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Unusual Restaurants In London

Unusual Restaurants In London

The Nudge’s Guide to Unusual Restaurants in London

Last Updated: 3rd September 2019

Sometimes – certainly more often than any of your friends would know – you like to indulge your quirky side.

Such occasions must be celebrated in a place that’s as strange as we all know you really are.

Luckily there’s a fair smattering of cool and unusual restaurants in London where you can fully indulge your oddness. Here are some of the best of them:

Sarastro | Covent Garden

Sarastro cool restaurants in London

An opera-themed, Mediterranean / Turkish restaurant on Drury Lane that offers actual operatic performances by both professional singers and staff alike. If you were to go, it would be for the theatre of it all (and to experience what it feels like to be in a restaurant that’s managed to fit twice as much stuff inside as should be physically possible). | Drury Lane, WC2B 5SU

Brigadiers | Bank

Brigadiers unusual London restaurant

An Indian restaurant in the City, from the team behind Trishna and Gymkhana. Which wouldn’t be all that unusual, save for the self-pour beer taps; whisky vending machine; pool tables and the personal croupiers that come with hiring a dining room there. | 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR

Sushi Tetsu | Clerkenwell

Sushi Tetsu unusual restaurants

A tiny, seven-seater sushi restaurant run by husband-and-wife team Toru and Harumi Takahashi, who’ll serve you an omakase selection of mouthwatering dishes that feels more like a dinner party than a tasting menu. | 12 Jerusalem Passage, Finsbury, EC1V 4JP

The Strangers’ Dining Room | Westminster

Strangers Dining Room

In all fairness, this is only unusual for the 99.99992% of Londoners who aren’t MPs. But on the off-chance you belong in that category, you might be intrigued to learn you can still go for lunch or dinner inside the Houses of Parliament, courtesy of the Strangers’ Dining Room. | House of Commons, St Margarets Street, SW1A 0AA

La Bodega Negra | Soho

La Bodega Negra - cool restaurants in London

Step 1: head to Old Compton Street. Step 2: find the illuminated entrance to a seedy-looking sex shop; an entrance so raw, authentic and unforgiving as to give you no reassurance whatsoever that it’s not exactly what it appears to be. Step 3. | 9 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JE

Pick & Cheese | Covent Garden 

Pick & Cheese

Pick & Cheese is London’s (and the world’s) first cheese conveyor belt restaurant. If that’s not unusual, then pretty much nothing is. | Seven Dials Market, Short’s Gardens, WC2H 9AT

Hill & Szrok | Hackney

Hill & Szrok unusual London restaurant

By day, a butcher’s specialising in rare-breed, low-intervention, directly sourced meat. By night, a butcher’s specialising in rare-breed, low-intervention, directly sourced meat, cooked to perfection and served with lashings of wine. | 60 Broadway Market, London Fields, E8 4QJ

Mãos | Shoreditch

Maos unusual restaurants

Critically acclaimed chef Nuno Mendes takes the chef’s table thing a notch further. Not only will you eat in an intimate dining room hidden away in Shoreditch, you’ll also be free to peruse the wine cellars and hang out with Nuno in the kitchen while he works. | 41 Redchurch Street, E2 7DJ

Mari Vanna | Mayfair

Mari Vanna unusual restaurants London

A dining room trussed up like an eccentric babushka’s pied-à-terre, with chintzy wallpaper, stacks of old books and Matryoshka dolls. Oh, and delicious Russian fare. Because grandmas know how to cook. | Wellington Court, 116 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7PJ

Circolo Popolare | Fitzrovia

Circolo unusual restaurants

A cavernous, bombastic Italian restaurant filled with 20,000 bottles of liquor; an overgrown jungle on the ceiling; metre-long pizzas; giant puddings; and cocktails served in boob-shaped mugs. | 40 Rathbone Place, W1T 1HX

