London Restaurant Guide (Summer 2023)

1 year in London

To mark my 1 year anniversary in London, I wanted to release a list of the best places I ate and drank since moving here. One year of wine bars with friends, solo dinner dates, tasting menus, coffee dates, and a quest to find a bagel shop that satisfies my constant craving. My London list is 150+ restaurants and growing, so I will continue to update. And if you want my master spreadsheet, drop me a message and I’m happy to send it across!

Bubala Soho


Best of the Best

Fine Dining / Upscale

  • Lyle’s (Shoreditch): tasting menu, great wine pairings, laid back atmosphere. Staff is very knowledgeable
  • Gymkana (Mayfair): some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had, great to go with a group and split plates. They also have a tasting menu
  • Hunan (Belgravia): Chinese food, no menu, 15+ courses. Best atmosphere, so much food – you will leave very full
  • BiBi (Mayfair): Indian tasting menu, unique and seasonal ingredients



Coffee Shops

  • Jolene (Dalston): best atmosphere, amazing pastries and brunch. Also serve dinner
  • Hjem (Kensington): cutest neighborhood coffee shop. No Wi-Fi, but lots of locals
  • Popham’s (London Fields): pastries are some of the best I’ve had
  • Papo’s Bagels (Dalston): the best bagels I’ve found in London by a mile


  • The Surprise (Chelsea): the quintessential pub. Cozy in the winter and fun to have a pint outside in the summer
  • Chancellor’s (Hammersmith): great pub with amazing pizza (Crisp W6)
  • The Pelican (Notting Hill): more “upscale” pub, great vibes, sharing plates, and good wine menu
  • The Grenadier (Knightsbridge): hard to find pub with a great history and celebrity sightings
  • The Orange (Belgravia): a classic pub in one of my favorite squares in London


Amie Wine Studio


  • Amie Wine Studio (Belgravia): great wine in an even better atmosphere. Girly / fun pre-dinner spot
  • Connaught Bar (Mayfair): tableside martinis, on the best bars in the world list. Walk-ins only for non-hotel guests
  • Bar Termini (Soho): a lot of negroni options, classics and drinks with a twist. Feels like you’re in an Italian cocktail bar
  • Seabird (Southbank): rooftop bar at the Hoxton hotel. Great views, oyster happy hour, indoor/outdoor seating
  • Tayer & Elementary (Shoreditch): quirky bar with low-key vibes, on the best bars in the world list



Just Solid Restaurants

  • Straker’s (Notting Hill): the best example of a neighborhood restaurant. Seasonal produce, great wine list, and shareable plates
  • Som Saa (Spitalfields): SPICY Thai food, some of the best I’ve had in London (Kiln is slightly better in my opinion)
  • Kiln (Soho): best Thai restaurant I’ve had in London, great vibes, sit at the bar upstairs
  • Ducksoup (Soho): candlelit wine bar in the heart of Soho, great shared plates
  • Brat (Shoreditch): the first restaurant I went to in London after moving! High quality food and wine in a laid back atmosphere
  • Paradise (Soho): Sri Lankan food in an ultra-cool environment, sit at the bar
  • Trullo (Islington): classic Italian, great for a date night
  • Zephyr (Notting Hill): you can tell this place has the coolest guests in London, great vibes, Greek food. “Secret” bar downstairs with even cooler atmosphere
  • Barbary (Covent Garden): North African shared plates, small restaurant, need reservations (even for the bar)
  • Coal Office (King’s Cross): shared plates restaurant in a fun area of London (Coal Drop Yard)
  • Gold (Notting Hill): I love bringing guests here, menu changes constantly, Mediterranean inspired small plates (but with a little of everything). Great cocktails


Brat (Shoreditch)

Notable Mentions

  • Rita’s (Soho) – go for lunch and get the Caesar salad with fried chicken and a dirty martini
  • E5 Bakehouse (London Fields) – great pastries, little garden out back to have your coffee
  • Bubula (Soho) – vegetarian/vegan Mediterranean plates
  • Westerns Laundry (Islington) – Seafood restaurant, candlelit and romantic. Great wine
  • Sessions Arts Club (Clerkenwell) – the most beautiful restaurant I’ve been to in London, food falls a little short but is still worth a visit
  • Trishna (Mayfair) – Indian, more upscale
  • Maggie Jones (Kensington) – classic British, gorgeous interior, candlelit
  • Nopi (Soho) – great for brunch
  • Lardo (London Fields) – 10/10 pizza and seasonal sides


BiBi Tasting Menu

On My List / Upcoming

  • A Bar with Shapes for a Name (Dalston)
  • Rochelle Canteen (Shoreditch)
  • Roti King (Euston)
  • Fallow (St. James)
  • Quo Vadis (Soho)
  • Koya (Soho)
  • Speedboat Bar (Chinatown)
  • River Café (Hammersmith)
  • Dorian (Notting Hill)
  • St. John (Multiple Locations)


Padella (Shoreditch)


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About Me

Thanks for visiting my site! My name is Madison, a Minneapolis native with a passion for all things food. I started out posting about Minneapolis restaurants, but I have since moved to London and developed my passion for cooking at home, making staying in special, and hosting dinner parties. Read more about my story here

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