Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness, Wellness and Lifestyle Blog | Emtalks

Friday, 16 August 2019

The Best Places To Eat In London - The Best Restaurants In London - London Restaurant Guide

la famiglia chelsea
Photo taken at La Famiglia Chelsea / Dress / Sunglasses / Photo edited using Ems Presets 

I’ve been working in and out of London for years and years now and I’m very lucky that in my job, I’ve been able to try some of the best places for food in London. I’m also a real foodie anyway, so I’m always up for trying the best foodie hotspots. I’m asked on a daily basis about the best places to eat in London so thought I’d write a guide to my top London restaurants. It’s crazy that I have a guide to the best restaurants in Barcelona and a guide to the best restaurants in New York but I’m only just writing my guide to the best restaurants and my favourite restaurants in London! Here goes, I hope you’re hungry. Here is my London restaurant guide for all budgets, whether you're looking for a luxurious date night, a fun girls night or a cheap eats but amazing food night, I have got you covered. Get ready to screenshot and bookmark this London food guide and make sure you let me know on Instagram @emshelx if you visit any of my recommendations.
Farm Girl Chelsea
Farm Girl Chelsea / Photo edited using Ems Presets 

BEST BREAKFAST/BRUNCH IN LONDON - You can read my full breakfast and brunch guide to London here  in detail as it's no secret that I adore breakfast and brunch and London has some of the best. Here's a quick overview…Farmacy for the best healthy waffles in Notting Hill - my favourite vegetarian restaurant, Farm Girl in Chelsea or Notting Hill for delicious buckwheat pancakes (I prefer the Chelsea one as it's nicer inside), fun lattes and amazing avocado toast, Timmy Green in Victoria for the best Shakshuka and it's near to Buckingham Palace so perfect for a tourist day, The Savoy Thames Foyer for a luxurious, spectacular British feast breakfast (the perfect birthday morning breakfast - get the papaya on the side and thank me later) with beautiful London views, The Ivy (The Chelsea one is the best in my opinion) for the omelette and crumpets, Dishoom for a quirky Bombay style breakfast, Granger and Co is the best for ricotta pancakes and their a├žai bowls. You can read my full guide to the best places for breakfast and brunch in London here as it deserved it's own blog post.

Breakfast at The Savoy in the Thames Foyer
Breakfast at The Savoy in the Thames Foyer 

BEST LUNCH/DINNER RESTAURANTS IN LONDON -

THE BEST PREMIUM/LUXURY RESTAURANTS IN LONDON 


sketch London egg toilets

SKETCH - Regent Street - If you want to visit Sketch (it's an experience in itself and is famous for it's insta-worthy egg toilets) I’d always suggest going for afternoon tea in the Parlour, which is the pink room. It's probably my favourite afternoon tea in London. If you are wanting dinner, it goes without saying that the dinner is phenomenal but it’s one of London’s more expensive and special restaurants. I’ve eaten in all the different rooms and the Parlour is definitely the best. If afternoon tea isn’t for you (Sketch does one of the best afternoon teas I’ve ever had) then book in for the dinner and enjoy the luxurious, white glove service.

stk london

STK - Covent Garden - My favourite steak restaurant in London is definitely STK, think dressed up, luxurious and glam. STK is such a fun, loud restaurant and you definitely have to be in the mood for big portions and loud music as it’s more of a nightclub. Never go to STK without getting the truffle fries and the mac and cheese. I always get the steak with a lobster tail on top and we get the mini sliders to start. It’s definitely one of the pricier restaurants in London for steak but it’s such a great experience and top quality steak. I’ve eaten at STK’s all around the world, including LA, Miami and London and I always have the best service and quality food. You can head upstairs after to Radio Rooftop bar for expensive but beautiful cocktails with views over London. You can read my old review of STK London if you missed it.

SIMPSONS THE STRAND - Covent Garden - If you’re looking for top quality, luxury dinner (and the best roast dinner or beef wellington of your life) then look no further the Simpsons on The Strand. We went here on a recent stay at The Savoy and it’s been a long time since a restaurant has blown me away so much. I have told so many people about how special this is. It’s an incredibly premium, British eatery with so much history behind it and I can imagine it's so cosy in Winter. Think incredible, romantic, live music playing as a carving trolley comes to your table and serves you up the best Sunday roast or beef wellington. I had the best service and the most incredible British roast. If meat is your thing, you'll love this place. I wrote a review of Simpsons Restaurant The Strand if you missed it.

