London is one of the most frequented cities in the world and many visitors have complaints about finding good food in London. And what better way is there to know where to eat other than the top chefs themselves. Take a look to see more:

restaurant in london

1. The Palomar

Recommended by Nieves Barragan (Barrafina).

This Soho restaurant serves the food of modern-day Jerusalem. It has won numerous awards since opening last year. “The dishes are small and really tasty,” Barragan says. “There’s love in their food. My favorite was salmon tartar, which was really good. I like the ambiance, too.”

2. Typing Room

Recommended by Tom Aikens (Tom’s Kitchen).

This East London restaurant, from chef Lee Westcott, serves modern European cuisine. It’s also part-owned by Jason Atherton, the British chef who has just opened the Clock-tower in New York. “It’s very clean food and Lee is a great talent,” Aikens says. “He has a good understanding of ingredients and flavors. I recently had the halibut, with white asparagus, curry, and pine. It’s really clean and fresh.”

3. Lyle’s

Recommended by April Bloomfield (Spotted Pig, New York), Claude Bosi (Hibiscus), Pierre Koffmann (Koffmann’s), and Lee Wescott (The Typing Room).

This modern British restaurant in Shoreditch is a favorite among chefs and the food crowd. Chef James Lowe is known for his spare, inventive dishes. “I had one of my favorite meals there last year,” Bloomfield says. “It’s simple, it’s clean, it’s thoughtful, it’s precise. I’m all about Lyle’s now.” Chef Bosi agrees. “It is very good, simple, delicious cooking,” he says. “The environment is quite minimalist, but that just makes you concentrate even more on the food. The cod tongue with wild garlic mash and ramson is a very good dish.” Chef Koffmann is another regular diner, as is Westcott of the Typing Room. “I love it,” Westcott says. “It’s an honest, unfussy homage to traditional British cuisine. The Dexter topside (cured meat) is delicious. The fact it is made in-house makes it even better. The smoked eel broth and turnips dish is also very good.”

4. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Recommended by Amandine Chaignot (Rosewood London) and Kim Woodward (Savoy Grill).

Blumenthal’s luxurious brasserie at the Mandarin Oriental hotel serves historical British dishes, rather than the chef’s unusual concoctions at the Fat Duck. “It’s amazing,” Chaignot says. “I especially loved the meat fruit.” Woodward of Savoy Grill is another fan: “I was really impressed with the food and service, the whole experience. The octopus starter was amazing.”

5.  Gordon Ramsay

Recommended by Cary Docherty (Social Eating House):

This flagship of the television chef holds three Michelin stars and is run by chef Clare Smyth, who is widely admired for her seasonal cooking. “Clare’s cooking is immensely enjoyable, and supremely confident,” Docherty says. “It’s a very inspiring place for me. My favorite dish is the sautéed foie gras with roasted veal sweetbreads, carrots, almonds, and cabernet sauvignon vinegar.”

6.    Clove Club

Recommended by Helene Darroze (Helene Darroze).

Chef Isaac McHale’s modern European restaurant in East London is one of the most feted establishments in the City. It quickly won a Michelin star and might be in line for a second. “In one year I went there three times,” Darroze says. “What’s on the plate is simple but in a very creative way. I like the black pudding best.”

7.  Social Eating House

Recommended by Marcus Wareing (Marcus).

Chef Jason Atherton’s Soho restaurant is loud and lively, with creative dishes and a bar upstairs. “It captures Soho perfectly,” Wareing says. “It’s got the right energy and buzz, spot-on music, and delicious food. It suits its location perfectly.”

8.    Portland

Recommended by Anthony Demetre (Arbutus), Helena Puolakka (Company of Cooks), Pierre Koffmann (Koffmann’s), and Ben Tish (Salt Yard).

This unassuming restaurant in London’s Fitzrovia has quickly become a hit, especially with chefs. The décor is simple, and the seasonal dishes are simple and reasonably priced. “It’s an extension of the bistronomy movement in London, which Arbutus helped to start,” Demetre says. “It is food that people want to eat. This is the emerging talent, a new generation.” Veteran French chef Koffmann is another fan. “I go there often,” he says. “I love the snacks like the pig’s head croquettes.” Chef Puolakka of Company of Cooks concurs: “The food is simple but there is a lot of technical ability behind it. The boys are doing something different. I like the pig’s head croquette.” Tish of Salt Yard says, “My favorite dish of late was the charred brassicas with egg yolk, soy, and truffle. So simple but all the flavors marrying very well indeed and a really light touch.”

9.  Blacklock

Recommended by Dan Doherty (Duck & Waffle).

This basement venue in Soho looks like a dive, but that’s all part of the plan. The menu is centered on (meat) chops cooked over a pan. “I love the simplicity,” Doherty says. “The style is clear and the food is well-executed. They use quality ingredients. You can’t go wrong with great chops.”


10. Duck & Waffle

Recommended by Tony Fleming (Angler).

Chef Dan Doherty’s restaurant on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower is open 24 hours, serving British and European dishes. “I went for breakfast and thought it would be all about the view,” says Fleming, whose restaurant is nearby. “But I was surprised by the quality of the food.” Monica Galetti of the TV show MasterChef agrees: “The restaurant has an amazing view over the city, but the food is great, too. I really enjoyed the roasted octopus.”

11. Hibiscus

Recommended by Andre Garrett (Andre Garrett at Cliveden).

Chef Claude Bosi serves uncompromisingly modern French food at this Mayfair restaurant, which holds two Michelin stars. “Claude is a cutting-edge chef and I love his food,” Garrett says. “The last time I ate there, my favorite was foie gras cooked in fig leaves, young turnip, and fresh figs.” (Hibiscus)

12. Barrafina

Recommended by Skye Gyngell (Spring).

This tapas bar, with a new, second outlet in Covent Garden, serves modern Spanish dishes you’d be happy to get in Barcelona. “I simply adore it and it’s a stone’s throw from Spring,” Gyngell says. “Nieves (Barragan) is a shining star, and her crab cakes are just divine.”

13. Brasserie Chavot

Recommended by Marianne Lumb (Marianne).

Chef Eric Chavot, a protégé of Pierre Koffmann’s, has created his own quirky version of a French brasserie in Mayfair. “I love Eric’s cooking,” Lumb says. “He’s a whirlwind of passion. His food is full of soul: The chicken-liver parfait is perfection.”

14. Bao

Recommended by Allegra McEvedy (Blackfoot).

This Taiwan street-food café in Soho, backed by Gymkhana chef Karam Sethi, opened recently. There are usually queues to get in. “Totally yummy,” McEvedy says. “It’s the kind of food I like to eat: lots of bits rather than a regimented starter/main scenario.”

15. Smoking Goat

Recommended by Tomos Parry (Kitty Fisher’s).

This tiny Thai barbecue joint is packed with Soho diners at night. “I love the atmosphere and short menu with very good wine list,” Parry says. “I always order the fish wings. Barrafina is up there, too: Barrafina in the day and Smoking Goat at night.”