Greed is good! Not the words of Gordon Gekko in the ’80s financial drama Wall Street, but the watchword for anyone keen to eat in The City, because there’s no shortage of places to gorge yourself silly in. From London Bridge to Old Street, from Bishopsgate to Fleet Street, this square mile of London powers the UK and much of the world economy, and an army of bankers marches on its stomach.
Which is lucky, because The City has not only the densest population of workers in the country, but also one of the best selections of restaurants per capita. So sit back, whip out the expense account and get eating at these financial district classics.
One of London’s most iconic buildings, the so-called Walkie Talkie climaxes in this aircraft-hanger-in-the-sky structure, which is, incredibly, open to the public. And any public visiting should make their ways directly to Fenchurch Restaurant, suspended over the main ‘auditorium’ and offering a discrete, yet excellent dining experience with an emphasis on the experience.
Great for: The experience and the view
Where: Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 8AF, UK
Nearest station: Monument (0.2 miles)
At only seven floors, Angler is practically a minnow given the skyscrapers surrounding it. But when it comes to seafood, it’s a pretty big fish. The Michelin starred restaurant, atop the South Place Hotel on Moorgate, is a beauty to behold, and even more so to taste. Founded in 2012, it was quickly recognised by the Michelin men and under Executive Chef Gary Foulkes is one of the best places to enjoy sustainable British seafood in the country.
Great for: Eating fishes
Where: South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, EC2M 2AF
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last couple of years, or not reading The Handbook (which is effectively the same thing) then you’ll be aware of the famous igloos at Coppa Club. Open all winter, the igloos are great but it’s worth noting that there’s more to Coppa Club than just plastic Eskimo houses. The restaurant itself, with its unfussy European menu, is ideal for meetings, social occasions or just a post-work drink and a nibble.
Great for: The igloos!
Where: 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6AH
In the most densely built up mile in the country, having a 100yd lawn marks you out as a serious player. Which is precisely what Coq d’Argent, or the silver chicken, surely is. The French restaurant is a mainstay of city dining and an institution in itself.
Great for: The lawn
Where: No 1 Poultry, Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Cannon Street (0.1 miles)
Duck! Because we could waffle on about this place at great length. As, indeed, we could about the view from the Heron Tower. The restaurant, named after its unusual signature dish, serves British food, with European influences (Jacob Rees-Mogg will be outraged) and with dishes designed to be shared. Not that you’ll want anyone else dipping into your meal here.
Good for: The view (And ducks. And waffles)
Where: 110 Bishops, Aldgate, EC2N 4AY
Presumably after a busy day on the trading floor there’s one thing that a red-blooded banker wants and that’s tofu. Only kidding, it’s meat. Which is handy because Hawksmoor at Guildhall has plenty of it. Sustainable, local and you can better your bottom dollar (which presumably many of its patrons literally have). The restaurant also claims, and it’s unclear how spuriously, to be located close to the world’s very steakhouse, the famous Dolly’s, a favourite of the likes of Boswell, Defoe and Swift.
Great for: Meat
1 Lombard Street manages to be both contemporary and timeless, at one with its grand surroundings but by no means fusty. Its central Location, it’s basically on top of Bank station means that it’s a hub for city life and the former bank, with its famed central rotunda, serves modern European food, for three meals a day.
Great for: Old school meets modern
Where: 1 Lombard Street, London, EC3V 9AA, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Bank DLR Station (0 miles)
One of the best known buildings not only in the city, the capital or the country but perhaps the world, the Norman Foster building is both inspirational and impressive. The top of the building has long been a private dining room, used by the building’s inhabitants, but no longer. Thanks to Searceys, it’s opened up as a restaurant open to the likes of you and me. If eating here’s not currently on your bucketlist, you need to re-draft your bucketlist and quickly.
Great for: Iconic dining
Where: 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin), Saint Mary Axe, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Fenchurch Street (0.2 miles)
Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square could not be closer to the edge of the Square Mile. The photographer who took the picture above was standing outside the city! And the imposing hotel contains not one but two fantastic restaurants in the form of Mei Umi and La Dame de Pic. In a ‘choose which parent you love best’ scenario La Dame de Pic would probably win out, its Michelin star is well deserved, but Mei Umi’s Japanese/Chinese cuisine is more than simply noteworthy.
Great for: Grandeur and setting
Where: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, Trinity Square, London EC3N 4AJ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Tower Hill (0.1 miles)
There’s very little not to love about SUSHISAMBA, it’s a huge expanse of restaurant in the sky, towering above Bishopsgate and dedicated to nikkei cuisine. The restaurant is brilliant, and the bar is stunning (and highly Instagrammable, of course).
Great for: Nikkei cuisine
Where: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Wandering away from The City? Why not check out some of our other favourite places to eat in…
Or if you’re after date ideas further afield, head to one of our 102 Date Ideas.