Welcome, I’ve been expecting you. Yes, you’re not the first to search for London’s Best Restaurants. Now, if you’re the honest fan of one of the seven sins I think you are, I advise you to take a snack, sit down and start reading about 9 of the most amazingly delicious, elegant and amiable places London can seduce you with. I’m serious about the snack – otherwise you will hardly get through 3 of the restaurants…
Don’t jump to too many associations with the scruffy lad Victor Hugo wrote about after whom the restaurant was named; the splash of the place has nothing to do with the overall image of the hero. Le Gavroche has rather become a byword for excellent old-school fine dining. Being one of the oldest and long operating restaurants in the UK, Le Gavroche opened in the distant 1967 in Chelsea, moving to Mayfair in 1981 and ten years later taken over by one of the previous owners’ son and was the first ever restaurant in the UK to be awarded with three Michelin stars. Except for the recently added beautiful private dining room seating six people, Le Gavroche has kept pretty much everything authentic – dining in this praised icon of French cuisine is like travelling back to the exquisiteness of French restaurants in the 60’s. Regarding the main reason you’re reading this – food, I am challenged to recommend a must try because Le Gavroche’s whole menu is a must. Their signature are probably the soufflés so be sure to include one in your dinner/lunch when visiting.
The restaurant offers one of the best deals in town with their Lunch menu set at the price of £52 – it includes three courses, canapes, petits-fours, water, coffee and half a bottle of wine – just do your best to make a reservation as soon as possible, expectedly the tables for such an inexpensive offer are rarely free. If you can afford to pay more for lunch or dinner though, I would advise you to go with another menu, the À la Carte or the Menu Exeptionnel which include more avant-garde dishes and better represent the touch of Le Gavroche, the higher price is worth it. And not to forget the restaurant presents a wide list of wines, 50 of them offered by the glass; within that list the possibility not to find something of your taste that is exclusively suitable to your meal is slight. Everything you consume is made of luxury products, presented with attention to detail and served with grace yet no fuss. Don’t be surprised if Michel Roux Jr, the owner, himself shows up to reassure your stay is not clouded by anything!
Menu: Le Gavroche
Address: 43 Upper Brook St, London W1K 7QR
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is one of those venues which are uncompromising when it comes to quality and attitude. The client is the centerpiece of the restaurant. You walk into a peaceful elegant premises with non-intrusive decorations, pastel colored walls, plain design and immediately catch something from the relaxing atmosphere. After you’re seated by a perfectly affable yet natural waiter, you will get one of those pretty menus Restaurant Gordon Ramsey has. At first you may feel a bit close to other tables as the restaurant is not very large and to be honest, yes, tables could use some refurbishment, but be sure you won’t cut into someone else’s conversation or feel as if you’re sharing meals; your stay would not be troubled by the tables’ proximity. Plus, when your order arrives and engulfs you in delicious smell, I bet you’d forget even if you were sitting on someone’s knee. Perfect options are the Prestige or the À la Carte menus, if you’re visiting for the second time – better try a new menu as they don’t change too often; dishes are usually traditional recipes interpreted very creatively by Gordon Ramsay’s chef, if you don’t know the name of what you’re eating you might not recognize that it’s a meal you’ve eaten many times before.
Aside from being gorgeously presented, dishes are prepared with the best quality products and you can easily get detailed information about all ingredients, their origin, how meals are specifically cooked, what allergies you should be careful with and even get a special vegetarian or vegan dinner/lunch, I say special because the menu does not offer one but the chef will endeavor in creating your own. What a thoughtful treatment, right? You get the same from the sommelier who will help you orientate among the endless wine list. During the trip through Gordon Ramsay’s clever cooking which rediscovering traditional cuisine, don’t forget to have a desert! Even if you think you won’t be able to talk after eating anything more, take my word that not talking for while is a small price to pay. Brightened by the superb service, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is the place to choose for a special occasion. But don’t take the smart clothing requirement too seriously, most of Gordon Ramsay’s visitors are not that overdressed. And don’t forget to book a table way ahead.
