Eating is my favourite hobby and I’m always trying out new restaurants. Over time I’ve acquired a small collection of favourite places to eat in London that I’d like to share with you. What makes this post unique is that rather than an arbitrary list of places is I’m only featuring places I know and love. Visitors and Londoners alike should find this useful the next time they’re looking for somewhere to eat.
I’ll be updating this regularly, as I try new restaurants and rediscover old faves!
I think Bleecker make the best burgers in London, but I’m happy for someone to suggest otherwise? Patty & Bun and Five Guys are my runners-up in case you’re wondering, but Bleecker deliver perfect burgers every single time! The beef is good, the bread is good, the fries are good – I wouldn’t change a thing!
Bleecker, 205 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NE (other locations available)
Food House (Nothern Chinese/Sichuan)
You’ll find this gem hidden in plain sight next to Joy Luck on Gerrard Street. The pan-fried dumplings are crisp with a pork and chive filling – nice but nothing out of the ordinary. The highlight for me is the Red Chilli Oil Noodles with Beef. Thick, flat noodles in a chilli oil sauce, served with either lamb, beef or veg and a side of pak choi. The texture of the noodles are perfect and the beef is incredibly tender. You can literally eat the rind, it reminds me of when oxtail just slides off the bone…I’d definitely recommend Food House for good food at relatively low prices.
Food House, 48-36 Gerrard St, London, W1D 5QQ
This family-run Thai cafe ticks all the boxes: inexpensive, tasty and you can BYOB (bring your own booze)! The menu is simple but authentic, with popular faves such as Pad Thai and Thai Green Curry. I personally love the Geaw Tod (prawns in fried filo pastry) and the Khao Pad Kra-Praw (rice and your choice of meat with fresh chillies). The only downside is it’s cash only (in 2018, I know) but who’s complaining when it’s BYOB?!
KaoSarn, ‘Brixton Village’, 96 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, London, SW9 8PR
New Mayflower (Late-Night Chinese)
This is one of my favourite Chinese restaurants in London because it ticks all the boxes: good food, opens late and the price is right. I have so many memories of eating here at 2am on a random night, ordering so much food we have to take it home yet still the bill never exceeds £100! Imagine how heartbroken I was when it CLOSED DOWN! The good news is they’re back open a few doors down in a more palatial setting with a lobster tank. You’re guaranteed to enjoy all the hood favourites such as sweet and sour chicken with egg fried rice, as well the more traditional dishes. My personal recommendation is the soft shell crab starter in a dry chilli seasoning, it’s an indulgent (read pricey) starter but it tastes so good. As per Google they close at 12pm but do call ahead because it’s usually 1am-4am even midweek.
New Mayflower, Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, London, W1D 6LY
On The Bab (Korean)
Korean Fried Chicken is LIT! One The Bab has a good food at even better prices. The restaurant is ‘cosy’ and can be quite loud, but this is food I dream about all the time. I personally live for the Sweet Spicy Fried Chicken sans nuts and the Shrimp Kun Mandu, but the rice bowls are also delicious. The fried chicken portions range from small to extra-large and are great for sharing between the table. Don’t be afraid to get a bigger portion because I often order more things as the food arrives. Oh and they have this ‘secret sauce’ to garnish the coleslaw that comes with the chicken, out of this world!
On The Bab, 36 Wellington St, London, WC2E 7BD (other locations available)
Sông Quê Café (Vietnamese)
Vietnamese food is extremely underrated. Sông Quê Café is highly rated and is repeatedly referred to as ‘the best Vietnamese food in London.’ Don’t be fooled by the humble appearance, the food is top notch. The restaurant is known for their Pho amongst other dishes, I personally love the stir-fried noodles and spicy ribs. It can get quite busy, so go early or expect to wait.
Sông Quê Café, 134 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8DY
Clapham has several great restaurants and Tsunami is no exception. They have an impressive sushi/sashimi menu which I’ve yet to explore, but I can vouch for the cooked menu. The Truffle Rib-Eye Beef is a firm favourite of mine and their cocktails are delicious. I’ve visited a few times and I’ve never been disappointed!
Tsunami, 5-7 Voltaire Rd, Clapham, London SW4 6DQ
XU Teahouse and Restaurant (Taiwanese)
Xu, pronounced ‘shu’, is one of my newest faves. It ticks all the boxes: good food, good service, good ambience. I love the chic and elegant 1930s interior and the quirky newspaper inspired menu. I highly recommend the Bai Yang cocktail and Char Siu Iberico Pork in particular, but I was impressed with my entire meal. The portions look small but are very filling. My only criticism is that you can’t make reservations for less than four people, but luckily the wait wasn’t too long. Xu is perfect for dinner with the girls or date night.
Xu, 30 Rupert St, London, W1D 6DL
Yauatcha (Chinese/Dim Sum)
Yauatcha is without a doubt my favourite restaurant of all time. I’ve been going for 10 years and love everything about it: the food, the ambience, the drinks! In my opinion, it’s better than Hakkassan (the more famous Alan Yau restaurant) but definitely, see for yourself.