Kaia the ned

THE NED - Bank - I adore The Ned, it’s definitely one of my favourite spots in London. It’s an old bank and inside it’s phenomenal (with the best rooms too if you’re lucky to nab one for a stay). There are loads of different restaurants inside and you can't go wrong with any of them to be honest. I personally LOVE Malibu Kitchen inside for a healthy lunch, Kaia for sushi and Asian sharing plates and then Cecconi’s for Italian. It’s great as there’s so much choice inside. They apparently do an insane Sunday brunch too which I am yet to try but it's on my list.

chai wu harrods

CHAI WU - Knightsbridge - We stumbled upon here in Harrods many moons ago and I still tell people how exceptional this place is. If you’re looking for a premium Chinese meal then this is for you. I absolutely LOVE Chinese food and it was such a treat to have such a luxurious meal, everything was cooked to perfection. You can read my old review of Chai Wu if you missed it but I'm overdue a revisit!

SUSHI SAMBA - Covent Garden or The City - I’ve popped this into the premium and luxury section as I do think it’s one of London’s more expensive sushi restaurants, it goes without saying that you can make the menu cheaper depending on what you order. Sushi Samba absolutely blew me away when I first visited, as much as people love the one in The City because it’s got amazing views, I love the decor of the Covent Garden one (and love Covent Garden in general). If you are in The City, it's worth going as it's got the most insane views of London BUT I spend most of my time central. 

FAVOURITE BAR IN LONDON:


the polo bar london

POLO BAR - One of the first dates I took Matt on was to Polo Bar and this is one of my favourite bars because the cocktails are of the highest quality, made with the best ingredients. If you’re into cocktails you will adore this place. Make sure you get the bar snacks too, the prawns are to die for. I would go back here every weekend if I could. It’s definitely on the top end of the scale price wise but the quality of the food and drinks reflect this and the service is exceptional.

THE BEST MID-RANGE RESTAURANTS IN LONDON:


The Ivy Chelsea

THE IVY CHELSEA GARDEN - Chelsea - I think all Ivy restaurants are good but The Ivy Chelsea Garden is by far the best (I think it's the original too), try and get a seat in the conservatory or outside in the terrace when you make a reservation and make sure you get the arancini balls and zucchini fritter to start, oh and the sourdough bread with salted butter. The service is always exceptional and the cocktails are great too. It’s a real local Ivy so I’ve got to say it’s the best for service and style. It’s so beautiful in the outside area, I'm always blown away.

MASH - Soho - Mash is another good restaurant for steak, slightly cheaper than STK but still really good. I had an epic meal here once and would highly recommend it if you want to go to a fancy steak restaurant without the STK price tags.

dishoom food

DISHOOM - Various locations - You can’t go to London and not eat at Dishoom, whether you fit it in for lunch or dinner, you need to go. Go an hour earlier than you want to eat and expect to wait and queue (they don’t take reservations unless you have a large table) but I’m telling you, it’s one of the best meals you’ll ever have. Every time I eat here I have the best service and the best meal, I literally order the whole menu eek. Dishoom is Indian Bombay style street food and it’s great for sharing plates. I love the Kensington one but they have Dishoom’s in Shoreditch, Soho, Kensington and Covent Garden now too.

FLAT IRON - Various Locations - If you’re looking for good but affordable steak, go to Flat Iron, there’s a reason there’s always a huge queue outside. Flat Iron is £10 for steak and then you can add on your sides of veg and/or chips. I could only get a seat at 10pm at night but I have to say, it was phenomenal. I thought the food would probably be really low quality but actually, it’s really good. It’s a super casual dining spot and a great place on a Friday night for a cheap and cheerful meal with friends.

din tai fung salted custard

DIN TAI FUNG - Covent Garden - Voted one of the top 50 restaurants in the world, we finally got Din Tai Fung in London! If you didn’t know about it, you’d definitely walk past here and think nothing of it but I’m telling you, Din Tai Fung is spectacular. Again, expect to wait so get there early. Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese restaurant and perfect for sharing Asian food. I had the yummiest green beans of my life and they’re famous for their precision made dim sum. I absolutely LOVED the desserts here, the chocolate melt-in-your-mouth dim sum and salted custard buns are exceptional and honestly I am still dreaming of them but be quick, they only serve 200 of them every weekend! I would go back purely for dessert.

