I’m often asked to suggest places to eat in London, so I decided to compile a selection of really good restaurants to suit all budgets. But, I can’t claim any credit, because these are all suggestions from London Life followers!
I’ve added click through links to each place which will take you to their own website and will usually contain a map showing where they’re located. Most of the suggestions are in the West End, but a few are off the beaten track, and I’d encourage you to try these if you’re visiting London if you want to eat where the locals eat!
If you have any more suggestions to add to this list, please email me at email@example.com or send me a note via my Ask function.
The only thing I insist upon, is that if you’re recommending a Chinese/Oriental restaurant, that it’s one that does NOT serve shark fin soup – shark finning is a vile, cruel and utterly pointless industry and something I feel very strongly about. When in London’s Chinatown, look for restaurants displaying the Shark Trust logo in the window.
With grateful thanks to everyone who sent me suggestions, do enjoy!
robinburks recommends: The best afternoon tea, hands down, is at Fortnum and Mason on Piccadilly. I did the champagne afternoon tea there a few years ago and I’m still counting it amongst my top London experiences. Great food, great champagne and the best tea I have ever had.
likeaigiveafuck recommends: Ramen Seto, 19 Kingly Street, a really affordable Japanese restaurant where you can eat a lot and even bring home the leftovers. Also Tequila Tex-Mex, 19-21 Notting Hill Gate. It’s a very good Mexican restaurant with an awesome fudge cake for dessert.
halvgal recommends: Alpino Café at 97 Chapel Market, Islington… Great food (try the risotto!), reasonable prices, and a very comfortable, friendly atmosphere. I ate here often while interning at Zed Books and always had a great experience.
mickjagger- recommends: Sticky Fingers Café, 1a Phillimore Gardens. It’s a great place for people who are fans of the Rolling Stones, since the owner is a member of said band! It’s also great for people who like an English take on American food.
kredcarroll recommends: Yumchaa tea shops in Soho and Camden. Great décor with mismatched antique tables, whitewashed brick walls and wood floors, a wide variety of excellent teas, and delicious pastries. They’re cafes rather than ‘afternoon tea’ spots. Perfect for a rainy day.
halvgal recommends: Scandinavian Kitchen at 61 Great Titchfield Street. While in London this summer, I had the pleasure of eating here and was blown away. It was a bit more expensive than I had anticipated, but the authenticity of the food was fantastic (very similar to dishes I had enjoyed while in Norway and Denmark the summer previously. The employees were very helpful in discussing the variety of dishes and recommending personal favorites to both my friend and me. The atmosphere is comfortable and visitors are encouraged to wander around and experience absolutely everything in the restaurant where there is also a store selling Scandinavian favourites (mostly food and drink), which proved to be very helpful for me, as I’d been missing my Norwegian favorites for quite some time!
davidix recommends: Tucked away on Wardour Street in Soho is a fantastic Mexican restaurant called Wahaca. It’s a bright and colourful place filled with amazing smells and delicious dishes. The food dubbed ‘Mexican market eating’ offers a great choice of flavors without being bank breakingly expensive. My personal dish of choice, the char-grilled steak Sonora salad, which for a salad is surprisingly filling! This should always be followed up by the Churros with caramel sauce (which is so good they don’t even put it on the menu). Really can’t say enough good things about Wahaca, very tasty.
margalarg recommends: My favourite place to eat is Food For Thought, a vegetarian cafe in Covent Garden. It’s a one-room cafe with loads of tables crammed into a tiny underground space and is always bustling with strangers sharing tables. The food is absolutely stunning and served by cheery staff behind the counter.
peanutbutterandvanity recommends: Neal’s Yard Salad Bar is at Seven Dials in Covent Garden and offers loosely Brazilian-inspired vegan/vegetarian/meat friendly foods. The decor is cute, the food is really nice, and the servers are very sweet. Mildred’s in Soho is the best vegan restaurant in London. Nude Espresso near Brick Lane offers the best latte in London (I have tasted at least hundreds), but it gets crowded, but I recommend it if you’re going to grab a cup before walking around the Brick Lane and Shoreditch area. Hakkasan at Tottenham Court Road has just amazing decor, amazing food, and is insanely crowded (and expensive) and you must make a reservation beforehand They give you a two hour limit at your table, but no one has ever actually enforced that anytime I’ve been there. Mai Sushi restaurant in Kings Cross offers some of the most authentic sushi for a very reasonable price; my partner has travelled Asia extensively and this is his favourite sushi place in London. Eve’s Cafe on Great Russell Street is a family-run hole in the wall place with the nicest people ever and delicious freshly made foods and coffees. Books for Cooks off Portobello Road is amazing. The food changes every day, so it is hit or miss, but it is a cookbook shop that just pulls a book off the shelf and makes something in it for lunch. Arrive early; as once they’re out, they’re out! For a titillating take on a cafe, there’s Coffee, Cake, and Kink that will be back in central London pretty soon, I think. They do not offer takeout, so if you want something, eat it there. The carrot cake is very good. It’s a BDSM-inspired coffee shop where they also sell a variety of ‘interesting things’, but the coffee is good and the staff are lovely people. I also give a slight nod to Dans Le Noir and S&M (Sausage and Mash) Cafe for being pretty delicious and pretty clever.
katebateman recommends: I think Belgo in Covent Garden is an awesome place if you like mussels or other seafood. They steam the mussels in a metal pot and just bring the whole thing out to you with chips. Amazing! They have a great beer selection too.
seabookmonger recommends: Malabar Junction serves Kerala-style Indian food, near the British Museum. Offers great dosa and chutneys and is especially nice for vegetarians. Abeno in Bloomsbury for interesting Japanese okinomiyaki savoury pancakes.
lindseykeeler recommends: The Garrison Public House on Bermondsey Street. The decor is cosy, the staff super-friendly, and the food so delicious I practically licked the plate! They have a great drink selection and little cinema downstairs. Five stars for sure.
katiepoole recommends: InSpiral in Camden Town is a wonderful vegan restaurant! Besides the healthful choices, the staff are always friendly and the back wall has a wonderful window viewing the canal and shop stalls.
infinitejoys recommends: I would have to recommend Nandos. It’s a chain of restaurants all over England, but it was one of my absolute favourite places to eat while in London. It’s low on price but high on flavour, and the atmosphere at all of their locations is really great!
breakfastcereals recommends: The Sea Cow in Dulwich has amazing chips! The fish was great too; responsibly caught from sustainable sources. I crave those chips, though - no one in America can make them properly. I believe it was listed in Time Out a few years ago.
limdiamond said: Addie’s Thai Cafe near Earl’s Court tube station, 121 Earls Court Road, London SW5 9RL. Great value and the best Thai food in London, very authentic and flavourful. If you love Thai food make sure to try this place!
iamwarrior said: Tibits, Heddon Street. It’s a veggie buffet place that charges you by the weight of your plate. There is a huge variety of food on offer, which changes daily. It’s great even for meat eaters like me who think that veggie food is boring.
minxyminou recommends: Dish Dash in Balham is excellent and offers delicious Persian food, ideal for sharing in a group, and they do nice cocktails too. If you’re a meat eater then Cattle Grid in Balham and Clapham Junction do superb steaks.
nachoswithcocoa recommends: I’ve got a suggestion for a place to eat in London (or to just have a coffee!). Candid Café is right behind Angel tube station and has the definitive feel of a hidden gem; going up the unimpressive staircase the last things you expect to find are long wooden tables, wax-dripping candlesticks and good food at good prices that are here, all served with a personal feel.