Menu: Gordon Ramsay
Address: 68 Royal Hospital Rd, London SW3 4HP
The Ledbury is an options among the very first ones when you’re determined to find a spotless dining experience. Rated as one of the best restaurants not only in London or the UK but in the world, The Ledbury has had enough years to prove its superiority. Starting with the interior, this venue will take you to the most modern conceptions in design resembling a pricey furnished household while keeping up the impressiveness of a top public venue. Only the best available products are used in cooking as well – you could taste traditional British ingredients like Cumbrian lamb, Hampshire buffalo milk or anything else you love about the UK – and at the same time many international flavors included in unconventional dishes; all of those products – local or not are just perfectly bound together to create an unknown marvelous sensation for you. The best you can do is try out the Tasting menu offered in two variations (better stick to the larger one if you want a real insight) or the set lunch menu which more affordable; the Á la Carte is also good like anything else at The Ledbury but does not represent as fully all its food’s features. And also, be prepared for the delight the restaurant’s deserts are.
If you are in the mood, I advise you to add the Cheese Course supplement – a very competent cheesemonger will go out of her way to help you choose a treat that suits you and when you’ve finally reached a decision – you won’t regret it, all choices are utterly stunning…Not only the cheesemonger endeavors to make your visit cloudless, all of the staff is elegantly dressed, well-mannered and attentive while staying under the radar. You might even get the chance to be introduced to everyone who works at The Ledbury or to take a walk around the kitchen with Chef Austin himself – every single person involved in the being of this restaurant takes the greatest care of you having the perfect experience. And they seem to succeed.
Bar 61 Restaurant
The very first sentence I have to say about Bar 61 is that this place has the most welcoming and friendly atmosphere anyone could create at any place. Before you go for your first lunch or dinner at Bar 61 you will most likely be allured by its menu. The restaurant offers a wide selection of traditional Spanish recipes. You can have some of the most popular treats of Spanish cuisine or be adventurous and dive into an original taste; all you need to know is that regardless of your choice, the dish will arrive perfectly cooked, skillfully complemented by appropriate flavors, with meat as tender as it could be. Also keep in mind that for the famous tapas in Bar 61 it is not necessary to order a dozen of plates because the portions are very reasonable. And even if you are not feeling up for a Spanish meal, you could turn to the Italian, French or international sections of the menu. After choosing your meals, prepare to be wowed by the wine list – a long selection of Spain’s (and not only) best red and white wines for the choice of which you will be kindly advised by the attentive staff, in case you need assistance, of course.
One last thing about Bar 61’s menu – it is not so widely praised solely because everything tastes unbelievable good but also because all products you’ll find at this restaurant are undoubtedly top quality. These facts combined with the popularity of the place and the size of all portions make Bar 61’s prices very affordable, all regulars recommend it for the budget. And you know what is strange about all this? The restaurant’s food and prices are not even what makes it so loveable. Bar 61 is a venue run by family – a father and a son – and throughout the years they have managed to squeeze a lot of personal touch into the place. From the mere entrance one can feel the friendly, intimate vibe of Bar 61, across all tables you see families and friends and couple consumed in their warm chats; Bar 61 really follows the trivial ‘mi casa es tu casa’ saying. And of course the place and its amiability would not be complete without the most appropriate staff – attentive, kind and always smiling the waiters at Bar 61 contribute to your feeling of being surrounded by old friends, there are no others like them. As sugared as it may sound, I cannot speak of any flaw here, book a table ahead and see for yourselves.
Menu: Bar 61 Restaurant
Address: 61A Streatham Hill, London SW2 4TX
The Five Fields
After the earthy Bar 61 we are back to a top London tasting restaurant. The Five Fields doesn’t hide how pricey dinners it offers nor the rather smallish portions of all meals but the reason it is still a Londoners’ and tourists’ favorite place is that all this is compensated. The Five Fields has managed to create a stunning menu filled with exclusive recipes that are surprisingly simple yet so mastered, each flavor would seem to you as if it has even the sole product has been grown together with all others in your dish; I personally guarantee that you can’t find a similar meal anywhere. And this is partly because The Five Fields endeavor to pick only the best British produce. Rest assured that the meat in your plate is top quality for London’s high standards and many vegetables, as fresh as they come, will compliment any main flavor. It is advisable to try out any recipe which includes beef – both products and cooking quality are sincerely the finest in London. Maybe the best option is to order the three-course tasting menu – which will cost you the reasonable price of £45 – and enjoy The Five Fields selection. You will undoubtedly be melted by the skill with which all food is decorated – that is why it’s not rare to hear a snap at the restaurant, photos are usually taken…And with your order you get the most delicious amuse bouches ever plus a cute little box of even cuter petit fours to take.
