St. Paul’s: the centre of the original City of London.
Home to the eponymous cathedral, history-steeped livery companies, its own governing body and a financial district responsible for £2.7 trillion in transactions per day.
And a host of good restaurants to sate them, of course.
By the cathedral itself, you’ll be met mostly with speedy lunch spots and chains to feed the area’s workers. But head a little further east, and you’ll find a wealth of top restaurants…
Bread Street Kitchen | 2 minutes’ walk
Bread Street Kitchen is Gordon Ramsay’s everyman restaurant.
Hence the space pod (with room for six diners on request).
The vast, open, industrial(ish), warehouse(ish) space is said to be inspired by its east London(ish) location. Reclaimed furniture, vintage armchairs and leather banquettes litter the room, leading up to a big open kitchen at the back where the theatre happens. The energy here parallels that of a buzzy New York brasserie.
This is echoed in the menu which is available from breakfast ‘til late. Expect plates with serious wallop, including wagyu meatballs and spicy tuna tartare to start; followed up by beef wellington for two to share; and a selection of rare breed steaks available per 100g that are scorched on a Josper grill. READ MORE
Details: 10 Bread Street, One New Change, The City, EC4M 9AJ
Lino | 7 minutes’ walk
Lino is headed up by a former head chef at The Dairy, and gets its name from the lino and carpet factory that was originally on the site.
It still has many of the original factory features, including the glazed tiles on the exterior, a 12-foot high door and lofty ceilings. The interior boasts a suitably industrial-chic feel, with plenty of wood, matte chrome and concrete adorning the space, while blush pink furniture drags it into the 21st century.
The menu is split into small and large plates, and has a modern British quality to it. Sauerkraut & cheddar croquettes with truffle mayonnaise; or salt cod brandade with radishes and crisps are a good place to start; followed by Tamworth pork chop, house BBQ sauce and smoked apple; or roast Gigha halibut, brown crab and fondant leeks. READ MORE
Details: 90 Bartholomew Close, EC1A 7BN
Brigadiers | 7 minutes’ walk
Brigadiers ranks pretty highly.
Owned by the formidable JKS group (Trishna, Gymkhana, Bao), Brigadiers is inspired by the Indian mess halls where the military would go to socialise, or in this case, wolf down all things Indian BBQ.
Expect a decadent ruby-red and tobacco brown dining room, offset by huge chunks of animal that have been grilled, roasted and smoked in the restaurant’s tandoors, charcoal grills and classic Indian smokers. Dry tandoori masala ribeye; smoked Nepali bhutwa lamb belly ribs; and wood roasted Goan suckling pig are all on the menu.
A tap room boasting craft ale collaborations and hand pump cocktails; and a pool room with a whisky vending machine also feature in this hedonistic adult crèche. READ MORE
Details: 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
The Trading House | 8 minutes’ walk
Formerly the Bank of New Zealand, this restaurant/bar serves comfort food and cocktails in an impressive setting.
The classic, grand old wood panelling, intricate carved features and parquet flooring have been offset with taxidermied birds of paradise and exotic palm leaves as a homage to the land of the long white cloud, giving it a feeling of the fantastical – like Gringotts, but with live music and not so many goblins.
Expect rotisserie meats, club sandwiches, grill classics and pies off the food menu as well as an eclectic cocktail list inspired by far-off lands, such as Legends of Sakura (Jinzu gin, Umeshu plum sake, rose syrup, egg white, lychee juice, and Morello cherry purée), made to be sipped at the long 360-degree bar in the centre of the restaurant. READ MORE
Details: 89-91 Gresham Street, EC2V 7NQ
Hawksmoor Guildhall | 9 minutes’ walk
The Guildhall branch of this multi award-winning steak/restaurant/cocktail bar/everything-else-you-can-win-an-award-for-place, comes with an important idiosyncrasy.
They do breakfast.
And by breakfast, we mean gout-inducing platters of smoked bacon chops; pork, beef and mutton sausages; black pudding; short-rib bubble and squeak; grilled bone marrow; trotter baked beans; fried eggs; grilled mushrooms; roast tomatoes; HP gravy and unlimited toast (in case you were still hungry) for two to share.
Oh and marmalade cocktails. Obviously. READ MORE
Details: 10-12 Basinghall Street, EC2V 5BQ
Koya City | 9 minutes’ walk
This is the second branch of the authentic Japanese noodle bar that originated in Soho.
A much bigger space than its sibling, it still has all the minimalist Japanese charm with in-and-out countertop dining in front of the busy, steamy kitchen, traditional noren curtains, and plain wooden features and tiling throughout.
The menu is made up of their hand-stretched udon noodles in hot and cold varieties, with the new edition being a Full English Breakfast udon, with egg, bacon and shiitake mushrooms (available for breakfast, for which they’re now open). A daily blackboard of specials like clams, broad beans, capers and dashi butter is on hand to persuade you away from the classics.
And best of all, this branch takes reservations. READ MORE
Details: 10-12 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
The Ned | 10 minutes’ walk
The Ned is the jewel in the Soho House crown.
The grade I listed former Midland Bank building spans a massive 320,000 square feet and has seven (yep, seven) restaurants, two bars and all the other mod cons of a Soho-House-owned-super-hotel-in-the-City.
Come here and pick from Millie’s Lounge, an Anglo-American bar serving classics from both sides of the pond, like fish & chips and BBQ ribs; Cecconi’s – the Italian-inspired restaurant where you can get your hands on the likes of veal Milanese and wood oven pizzas; Malibu Kitchen, which serves all things Californian for the health conscious, such as superfood brunches and a host of vegan dishes; Lutyens Grill, an upmarket grill serving super high quality steak; Zobbler’s, a NY deli (smoked fish, herrings, Reubens etc); Café Sou, a Parisian-style café serving charcuterie boards, terrines and quiches; and Kaia, an Asian-Pacific style joint that does poke bowls, sushi and robata-grilled mains. READ MORE
Details: 27 The Poultry, EC2R 8AJ
Main image: Brigadiers
Like dining in the City? Check out the best restaurants in Farringdon