With its thriving, ever-expanding food and drink scene, London has seen many of its dining hotspots ranked amongst the world’s best. This culinary capital boasts everything from creative food pop-ups and supper clubs to glamorous bars and ultra-chic hangouts. Foodies, have your napkins at the ready: we’ve rounded up a tempting selection of London’s most exciting restaurants, cafés and bars worthy of your palate’s attention.
Bob Bob Cité, The City
Restaurateur Leonid Shutov is bringing the dazzling décor and Russian-inspired menu of iconic Bob Bob Ricard to London’s famous Cheesegrater. Sitting on the third floor of the landmark skyscraper, Bob Bob Cité promises to be just as opulent, joining forces with Michelin-starred chef Eric Chavot to provide classic dishes with a few twists and shakes. And of course, The City outpost wouldn’t be complete without those famously joyous “Press for Champagne” buttons, which will be at every tableside.
The team behind Counter Culture are bringing a slice of Italy to South West London’s popular Clapham neighbourhood. Sorella – taking the place of The Manor bistro – will be serving up exquisite specialities inspired by chef Robin Gill’s time spent learning the culinary ropes on the Amalfi Coast. You can expect everything from truffle arancini and gnocchi with girolles to rare breed meats and unique seafood. And to wash it all down, a variety of signature Italian cocktails will be on hand – think cherry smoked Negronis and seasonal Bellinis.
Ella Canta, Park Lane
Iconic Mexican chef and fearless feminist, Martha Ortiz, has brought the spirit of Mexico to London through her exuberant blend of visionary artistry and authentic modern Mexican cooking. Housed in the five-star InterContinental hotel on Park Lane, Ella Canta – which is Spanish for ‘she sings’ – is far from stuffy, bringing you a fiesta of flavours and colours, from the guacamole topped with gold-leaf grasshoppers to the Frida Kahlo-themed artwork and waitresses adorning floral crowns and statement earrings.
Kettner’s Townhouse, Soho
After a two-year-long makeover, the iconic 150-year-old French restaurant, Kettner’s, has been restored to its former glory by Soho House. It boasts a stunning Georgian townhouse backdrop, with gems including an 18th-century spiral staircase and original floral plasterwork. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by the history of the property, serving traditional French cuisine crafted from locally sourced ingredients, making use of some of the original menus. And if you fancy a tipple in a decadent setting, there’s a champagne bar, completing its look with a walnut bar and marble top.
Claw Carnaby, Soho
Claw is a seafood hotspot that has gone from serving up street-side to opening its first permanent home in Carnaby. Its sustainably sourced crustaceans will feature on a menu that pays “homage to the best of coastal Britain”. Alongside lots of crab – crab beignets with crab mayonnaise, crab mac and cheese and crab rolls – there will be a selection of surf and turf options, like pork stuffed squid with kaffir lime, fried chicken and caviar, roast cauliflower with spelt and tofu yoghurt and squid bolognese.
Bread Ahead Beak Street, Soho
The ever-popular bakery has opened their first eat-in bakery and café in central London’s Soho. So rather than wander through Borough Market, you can lounge while indulging in one of their celebrated baked goods. Alongside filled donuts and popular pastries – like their great kouign amann – they’ll be serving their signature sourdough as part of a breakfast menu, with the addition of a build-your-own porridge bar. What was once a stable is now decked out with decadent design touches, from a pink marble counter to a snug boasting burnt gold velvets.
by CHLOE, Covent Garden
Get your vegan fix at the first international outpost of The Big Apple’s hippest vegan café – by CHLOE. Serving locally-sourced, plant-based food, this “fast-casual” sensation will give Londoners a chance to experience a chic take on vegan fare, feeding the ever-growing appetite for plant-based cuisine. The menu will feature everything from guacamole burgers, cashew mac and cheese and matcha kelp noodles to pesto meatballs and quinoa tacos, all made from scratch – so you won’t find any meat substitutes.
Greyhound Café, Fitzrovia
Bangkok’s fashion-inspired café is set to make its mark on the Big Smoke. Adding to the tally of top-end restaurants in Mayfair’s Fitzrovia, the two-storey Greyhound Café adds a touch of creativity with its eye for aesthetics – it initially launched as a menswear brand in 1980 and has since expanded into eateries. With a fusion menu of modern Thai-style creations alongside a selection of dishes inspired by travel and other cultures, your tastebuds are in for a real treat.
Unico Italian Delicacies, St. John’s Wood and Fulham
Italian delicatessen Unico has made its home in St. John’s Wood and Fulham, bringing with it a scoop of real Italian flavour. There will be coffee from Italian roastery, and a selection of cakes, pastries and savoury treats, including ‘Bubbles’ – spherical, 100% organic sandwiches filled with fresh ingredients. Perhaps the most indulgent of all is the top-quality gelato, which is available any way you’d like it, from cones and shakes to tubs and gelato cakes, with vegan options available.
Rascals rings very true to its name – the bar and restaurant comes armed with some serious sass, encouraging plenty of audacious fun and frolics with its playful interiors, mad cocktails, cabaret acts, DJs and the world’s first waterproof dining room (champagne showers anyone?). Promising a “zero tolerance to straight backs and polite small talk”, you can expect a colour palette of millennial pinks, jelly and ice cream snacks, bottomless pizza and a choice of 70 wines – food, drink and mischief galore.
DND (Do Not Disturb), The City
1920s-inspired speakeasies keep popping up all over London, and DND (Do Not Disturb) is the newest one on The City block, hidden beneath stylish boutique hotel Vintry & Mercer. Discreet and sophisticated, with lavish retro interiors inspired by the clandestine bars of the Prohibition era – think plush velvets, Art Deco detailing, sultry lighting and hand-beaded images – this bar promises to serve up barrel-aged and vintage cocktails with a selection of small Mediterranean-inspired plates.
Studio88, Leicester Square
For live music alongside signature cocktails and Asian-inspired snacks in California cones, look no further than Studio 88. The latest venture from the people behind Farringdon’s Pianoworks, you can expect a cool bar, two piano vocalists and an accompanying six-piece band playing non-stop music you want to hear – on each table you’ll find special napkins to write down your requests, which are then passed on to the musicians. Cocktail hour is from 5pm-7pm every evening.
Prosecco House, Tower Bridge
Having developed a huge following in the UK, a bar dedicated to everyone’s favourite fizzy tipple is opening. There will be 20 varieties of prosecco, including five that aren’t available anywhere else in London, and you’ll get to sip on straight fizz as well as plenty of prosecco-based cocktails, including spritzes and Bellinis. Plush marble tops paired with stylish velvet stools complete the look of this chic space.
Run away to CircusXO for what Michelin-star chef Dabiz Muñoz has described as the new destination for “liquid cuisine”. StreetXO’s latest high octane yet playful cocktail bar takes a particular foodie approach when it comes to its concoctions – try a liquid orange pie (vodka, galanga, Guayaquil white and dark chocolate) or a “Bloody Som Tum” (papaya, Josper smoked chilli shrub, tequila and hibiscus). They also feature a selection of more traditional cocktails, as well as an XO Driver’s Experience menu for those keen to ditch the alcohol altogether.