To match your delicate meals The Five Fields offers a thrilling selection of wines – mostly French. All these details combined with the elegant interior which eloquently testifies for the expensive furniture you’re using really manage to set the perfect mood for and exquisite dinner or lunch; The Five Fields is a solid choice for any special occasion, a business meeting at which you want to come off impressive, a romantic date or a family gathering. Your experience will also be improved by the professionalism of all the staff – you are welcomed, served and advised in the best manner; they seem to attend to every need and they do that fast without being too intrusive or tense. If you happen to be looking forward to a special night – there is no need to think twice, The Five Fields is a wonderful choice!
Menu: The Five Fields
Address: 8-9 Blacklands Terrace, London SW3 2SP
Italian Pizza Connection
This cozy place I’m sure you have passed by at first leaves you under the impression that it is just another casual pizza place at a neighborhood. I get why you would think so and opt not to try it out – around London’s areas there are tons and tons of mediocre Italian restaurants with nothing to offer that you cannot make at your own kitchen, but to rule out Italian Pizza Connection as one of those is a huge error. To begin with, even though it is not the hardest task to design a place with a natural Italian vibe, boosting people to talk loudly or sit close to one another with no worries, but still it is worth mentioning how alluring the atmosphere at Italian Pizza Connection is… After seating its customers with a warm welcome, the restaurant goes on to impress with the great set of staff it has. Everyone working at this pizza place is your friend, even the owner, and will do everything needed of them; if there is a misunderstanding with anything at all – they are always the ones who compromise. And this was only the usual stuff; what is most memorable about Italian Pizza Connection is that, well, I am pretty confident that their pizza size is the most immense in London! Seriously, a single pizza can suffice for three people at least. I know that sounds great but don’t forget to plan in advance – do you want to go with company and share the same pizza or take what’s left for home and eat the pizza all week?
Combined with the huge size of pizzas, Italian Pizza Connection also shines with very affordable prices, and regarding the fact that this acceptable amount of money can be divided into three – the price of a meal at this restaurant is really cheap. Of course you shouldn’t suspect that for such low prices the quality of food there is anything but high – Italian Pizza Connection use only the finest, freshest and most organic products for their kitchen. Their recipes are traditional with much cheese and are just the perfect execution of well-known Italian flavors. And if you still have some space left after your meal – a great option is something from the wide variety of home-made desserts which the place offers, they are as exceptionally good as the rest of the menu, though not that enormous. Italian Pizza Connection is an earthy place worth trying for any appreciator of cuisine and if it happens to be close to your home – than it is the perfect restaurant to become your regular!
Menu: Italian Pizza Connection
Address: 94 Bishop’s Bridge Rd, Bayswater, London W2 5AA
Rock Star Sushi Bar
You didn’t think that a rank of top London restaurants would go without even one sushi bar, did you? Of course there is something for the mass number of sushi lovers. Rock Star Sushi Bar is probably the best choice you can make when going out for sushi, this place should keep ‘star’ in its name even without the rock music memorabilia and thus the unnecessity of ‘rock star’ on the sign outside. This rather small place is a legend among sushi lovers, if you’re a local I guess you have also heard of it. The sushi bar is a smartly designed venue with a covered al fresco patio which is very uplifting bot in sunny and not so sunny weather. With the nice atmosphere, and the perfectly attentive and kind staff too, comes, of course, a very long menu of authentic, top quality and unexpectedly delicious Japanese cuisine. The chef at Rock Star Sushi Bar has the advantage of more than 15 years of experience and knows how to alter every detail in a recipe so as to make it exceptional. The key ingredients are home-made with some secret, I guess, which gives every ordinary product, as wasabi for example, a new and much better taste than in any other sushi place in London. As for all the other ingredients, your sushi will be made of the best products that can be bought. And on top of all, special ingredients are not a substitute to extensive list of choices; at many restaurants you will find several unique recipes with which the place has become famous and other dishes are not recommended, but at Rock Star Sushi Bar you can opt for tens of different flavors being sure that any of them will be exquisite. What I love most, though, is the fact that I can create my own recipe – mix meat/fish of my choice with any set of vegetables and sauces and, of course, I can count on the honest opinion of the staff if my idea would likely taste like feet. Not to forget, all those flavors come at a very reasonable price. The places is perfect for a Japanese treat, a special occasion or a choice when you just want something new, go ahead and see!
