I’ve been living in London now for nearly 2 years and much of my social time has been wining and dining across the city, one pocket at a time. For me, eating nice food in trendy places with good friends is one of my favourite things to do. It’s certainly a perk of living in a beast of a city like London, with a huge variety and a seemingly unlimited amount of restaurants to check out. While I can’t attest to any Michelin Stars (as it’s a bit out of my price range) I can recommend some great places that range from cheap and cheerful, to mid-range and high-end. FYI, some of these restaurants have more than one in the city to choose from at your convenience.
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but if you want Bao in London, this is your place. My favourite was the classic Bao, but there are tons of good options to pick from, including seared scallops, wagu beef and Taiwanese fried chicken. While they do not take reservations, put your name down and go for drink. You will receive a text within 45 minutes.
This is my favourite dumpling spot in China Town. Everyone raves about ‘Jen Café’ but I think Beijing Dumping is better. It’s busy, but with quick service and nothing flashy. You get a piece of paper and tick the boxes of what you want and there it is.
While the food didn’t knock my socks off, this place if good for Margaritas, tacos and gal pals. It’s a trendy Mexican themed restaurant, with booths and DJ beats.
Seriously, this is the best lobster roll. It’s not cheap, but worth treating yourself. The original roll with Japanese mayo and lemon sauce, on a toasted brioche bun, is simply perfection. Be sure to pour the side of garlic butter on top for some extra flavour.
Set in the open courtyard of Kingly Court, this restaurnt is great for pisco sours, ceviche and small sharing plates. The crispy pork belly is outrageously good here. Bookings can be made for groups of 4, but otherwise you can easily walk-in and have a drink at the bar while you wait.
Spanish Tapas made right in front of you, with an open kitchen concept and small plates. The food is divine, but prices can add up. I wouldn’t go absolutely starving, as it’s more of a snacking place. I went here for my birthday dinner and loved it! Be prepared to wait in line for a while though, at least 30 mins – 1 hour.
This is only place I have had Sri Lankin food, other than Sri Lanka itself. I can attest to it being authentic. I loved the Masala Dosa and and Chicken Kari. Be sure to get sambol and chutney on the side.
Funky and hip spot with Indian dishes (meat and vegatarian) easy to share. The menu is small, so you can trust that everything on there is delic!
I spent 6 weeks in Vietname and this place is cheap and authentically on point. No frills, just your typical Banh Mi, pork on rice and noodle soup.
Gaucho – Argentinian Steakhouse
Classy steakhouse, with world class beef, cooked to perfection – Argentinian style. I know we should all be cutting out red meat from our diet (for health reasons and the environment), but if you need to get your iron fix, this is a goodie.
Prosecco and Pasta lovers, this is your spot! This buzzing and no fuss restaurant makes handmade pastas with simple ingredients. Just how it should be! The staff are really attentive making the experience top notch. Try the Bucatini Cacio & Pepe and Silk Hankerchiefs, walnut butter and confit egg yolk pasta. One word – incredible. If you have time for a drink before or after, there is a really cute wine bar down the street called Terroirs.
Thoughts on a massive dining hall with gorgeous interior, buzzing vibes and yummy Italian food? I’m sold! This spot is perfect for a Friday night with friends, if you can get in. We had to wait in line for over an hour, and often the wait can be 2 hours. Being a part of the famous ‘Big Momma Group’ everyone is dying to get into this place. The cocktails are fun, the walls are covered in vintage spirit bottles, and the carbonara is served in a pecorino cheese bowl. Yep, you heard right! I highly recommend the espresso martini’s with coconut creme foam, carbonara and lemon meringue pie. Oh, and wine obviously!
Authentic homemade pastas with simple, yet satisfying ingredients. There’s always a line, which is a good sign. You can’t make reservations here, but go put you name down. Try the butter and truffle Taglierini. It’s so yum.
Village East – Modern European
Modern European Brasserie, serving all your warm comfort foods from mac and cheese and sriracha chicken wings, to cheese burgers, pan-fried sea trout and miso-glazed lamb.
Afghan Kitchen – Afghani Food – Angel
This was first for me, can’t say I’ve ever had or even knew what Afghani food was before coming here. But, I can confirm it’s tasty. I’m talking homemade bread, warm flavorful stews and rice dishes. On top of that, it’s cheap and cheerful!
Ottolenghi – Mediterranean – Angel
If you haven’t heard of the famous chef Yotam Ottolenghi, look him up! He’s an Isralei chef, restaurant owner and food writer. He gets his food inspiration from North African and Middle Eastern flavours. His dishes are meant to be simple‘ish’ and fresh. Everything I have tried by him has been amazing. There’s also a desert bar of baked goods in his Islington restaurant. So good!
The Little Viet Kitchen – Vietnamese – Angel
Upscale Vietnamese food in a cute modern building on chapel street in Angel. Don’t be fooled by the dodgy stores surrounding it. Try the spring rolls, pho and lemon grass coconut curry. Heaven!
Known for it’s homemade pastas and charcoal grill. I loved the burnt butter, lemon and sage ravioli and grilled squid. There is always a specials board as well, which I recommend.
Wolf – Italian – Stoke Newington
Yes, I know, another Italian joint. It just happens to be one of my favourite cuisines, hence the repetition. This restaurant is long and skinny, with a funky feel and cool cocktail bar. The menu features seasonable Italian food and everything I have tried on the menu was yum. My favourites were the Burrata, Pappardelle with Fennel Sausage and Risotto. Have a cocktail at original sin down the street afterwards, it’s a super cool underground cocktail bar.
The Cheese Bar – Fondue – Camden
Cheese, cheese and more cheese! Local artisanal cheese bar with fondue, mozzarella sticks, grilled cheese, and jalapeno poppers. Can you really go wrong?
The food is pretty good, but what’s cooler is the interactive projections gaming experience that goes with it. You can eat your food, all while being entertained by the table underneath you.
Hip, casual and the best fish & chips in London (according to some).
Best Thai Food in London, at least that I’ve tried. Inspired by Bangkok’s street food, without being ‘street food’ if you know what I mean. Anything from the BBQ and curry dishes are a must! This restaurant is great for groups. I would suggest making a booking, this place gets packed. Also, check out Boxpark before or after for a drink.
Calling all Ramen lovers! If you like Ramen this if your go to – enough said.
Swanky and Romantic spot, perfect for an intimate date night or group dinner. Here you’ll find the best ceviche in town and small share plates, with amazing cocktails. This restaurant is for something special.
This place is always buzzing, with great atmosphere and even better Indian food. You can only make a booking for groups of 6+ and otherwise will need to wait line. However, it usually moves quickly and you get a free chai (bonus!).
An affordable steakhouse, with quality beef and comforting sides, like triple cooked chips. The setting is casual with exposed brown brick and long tables. Walk-in only.
Sagardi – Traditional Basque Food
Honestly, everything on this menu is amazing (at least that we tried). The beef and seafood especially. After all, it is famous for its BBQ. The fresh bread is heaven, jamon, croquets and piquillo peppers were also yummy. Plus, the wine list is long and extensive and the staff are well educated and happy to assist. While the setting is casual, the price is a bit up there, so I recommend this restaurant for a special occasion.
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