ALL THE MICHELIN STAR RESTAURANTS IN LONDON 2019/2020
Last Updated: 8th October 2019
Open an article on Michelin starred restaurants in London with a joke about tyres that doesn’t fall flat…
We’ve checked the results for this year, collated the new stars with the new Stars, and the old guard who let their guard down, and added them all into our master list of honoured restaurants…
NEWLY MICHELIN STARRED RESTAURANTS IN LONDON
Two restaurants get promotions in the Michelin 2020 guide: La Dame de Pic at the Four Seasons earns a second Star, two years after the first. It puts her in good stead for beating her own record; being the first female chef since 1933 to win three Michelin Stars (for French restaurant Maison Pic). Secondly, the Sketch Lecture Room & Library upstairs at quirky art-filled townhouse Sketch, goes up from two to three Stars under the direction of chef Pierre Gagnaire – the only 3 star promotion in the country this year.
Also making their debut this year with one star are:
- The Araki, which lost all. Three. Stars. The 9-seater sushi restaurant sits in Mayfair, and costs a minimum of £310 per person. Head chef Mitsuhiro Araki left earlier this year, so it’s expected that his replacement (and long-time protégé) Marty Lau will have to re-earn the restaurant’s credentials.
These restaurants also lost their one and only stars:
- Yauatcha Soho; the dim sum restaurant from Alan Yau;
- Galvin at Windows; a star-holder for nine years (with First Dates’ Fred Sirieix as general manager);
- Benares; which has held a star for twelve years and saw chef-patron Atul Kochhar leave last summer.
And finally, these starred restaurants have all closed their doors for good, and have been removed from the 2020 guide:
- Bonhams, now Emilia;
- Fera, soon to be Davies & Brook from globally lauded chef Daniel Humm;
- Hedone in Chiswick; and
- L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, although Le Comptoir Robuchon is about to open in Mayfair.
Now read on for the history, and the full list of Michelin Star restaurants in London for 2019-2020…
In 1900, in a bid to drum up business, tyre manufacturer Michelin created a travel guide. It contained within a list of hotels and restaurants for drivers to visit – the hope being that Michelin’s tyres would take them there and need replacing soon after. It worked. By 1920 the dining section was so popular the company began to hire anonymous inspectors to visit, test, and rank the various restaurants in its guide. These inspectors were, and still are, trained in France and judge a restaurant on quality; chef’s skill and flavour expertise; personality and creativity; and consistency between visits. Taking these things into account they award either three, two, one, or no stars. Places that really bomb don’t even get a mention. One star means a “very good restaurant in its category”, two stars means “worth a detour” and the highly coveted three stars means “worth a special journey”. These anonymous secret agents, with a licence to eat, have been shaping the restaurant business ever since.
Like all organisations who appoint themselves judge, jury, and executioner, Michelin has come under its fair share of criticism. Lambasted for pandering to French cuisine, they have oft been accused of Gallic cultural imperialism. The abundance of stars showered on Japanese restaurants (of the top 5 most starred cities, 3 are in Japan) has also led people to accuse Michelin of buttering up the Japanese automobile industry in order to sell more tyres. Even if that were true, it’s prudent to remember that more sales was always the company’s aim, even in 1900. But cynical or not, the stars still carry an awful lot of weight and once they arrived in London, the restaurant scene was changed forever.
The first Michelin star came to London in 1977, by way of Michel and Albert Roux’s Le Gavroche. Since then, chefs have been falling over their feet to earn the recognition, and resultant rise in sales, that a Michelin star will afford them. Much like Oscar season, the run up to the Michelin Guide’s publication is a media frenzy of gastronomic proportions. The earning or losing of a star can make or break a business – and not always in the ways you might think. In 2011 chef Skye Gyngell attempted to remove the star bestowed upon Petersham Nurseries Café because customers complained in their droves after turning up expecting formal dining.