Yauatcha Soho, 15-17 Broadwick St, Soho, London, W1F 0DL
Christopher’s is a great spot for brunch. The interior is chic and minimalist, they serve smoothies and superfood and have good service. I’d recommend booking to get a decent table otherwise, you’ll be downstairs.
Christopher’s, 18 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7DD
Bokit’la are the first French Caribbean street food vendors in London specialising in bokits (bakes). There are three sizes (S, M, L), three fillings (chicken, salt fish and vegan) and of course pepper! The
men are sexy food is great, the service is good and I love the concept. It’s great to see a representation of food from other Caribbean islands here in London. Their location varies so I’ve included a link below. Definitely check them out!
Bokit’la (various locations across London)
Roti Joupa (Trinidadian)
I’ve been going here since it opened and I’ve tried most of the menu. Curry Shrimp with Buss-Up Roti, Doubles, Macaroni Pie and Red Solo (I’ll get Kurma if I’m feeling indulgent) is my go-to order. Yes, all those things for just me. You know the food is good because this place is never empty! I’m ready to shut the laptop right now and go for roti…
Roti Joupa, 12 Clapham High St, London, SW4 7UT
Chicken Shop (Grilled Chicken)
Essentially this is an upscale Nandos without the seasoning but the dessert menu is outstanding. I make special trips for the Deep-Filled Apple Pie alone because it’s that good! The portions are big and it hits the spot, I can’t ask for more, although I may or may not order two desserts when I visit…
Chicken Shop, 199-206 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7BD (other locations available)
Chick ‘n’ Sours (Fried Chicken)
They claim to be the best fried chicken town and they may be right. The concept is simple: free-range fried chicken cooked in a multitude of ways. I tried the Disco Sticky Wings, which are coated in a sweet/spicy sauce. They’re flavoursome and the portion size is good. My only critique is there were more drums than flats, but I guess I could have made a request. What I’m really interested in is ‘Whole Fry Sunday’. Yep, that’s a whole chicken fried and served up for Sunday dinner…yum.
Chick ‘n’ Sours, 1A Earlham St, London, WC2H 9LL
Italian Restaurants and Pizzerias
Franco Manca (Pizzeria)
If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve definitely seen me indulge in a number six, courtesy of Franco Manca. The pizza is so good, it’s unbelievable! I’ll tell you from now if you like deep-pan pizza, pineapple on pizza, BBQ base or any of that fuckery…keep scrolling because this isn’t for you beloved. Other than that, this is the best pizza in London until proven otherwise. I stan!
Franco Manco, 51 Berwick St, Soho, London, W1F 8SJ (several other locations available)
Princi is another old favourite of mine. They serve everything from pizza to dessert including the most divine Passionfruit Cheesecake. You can eat in or takeaway and they close at midnight, so it’s a great place to go after dinner.
Princi, 135 Wardour St, Soho, London W1F 0UT
Clapham is my favourite place to eat in South London and after wanting to try Mommi since launch day, I’m pleased to say it’s worth the hype! The vibe is cool and trendy, very ‘hot London restaurant’ ish complete with a DJ and wrap around bar. It goes without saying that the food is good, I also find the service very personable as our waitress’s recommendations were spot on and she took the time to address allergies. I’d definitely recommend visiting for dinner and drinks and plan to go back for brunch and Sunday dinner. Next stop Ceviche and Andina!
Spanish Tapas Restaurants
I discovered this hidden gem on Acre Lane this year and was extremely impressed. Spanish food isn’t something I immediately gravitate toward, but the food here is incredible. I was happy with my entire meal but the meatballs and Patatas Bravas really stood out, I’ve never known potatoes to taste so good. Another winning factor is the price point, you can eat very well for £30 a head including alcohol. If you’re looking for something different, this is somewhere worth trying.
Boqueria, 192 Acre Lane, Brixton, London, SW2 5UL
My friend took me here after raving about it non-stop. There are several branches so I’ll summarise the three I know. Soho is for the lovers: small, cosy and intimate. Rupert Street is beautiful, has an open kitchen and reminds me of a New York brasserie. Lastly, the London Bridge branch just seems to busy and touristy but would be fine for lunch. My culinary highlights are the garlic prawns and the lamb cutlets, I would skip most things and double up on those two dishes if I were you. Also, I’d recommend sitting at the bar in Rupert Street to watch the chefs at work.
Tapas Brindisa, 46 Broadwick St, Soho, London, W1F 7AF
The concept is simple: no reservations, low prices and good food. You can buy specials, but essentially the cuts of steak are £10 and the sides are under a fiver. Don’t be fooled by the price, the food tastes good! The 90-minute wait (it varies) can be off-putting, but some locations may have less demand. This a great casual dining spot for carnivores.
Flat Iron, 17 Beak St, Soho, W1F 9RW (other locations available)
Modern American Steak House
Modern American Steak House holds a special place in my heart because I first went during the soft launch and absolutely love eating steak. It has all the key elements that I love in a restaurant: good food, good ambience, good service. This a great option for date night!
Modern American Steak House, 77 Brewer St, Soho, London, W1F 9ZN
Comment below if there’s anywhere you’d recommend, I’d love to hear from you!