London, a city that pulsates with gastronomic diversity, offers a plethora of dining experiences that cater to every palate and budget. In this guide, we unveil a curated list of must-visit restaurants, capturing the essence of London's vibrant culinary scene.
Aqua Shard: A Culinary Ascent with Unmatched Views
Embark on a gastronomic adventure at Aqua Shard, nestled within the iconic Shard building. Boasting unobstructed, panoramic views of the city, this restaurant provides a dining experience like no other. With tables flush against the window, guests can savor a three-course lunch menu at a reasonable price while gazing over Tower Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral. The magical ambiance, especially during sunset, makes Aqua Shard a captivating destination.
Cahoots: Step Back in Time to Wartime Elegance
For those seeking a unique and nostalgic experience, Cahoots, a speakeasy bar in Kingly Court, Soho, offers a journey back to wartime London. Immerse yourself in the ambiance of a disused tube station, complete with period-appropriate music and staff adorned in blitz-era attire. Cahoots is a haven for cocktail enthusiasts, with classic wartime concoctions served in charming vessels, adding an extra layer of authenticity to this hidden gem.
L’Escargot: A Soho Dining Institution with Royal Approval
Established in 1927, L’Escargot stands as the oldest French restaurant in London and holds the distinction of being a favorite of Princess Diana. Located on Greek Street in Soho, it exudes charm and is a beloved spot for the theatre set. The Snail Bar on the top floor offers a cozy setting, allowing patrons to relish French cuisine and perhaps imagine themselves in the footsteps of the iconic Diana.
Serpentine Lido Café: Lakeside Elegance in Hyde Park
In the summer months, the Serpentine Lido Café becomes a haven for those seeking lakeside tranquility in Hyde Park. Sip on an Aperol Spritz while relishing the beautiful scenery of the Serpentine Lake. The experience is heightened during Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, starting from November 17th, where German delicacies and festive cheer abound, creating a blissful atmosphere.
The Ivy: A Celestial Culinary Sojourn in Covent Garden
Nestled in the heart of Covent Garden, The Ivy stands as a testament to celebrity dining. With a rich history dating back to its adjacency to Ambassadors and St Martin’s theatres, The Ivy has hosted luminaries from Laurence Olivier to Marlene Dietrich. Patrons can enjoy an affordable set menu from Monday to Friday, providing a glimpse into the world of star-studded culinary indulgence.
Studio Frantzen: Nordic Gastronomy with a View
Venture into the luxurious world of Studio Frantzen, located at the pinnacle of Harrods. This culinary gem offers a blend of acclaimed Nordic gastronomy with Asian influences. The rooftop bar provides panoramic views of Knightsbridge, creating an unforgettable dining experience. Indulge in the Swedish oysters and let the fusion of flavors elevate your gastronomic journey.
Six by Nico: A Quirky Culinary Adventure
For the adventurous palate, Six by Nico presents a unique dining concept – no menu, just complete trust in the chefs. Indulge in a 10-course culinary journey where each dish is revealed after consumption. This quirky yet delightful experience, coupled with top-notch performances from the waitstaff, makes Six by Nico a standout destination for those seeking an unconventional night out.
The Blind Pig: A Speakeasy Haven in Soho
Continue your speakeasy experience at The Blind Pig, a throwback to an era when secret doors concealed more than just cocktail bars. Tucked away in Soho, The Blind Pig exudes a dark and cozy ambiance with wood paneling, exotic cocktails, and a touch of mystery. For a culinary extension, Jason Atherton’s acclaimed restaurant, Social Eating House, awaits just downstairs.
Sushisamba: A Fusion of Flavors in Covent Garden
Immerse yourself in the heart of Covent Garden Market at Sushisamba, a culinary gem with a fusion of Japanese and Brazilian flair. Located in the famous Opera Terrace, this restaurant offers stunning views of the Royal Opera House. The vibrant atmosphere, coupled with eclectic design features, creates a dining experience that resonates with the spirit of London’s dynamic food scene.
Aviary: Winter Rooftop Bliss in Finsbury Square
Embrace the charm of winter in London with Aviary’s rooftop pods in Finsbury Square. These cozy igloos, perched 10 stories high, provide panoramic views of the London skyline. Aviary’s bottomless brunch menu, accompanied by free-flowing Whispering Angel Rosé and the tunes of London’s trendiest DJs, creates a warm and inviting atmosphere in the winter months.
In conclusion, this culinary guide unveils a curated selection of London’s gastronomic treasures, promising a journey through diverse flavors and experiences. Whether you seek panoramic views, wartime nostalgia, or a fusion of international cuisines, London's culinary landscape has something to offer every discerning palate.