It can be hard to keep up with the speed at which the London dining scene changes. New restaurants pop up and suddenly everyone is talking about them; old favourites close without warning. However, there are a few that will always be there, once which are woven into the very fabric of the city. 

From Michelin-star dining in historic hotels and Karl Marx’s former residence to eating oysters from the same restaurant as Oscar Wilde, here are London’s most famous dining spots. 

The Dorchester

For the true pinnacle of London dining, it’s hard to look past Alain Ducasse’s eponymous three-star restaurant at The Dorchester. A new menu collection is introduced each month dependent on seasonality, but the same French haute cuisine and London hospitality remains.

Technical brilliance is paired with culinary innovation to create a menu that is always challenging, and always delivering the cutting edge in modern cuisine.

where: 53 Park Ln, London W1K 1QA

website: dorchestercollection.com

Quo Vadis

A Soho staple that embraces the colourful history of the area and the building that it occupies. Formerly a brothel and a home to Karl Marx – though not at the same time, rest assured – now it is one of the most unmissable of London bucket list restaurants.

Chef Jeremy Lee conjures up imaginative British fare with his team, picking up where Marco Pierre White left off. If you go make sure to try the smoked eel sandwich, one of the most famous dishes in all of London.

where: 26-29 Dean St, London W1D 3LL

website: quovadissoho.co.uk

Bentley’s Oyster Bar

For classic seafood, Bentley’s has been your best bet for over 100 years. Now under the stewardship of Richard Corrigan, it continues to serve fish and chips, fresh oysters, and the finest grilled fish and steaks from around Britain and Ireland.

It’s beauty lies in its consistency – a meal at Bentley’s isn’t far off the same experience Charlie Chaplin or Oscar Wilde would have enjoyed.

For the inside story on just how they deliver the perfect plate of oysters every time, they host an oyster masterclass every other week

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

website: bentleys.org

The Ritz

A place that quite literally needs no introduction, The Ritz has essentially become shorthand in London for upscale dining. First opening in 1906, it quickly became known as London’s most prestigious hotel and has played host to everyone from Anna Pavlova to Charles de Gaulle – most icons of the 20th Century, in fact. 

The restaurant offers a Michelin-star menu in its iconic dining room from Chef John Williams, focusing on the very best British ingredients and always seasonal. 

where: 150 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9BR

website: theritz.com

Sketch

Made famous for its iconic pink interior – now yellow – which has made it to the Instagram grid of every soul who has entered through its doors.

There are three restaurants in the building, but for the most exclusive dining experience try out The Lecture & Library Room from Chef Pierre Gagnaire, which holds three Michelin stars. As well as the food, Sketch is full of creative and bold art, and is constantly implementing new features and installations that are sure to shock and amaze.

where: 9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG

website: sketch.london

Pétrus by Gordon Ramsey

By our count, Gordan Ramsay runs at least ten thousand restaurants in London. But ubiquity is not all he has going for him – his flagship restaurant Pètrus is also one of the finest in the capital .

As one would expect from a restaurant named after one of the world’s finest wines, the wine list is the star here. It was the first restaurant in Europe to offer Chateau Pètrus by the glass and offers an expansive list from France’s top vineyards.

where: 1 Kinnerton St, London SW1X 8EA

website: gordonramseyrestaurants.com

Chiltern Firehouse

Historic celeb hangout, boutique hotel, Bafta after-party hotspot, and a notoriously long waiting-list – Chiltern Firehouse has a long and storied track record.  Current Head Chef Luke Hunns has created a fresh menu of reimagined classics and bold new flavours, placing emphasis on seasonality and healthy eating.

where: 1 Chiltern St, London W1U 7PA

website: chilternfirehouse.com

Aqua Shard

Most of the restaurants on this list are all about the history of London – they’ve played a key role in forming its legacy in some way. On the other hand, Aqua Shard is all about modern London, sitting on the 31st floor of the most prominent fixture of the city’s skyline.

The view is an obvious draw here, but so is the food – dine on an innovative British menu or sip on a classy cocktail in one of the most jaw-dropping spots in the capital.

where: Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY

website: aquashard.co.uk

St. John

A pioneering restaurant from renowned Chef Fergus Henderson, who sparked a resurgence in forgotten ingredients and meats like offal through his menus. 

They have four restaurants in their ranks – including Bread and Wine, Marleybone, and Fortnum and Mason – but the most famous is the original Smithfield venue. 

where: 6 St John St, Barbican, London EC1M 4AY

website: stjohnrestaurants.com


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