Hello Darling | Waterloo

Hello Darling unusual restaurants

A theatrical townhouse with themed private rooms; hand-painted wallpaper; eclectic furnishings and dishes from a Masterchef winner. And after you’ve exhausted the ground floor, you can head up to find a bartender shaking cocktails in a cupboard, and a secret dumb waiter full of Champagne. | 131 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UR

Kebab Queen | Covent Garden

Kebab Queen unusual restaurant

A fine dining chef’s table experience hidden behind a fake kebab store front, hidden inside a real kebab restaurant. And if that wasn’t unusual enough for you, every dish is served directly onto a heated dining counter that’s essentially one long, giant plate. | Downstairs at Maison Bab, Mercer’s Walk, WC2H 9QE

Sketch | Mayfair

Sketch unusual restaurants

A stalwart in the little black book of unusual London restaurants, Sketch combines outlandish interiors with David Shrigley artwork; Victoria Sponge trolleys; cocktails in a découpage woodland and Michelin starred dining… with egg toilets. | 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG

London Shell Co | Paddington

London Shell Co unusual restaurant

A restaurant on a canal boat that serves fresh seafood, English Champagne and cocktails as the waterways of London glide past your window. | The Prince Regent, moored alongside Sheldon Square, W2 6EP

Mare Street Market – Dining Room | Hackney

Mare Street Market

A dining room crammed with glittering chandeliers, mirrors, and the occasional giraffe neck, with food from The Shed‘s Dominik Moldenhauer. Aaand 10,000sq foot of bars, pop ups, florists, record stores and podcast studios surrounding it. | 89-115 Mare Street, E8 4RT

Pharmacy 2 | Vauxhall

Pharmacy 2 unusual restaurants

Prescribe yourself a visit to the Mark Hix restaurant inside Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery, with pill-shaped bar stools, works of art on the walls, and works of art on the plate, too. | Newport Street Gallery, Newport Street, Vauxhall, SE11 6AJ

Circus | Covent Garden

Circus - cool restaurants in London

Love this place. That’s an order. A nice pan-Asian menu, each course punctuated by a series of acrobats swinging on hoops from the ceiling, and fire-eating dancers carefully flipping over the wine glasses on your table. The same table you’re likely to be dancing on by the end of the night, you crazy fool. | Endell Street, WC2H 9BA

Barge East | Stratford

Barge East - cool restaurants in london

Just your typical, run-of-the-mill, restaurant and bar on a 114-year-old Dutch cargo barge, sailed by the founders themselves from Holland to Stratford. Not only is it moored on a particularly scenic spot, there’s a private games room for hire in the captain’s cabin, and the food (internationally inspired small plates) is genuinely some of the best going in London. | Sweetwater Mooring, River Lee, White Post Lane, E9 5EN

Oslo Court | St. John’s Wood

Oslo Court unusual restaurants

In many ways, the original Sketch. Heavy salmon pink drapery and elaborate napkins give way to French dishes swimming in brandy, cream, and butter; served by the head waiter who’s been at Oslo Court for three decades – when the rest of the clientele were a sprightly 60. | Prince Albert Road, St John’s Wood, London NW8 7EN

Archipelago | Fitzrovia

Archipelago Unusual Restaurant

Unarguably unusual. Archipelago is a moodily-lit, exotic and mysterious restaurant adorned in Buddhas, palms and peacock feathers, serving crocodile, wildebeest, garlic crickets and scorpion. | 53 Cleveland Street, W1T 4JJ

Dinner by Heston | Knightsbridge

Dinner by Heston - best restaurants in West London

A Michelin-starred restaurant from the notoriously experimental chef Heston Blumenthal, serving a time-travelling menu including a 600 year old starter; something called ‘meat fruit’; and a pudding made with the assistance of a historically accurate pineapple roasting pulley. | Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA

Rochelle Canteen | Shoreditch

Rochelle Canteen unusual restaurants

A little gastronomic oasis away from the chaos of Shoreditch, by virtue of being hidden behind a garden gate in a wall and largely operating out of an old school bike shed. | School House, Arnold Circus, Shoreditch, E2 7ES

 


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