London restaurants are among the finest in the world. The streets team with legendary names, the skies are packed with Michelin stars – many of the best restaurants in London can only be accessed via elevator.
The quantity of great London restaurants is a blessing – but also a challenge. Narrowing down the names on your culinary bucket list can be tricky. Choices abound.
Therefore we've come up with a list of the London restaurants you must visit. Not necessarily the best, for the best London restaurant is a matter of taste. (Although you will not experience a bad meal in any of the venues below.)
No, these are the names that you need to drop, the experiences that must be chased – whether due to their global celebrity, their historic status, or their ongoing popularity.
Some of these are indeed among the best restaurants in London. Some are merely the most fun. All are very much worth an evening of your life.
Each restaurant on the list has a link to a more detailed review. We'll be updating fairly frequently so don't be a stranger. Bon appetit!
London restaurants you must visit
In 20 years, Hakkasan has grown from a London restaurant offering high-quality Chinese food to a veritable global brand – that still offers high-quality Chinese food. Choose between Hakkasan Mayfair or Hakkasan Hanway Place – although unlike Hakkasan Las Vegas, neither has a nightclub.
8 Hanway Place, W1T 1HD; 17 Bruton St, W1J 6QB; Hakkasan
Widely regarded as the best Indian restaurant in London, which basically means the best Indian restaurant in Europe, Gymkhana is inspired by the members’ clubs of Colonial India. The food, however, is already the stuff of legend. Believe the hype.
42 Albemarle St, London W1S 4JH; Gymkhana
Want to dine among the young, cool and beautiful? Then Sexy Fish is the place – plaice? – for you. Since opening in 2015, the Mayfair restaurant has firmly established itself at the heart of London’s dining and social scenes. Don’t forget to Instagram your evening.
Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BR; Sexy Fish
Founded in New York by chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert DeNiro (yes, that one), Nobu has become a global brand with 50 restaurants and 13 hotels all around the world. There are three Nobus in London: Park Lane Nobu is the original but Portman Square and Shoreditch both offer five-star accommodation.
22 Portman Square, W1H 7BG; 19 Old Park Ln, W1K 1LB; 10-50 Willow St, EC2A 4BH; Nobu
One of the most beautiful restaurants in London, Seabird Restaurant in Southwark's Hoxton hotel serves delicious seafood platters with stunning views of the capital. You'll be wanting to order the platter, which seemingly contains half the ocean.
40 Blackfriars Road, South Bank, SE1 8PB; Seabird
Oblix at the Shard
The Shard is the most visible building in London – and Oblix is perched halfway up. Oblix West is a restaurant, Oblix East is cocktail bar. Both are very much worth a visit. Try the chef's tasting menu at Oblix West but be warned – you might be leaving the Shard in a wheelbarrow.
Level 32, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY; Oblix West
Duck & Waffle
The highest restaurant in the capital, perched at the summit of the Heron Tower, Duck & Waffle specialises in exactly that! Duck, on waffle. Sounds good, right? Judging by the restaurant’s Instagram following, much of London agrees. Open 24-hours if you fancy a late one.
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY; Duck & Waffle
Any reason to make the trip up Heron Tower, Sushisamba serves up fantastic cocktails, delicious wagyu – and great sushi, obviously. With a menu that draws on Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine, you'll quickly realise why Sushisamba has restaurants all around the world.
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY; Sushisamba
Famously co-owned by Sir Michael Caine, Langan’s Brasserie is a legend of London dining, with the iconic restaurant hosting a galaxy of stars in the 1970s and 1980s. Restaurateurs Graziano Arricale and James Hitchen have restored Langan’s to its former glory.
Stratton St, London W1J 8LB; Langan’s Brasserie
The Gallery at sketch
The Gallery is the main restaurant at sketch – there's also a cocktail bar called the Glade. The Galley has pink walls decorated with David Shrigley artwork and its toilets are shaped like eggs. Very much a restaurant to visit with an open mind and a fully charged phone.
9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG; sketch London
Lyle's London mightn't be the famous name on this list but its placement on The World's 50 Best Restaurants – plus a cheeky Michelin star – mark the Shoreditch venue as a must-visit. The seasonal menu changes each week but the food will always be sublime.
56 Shoreditch High St, E1 6JJ; Lyle's
Over the last few years, Dishoom has established itself as London's favourite Indian restaurant with multiple outlets across the capital. Offering consistently great food – including the legendary breakfast naan – at fantastic value for money, there's a reason for Dishoom's ongoing popularity.
Multiple outlets across London; Dishoom