Whether a gift or a curse, one thing is clear – Michelin stars mean good food. And with our comprehensive guide you can soak up every single star in London’s glittering restaurant scene without having to fork out for new tyres, or watch your waistline expand to the size of the Michelin man’s…
JUMP TO: THREE STARS | TWO STARS |
ONE STAR: Chelsea | Chiswick | The City/East London | Clapham | Fitzrovia | Kensington | Kew & Richmond | Marylebone | Mayfair | Shepherd’s Bush | Soho & Covent Garden | St James’s | Wandsworth | Westminster
THREE STARS ☆☆☆
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Ever the humble connoisseur of cooking, Gordon Ramsay named his flagship London restaurant, Gordon Ramsay. And well he might put his name to it because, for 17 years, it has held the three stars that made him the first Scottish chef to achieve such acclaim. The smart and unpresupposing frontage on Hospital Road contains within some of Britain’s best dining, with a menu that “bridges both classical and modern schools and is executed with considerable poise”.
Address: 68 Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HP. Cuisine: French. Price: Menu £70/160 Dress Code: Smart.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester | Good Value
It may lose out to Mayfair on the Monopoly board, but when it comes to fine dining, it’s Park Lane that takes the prize. Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester has exactly what you’d expect from Michelin cuisine: elegant dining room, silver service, and artfully designed dishes that are unapologetically French. What you might not expect is the private dining table surrounded by 4,500 different sparkling fibre optics. Do pass go, do collect £200 – you’re going to need it.
Address: 53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA. Cuisine: Contemporary French. Price: £105-185 Tasting Menu, £70 Express Lunch Menu. Dress Code: Smart.
Sketch | The Lecture Room & Library | PROMOTED TO 3 STARS
The decor is less sketch, more oil painting, in this spectacular and lavishly furnished dining room by designer Gabhan O’Keeffe. To reflect the setting chef Pierre Gagnaire has created a menu that explodes with flavours. Ingredients flow endlessly on the menu which creates “elaborate dishes that provide many varieties of flavours and textures”. It’s a technicolour dream that will leave you seeing stars as well as tasting them. READ MORE
Address: 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG. Cuisine: French. Price: Tasting menus £95 (V)/120. Dress Code: Smart.
TWO STARS ☆☆
Claude Bosi at Bibendum
Ironically for a building adorned with stained glass portraits of the Michelin man himself, the restaurant inside the company’s former London HQ has never had a Michelin star – until Claude Bosi took over the kitchens, and won it a debut placing with two. French fare is, as you’d expect, king here and accompanied by a wine list so lengthy you might need a separate Michelin guide just to navigate through it. READ MORE
Address: 81 Fulham Road, SW3 6RD. Cuisine: French. Price: ALC, or tasting £185. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs
If a man approaches you offering Michelin starred fare through the backdoor of a hotdog shack on Charlotte Street, trust him: he’s legit. Awarded its first star in 2014, and a second four years later, Kitchen Table gives you, and only 19 other diners, an intimate experience where interaction with the chefs is positively encouraged, and the entire drama of the kitchen will unfold before your eyes. There is only one option; the daily changing taster menu of meticulously sourced and foraged British ingredients. READ MORE
Address: 70 Charlotte Street, W1T 4QG. Cuisine: Modern. Price: Menu £125. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Core by Clare Smyth
Clare Smyth was previously the chef patron at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay – making her the first female British chef to hold and retain three Michelin stars. Since opening her first solo spot in 2017, she’s had critics raving over her delicate tasting menus, all prepared in a kitchen behind a glass wall in the restaurant. And in a rare move (also seen by Claude Bosi in 2018), Core was awarded its first appearance in the list last year with 2 stars. READ MORE
Address: 92 Kensington Park Road, W11 2PN Cuisine: British. Price: Set lunch menu £70, dinner menu £95, tasting menu £125 Dress Code: Comfortable.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Take a trip down a mouthwatering memory lane with Heston’s living historical cookbook. Each entry at Dinner has been researched alongside the British Library and has been meticulously crafted for the modern palate. The menu comes with information relating to the historical provenance of each dish so you can time travel your way across Britain’s culinary past. But as Michelin warn, “don’t come expecting molecular gastronomy”. Instead get ready to curl up inside a warm, oak-panelled love letter to Britain’s by-gone grub. READ MORE
Address: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, SW1X 7LA. Cuisine: British. Price: Starters from £22 / Mains from £42. Dress Code: Comfortable.
