The capital’s dynamic and ever-changing culinary landscape is a mecca for foodies and is constantly evolving. With exciting, intriguing and buzzing venues cropping up all over the place, London provides the largest variety in cuisine, as demonstrated in these top picks.
Little Bay Belsize – Modern European
A warm glow radiates from Little Bay and entices passersby as they stroll past. Those in search of a cosy backdrop to their food-fuelled outing only have to step inside Little Bay to feel imbued with a sense of ease. As you take in the lovely decor and appealing menu, you’ll begin to unwind, as you deliberate over the drinks menu and food offering.
100 Hoxtons – Asian Fusion
100 Hoxton is a bang-on-trend venue full of ambition and spark. Brace yourself for Asian-inspired food par excellence. The bar resides in the centre of the venue, hinting at how serious the team are about the tipples they serve. Invigorating fresh pressed juices and gourmet coffees are popular during the day, and come night, inventive cocktails and wine take precedence. If it’s good food and good times you’re after, look no further than this dazzling London institution.
Foodilic – Cafe
Just six minutes’ walk from King’s Cross – the perfect central spot from which to explore London – is Foodilic. It’s cosy, quiet and friendly, with polished tree trunk tables and shell-encrusted mirrors, giving a clue that here, it’s all about what’s healthy and natural. The ethos is not simply a health-conscious one though, but is a commitment to flavour and fun. From colourful freshly squeezed juices like the beetroot and apple juice, to tempting bowls of equally vibrant salads and excellent raw vegan choices, owner Peter’s approach to cooking is truly innovative.
London Steakhouse Co. – Steakhouse
Chelsea’s bustling King’s Road is home to a uniquely vibrant and diverse food and drink scene. The buzzing atmosphere of the modest yet impeccably elegant London Steakhouse Co. is very much part of that scene and is complemented by the area’s stylish vibe. As the name suggests, this award-winning haunt specialises in exceptional steaks as well as a variety of timeless English plates. All dishes are created on-site and showcase the best fresh, quality ingredients and the team sources only the finest grass-fed meat from Royal Warrant holders Aubrey Allen – there are a range of sizes and cuts to choose from including rump, fillet and rib-eye.
Kiri Restaurant – Japanese
Kiri only opened in autumn 2016 and is already receiving the highest of praise from diners. The name refers to a tool used by Japanese master carpenters and is indicative of the craftsmanship that goes into the restaurant’s dishes. In true Japanese style, presentation is as important as taste, and the colourful food is artistically presented in elegant ceramic and lacquered dishes. The small plates are modern takes on the food from izakaya, or traditional Japanese bars, and the decor is informal but the service second to none.
Dans Le Noir? – World Cuisine
Offering delicious food and drink, excellent service, and an experience unlike any other, this Farringdon restaurant should be on everybody’s bucket list. Inviting diners to eat and drink in pitch darkness, Dans le Noir? goes above and beyond normal dining. Helping to facilitate the unique sensory experience on offer is the intriguing menu, which provides only basic information about the food, with four colour-coded options to choose from: green (vegetarian), red (meat), blue (fish), and a mysterious white menu offering a surprise meal.
Acqua7 – Wine Bar
Acqua 7 is a concept bar and architecturally designed space challenging the perception of bars in Hackney, and pioneering a new wave of modern fine drinking in London. Inspired by the founder’s well-travelled and cultured upbringing, Acqua7 presents a fresh space, just off Dalston Junction at 7 Balls Pond Road.
Il Bordello – Italian
For 18 years Il Bordello has been delighting London gastronomes with its hearty Italian cooking and warm, cheerful atmosphere. Large Lempicka prints adorn the walls and a gleaming copper bar acts as the restaurant’s centrepiece. To the menu: you’ll find it’s simply overflowing with beautifully fresh fish and seafood, succulent meat, hand-thrown pizzas and plenty of pasta. Unlike so many London pizzerias, Il Bordello sidesteps pretentiousness and instead focuses on delivering deliciously authentic Italian cuisine. An evening at Il Bordello will remain in your memory long after dining there.
Meridionale – Italian
Meridionale invites diners to relax in rustic, warm surrounds and celebrate all things Italian. With its pared back interior and casual atmosphere, customers are drawn back to Meridionale time again. Covering much of southern Italy’s culinary output, what you see here is the real deal. Fresh, quality ingredients are blended to create genuine Italian fare, with the aim to take diners on a culinary journey through the Southern regions: think homemade pasta and Neapolitan pizza alongside fresh fish and seafood dishes.
Negozio Classica – Avini – Italian
Owned by Tuscany’s Avignonesi winery, Negozio Classica Notting Hill showcases a fabulous array of wine and boasts an enviable setting in the capital. Combining a wine bar, speciality foods store and little eatery, Negozio Classica is a paradise for Italian fans and here, excellent vino is complemented by Italian cuisine. Diners can expect a select menu of Tuscan-inspired options. With such lovely food and drink, excellent service and a welcoming ambience, it really is no wonder that Negozio Classica has such a loyal following – which only continues to grow.
For more about dining in the region, check out the latest edition of the London Food & Drink Guide below.