Thanks to London's rich mix of cultures, the capital's restaurants serve up delicious food from all corners of the globe. Whatever cuisine you fancy, you're sure to find it in London – be it Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Caribbean, Polish, French, Italian, Afghan, Ethiopian, American, Spanish, South African, Persian… the list goes on.
There's also an exciting buzz on the British culinary scene in London, with innovative chefs rethinking traditional British classics and creating new favourites – all with an emphasis on fresh, local produce.
Plus with Michelin-starred restaurants, family-friendly eateries, cosy gastropubs, fast food joints and quirky cafes dotted all over the city, there's something for every budget too.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
If the name alone doesn’t sell it, the three Michelin stars that Restaurant Gordon Ramsay was honoured with should. Located in affluent Chelsea, the restaurant serves up modern French food in an elegant, intimate atmosphere - under the masterly gaze of head chef Clare Smyth.
Duke of Cambridge
The Duke of Cambridge is the first and only British pub to be certified as organic by the Soil Association. The menu at the Islington gastropub unsurprisingly features an excellent range of delicious organic food and drinks, and changes daily according to what seasonal food is available.
Rustic yet elegant modern British food is the focus at Jamie Oliver's East London restaurant Fifteen. Under the helm of Jon Rotheram, the restaurant uses top British meat and fish (butchered and prepared on site every day) and fresh ingredients to create delicious dishes such as grilled plaice, Jerusalem artichoke & brown shrimp; Lindisfarne oysters, sweet & sour apple vinaigrette; and Chocolate & malt mousse.
Rainforest Cafe brings the sights and sounds of the jungle to London's famous Piccadilly Circus, with elephants, gorillas, jaguars, crocodiles, butterflies, tropical fish tanks, an indoor waterfall and roaring thunderstorm sounds. Feeding time is a fun, family-friendly affair, with steaks, burgers, pasta and salads on the menu.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Heston Blumenthal's Knightsbridge restaurant Dinner is known for its inventive menu of historically inspired British dishes. Choose from dishes such as Earl Grey Tea cured Salmon (c.1730), Spiced Pigeon (c.1780) and Tipsy Cake (c.1810) - or let the chef do the choosing by going for the Set Lunch Menu or splashing out on a seat at the Chef's Table, which directly faces the restaurant's custom-built show kitchen.
Gaucho - Piccadilly
The glitzy Piccadilly branch of Argentinian restaurant Gaucho is spread over four floors. Alongside the main restaurant is the Cavas De Gaucho wine boutique, a ground-floor wine bar and a supper lounge on the top floor. Steaks, of course, are high on the menu - but there are many other dishes to try too, from Ecuadorian ceviche to Scamorza and potato ravioli.
Sketch is an eccentric, original and elegant venue off Regent Street founded by French master chef Pierre Gagnaire and restaurateur Mazouz. The unique space comprises five dining areas: The Parlour patisserie and restaurant, The Glade bar, The Gallery brasserie, the two Michelin-starred Lecture Room & Library dining room and The East Bar.
Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley
Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley is renowned for its sophisticated menu of modern, light European cuisine. Tucked away inside the elegant Berkeley hotel in Knightsbridge, the Michelin-starred restaurant is declared by many to be the best fine dining restaurant in London. Make a date to enjoy the Taste menu or one of the many delicious specialties from the a la carte.
Inamo is a pioneering Oriental fusion restaurant and bar where the control of the dining experience is placed firmly in your own hands, thanks to an interactive ordering system. Instead of reading a long list of dish names, you simply pick your favourite from an illustrated food and drinks menu projected onto your table surface. The pan-Asian menu includes influences from Japan, China, Thailand, Korea and beyond.
Masala Zone - Bayswater
Colourfully decorated with Indian folk art and collages of firecracker labels, the Bayswater branch of Masala Zone is as warm and welcoming as the other restaurants in this growing chain. The menu takes inspiration from Indian street food and home-cooked dishes, with Indian grills and regional curries as well as tapas-style Thali platters.
Porters English Restaurant
Porters English Restaurant is located in bustling Covent Garden and serves good, traditional English food in relaxed surroundings. On the menu of this popular restaurant you'll find classical dishes such as Steak, Guinness and Mushroom Pie; Toad in the Hole and Spotted Dick.
Boho Mexica draws on the old family recipes of head chef Tia Patty (Aunt Patty) for its authentic Mexican recipes. Tuck into guacamole with handmade tortilla chips, succulent meat mains and tasty tortillas to the sound of Latin music from the 30s, 40s and 50s. To drink there are fresh natural drinks from Mexico and a huge selection of fresh and fruity cocktails.
Sarastro is renowned for its flamboyant interior - part stage set, part old curiosity shop. Taking a nod from the nearby West End theatres, the dining room features opera boxes, luxuriant velvet tablecloths and cosy booths. The menu is Mediterranean and live shows regularly take place, with live opera on Sundays and Mondays, swing and Motown on Thursdays and Latin rhythms on Fridays.
Tucked away between Leicester Square and Covent Garden, J Sheekey has been in business since the 1890s and is the place to go for sustainably sourced fish, oysters and shellfish. From Sheekey's Fish Pie to potted shrimps (plus vegetarian and meat options), there's plenty of selection for everyone.
Michelin-starred restaurant Locanda Locatelli serves top-quality, traditional Italian food created with panache by head chef Giorgio Locatelli. Stand-out dishes at the Central London eaterie (according to the Michelin guide) include scallops, celeriac purée and saffron vinaigrette; and wild sea bass baked in salt and herb crust, escarole, sultanas and pine kernels.
Since it opened on Valentine's Day 1968, Mr Chow has become a London institution. The menu is authentic Beijing cuisine, featuring original recipes such as Green Prawns, Chicken Satay and Mr Chow Noodles. The interior is worth a visit too, with its smoked mirrors, walnut furniture and elegant ambience, and every night a chef comes out to perform original hand-pulled Beijing-style noodle making.
Housed in a former car showroom on Piccadilly, The Wolseley is an elegant café-restaurant inspired by the grand European style of years gone by. The food follows the same classic European thread, with favourite dishes including veal Holstein and chicken soup with dumplings. Pop in for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner... any meal you fancy.
Haandi - Knightsbridge
Located close to Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Sloane Street, Haandi specialises in fresh, quality cuisine traditionally from the North Indian Frontier. Its masalas are prepared daily and all dishes are cooked fresh to order in the glass-fronted kitchen - so you can see the chefs preparing your dinner in front of your eyes. Another branch of Haandi can be found in Edgware.
Dehesa is a charcuterie and tapas bar inspired by the cuisine of Spain and Italy. Located just off Carnaby Street in the heart of the West End, Dehesa is ideal for a pre-theatre dinner or mid-shopping snack. As well as tapas and fine charcuterie, including Jamón Ibérico, the menu includes cheese boards and wide variety of wines and sherries.
Located on the ground floor of the stylish Sanctum Soho Hotel, No.20 serves modern, seasonal British cuisine from breakfast through afternoon tea to dinner. A bar as well as a restaurant, it's also a good spot for a coffee, evening cocktail or glass of wine.
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