Menu: Rock Star Sushi Bar
Address: Watermill Way, London SW19 2RD
Most of have probably not been to this extra-ordinary place due to the hard task of making a reservation on time. Even though you should call way ahead, I assure you, the efforts are more than worth it. Unless you have been to a restaurant in Tel Aviv, you shouldn’t make your image of an Israeli restaurant based on anything you’ve seen. The Palomar is the one and only place which can present you with the authentic look and atmosphere of a Jewish bar-restaurant and the best selection of Jewish cuisine. Personally, what first comes to my mind when hearing Jewish dishes is the unmerciful ban on mixing dairy and meat. But at The Palomar the whiz-chef, Tomer, has gone out of his way to internationalize recognisably Sephardic flavors.
You can find many different dishes, at least a few of them would be your perfect match, whatever your taste. You can try some traditional dishes, find vegetarian meals or even have the chef optimize any recipe for your own preferences. Your waiter/waitress will explain any detail on the menu, help you decide what to choose or what ingredient to alter. And bearing in mind how lively and numerous The Palomar’s staff is, help with the menu is be far not the only part of excellent service you get. This London Jewish restaurant does not only rank as number one of its kind; even if you don’t appreciate the colors of different cultures – your stay at the Palomar will be brightened up by the familiarity all around. Being welcomed as family members, surrounded by groups of people who obviously feel at place and even greeting some acquaintances as if taking a walk around the suburbia is undoubtedly a vibe you seek when going out for dinner. The Palomar is a nice break from the ordinary, just the spot for a night of something new, I promise you won’t be disappointed by what you taste, nor frightened by the price of it. Pick a date early on and start ringing to assure your reservation!
Menu: The Palomar
Address: 34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN
And the last one to be included in this long list would be the Humble Grape; sounds great for a closing, right? To be honest with you, I should tell you from the very start that Humble Grape is not exactly a restaurant. The main reason to visit it, as you’ve probably guessed, is to try out an extensive wine list; but in combination with these wonderful tastes the Humble Grape serves some great snack plates that are just the perfect touch – with a week of planning you wouldn’t manage to pick so suitable for wine tasting dishes that form a sufficient dinner at the same time. The Humble Grape has created a list of wines coming from countless countries, personally my favorite ones are from around Provence. Any glass poured comes straight from the producer and is carefully selected based on the fact that its ingredients are high quality and as organic as they can be. And if you seem to like any taste, there is also a shop where you can buy a bottle to go!
Exquisite wines are what should be expected from such a bar, maybe I shouldn’t go stray talking about this as wine is not the only key feature of the Humble Grape.In London there are indeed many places for wine tasting and some of them even serve organic wines, yet this particular one stands out by providing exceptional features in all other domains. The Humble Grape has built an elegant and appealing décor which is just the setting you need for an intimate date or a warm going out with close friends. You will also leave happy with the quality of service, having had help on every topic, every choice of wine or snack and witnessing how quickly and with a smile every order is executed. This South London wine bar is the proper end to our list, if you have the free time and the company to go with – call a cab (better leave the car at home and have the advantage of drinking freely here…)! A
Menu: Humble Grape
Address: 2 Battersea Rise, London SW11 1ED
I hope such a descriptive list has proven to be helpful, we’ve all seen ranks with ten names which force you to dive in a long research for all of those names. Having read these lines here you can be sure you’ve got to know the key points of each of London’s best restaurants and you can confidently choose which of them seem to suit you! Free up the time or wait for a special occasion and check whether I am right to flatter all of these London restaurants so generously.