London’s Top Ten Restaurants in 2016

In London’s fast-paced restaurant scene not a week passes without somewhere closing and another opening. London is one of the most multicultural capitals in the world; a melting pot of numerous cultures and cuisines. As a result of such a vibrant, international foodie culture, culinary trends come and go. It can be hard to keep up-to-date with what’s hot and what’s not.

Given those constant changes – and the staggering number of restaurants – putting together a guide to London’s top ten restaurants is no easy feat.

The Best Places to Eat in London in 2016

If you zoom into a smaller area, such as Islington or Brixton, a top ten is more manageable. But a list that covers the whole of London? Not such a simple task.Finola Robinson - Brighton Food Reviewer

And yet, this is what we have done – with help from our most in-the-know London contact; someone who runs front of house at one of the hippest hotels in our capital city. It’s his job to know London’s food scene inside out so that he can recommend the best places to his hotel guests.

And so, without further ado, here’s his London top ten restaurants (in no particular order):

Social Eating House

Social Eating House

The highly acclaimed chef Jason Atherton owns this Michelin-starred Soho restaurant. Under the guidance of Atherton’s right-hand man – Head Chef Paul Hood – Social Eating House is, as the name suggests, somewhere to enjoy top-notch dining in a relaxed, convivial setting. Food is skilful, international and innovative, with starters such as smoked sea trout tartare with miso crème fraiche, mooli, black sesame and sour dough. Upstairs there’s a swish cocktail bar ‘the Blind Pig.

Social Eating House

London’s Best Restaurants, ©Restaurants Brighton, 2016

Blanchette Soho

Blanchette - Soho - Londons Best Restaurants

This lovely little Parisian-style bistro serves great food in a fun setting. Inside, the exposed brickwork walls are adorned with quirky French knick-knacks and the furniture is more rustic and functional than high design. All of this adds to its charm. Dishes are served tapas-style to be shared – five or six plates are suggested number for two diners. The a la carte menu is divided into snacks, charcuterie, cheese, fish, meat and vegetables plus there’s a lunch and pre-theatre set menu priced at a very reasonable £15 for two courses or £19.50 for three.

Blanchette Soho

London’s Best Restaurants, ©Restaurants Brighton, 2016

Restaurant Story

Restaurant Story - London's Best Restaurants

The name comes from the idea that food can be used to tell a story – and here at Story it’s a meandering and descriptive tale. The full lunch or dinner experience takes a few hours to complete so settle into your seat and make yourself comfortable. If you’re short on time, the menu also has “half story” options. Open since April 2013, Story was awarded a Michelin star five months later due to Head Chef Tom Sellers’ innovative approach to seasonal British ingredients. The myriad small plates of food are visually stunning as well as delicious, which you can see in this review.

Restaurant Story

London’s Best Restaurants, ©Restaurants Brighton, 2016

The Clove Club

Clove club - Restaurants BrightonThis Michelin-starred restaurant based in Shoreditch Town Hall has been wowing diners with outstanding dishes made from often-overlooked British ingredients. Snacks such as crispy chicken feet with devilled spices and tarragon emulsion, or turnip rolls with toasted sunflower seeds and mint, get you in the mood for an unforgettable meal. Be prepared for the ticketing system, which means you pay for your meal in advance.

The Clove Club

London’s Best Restaurants, ©Restaurants Brighton, 2016

The Ivy

The Ivy Restaurant - Best London restaurants

One of London’s most famous restaurants, located in Covent Garden in the heart of London’s theatre land. It’s suitably glittery and star-studded, having been a popular haunt for celebrities since 1929. For many years The Ivy was a social barometer – if you could get a table then you were clearly ‘someone’. It’s a bit more relaxed these days, although tables are still hard to bag. This year both the venue and menu have had a successful makeover, so you can also now enjoy various Asian dishes prepared with The Ivy’s signature flair as well as their favoured classics such as the shepherd’s pie – still one of the best in town!