Voted the UK’s best restaurant more than half a dozen times, it’s easy to see why Michelin think The Ledbury “worth a detour”. The food is modern, with a dash of flavour from all over the world – meaning there’s something for all palates on its extensive taster menu. The restaurant itself is more lavishly decorated than its interior which, with its laid back atmosphere and no nonsense dishes, have made it a hit with almost every award-giving organisation going. The staff famously fought off rioters with utensils and whisks back in 2011, but now present you with complimentary bags of compost made from kitchen waste. READ MORE
Address: 127 Ledbury Road, W11 2AQ. Cuisine: Modern. Price: Lunch express menu £80, set menus £135, tasting menu £165/£155 (V). Dress Code: Smart.
The Greenhouse | Good value
The Greenhouse lives up to its name. Not by incubating its diners in a humid fug reminiscent of a Bikram yoga studio, but with clean, crisp, and seasonal offerings that exude, in Michelin’s words, “an exhilarating freshness”. It is approached, rather suitably, through a landscaped garden and is itself awash with wood, greenery, and natural furnishings. The menus change with the seasons, but the quality is constant all year round. READ MORE
Address: 27A Hay’s Mews, W1J 5NY. Cuisine: British. Price: Set lunch £45+, tasting menu £125+. Dress Code: Comfortable.
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
An evening out at Hélène Darroze is presented as a game you cannot lose. The menu, a solitaire board from which you remove the dishes you don’t desire, allows you to curate your own tasting menu. Set inside Mayfair’s stunning Connaught Hotel you will also be treated visually to oak panelled rooms, custom-made chandeliers, and glass cloches – which means it’s very easy to pry on other diners’ choices as they work their way across the restaurant.
Address: Carlos Place, W1K 2AL. Cuisine: Modern. Price: Menu £120/160. Dress Code: Smart.
London’s home of haute cuisine was the first restaurant in the capital to receive one, two and then three Michelin stars. It proved a kindergarten for future culinary champions with Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, and Marcus Wareing all plying their trade there. Today Le Gavroche still holds onto an impressive two stars; having lost one in 1993 when ownership changed hands from Albert Roux to his son. It’s as French as a restaurant could possibly be, taking its name from Les Misérables and serving rich, indulgent classics that will leave you anything but miserable – except possibly about the state of your waistline. READ MORE
Address: 43 Upper Brook Street, W1K 7QR. Cuisine: French. Price: Menu £67/160 – Carte £67/197. Dress Code: Smart.
When it comes to number of stars, hot on Tokyo’s heels is the old capital of Kyoto. No surprise then to see Kyoto-trained Yoshinori Ishii on London’s list. His restaurant Umu prides itself on the integrity of its Kyoto-inspired creations, and each day fresh produce is flown in from Japan to ensure authenticity. Even local produce gets the Japanese treatment – his Cornish and Scottish fish suppliers have all been taught the more humane 17th century Japanese method of slaughter (ike jime) which maintains the quality of the fish. It’s only to be expected from hands-on Ishii, who’s not just responsible for the food, but also flower arranging and tableware. READ MORE
Address: 14-16 Bruton Place, W1J 6LX. Cuisine: Japanese. Price: Lunch ALC from £35, tasting menu £165. Dress Code: Smart.
