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 – and 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. Read our Soho review
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, served in a cavernous art deco space that looks a million bucks.
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.
A Moroccan eatery in the form of an American all-day diner, open for 1000-hole Berber pancakes through to lemon chicken skewers and caramel bourbon milkshakes.
One of our favourite restaurants in London, hands down. Israeli food, perfectly executed. Get a seat at the bar.
A smash as soon as it opened in 2019, Paradise can be found in Soho serving exceptional Sri Lankan fare in industrial surrounds.
Pan-Mediterranean tapas in an elegant space – get the courgette flowers, you won’t regret it.
Volta do Mar
Discover the crossover between Portuguese and Goan cuisine in a grand Covent Garden townhouse.
Modern European small plates next to the Columbia Road flower market.
Punchy, modern Indian food in a stylish space.
Mouthwatering Italian food with a distinct Middle Eastern & Moorish influence.
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.
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.
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 also behind Padella.
Superb seafood in a modern industrial space. Everything here feels like they’ve hit the nail right on the head.
Borough Market’s casual offshoot from the Lyle’s team, flitting seamlessly between bakery, wine bar, and small plates resto.
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.
A modern, Southern Italian outfit with pasta dishes hand-made daily by a former Trullo chef.
Hands down the best pound-for-pound meal in the city. Fresh pasta, hand-rolled each day, for extremely low prices.
A neighbourhood, roughly Mediterranean eatery and wine bar from three locals with serious restaurant credentials.
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: 12th October 2021 | Main Image: Paradise
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