Whilst it’s difficult to hone down the definition of ‘British cuisine’, there’s no denying that a certain combination of characteristics make up one brilliantly British restaurant. Meat, minimalism, seasonal ingredients (and probably gravy, if gravy was a category), plus an open mind when it comes to flavour and technique.

These brilliant restaurants represent what makes British cuisine so unique, combining back-to-basics-British (meat and two veg, please) with creative twists on comfort food. From delicious spots for Sunday roasts, to historic restaurants that have been feeding Londoners for hundreds of years, here are the best British restaurants to book a table at.

Quality Chop House

After over 150 years of a chop house standing on this Farringdon site, Quality Chop House honours its heritage with a contemporary and innovative menu that stays respectful to its past. And what a menu it is! From the a la carte, expect a huge selection of dishes including Corned beef hash and St Ewes egg; Brixham turbot steak with sea vegetables and chive butter sauce; and Aberdeen Angus bone-in ribeye with a side of Confit potatoes. A three-course lunch set menu is also available for £25 mid week.

The interiors practically scream British too, featuring textured wallpaper, checkerboard floors, and wooden ‘church pew’ benches.

Where: 92-94 Farringdon Rd, London EC1R 3EA

Website: www.thequalitychophouse.com

Kerridge’s Bar & Grill

Dinner at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill is a stunning affair, so kick back and get ready for a culinary experience to rival Tom Kerridge’s Michelin-starred establishments. The menu is palate-thrilling, reminiscent of classic and traditional techniques, and plays on Tom’s reputation for serving his own take on the UK’s most celebrated dishes.

The pre/post theatre snack menu features small plates like crispy pig’s head with cobble lane coppa, smoked black pudding and apple; whilst the a la carte menu features the likes of dry aged beef fillet wellington with clotted cream mash and red wine sauce. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Where: 10 Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5AE

Website: www.kerridgesbarandgrill.co.uk

Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar

It’s steaks a-go-go at this quintessentially British restaurant – with ingredients locally sourced from British farms. Think quintessential dishes like Thyme & Lemon Roasted Spatchcock Chicken with Cumberland Sausage; 880g tomahawk steaks with veal and red wine sauce; and surf ‘n’ turf complete with half a lobster.

They’re also famous for their gin bar, housing over 100 gins for the perfect G&T. And it’s not just the food and drink that’ll give you the full Brit experience. Just look out the window and you’ve got panoramic views of the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. What could be more British than that?

Where: County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB

Website: www.gillrays.com

 

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Lyle’s

Dinner time is the real draw at Lyle’s as a six-course tasting menu is on offer for £89. The menu changes regularly, but you can expect to tuck into the likes of Guinea Fowl, Mora Farm Beans & Anchovy and Black Fig, Honey Cake & Ricotta Ice Cream.

Lunch isn’t a time to be missed either. Revolving around small plates, expect British cuisine like Grouse, Preserved Apricot & Anise Hyssop; and Smoked Eel, Girolles & Sweetcorn.

Expect to tuck into the likes of Guinea Fowl, Mora Farm Beans and Anchovy.

Where: Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JJ

Website: www.lyleslondon.com

Kitty Fisher’s

Named after the infamous 18th Century courtesan who lived nearby, Kitty Fisher’s is home to dimly lit interiors and plum banquettes, making it the perfect place to go for a piece of old school British indulgence.

A selection of brilliantly named signature cocktails hit the spot (think Bad Kitty, Hanky Panky, and Dalliance) but top marks go to the food menu, serving up British delights like Pork Chop with Salsa Verde, Pickled Raisins & Chicory served with a side of New Potatoes & Black Garlic. For dessert, dig into the Queen Bee Parfait with Boozy Strawberries & Pistachio.

 

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Where: 10 Shepherd Market, London W1J 7QF

Website: www.kittyfishers.com

Core by Clare Smyth

No list of the best British restaurants is complete without a nod to Core by Clare Smyth, the three Michelin-star restaurant run by the first and only female chef to have ever been awarded them.

Classic seven-course tasting menus are on offer from £195 perfectly paired with wine from award-winning master sommelier Gareth Ferreira.

 

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Where: 92 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2PN

Website: www.corebyclaresmyth.com

Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill

Serving up Champagne and Oysters to the masses since 1916, Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill is a true British institution. Headed up by Richard Corrigan since 2005, the team source the finest ingredients from local and artisan manufacturers who share Corrigan’s passion.

On the menu you will find their signature stamp on British staples, like a classically luxurious fish pie, an over-the-top prawn cocktail and traditional fish and chips.