The Ivy

London’s Best Restaurants, ©Restaurants Brighton, 2016

J. Sheekey

Sheekeys restaurant - best london restaurants

Located just around the corner from The Ivy and owned by the same company, J. Sheekey’s is the gold standard for fresh fish and delectable seafood. Forget your modern “on trend” restaurants – Sheekey’s is an old school classic that’s been open for over 100 years, so not only is the food of the highest standard but the service is suitably slick. As with The Ivy, the clientele includes all of London’s bright and beautiful but every guest is made to feel like a star. The menu is both reassuring and interesting, with a mix of traditional and more modern dishes. Try the famous fish pie or splash out on lobster.

J. Sheekey

London’s Best Restaurants, ©Restaurants Brighton, 2016

Chiltern Firehouse

Chitern Street London - Best London restaurants

If you haven’t heard of the Chiltern Firehouse you must live in some far-off foreign land! Open for over a year, London’s first venture from suave multi-millionaire hotelier André Balazs is so smokin’ hot celebrities can’t get enough of the place.

Talented Head Chef Nuno Mendes presides over the kitchen, serving smart international food with a distinctly American spin. Popular dishes include the ‘snacks’ crab stuffed donuts with a coral dusting; bacon cornbread with chipotle-maple butter; and devilled egg with spicy tuna tartare. Starters such as smoked burrata with jalapeño, mint and pea juice are priced between £9 and £17, mains from £21 to £44.

Chiltern Firehouse

London’s Best Restaurants, ©Restaurants Brighton, 2016

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

Heston’s career goes from strength to strength. With an enviable reputation for his “multi-sensory” dining experience at The Fat Duck to having his own product range at Waitrose, he’s a household name and at the top of his game. In 2011 he opened Dinner at the very swish Mandarin Oriental, which now has two Michelin stars. The kitchen is run by Ashley Palmer-Watts, former Head Chef at The Fat Duck, serving food mostly inspired by historical English recipes that have been given a contemporary Heston twist. The response has been resoundingly positive; Dinner was voted fifth in The World’s Best 50 restaurants by Restaurant magazine during 2014, so expect to be inspired and excited.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

London’s Best Restaurants, ©Restaurants Brighton, 2016

Lima

Lima, 31 Rathbone Place, London

One doesn’t usually associate Peruvian food with haute cuisine but it’s a culinary trend on the rise in London. As a result, chefs are putting are updating and modernising traditional Peruvian dishes in the process. This is the case at Lima, which is the colourful creation of world-famous Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez and his partners the Gonzalez brothers. The kitchen serves pretty, contemporary tapas-style dishes under the watchful gaze of Virgilio’s long-standing friend Robert Ortiz. Sustainability is always kept in mind, so most ingredients are from the UK with particular organic and wild produce sourced from small growers in the Andean and Amazon regions of Peru to showcase the country’s biodiversity. The menu is enticing, with ingredients such as avocado, quinoa, lucuma fruit, plantain and corn making an appearance, as well as exciting versions of ceviche.

Lima

London’s Best Restaurants, ©Restaurants Brighton, 2016

Palomar

Palomar, LondonSituated in the heart of vibrant Soho, Palomar is one of those places that sounds like it could be a disaster – and then you go and discover it’s the total opposite, a delightfully unique and fun experience, which is an astonishing achievement in itself, given how London’s so over-populated with restaurants of every conceivable variety. Head chef Tomer Amedi serves fusion food; an intoxicating blend of fare from Jerusalem, southern Spain, North Africa and the Levant. It’s interactive dining, so if you sit on one of the bar stools the chefs will pass you your food and even do shots with you. There’s also a 40-cover room at the back. Popular dishes are the fluffy kubaneh bread, beef tartare from the ‘Raw Bar’, pork belly tagine and fattoush salad.

Palomar

London’s Best Restaurants, ©Restaurants Brighton, 2016

London's Best or Top Ten Restaurants
More information about London – Wikipedia

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Notes

  • All images are courtesy of the above mentioned restaurants.
  • Headline image of London, source: Wikipedia