London Restaurant Guide

Truffle Rib Eye Beef at Tsunami Restaurant, Clapham

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!

Asian Restaurants

Food House (Nothern Chinese/Sichuan)

Red Chill Oil Noodles at Food House, Chinatown

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

Price range: £

Hoppers (Sri Lankan)

Like most restaurants in Soho, you can’t make reservations at Hoppers but this is somewhere worth queuing for. We ordered an assortment of dishes based on the waiters recommendation, none of which disappointed. Our only problem was wanting to order even more food when we looked over at the next table. I recommend the Eucalyptus Margarita, a few glasses of those will certainly make your evening!
Hoppers, 49 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 4SG
Price range: ££

KaoSarn (Thai)

Khao Pad Kra-Praw at Kao Sarn Thai Restaurant

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

Price range: £

Kiln (Thai)

Another ‘walk-in’ only Soho restaurant that’s worth the wait. The food is “influenced by the regions where Thailand borders Burma, Laos and Yunnan” making it different to most Thai restaurants I’ve visited. The quality of ingredients is by far the best part: pigs and Hoggett (older than lamb but younger than mutton) bred specially for them. As well as fresh seafood delivered daily. I recommend the hake and the clay pot noodles. The vibe is pretty cool too, but that’s a given for anywhere in Soho.

Kiln, 58 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 9TL

Price Range: £

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)

Price range: ££

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

Price range: £

Tsunami (Japanese)

Tsunami Restaurant, Clapham

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

Price range: ££

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

Price range: ££

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

Price range: ££

Caribbean Restaurants

Bokit’la (Guadeloupean)

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

Price range: £

Italian Restaurants and Pizzerias

Franco Manca (Pizzeria)

Chorizo Pizza at Franco Manca

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)

Price range: £

Flour & Grape (Fresh Pasta)

Flour & Grape is about 10 minutes away from Padella and accepts reservations, making it a good alternative. The price point is equally as affordable and the wine pairings are spot on. If you don’t fancy queuing/waiting around, this a great spot for fresh pasta. There’s also a gin bar in the basement of that tickles your fancy.
Flour & Grape, 214 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, London SE1 3TQ
Price range: £

Padella (Fresh Pasta)

I was probably the last person in the world to try Padella (even my Expat colleagues beat me to the punch) but I couldn’t not include it on the list. Fresh pasta is incredible but fresh pasta from Padella is out of this world. This an affordable (less than £10 a main) and reliable restaurant with one small caveat: no reservations. It’s perfect for dining solo as you’ll be seated quicker.
Padella, 6 Southwark St, London SE1 1TQ
Price range: £

Princi (Bakery/Pizzeria)

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

Price range: £

European Resturants in London

Christopher’s

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

Price range: ££

Hide Restaurant

The first thing you should know is that Hide consists of three dining experiences: Hide Above, Hide Ground and Hide Below. I had lunch at Hide Ground and it was definitely one of my top 2019 dining experiences. I’m not usually a fan of British/European Cuisine but the quality of ingredients make the simplest of dishes really shine. This may sound crazy but they serve the best mashed potato I’ve ever had in my entire life. Seriously. The wine list is curated by Hedonism Wines, so if you’re fancy you can have a specific bottle delivered to your table. This is definitely the priciest restaurant on the list, but 100% worth it. I look forward to visiting Above and Below for comparison.
Hide, 85 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7NB
Price range: £££

Middle Eastern Restaurants

The Palomar (Israeli)

Next door to my beloved Xu, The Palomar is a restaurant I cannot stop raving about! This is another one of my top restaurants for 2019; the food and the ambience making for a winning combination. You have two choices: make reservations at a table in the back, or walk-in and snag a seat at the counter, I recommend the latter. I enjoyed everything I ate but a few standout dishes were: the Kubaneh bread, Tel Aviv Mix (seafood) and the Harissa Chicken. You won’t be disappointed!
The Palomar, 34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN
Price range: ££

Peruvian Restaurants

Coya

I love Peruvian food and Coya definitely serves up some of London’s finest! I recommend ordering the spicy beef fillet (it’s cooked to perfection) and the Chilean seabass. You could order separately, but it’s better suited to sharing and trying more of the menu. Oh, and the Pisco Sours are delicious!

Coya Mayfair, 118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7NW

Price range: £££

Mommi

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!

Mommi, 44-48 Clapham High St, London SW4 7UR

Price range: £

Spanish Tapas Restaurants

Boqueria

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

Price range: ££

Tapas Brindisa

Lamb Cutlets at Tapas Brindisa, Rupert Street

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

Price range: ££

Steakhouses

Flat Iron

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. The wait time 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)

Price range: £

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

Price range: £££

Comfort Food and Dessert

Bleecker (Burgers)

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)

Price range: £

Chicken Shop (Grilled Chicken)

Essentially this is an upscale Nandos without the seasoning but the dessert menu is outstanding. I make special trips justs for the Deep-Filled Apple Pie 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)

Price range: £

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

Price range: £


Comment below if there’s anywhere you’d recommend, I’d love to hear from you!

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