Travel Checklist: Top 10 London Restaurants To Try

According to British Airways’ head chef Mark Tazzioli and F&B manager Christopher Cole

By Samantha Francis; Photos: British Airways

If London is next on your list of travel destination firsts, we’re betting your itinerary checklist looks something like this.

A scenic ride on the London Eye, a pilgrimage to the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral, a trip to the Buckingham Palace and perhaps, a mandatory selfie at the Big Ben.

But with the sheer diversity of London’s food scene, it’d be a crime not to embark on a couple of culinary adventures too.

To help you narrow down the dining options worth your calories, British Airways’ head chef Mark Tazzioli and the airline’s food & beverage manager Christopher Cole are here to share their list of top 10 restaurants to dine at in the English capital.

1. The Ledbury, Notting Hill

There’s an Australian chef there called Brett Graham who has two Michelin stars. It’s probably ranked No1 in London right now.

They don’t advertise but they don’t have to, they’re fully booked. The food there is very good and if you can secure a table, it’s worth going – but it isn’t cheap!

 

Cau, Blackheath, St Catherine’s Dock and Wimbledon © Cau

Photo: British Airways

2. Cau, Blackheath, St Catherine’s Dock and Wimbledon

If you like a nice steak, head to Cau — it’s the sister brand of the popular Gaucho chain who have several restaurants across London. Their steaks are Argentine, and excellent at a reasonable price.

It’s fairly new but you’ll see Cau hitting the market quite hard in the next year or two. There are 13 dotted across the UK, plus one in Amsterdam, Holland.

 

3. Cinnamon Club, Westminster

Brick Lane might be the home of curry in London, but for a more sophisticated experience, head to Cinnamon Club in Westminster. Chef Vivek Singh helms the capital’s plushest curry house, which sits inside the Grade II listed former Westminster Library.

The style of the food is very contemporary and they are renowned for their unique take on game dishes, such as their Tandoori loin of Oisin red deer.

4. Jason Atherton Social Eating House, Soho

All of his restaurants are great. I prefer this to his Pollen Street Social. You’ll find it in Soho and, like many of the restaurants around there, the exterior is really understated. The food is excellent.

It also has a wonderful little bar upstairs called The Blind Pig where you can grab a cocktail before or after your meal.

 

5. Amaya, Mayfair

Another Michelin-starred eatery we love is Amaya — it serves delicious Indian tapas and is well worth a visit. They specialise in grilling using the three traditional Indian styles of Tandoor clay ovens, Sigri coal flames and Tawa searing on a very hot plate.

It’s the third London eatery from the team behind the Chutney Mary in Chelsea and the West End venue Veeraswamy.

 

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6. Pitt Cue, Soho

Fans of BBQ should head to this popular BBQ restaurant, which started life as a tiny food truck but became so popular it now holds a prime Soho spot.

Be prepared to queue because this tiny restaurant doesn’t take reservations and only has 30 seats in total. Pitt Cue serve mouth-watering pulled pork and their bone marrow mash is divine. Order it if you can.

 

The Ivy, West End © The Ivy

Photo: British Airways

7. The Ivy, West End

If you’re interested in a bit of celebrity spotting alongside your sightseeing, The Ivy isn’t a bad bet to visit. The restaurant is well-known for its VIP clientele and has a very striking art-deco style. As for the food, it’s hearty British fare and isn’t too posh or pricey.

 

8. Nobu, The Metropolitan Hotel on Park Lane

Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa is renowned for his ‘new style’ Japanese, which has earned the restaurant a Michelin star.

Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all raw fish — the restaurant has a separate sushi restaurant within and serves all sorts of hot food, from noodles to lobster pasta. On top of the great food, the restaurant also boasts incredible views out across Hyde Park — one of the Royal Parks of London.

 

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal © Mandarin Oriental

Photo: British Airways

9. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, The Mandarin Oriental

Heston Blumenthal is one of Britain’s most famous chefs, if not the world, and Dinner is his first London restaurant. As you might expect from the chef who put bacon and egg ice cream on the map, Dinner has an incredibly quirky menu inspired by historic British gastronomy dating back centuries.

Among the dishes on the two Michelin star menu keep an eye out for the incredible ‘meat fruit’, which looks like a mandarin but is actually made from chicken liver parfait.

 

 

Duck and Waffle, Heron Tower, East London © Duck and Waffle

Photo: British Airways

10. Duck and Waffle, Heron Tower, East London

If you have a head for heights, brave the glass elevator on the outside of the Heron Tower and visit Duck and Waffle on the 40th floor.

Executive Chef Daniel Doherty is in charge and has introduced some really creative dishes to the menu, such as Spicy Ox Cheek Doughnut. Oh, and don’t miss their signature plate: yes, you guessed it…Duck and Waffle.

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