Where: 11-15 Swallow St, London W1B 4DG

Website: www.bentleys.org

Rules

This London treasure is the oldest restaurant in London, but that hasn’t stopped it from dishing out incredible British fare for over 220 years. Located in the heart of Covent Garden, Rules does a fine job of satisfying not only the older generations, but also younger London foodies who are hungry for a slice of history. 

Inside, things are charming and quintessentially British with dark wood, red velvet seating, and walls covered in paintings. The menu deals in British seasonal fare – think classic game cookery and gigantic Sunday roasts that capture the heart and soul of British dining. If that’s not enough to sway you into booking a table, it’s also been featured in Downton Abbey quite a few times, so you can’t get much more British than that.

 

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Where: 34-35 Maiden Ln, London WC2E 7LB

Website: www.rules.co.uk

Corrigan’s 

With Chef Patron Richard Corrigan at the helm, this attractive Mayfair spot deals in the kind of fine British and Irish dining that turns heads and commands conversations. Redefining the concept of quintessential British cuisine, each dish demonstrates Richard Corrigan’s unmistakable flair, with menus inspired by his humble, rural beginnings. The goal is to champion game in its simplest form (i.e. anything you can hunt, catch or forage) using only the freshest seasonal produce from carefully selected British suppliers.

British hits dominate the menu, including Hand Dived Orkney Scallop with Confit Chicken Wing, Sweetcorn and Smoked Eel; Yorkshire Grouse For Two with Salt Baked Beetroot, Fermented Blackberry and Manjimup Truffle; and Spiced Hereford Antrim Beef Tartare with Oyster Cream, Nori and Carlingford Tempura.

Where: 28 Upper Grosvenor St, London W1K 7EH

Website: www.corrigansmayfair.co.uk

Blacklock

A resounding hipster hit in Shoreditch, Blacklock was born from a love of the traditional London Chophouse so don’t be fooled by its trendy interior and clientele – this is everything true British food is all about in its most familiar and unpretentious form. Savoury dishes are true to the cause, so expect cull yaw crumpets with gravy, smoked bacon chops and rump cap steaks.

Don’t miss the cocktail menu either – the ‘Usual Suspects’ with Jalapeño Tequila, Aperol, grapefruit and Prosecco is one of our favourites.

 

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Where: 28-30 Rivington St, London EC2A 3DZ

Website: www.theblacklock.com

Rarebit

Offering 55 covers inside and 16 on the terrace, RAREBIT is a celebration of modern British food, working with the finest local producers, serving coffee from Climpson & Sons, bread and pastries from Flor, fresh produce from Natoora, cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy and rare breed meats from O’ Shea’s Butchers from London Smoke & Cure. 

The daytime brunch menu (served from 11am – 4pm) offers a selection of quality sharing dishes including Grilled peach, burrata and thyme; Shakshouka – poached eggs in a rich tomato sauce with herbs and spices; Breakfast hash with a choice of chorizo or halloumi and, of course, its staple Rarebit! 

The mastermind in the kitchen is Head Chef Liv Lionel, who explores what Modern British cuisine means to her as a young British Caribbean woman. 

Where: 11 Sayer St, London SE17 1FY

Website: www.rarebitfood.co.uk 

The English Grill at The Rubens at The Palace

Truly refined and stylish, The English Grill is set in opulently designed surroundings, serving the finest English produce from suppliers that serve the Queen’s kitchen. Murano chandeliers and a live-action kitchen make for a truly unique experience, whilst the menu offers signature classics, including steaks, plant-based dishes and desserts. All meats are grilled to perfection in their charcoal-fired Josper Grill.

The glass wall overlooking the pass allows guests to watch some of the action taking place in the kitchen and several menu items are served with a theatrical table-side flourish by the skilled waiting team. The dining experience is accompanied by an extensive wine list, including a fine selection from Bouchard Finlayson, their own vineyard in South Africa, and a beautiful Champagne trolley.

Where: 39 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 0PS

Website: www.rubenshotel.com

Cheneston’s

Deriving its name from an early spelling of Kensington, Cheneston’s is the intimate and elegant fine dining restaurant at The Milestone Hotel, offering delicious British cuisine. The hotel’s passion for comforting and creative cuisine comes to spectacular life in Cheneston’s, with Executive Chef Daniel Putz creating warming signature dishes served alongside a range of delicious British options, such as Scottish salmon, cured by H.Forman & Son, London’s oldest smokery, and carved right at your table; and delicious daily roasts presented on a silver trolley.

Where: 1-3 Kensington Ct, London W8 5DL

Website: www.milestonehotel.com


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