KOJI - Parsons Green - A hidden, local gem and I’m so glad I found this place via Instagram. Locals rave about this family run Japanese and honestly, it’s great for high quality sushi and sharing plates as well as cocktails too. Don't miss out on the rock shrimp, peppers or the teriyaki chicken. If I could afford it, I'd happily eat here every night.

la famiglia chelsea

LA FAMIGILA - Chelsea - Speaking of local places, La Famiglia is probably one of the best Italians I have ever had. Make sure you book, this place serves the freshest pasta (no pizza) and the best desserts ever, make sure you get the tiramisu from their desserts trolley! Hang around for the dessert trolley as it's a show in itself. You've never seen so many homemade desserts. This is such a fun, family run restaurant with traditional dishes and it’s like eating in an old Italian house. The outdoor area is really cute too.

ROSA’S - Various locations - I was first taken to Rosa’s by my friend in Soho and we fell in love with this busy little Thai restaurant. I then found the one in Chelsea and I now remain hooked. I love Thai food but don’t believe Thai food has to be super expensive. Rosa’s serves authentic Thai food, delicious cocktails (I renumber being like YUM out loud when I had cocktails here with my dinner) and it doesn’t break the bank either. The Spring rolls are incredible. Such a nice, casual, affordable restaurant, it can be kinda loud but it's still epic.

vintry kitchen

VINTRY KITCHEN - The City - I’ve eaten here twice now and dream of going back and devouring their baked aubergine and mushrooms in a bag. I absolutely love Asian food and Vintry Kitchen does the most insane Asian fusion, tapas sharing plates. It’s a hidden, dark, quirky little restaurant that honestly, you’d never find unless you were staying at the hotel (highly rate this as a hotel too FYI, it's Small Luxury Hotels approved meaning it's the creme de la creme) or someone recommended it to you but I cannot recommend it enough. The flavours in the food were incredible and the cocktails were exceptional too. There’s an insane rooftop upstairs too and also a restaurant too, but I think the menu is different to Vintry Kitchen. If you like Asian food, you need to go here.

HEDDON STREET KITCHEN - Regent Street - I’ve always loved Heddon Street Kitchen, one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants for nibbly food just off Regent Street. I always end up ordering a mix mash of the starters and small plates and then sharing with whoever I’m with. I’m a massive Gordon Ramsay fan and I’d say this is one of his accessible restaurants.

MAYFAIR KITCHEN - Mayfair - I always head here in Mayfair for yummy sharing plates. The menu is random but it works, with some Italian dishes, some Mexican and some Spanish, you basically just order a mix match and they all come. Get the croquettes, the patatas bravas and a pizza, you wont regret it. I love a date night at the Mayfair kitchen.

polpo chelsea

POLPO - Various locations - I really love Polpo for sharing food. It’s a Venetian restaurant but I’d say the food reminds me of Italian food. Lots of pastas, delicious salads, veggies and mini pizzas to share with delicious drinks to go alongside. Imagine an Italian tapas, that's what this reminds me of. I love sitting at the one outside near Sloane Square, it's definitely my favourite one! The Notting hill one is also cute. Look out for the seasonal specials, I had the nicest peach salad!

FARZI CAFE - Haymarket - My brother, Matt and I were blown away when we went to Farzi cafe and we are all desperate to go back. It's the UK version of a famous Indian chain and I really hope it does as well here as it does there because it's just incredible. This is the coolest, luxurious restaurant and is a modern interpretation of traditional Indian cuisine. I loved the atmosphere, it's lively but not too loud. I'd say it's a glossy, luxurious, innovative Indian restaurant with a British twist on some of the dishes. The venue is also divine. 

