 45 day-aged Cumbrian rare breed steaks, served with béarnaise sauce, watercress and hand cut chips. This waterside pub is delightfully British
Address: 27 Coldharbour Road, London
Telephone: +44 20 7515 5222
Stef's describes itself as 'your local Italian restaurant in London', and its laid-back, family-run atmosphere is a real winner for those looking for unpretentious and high-quality Italian food in England's capital. Choose from pizza, pasta or a range of 'Chef's specialities'. Booking recommended.
Address: 3 Berners Street, London
Telephone: +44 20 3073 1041