London has one of the best restaurant scenes in the world, and for good reason. As restaurant owners plan for a full reopening on July 19, there’s never been a better time to book back into all your favorites and discover those you may have missed.
While London has no shortage of excellent pasta bars these days, there’s something special about Bancone. Perhaps it’s the slightly more formal but cool atmosphere or the smart interiors. A perennial favorite is ‘silk handkerchiefs’, a bowl of extra-wide pappardelle topped with walnut shavings, butter, and egg yolk.
- 39 William IV St, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4DD
Black Axe Mangal
Lee Tiernan left St John, with a love of pork and superb cooking skills, to open a cult barbeque restaurant in Islington. Heavy-metal music blares, the wood-fired oven is painted black in homage to Kiss and the small room resembles a Turkish kebab shop. But the pillowy flatbreads, wood-roasted pork, and burgers, and bao buns keep queues outside the door.
- 156 Canonbury Rd, Highbury, London N1 2UP
Claude Bosi at Bibendum
Claude Bosi has taken over the helm of the restaurant housed in South Kensington’s iconic Michelin building. Guests can enjoy his indulgent and sophisticated cooking in the decorous and spacious upstairs dining room. Expect an extravagant meal, either from the a la carte or set menu, with five-star service.
- Michelin House, 81 Fulham Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 6RD
Even before chef Asma Khan appeared on Chef’s Table, it’s been nigh on impossible to get a seat at her fast-casual homage to the food she grew up eating. You need to book well ahead to try her piquant, expertly spiced Indian food.
- Kingly Court, Carnaby St, London W1B 5PW
Formerly of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Will Murray and Jack Croft are the dynamic duos in the kitchen at Fallow, bringing their ‘creative cooking, sustainable thinking’ ethos to the stoves. They follow the Fergus Henderson model of nose-to-tail eating, adding to that root-to-stem, having met while working the veg section at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. It was a standout opening last year and their corn ribs are a cult dish.
- 10 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BX
Since opening in Pimlico in the early Eighties, Hunan has been a favorite of those in the know. A daily set menu of frequently changing dishes shows both Hunanese and Taiwanese influences – braised pork, spicy aubergine or the renowned broth with pork, Chinese mushroom, and ginger.
- 51 Pimlico Rd, Belgravia, London SW1W 8NE
This old school Japanese restaurant in Mayfair has notched up the years and many loyal customers. It serves traditional dishes – such as spinach with sesame dressing or agedashi tofu, as well as sushi, noodles, and tempura from a quiet, open kitchen.
- 30 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 5DJ
Santiago Lastra’s KOL is a vibrant expression of his Mexican heritage. Every aspect of the restaurant is infused with warmth; the terracotta, wood, and ceramic interiors, the incredibly elegant open kitchen, and the sunny disposition of the staff. Every plate is so alive with flavor, texture, and levels of heat that work together in a kind of alchemy. It’s a restaurant you won’t forget in a hurry.
- 9 Seymour St, London W1H 7BA
Helmed by Michel Roux Jr and formerly run by his father and uncle, Le Gavroche has been a family enterprise from day one. The Mayfair restaurant is the place to go for old-school dining with the luxurious feel that classic French dishes provide so well.
- 43 Upper Brook St, Mayfair, London W1K 7QR
Lyle’s offers innovative and experimental plates in the industrial space of Shoreditch’s Tea Building. There is a set menu in the evening, with lunchtime à la carte options including dishes such as mussels with cider and alexanders or mutton cooked over beechwood charcoal. This sophisticated cooking has maintained Lyle’s credentials as a food-world favorite.
- Tea Bldg, 56 Shoreditch High St, Hackney, London E1