When it comes to Mayfair restaurants, there are really two types on offer: the ones where you’ll scrape your plate, and the ones where you’ll scrape your overdraft.
In this part of London, more than anywhere else, don’t let the pricing on menus fool you – thanks to the rich concentration of, well, rich businessmen and clients to be entertained, there are some ludicrously expensive spots that get away with serving substandard food in glossy but unimaginative surroundings. What follows here is a list of the exceptional – the hidden gems, the laid-back havens, and the top-tier eateries that genuinely do pull out all the stops.
These are the best restaurants in Mayfair…
Newly opened on Audley Street, BiBi comes to you from Chet Sharma, a former chef at The Ledbury who went on to be head of menu development for JKS (the restaurant family that includes Lyle’s and Gymkhana). And finally, after a long wait, he’s opened his debut spot (to rave reviews, we might add), serving dishes like raw orkney scallops with Indian lemonade and wood-grilled Lahori chicken with cashew and yoghurt whey, all washed down with a fine list of cocktails.
Details: 42 North Audley Street, Mayfair, W1K 6ZR | Book here
Casa Do Frango
Piri-piri chicken often gets lumped in with cheeky meals and low-effort dates, but over at Casa Do Frango’s shiny new (and substantially bigger) Mayfair location, they’re making this eternal combo sexy again. Give your chargrilled bird some company in the form of sides like African rice and batatas fritas (traditional Portuguese hand-cut fries) before turning dinner into late-night drinks at their cocktail bar, The Green Room, where you can get acquainted with wines from Portuguese producers and piri-piri margaritas.
Details: 31-33 Heddon St, Mayfair, W1B 4BN | Book here
Tucked away down an alleyway in Mayfair, you’ll find this small, elegant, and quintessentially Japanese restaurant with husband and wife Tamas and Tomoko there to greet you. Restaurants don’t get much more intimate than this, with the duo preparing a parade of dishes right before your eyes. And if you thought you knew the meaning of ‘fresh’ sushi, get ready to have that scrapped – because here they prepare the catch of the day literally minutes before it’s in your mouth as perfectly composed sushi.
Details: 56B South Molton Street, Mayfair, Central London, W1K 5SH | Book here
After popping up across London since 2019, Tendril has settled, temporarily, of course, just off Regent Street. But after much success, the pop-up vegan/vegetarian restaurant that was slated to close in September 2022 has now extended their residency until the end of January 2023. So, if you were unable to enjoy dishes from their summer menu, be sure to snag yourself some oh so warming and comforting plates, like ratatouille with ras el hanout, smoked tomatoes and crispy polenta, from their very reasonably priced discovery tasting menu.
Details: 5 Princes Street, Oxford Circus, W1B 2LQ | Book here
Passion project of chefs Will Murray and Jack Croft, Fallow is proof that sustainability doesn’t just sound good, it tastes good too. Bag yourself a seat in this buzzy Mayfair restaurant- pulled up close to the massive open kitchen if you will – and you can enjoy locally-sourced, British produce worked in a way that only years of hard work at everywhere from The Clove Club to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal would allow. Stand out dishes include the corn ribs, flash fried and dusted with a house-made kombu seasoning; cod’s head with sriracha butter; and the venison with hen of the woods mushrooms and a creamy celeriac sauce. Wash it all down with a Whisky Highball, Espresso Martini; or French Seventy Five. Or jump straight to the biodynamic-leaning wine. A solid choice too.
Details: 2 St. James’s Market, St James’s, SW1Y 4RP | Book here
Third-generation sushi chef Taiji Maruyama works miracles behind the blond wood counter of this eight-seater Mayfair restaurant. Maru is his first solo London venture (after stints at Nobu, and the triple Michelin starred Ginza Koju, in Tokyo’s most upmarket dining district). And he’s wasting no time in blowing everyone away, with a 20 course omakase tasting menu that changes every night…
Details: 18 Shepherd Market, W1J 7QH | Book here
Gymkhana recently reopened its doors after a fire back in 2019, and like a phoenix from the ashes, it’s come back even more opulent and special than before. Dressed up like a Raj-era gymkhana (a sort of Indian country club where high society folk socialised, drank, dined, and played sport), it’s one of those Mayfair restaurants that oozes style throughout. The menu is equally refined, earning a Michelin star back in 2014 and focussing on dishes to share. Highlights include the impressive conical Chettinad duck dosas; as well as fragrant kid goat methi keema; boozy wild tiger prawns inspired by Kerelan toddy shops; a game bird baida roti served with girolle achaar pickle; and a Bombay Gymkhana club vegetable cutlet with masala ketchup. The bar downstairs takes 17th century East India punch houses as its inspiration, and has its own dedicated G&T map…
Details: 42 Albemarle Street, W1S 4JH | Book here
Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill
Reliable and refined, Bentley’s has been shucking oysters and other shellfish for over 100 years. For the last 17 of them, it’s been in the capable hands of Richard Corrigan, who gives the place an unstuffy atmosphere, despite the postcode. They’re just as happy for you to bed in and order platters of seafood and the fanciest wine on the menu, or drop in after a little shopping or before a show, grab a stool at the bar and neck half a dozen oysters and a bottle of Breton cidre.