ZIZZI - Various locations - How could I not talk about my beloved Zizzi? We often pop in when we can’t be bothered to cook and we ALWAYS get the garlic bread (with a side of garlic butter) to start, the starters at Zizzis are SOOO good (I love the Cichetti board too), it’s an affordable, Italian and it’s spot on every time. I get the chicken hanging skewer or the tomato pomdoro pasta and the boys LOVE the wagyu pizza or the calzone. I like it because there are so many choices but it’s super affordable too, you know what you’re getting. I always get the salted caramel brownie to finish. My favourite London Zizzi is the one at Victoria, the best venue and great service.

Timmy green victoria

TIMMY GREEN - Victoria - I always tell people to go to Timmy Green for brunch, it’s insane but they also do an amazing Aussie dinner too. Get the halloumi fries, padron peppers and calamari to share for starters then go for either the vegan sharing board or the meaty one for meat lovers. Such a beautiful venue and such good, hearty food but really different, fresh food.

 PASTAIO LONDON

PASTAIO LONDON - Soho - I accidentally stumbled into here when looking for somewhere to eat in Soho (I couldn't get into Dishoom, story of my life haha) and wowza this place is incredible. It's got a tiny menu but serves the loveliest pastas, ever. I went for the spinach pasta and it was just divine. I don't think I'v ever had such fresh pasta, it's also really affordable too in comparison to some Italians so a perfect lunch spot.

FARMACY - Notting Hill - I know I mentioned Farmacy on my best brunch in London blog post  but it does deserve its own feature when it comes to lunch and dinner too because the rest of the menu is awesome. Farmacy is a vegetarian restaurant and the Mac and cheese, nachos and pizette are all incredible. Make sure you try their earth bowls and if you're hungry, their bean burger with fries is spectacular. They have the coolest, healthy drinks menu ever too. Farmacy is the place for health conscious, quirky food and trust me, I've eaten there over 50 times!

the ned london
Room service at Cecconi's The Ned

BEST PIZZA IN LONDON - For the best pizza in London I have a few recommendations (and I feel I could write a whole blog post just about the best pizza places in London really)… Pizza Pilgrims for delicious, sloppy style pizza, Franco Manca for sourdough base pizza so it feels slightly healthier and Homeslice for the best, biggest pizza you’ll ever eat. There's also a cute local place in Chelsea/Fulham called Santa Maria which does similar pizzas to Franco Manca, really thin, sloppy pizzas.

Biscuiteers Afternoon Tea

BEST AFTERNOON TEA IN LONDON - This could be a blog post by itself so I’ll probably write a separate one and expand on this at some point all about the best afternoon teas in London but as a reference if you’re looking for a good afternoon tea, I’d highly recommend Harrods tea rooms (I love a place that refills the sandwiches and are really good with dietary requirements, eg, I don’t like salmon sandwiches but they swapped them out for me) and the cakes were perfection, plus of course in true Harrods style, the service was too. Sketch, I always say this is probably the best afternoon tea in the whole of London, you will be stuffed for days afterwards, just when you think it's over, they bring the fresh scones, make sure you have it in the Parlour room. The Ritz afternoon tea is good but different because they bring a cake tray out at the end rather than giving you loads of cake, it definitely helps eliminate waste and of course, who doesn't want to have food at The Ritz. I'm desperate to try afternoon tea at The Berkeley, rumour has it they now do a Dior themed afternoon tea? I need to try. Biscuiteers also do DIY icing at their stores which you can turn into an afternoon tea, it's a sugary afternoon tea with no sandwiches but SO much fun to go here for dessert, I absolutely loved doing DIY icing. It's makes the most therapeutic date, ever and I had SO much fun, oh and arguably the best biscuits you can eat too.

Harrods Afternoon Tea
Harrods Afternoon Tea

So there we have it, here are some of my absolute favourite restaurants in London, I really hope this will help you if you're visiting London and looking for the best restaurants to eat at. I truly believe this is a list of the best restaurants in London so I really hope this helps you! Make sure you let me know if you go to any of my recommendations. Let me know if you have any favourite restaurants in London!

Farm Girl Chelsea
Farm Girl Chelsea

You might also like:

The Best Brunch Places In London
The most Instagrammable spots in Notting Hill
Barcelona travel guide
New York travel guide


Lots of love, Em x

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