La Dame de Pic | PROMOTED TO 2 STARS
Anne-Sophie Pic, the eponymous dame of this award-winning diner, has found her way to the top without formal training, instead using her own sense of intuition (and learning from her Michelin starred dad). This intuition has influenced the menu, where her self-taught flavour combinations guide her classic French courses and deliver them “in a modern and exciting manner”. The dining room is a sleek, high ceiling, Beaux-Arts style affair which provides the perfect place to sample her wares.
Address: 10 Trinity Square, EC3N 4AJ. Cuisine: French. Price: Set lunch menu £32+, tasting menu £95-160. Dress Code: Smart.
ONE STAR ☆
Elystan Street | Good value
Having reigned supreme for a quarter of a century at London’s fêted The Square, Phil Howard struck out alone and opened this sleeker, more temperate venue. Like loosening a tie on a hot day, Elystan Street retains its class, but allows you just enough room to breathe. The pastel-coloured palette lightens the mood and lets the food do the talking on a menu that’s predictably gourmet, but with strong Mediterranean influences that are “well-defined and eminently satisfying”. READ MORE
Address: 43 Elystan Street, SW3 3NT. Cuisine: Creative. Price: Menu £30+ (lunch) – Carte £18+/26+. Dress Code: Smart.
The Five Fields
They may not have five fields, but they do have their own kitchen garden in East Sussex which provides seasonal herbs, flowers, and vegetables for your plate throughout the year. The focus here is on British dishes and, as a native Londoner, chef Taylor Bonnyman’s menu attempts to capture London’s broad cultural complexion. So yes, there’s banana with pecan and cardamom but there’s also smoked eel and deer. Everything is “attractively presented and packed with flavour” and sits inside an understated dining room that, with its earthen palette, nods to the (presumably five) green fields that once lay between Chelsea and Knightsbridge. READ MORE
Address: 8-9 Blacklands Terrace, SW3 2SP. Cuisine: Modern. Price: Tasting menu £75 (lunch), £95 (dinner). Dress Code: Smart.
Harwood Arms | Good Value
We all love the comforting embrace of a good pub lunch and, if it’s good enough, so does the Michelin man – which is exactly what happened in 2005 when he gave the Harwood Arms a star. Fourteen years on and it’s still the only Michelin starred saloon in the capital; serving up traditional British fare with a focus on game and wild food, all accompanied by veg they harvest from their own rooftop garden. It remains “a proper, down-to-earth pub that just happens to serve really good food.” Cheers to that. READ MORE
Address: Walham Grove, SW6 1QP. Cuisine: British Gastropub. Price: Menu £37.50 (2 courses) £49.95 (3 courses). Dress Code: Casual.
La Trompette | Good Value
Chez Bruce’s sister, which, to be fair, would have been an equally catching name, is as you’d expect, top drawer. “The service is charming and the food terrific”. A similarly laid back dining room, like its sibling, provides you with an unstuffy but smart night out. Meanwhile the food remains British with guidance and tutelage from the French.
Address: 5-7 Devonshire Road, W4 2EU. Cuisine: British. Price: Dinner tasting menu £75. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
The River Café | Good value
Overlooking the Thames, this iconic restaurant has been a part of bankside life for 30 years. “Hearty portions bursting with authentic flavours” have helped this industrious Italian retain its star for so long. The restaurant itself is always a hive of activity, with the on-view kitchen and wood-fired oven stretching the length of the room. The impressive wine list takes you the length of Italy and no doubt you’d get the boot before being able to finish it. READ MORE
Address: Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, W6 9HA. Cuisine: Italian. Price: Starters ~£20, mains ~£40. Dress Code: Smart.
THE CITY & EAST LONDON
Angler | Good Value
Despite the geometric title it’s maritime, not mathematical, cuisine on offer at D&D’s rooftop restaurant at the South Place Hotel. Perched up in the eaves, the angled floor to ceiling windows give the restaurant some pretty serious aquarium vibes – very fitting for the heavily fish-based menu “supreme in its quality”. Current Executive Chef, Gary Foulkes, studied under Gary Rhodes, John Campbell, and Phil Howard, and for this Angler has proved quite the catch.
