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.
Humble Chicken | New for 2022
Excellent yakitori skewers in Soho, in which they’ll scorch every part of the chicken.
Imad’s Syrian Kitchen | New for 2022
Delicious, nourishing Syrian food in Kingly Court from big-hearted immigrant chef Imad.
Pahli Hill | New for 2022
Fragrant Indian food in Fitzrovia, that comes with an eccentric cocktail bar below.
Fresh, surprisingly affordable pasta in a cool, industrial 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, served in a cavernous art deco space that looks a million bucks.
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.
A smash as soon as it opened in 2019, Paradise can be found in Soho serving exceptional Sri Lankan fare in industrial surrounds.
Volta do Mar
Discover the crossover between Portuguese and Goan cuisine in a grand Covent Garden townhouse.
Brutto | New for 2022
Russell Norman’s “ugly but good” Clerkenwell trattoria, which turned out to be very, very good indeed.
Manteca | New for 2022
This casual Shoreditch spot specialises in fresh pasta and fresh charcuterie, and does them both extremely well.
Modern European small plates next to the Columbia Road flower market.
Punchy, modern Indian food in a stylish space.
A small and buzzy Italian restaurant 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.
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 fresh 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.
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.
Like Bib Gourmands? You’ll love Michelin Stars…
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