The Pie Room at Holborn Dining Room
Hattie Lloyd 01/12/22
The Best Restaurants in Holborn | From Wine Bars to Diners With Bowling Alleys
Conveniently located right in the centre of London, this notoriously mispronounced district is filled with interesting places to explore. If you fancy having a nosy around the house that Charles Dickens used to call home, you can; if you’re after a pint at one of the oldest pubs in London, you can; if you want to look at Winston Churchill’s dentures for any reason, you can do that too, now that the Hunterian Museum has reopened. And if you want a slap up meal? Holborn’s got you covered there too.
While most “where should we eat next” conversations tend to be focused around its neighbours Soho, Covent Garden and Clerkenwell, Holborn certainly isn’t lacking in the top drawer restaurant department. It’s quite the opposite actually – anti wine snob magazine Noble Rot opened their first restaurant here, The Delaunay – a grand cafe straight out of the Vienna playbook – is here, and you’ve even got a Barrafina for Michelin-standard tapas.
So, next time you’re in the neighbourhood, hungry and about to wander into a Pret… hold your horses and consider this list of the best restaurants in Holborn instead.
A labour of love from a couple of wine enthusiasts, Noble Rot is essentially the real-life embodiment of their “anti-snob” wine magazine – meaning you’ll find a clutch of expertly selected grape-hooch both by the glass and bottle, accompanied by equally delicious food put together by former St. John and The Sportsman chefs. Liked what you drank? A few doors down you’ll find their wine shop, one of the best independent bottle shops in London.
Details: 51 Lamb’s Conduit Street, WC1N 3NB | Book here
Holborn Dining Room is a glossy, capacious, old-school brasserie set into the Rosewood London Hotel. Head here, and you can choose between British classics like roast Suffolk pork belly or smoked haddock with a poached egg, or a freshly-baked pie from the dedicated pie room. You can even book in for a pie masterclass, or drop by the street hatch entrance for emergency pie on your way elsewhere.
Details: 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN | Book here
Rondo La Cave, a subterranean ‘incubator kitchen’ (and mainstay on our London’s best natural wine bars list) sits beneath the Hoxton Hotel (in Holborn, confusingly). While there’s always an interesting selection of grape-hooch on offer, the food’s always in flux thanks to a regularly changing line-up of guest chef residencies. In just a few years they’ve already hosted some of London’s hottest touring acts before they find their permanent home; like Thai-American joint Chet’s, now in permanent residence at The Hoxton… in White City.
Details: The Hoxton, 199-206 High Holborn, WC1V 7BD | Book here
A sleek, wood-panelled cocoon, Roka Aldwych is one of the more high-end sushi restaurants in London, serving freshly sliced nigiri and sashimi alongside robata-grilled delights like scallop wasabi skewers; Korean-spiced lamb cutlets and grilled tofu with shiitake mushrooms. As restaurants in Holborn go, it’s not light on your wallet – but you won’t leave feeling too light, either.
Details: 71 Aldwych, WC2B 4HN | Book a table
The Delaunay is the closest thing London has to a Little Vienna. It’s styled after a European grand café where you can drop by for freshly baked pastries in the morning, the best-value afternoon tea in London, or schnitzel with buttery mash and wilted spinach come the evening. And the speed of service means it’s a great dinner spot before heading off to see one of these unmissable theatre shows on now.
Details: 55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB | Book a table
Do you know the muffin man? Well, forget about him, because if you’re heading to Drury Lane you’ll need to make a beeline for Barrafina, the superlative, marble-clad tapas spot whose Soho sibling, Barrafina Dean Street, is one of the top Michelin-star restaurants in London. All-counter dining makes for an intimate experience, where you can watch the chefs putting together dishes of lamb sweetbreads and stuffed courgette flowers while sipping sherry…
Details: 43 Drury Lane, WC2B 5AJ | Book a table
Bouncing back from an unexpected eviction from their old spot in Warren Street, Honey & Co has now set up shop on Lamb’s Conduit Street, just opposite Noble Rot. Thankfully, the move’s allowed them to more than double in size, too – so it’s just a tiny bit easier to get in for their lauded Levantine mezze, from exceptional breakfast banquets to share, to that honey-drizzled feta cheesecake.
Details: 54 Lamb’s Conduit Street, WC1N 3LW | Book here
Equally loved for being one of London’s best coffee shops – in between roasting its beans in-house and managing its own direct relationships with farms around the world – Catalyst Cafe also somehow finds time to be one of the best restaurants in Holborn, serving up an exceptional weekday brunch (where you’ll also find it in our ultimate London brunch guide), lunch, and Friday night dinner. Pick from classics like salmon and scrambled eggs spiked with their house coffee sriracha, or Greek dishes like gigantes plaki with grilled halloumi.
Details: 48 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8LT | Walk-ins only
Sure, there are a lot of restaurants in Holborn that’ll feed you well. But only All Star Lanes will sort you out with Nashville fried chicken; Maryland crab cakes; honey-glazed pork ribs; burgers and steaks from their Southern-style diner… before lavishing you with bowling in a glossy, vintage-styled alley with cocktails and finally providing a more public platform than the shower for singing, as it’s also one of the best karaoke bars in London.
Details: Victoria House, Bloomsbury Place, WC1B 4DA | Book a table
Looking for a nightcap?
American Bar at The Savoy
Rather than just going home after visiting one of these esteemed Holborn restaurants, you could always extend the night. You know, maybe grab a few drinks or something? No harm in that… especially if you head off to explore the best bars in Covent Garden…
Prefer to just go to the pub than a bar or restaurant? Fair enough. Check out the best pubs in Covent Garden
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