St James’s utterly spoilt for good restaurants.
But the good news is, he’s willing to share.
So, from unusal, contemporary takes on West African cuisine to glossy Michelin-starred eateries; little-known hidden gems and notable, century-old classics – we’ve rounded up our picks of the best restaurants in St James’s London…
45 Jermyn Street | £££
Decked out with Art Deco-styled interiors in lime and deep orange, 45 Jermyn Street is the quietly elegant restaurant attached to epicurean wonderland Fortnum & Mason – so it’s not surprising that the food’s excellent. Dishes follow a broadly Modern European pattern, and are served with outrageous panache, from the caviar trolley (on which eggs are scrambled for you, table-side) to their flaming Banana Foster. And in homage to the site’s history as the first spot in London to have a soda fountain, there are a couple of ludicrously indulgent boozy soda floats on the dessert menu, too… READ MORE
Details: 45 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6DN
Aquavit | £££
There’s now an easy way for you to visit New York’s critically acclaimed Nordic restaurant, Aquavit. Because it’s been very conveniently replicated in St James’s – Michelin star and all – and continues to serve up smorgasbords, traditional Scandi dishes and, of course, plenty of Aquavit in convivial, rosy-hued surroundings. READ MORE
Details: St James’s Market, 1 Carlton Street, SW1Y 4QQ
Scully | £££
Arguably one of the most successful things to be perfected in Ottolenghi’s kitchens, former NOPI head chef Ramael Scully has launched his first solo venture in St James’s Market. With a strong emphasis on pickling, preserving and creating his own ingredients, the dishes take inspiration from Scully’s own wide-ranging heritage, stretching from Ireland to Bali… READ MORE
Details: 4 St James’s Market, SW1Y 4QU
Ikoyi | ££££
The first central London spot to give West African cuisine the fine dining treatment, Ikoyi has won a heft of critical acclaim (and a shiny Michelin star). The duo behind it are childhood friends Iré Hassan-Odukale and Jeremy Chan, the latter of whom cut his teeth at Noma… READ MORE
Details: 1 St. James’s Market, SW1Y 4AH
The Wolseley | ££££
A café-restaurant after the grand European tradition, The Wolseley has made its home in a magnificent, monochromatic, marble-clad hall previously used as a Barclay’s bank, and before that, a car showroom. Nowadays, between stalwart dishes like bavette steak frites and coq au vin, it’s a reassuringly dependable spot for all-day eggs and toasted chocolate sandwiches. READ MORE
Details: 160 Piccadilly, W1J 9EB
Café Murano | £££
Despite the alleged casualness of the follow up to Angela Hartnett’s Michelin-starred Murano, Café Murano is still luxuriously dressed up with sophisticated leather banquettes, low-lighting and lashings of Art Deco-Italian style. And parmesan shavings. READ MORE
Details: 33 St. James’s Street, SW1A 1HD
Ginza Onodera | ££££
Housed in a demurely luxe, two-tiered restaurant, Ginza Onodera is the butterfly that’s emerged from the Matsuri chrysalis after 25 years. And it’s living up to the fanfare, with delicate sashimi dishes, Japanese-influenced cocktails, and a signature dish comprising fish fed solely on cactus. READ MORE
Details: 15 Bury Street, SW1Y 6AL
Rowley’s | £££
Rowley’s do one thing, and they do it well.
Make no mis-steak.
Because their sizeable entrecôte cuts are served up on a sizzling table burner, alongside roquefort butter sauce and unlimited fries… READ MORE
Details: 113 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6HJ
Sake No Hana | ££££
Champagne seabass. Matchatinis. If that won’t persuade you to give Sake no Hana a shot, nothing will. READ MORE
Details: 23 St James’s Street, SW1A 1HA
Wilton’s | ££££
When a nearby bomb strike shook the restaurant walls back in the Blitz, then-owner Betty Leal reportedly threw down her tea-towel and announced that she just couldn’t be doing with it anymore – and Wilton’s regular Olaf Hambro had the restaurant added to his bill there and then. It’s now one of the oldest restaurants in St James’s, and, indeed London – having plied the British public with oysters for over 275 years… READ MORE
Details: 55 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6LX
The Ritz Restaurant | £££££
Yes, there will be lavish decoration in the form of marble pillars, gold-leaf statues and elaborate murals. Yes, the food is all Michelin-starred. And yes, there is live music every night of the week, plus professional Latin/ballroom dancers on Fridays. But no, they do not serve Ritz crackers.
You win some, you lose some.
Details: 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR
Last Updated: 9th December 2019 | Main image: The Ritz Restaurant
Take a look at our full guide to St James’s