Details: 11-15 Swallow Street, W1B 4DG | Book here
Tucked away on a tranquil corner of Mayfair, Apricity isn’t a restaurant to put up with any garbage… Mainly because its complete dedication to zero-waste means nothing ever meets the dreaded landfill – not the food on your table, not the chairs you sit on (recycled Coca-Cola bottles) and not even the venue itself (an ex-fashion outlet). Owner and multi award-winning chef Chantelle Nicholson has unmatched green cred (she’s a won a Michelin Green Star) and, with the help of Eve Seemann, sees to a constantly-changing menu of dishes that have included cured Chalk Stream trout, Lyme Bay scallops on a Hollis Mead cream sauce and Devon pork belly with sugar snap peas and mint salsa. The cocktails too are made with the environment in mind come with reduced environmental impact – the vodka collins for instance is made from the remnants of a rhubarb dessert and wilted herbs from the kitchen.
Details: 68 Duke Street, W1K 6JU | Book here
Unparalleled in grandeur, style and value, The Wolseley is a true London classic, housed in a monochromatic, marble-clad 1920s car showroom a stone’s throw from The Ritz. It’s an elegant all-day restaurant styled after the European grand café tradition, by the team who do it best, Corbin & King (also behind Fischer’s, nearby Brasserie Zédel and The Delaunay). Expect Viennese pastries and cakes, excellent Sunday roasts, and unfussy brasserie dishes long into the night.
Details: 160 Piccadilly, W1J 9EB | Book here
A (precious) stone’s throw from the Royal Academy and Piccadilly, Amethyst is the latest restaurant from the hugely talented Carlo Scotto. Here, he serves show-stopping 3 – 12 course tasting menus on an innovative chef’s table. Almost 10m long, it seats just 21 diners in intimate, separate sections, all overlooking the magic happening behind the pass. Lavish ingredients like caviar and foie gras are paired with flavours from around the world, in an experience that is pure dining theatre…
Details: 6 Sackville Street, London W1S 3DD | Book here
Despite all its best attempts to keep a low profile, HIDE was awarded a Michelin star within a year of opening. It was never going to stay hidden for long, considering wunderchef Ollie Dabbous is behind it… and that it’s a three-floored all-day dining spot with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Green Park. The dishes here are curious and inventive, ranging from croissants made with birch sap in the mornings, to nine-course tasting menus and burnt liquorice root with gold leaf in the evenings. Below it all is the suave, low-lit bar run by Dabbous’ longtime mixology partner, Oskar Kinberg. That birch sap reappears in place of ice to keep drinks cool, or peruse their cellar, which houses one of the world’s largest wine selections.
Details: 85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB | Book here
Sabor really has added a little flavour to Mayfair. Amidst the polished dining rooms and white tablecloths, Sabor offers something a little more immediate, where chefs serve dishes directly to diners who can feel the salt and fat hang tantalisingly in the air around them. Head chef and founder is Nieves Barragan Mohacho, a former Barrafina chef who’s earnt herself a star in the blink of an eye. That’s down to the delicate regional Spanish dishes on offer – some served tapas style, some scorched in the asador – and the handpicked selection of Galician beers, sherries, and Basque sparkling wines…
Details: 35-37 Heddon Street, W1B 4BR | Book here
This Sketch is stunningly rendered. Housed in a grandiose townhouse just off Regent Street, it’s a quirky palace of design, fine dining and good drink. There are multiple dining areas – a more casual Parlour for breakfast and light lunches; the stunning Glade with its cocktails and fairytale-esque découpage walls; the famously beautiful Gallery dining room for afternoon tea and dinner; and the upstairs Library, a Michelin-starred restaurant serving stunning Modern European dishes.
Details: 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG | Book here
Bombay Bustle is a theatrical Indian spot designed to resemble a vintage train carriage – and the food here is just the ticket. Coming to you from the co-founder and chef of the formerly Michelin-starred Jamavar, it’s high-end Indian at its finest: koliwada squid; tandoori lamb chops; Kerala fish curry… and it all comes with a globe-trotting wine list to boot.
Details: 29 Maddox Street, W1S 2PA | Book here
First things first: Umu is eye-wateringly expensive. Luckily, the lighting’s so dim and the sake so persuasive you won’t really notice till later. With a Michelin star to its name, it’s more than worth the price, too. Umu serves, without a doubt, some of the finest Japanese food in London, thanks to the indefatigable attention to detail from chef Yoshinori Ishii. He’s taught the Cornish fishermen who supply the restaurant’s sashimi the art of ike jime, a humane way of killing the catch that preserves the utmost level of tenderness in the meat. Beyond that, he also arranges all the flowers in the restaurant, while the tempura chef (yes, they have a chef just for the tempura) grows all her own vegetables using seeds she brings back from Japan. To say they’re diligent here is an understatement…
Details: 14-16 Bruton Place, W1J 6LX | Book here
Le Gavroche was among the first restaurants in London to receive a Michelin star, and still holds two decades later. It’s quintessential French fine dining, and has incubated many a rising chef in its time – head there now for timeless, quality dishes and a bottle of fine French wine.
Details: 43 Upper Brook Street, W1K 7QR | Book here
Like dining out in the area? Then you’ll be needing a tour of the best Mayfair bars, too…
The Nudge is an independent, searchable and highly-curated guide to the most interesting places to go and things to do in London, giving members unrestricted access to our full compendium of continually-updated restaurants, bars, events, exhibitions, date ideas, itineraries, member perks, weekend guides, monthly agendas and more – all delivered via our website, email newsletters & members’ app.
Join us to see what’s hot in London this week; to explore all of the recommendations & ideas stored within The Nudge’s website and members’ app; and to start making the most of life in London today. Start Free One Week Trial