When the Michelin Guide debuted, only a three Star restaurant was worth a special trip. A two Star spot was only worth a small detour, and a one Star eatery was only worth stopping at if it happened to be on the way to your ultimate destination.
Things have changed a little since then.
Standard have been raised. Like, a lot. And now, there’s a rating for restaurants that don’t quite make the cut for a Star, but which nevertheless deliver an exceptional meal. It’s called a Bib Gourmand – here’s a list of all the London restaurants that have them, organised by area.
And yes… they’re all worth a special trip.
Fresh pasta in an elegant Covent Garden space.
If you like Taiwanese bao buns so good they generate perpetual queues, then this is your spot.
From the people behind The Palomar, a North African counter-dining spot in Covent Garden.
Soho’s own hole-in-the-wall-style Iranian kebab joint.
One of the best value meals you’ll find in London, and it’s right in the centre.
A colourful Indian restaurant in Covent Garden from Vivek Singh.
Highly authentic Sri Lankan food in Soho.
Regional Thai food inspired by roadside eateries, that is anything but middle of the road.
Indian small plates in a laid back space.
One of our favourite restaurants in London, hands down. Israeli food, perfectly executed. Get a seat at the bar.
Pan-Mediterranean tapas in an elegant space – get the courgette-flowers, you won’t regret it.
Italian food with a distinct Middle Eastern & Morrish influence.
Like a grand European brasserie neatly dropped into the middle of Old Spitalfields Market.
Modern European small plates next to the Columbia Road flower market.
Café Spice Namaste
From legendary chef Cyrus Todiwala, this Indian spot is set in a former 19th-century courthouse with stained-glass windows.
Punchy, modern Indian food in a stylish space.
Gorgeous Spanish & North African food from legendary restaurateurs Sam & Sam Clark.
Quite possibly the best BBQ place in London.
St John Bread and Wine
The pioneers of nose-to-tail dining, who also happen to make the best doughnuts in the city.
From a former Clove Club chef, this Shoreditch spot serves excellent modern American food.
This former Victorian butcher’s shop still brings the meat, with nose-to-tail style dishes.
An understated space on a pretty street, Kateh serves some gorgeous Persian food.
Simple, well executed Italian food in Hammersmith.
Some of the best, fieriest, Thai food in the city.
Strangely, one of the only New Orleans-style restaurants in the city. And it’s excellent.
From the Westerns Laundry team, this stylish space is actually a former garage. Park yourself there for some of the best European small plates in the city.
A comfortable, self-described “bourgeois” brasserie, you’ll find classic French fare, and excellent wines.
Some of the best Italian food in North London, from the team behind Padella.
Superb seafood in a modern industrial space. Everything here feels like they’ve hit the nail right on the head.
From budding celebrity chef Jose Pizarro, this is his tapas-heavy flagship.
South African food is a rarity in the capital, but Kudu makes you wish it wasn’t.
Hands down the best pound-for-pound meal in the city. Fresh pasta, hand-rolled each day, for extremely low prices.
From the guys behind The Dairy, this Italian joint is simple, elegant, and great.
Upstairs (at Trinity)
If you don’t fancy the formality of Michelin Starred Trinity, you can always head upstairs for a more casual (but also delicious) experience.
Updated: March 19th 2020 | Main Image: The Palomar
Like Bib Gourmands? You’ll love Michelin Stars…