Barrafina Drury Lane

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Hattie Lloyd 04/09/19


Best Restaurants In Central London

Central London: home to everything.

Including most of London’s best restaurants. Like charmingly nondescript Soho sex shop-style eateries; London’s best tapas; Michelin starred Indian; Jewish, Southern Spanish and North African fusion joints; and, of course, modest, affordable and loveable bistros.

All of which you can peruse right here, in this expertly compiled list of our favourite places to eat in Central London.

HIGH-END MODERN EUROPEAN: FRENCHIE

Frenchie best restaurants in central London

An insouciantly elegant spot for a date, a catch up with friends, or wining & dining the in-laws: Frenchie is somehow always exactly the spot you’ve been looking for, for any occasion. The creative Modern European dishes (read: bacon scones) are put together by lauded chef Gregory Marchand, and it has one of the best wine lists of any London restaurant.

Details: 16 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8QH Open daily 12-2.30pm, 5.30-10.30pm

MICHELIN-STARRED SPANISH: SABOR

Sabor oxford circus Restaurants

A relatively recent addition to the city, Sabor comes from the greatly revered Nieves Barragán Mohacho, a former Barrafina chef who astutely noted the woeful lack of eateries combining the best of both tapas dining and traditional Spanish asador cooking. And luckily, she was about the best-qualified person in town to fix that…

Details: 35-37 Heddon Street, Mayfair, W1B 4BR Open Mon-Sat 12-2.30pm, 5.30-10.30pm, Sun 1-6pm

SPECIAL OCCASION ITALIAN: BOCCA DI LUPO

Bocca di Lupo - best restaurants in Soho

Italian food is delicious in pretty much anyone’s hands. But when it’s in the hands of a former Moro chef, inspired by regional culinary traditions and served in an elegant, white tableclothed dining room – it’s nothing short of miraculous.

Details: 12 Archer Street, Soho, W1D 7BB Open daily 12-3pm (3.30pm Sundays) & 5-11pm (9.30pm Sundays)

WELL-PRICED BASEMENT CHOPHOUSE: BLACKLOCK SOHO

Blacklock Soho

When three former Hawksmoor employees open a restaurant, you know they’ve earnt their chops. And Blacklock Soho follows a killer formula of a concise menu (top-grade cuts of meat seared on a huge grill, with the help of an old Blacklock foundry iron); seriously well-priced drinks (made up tableside on their cocktail trolley); a great soundtrack; lively atmosphere; and a decent sprinkling of quirkiness (the whole place is set in a former strip club).

Details: 24 Great Windmill Street, Soho, W1D 7LG | Open weekdays 12-3pm & 5-11pm; Sat 12-11pm; Sun 12-6pm

SEAFOOD DATE SPOT: PARSONS

Parsons - best restaurants in London

Across the road from their first spot, The 10 Cases, Parsons is a miniature, understated gem of a restaurant. Set up like a romantic fishmongers (if you can imagine it), it’s an old-fashioned spot with soft retro pendant lighting, tiled walls and vintage wooden dining counters set around an impressive haul of fresh fish and seafood. And they know exactly what to do with it…

Details: 39 Endell Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9BA Open Mon-Sat, 12-2.45pm & 5-11pm

CLASSIC FLUFFY BUN SPOT: BAO

A small, slick Taiwanese street food-esque restaurant serving small plates, sides and steamed milk buns. Their story goes something like this: They travelled Taiwan, found inspiration from the Xiao Chi or ‘small eats’ restaurants in Taipei, returned to London, popped up at Pacific Social Club, opened a six seater bar and bun stall on Netil Market, and finally now – with the expert backing of the team behind TrishnaKitchen TableGymkhana and Lyle’s – are the proud owners of a fully functioning restaurant.

Details: 53 Lexington Street, Soho, W1F 9AS Open Mon-Thur 12-3pm & 5.30-10pm (10.30pm Thur); Fri & Sat 12-10.30pm; Sun 12-5pm

ICONIC MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTER DINING: THE PALOMAR

Palomar - best restaurants in central London

A pulse-quickening, free-flowing, seafood-bearing, shalom-giving, modern day rebirth of traditional Jewish, Southern Spanish and North African foods.

Details: 34 Rupert Street, Soho, W1D 6DN Open Mon-Sat 12-2.30pm & 5.30-11pm; Sun 12.30-3.30pm & 6-9pm

MICHELIN-STARRED TAPAS: BARRAFINA

Barrafina Dean Street

Arguably London’s most prodigious Spanish tapas restaurant. If you want to argue. Queue up, take a seat at the brilliant white dining counter, and watch as the chefs behind it lovingly prepare the best in Catalan cuisine, from cuttlefish croquetas to the restaurant’s famous milk-fed lamb’s brains.

Details: Locations in Covent Garden, Soho & King’s Cross | Various opening times

LEGENDARY WEST END SEAFOOD SPOT: J SHEEKEY

J Sheekey best restaurants in Central London

A classy, old school seafood restaurant and a buzzier, transatlantic-style oyster bar tacked together in the back streets of Theatreland, with a little al fresco seating and a lot of London heritage.

Details: 33-35 St Martin’s Court, WC2N 4AL Open daily from noon

SMALL PLATES PIONEERS: 10 GREEK STREET

greek street wine bar

Small, modest, and well priced, 10 Greek St. has made a name for itself as one of the best restaurants in central London, thanks in large part to the simple and easy-going menu of seasonal wild game meats, seafood, sweet desserts; and in larger part to its duck-fat roasted potatoes.

Details: 10 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 4DH Open Mon-Sat 12-11pm (reservations for lunch only) & Sunday 12-9pm

SUBTERRANEAN MEXICAN: LA BODEGA NEGRA

La Bodega Negra soho restaurants

A secret subterranean Mexican restaurant and illicit tequila-infused, candlelit cocktail den located through the back of, and underneath, a charmingly nondescript Soho sex shop.

Details: 9 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 5JFOpen Mon-Sat 5.30pm-1am; Sunday 6pm-midnight

QUINTESSENTIAL GRAND CAFÉ DINING: The Wolseley

The Wolseley - best restaurants in central London

A palatial, marble-clad eatery in a former car showroom with afternoon tea, a reasonably priced brasserie à la carte, and caviar omelette. ‘Nuff said.

Details: 160 Piccadilly, St James’s, W1J 9EB Open weekdays 7am-11pm, weekends 8am-11pm

 


Like finding great new restaurants? Check out the Best Restaurant in Every London Neighbourhood

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