Address: 3 South Place, EC2M 2AF. Cuisine: Seafood. Price: Menu £30+ (lunch) – Tasting £70. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Brat | Good value
Named in honour of the turbot (“the best fish in the world”), Brat is the debut solo restaurant from former Kitty Fisher’s head chef Tomos Parry. He’s combined his own Welsh heritage with the techniques he perfected while travelling through coastal towns of the Basque region to create what he describes as a more “instinctual and primal style” of cooking, slinging well-sourced ingredients onto a wood-fired grill. And the results are very good indeed. READ MORE
Address: First Floor, 4 Redchurch Street, E1 6JJ Cuisine: Welsh/Basque. Price: Starters from £3.50, mains from £18. Dress Code: Comfortable.
City Social | Good value
Like Gotham City, Jason Atherton’s dark, brooding art deco restaurant gives its visitors an impressive view of modern city living – on the 24th floor of Tower 42, the views truly are breathtaking. Thankfully there’s no need for utility belt-bearing vigilantes here, just an award winning kitchen team fighting off the stuffy image of haute cuisine by serving up a “refined and robust” European menu. READ MORE
Address: Tower 42 (24th Floor), 25 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1HQ. Cuisine: Modern. Price: Starters £15+, mains £26+. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Club Gascon is French through and through. Cut it open and you’d probably find Camembert flowing through its veins. The focus is, predictably, on Gascony, but the gastronomy does venture a little into the mainland. The building itself is imposing and strong, much like the cheese cart, and the marbled counters and floral displays provide “suitably atmospheric surroundings.”
Address: 57 West Smithfield, EC1A 9DS. Cuisine: French. Price: Tasting menu £85-110. Dress Code: Smart.
The Clove Club
Named after the supper club where founders Daniel Willis, Isaac Mchale, and Johnny Smith first met, Clove Club retains that sense of like-minded connoisseurs gathering to get off on gastronomy. The blue tiled kitchen sits in the heart of this warm and inviting room in Shoreditch Town Hall, recently crowned the best restaurant in the UK, ranking #27 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Serving up their favourite produce from around the British Isles, the team here have produced a tasting menu “full of originality, verve and flair”. Take your friends and be inspired. READ MORE
Address: 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT. Cuisine: Modern. Price: Lunch menu £65, dinner prix fixe £95, tasting menu £145. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Da Terra | NEW ENTRY
Da Terra was a shoe-in for the 2020 guide. Taking up a sleek corner of the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, you’ll find it in the space previously occupied by Viajante (the legendary restaurant by Nuno Mendes, who’s also just won a star) and the lauded Typing Room by Lee Westcott. It’s now Da Terra, a joint venture between former Fat Duck chefs, Paulo Airaudo and Rafael Cagali. Here, they serve creative, balanced dishes combining Latin American flavours with an Italian twist… READ MORE
Address: Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, Bethnal Green, E2 9NF. Cuisine: Latin American/Italian. Price: £65/90. Dress Code: Smart casual.
Galvin La Chapelle
The third venture for culinary siblings Chris and Jeff Galvin, La Chapelle sits inside a bit of Bishopsgate history. Originally a parish hall and gymnasium for the Central Foundation School for Girls, it was due for demolition in the 70s, till a group of local residents chained themselves to the front door and faced down the bulldozers. Then derelict for 17 years, the Galvin brothers moved in and designed their Michelin eatery around it. The arched windows, vaulted ceiling, and marble pillars blend with their modern furnishings to create a stylish setting, much like the food which has “a classic French foundation and a sophisticated modern edge.”
Address: 35 Spital Square, E1 6DY. Cuisine: French. Price: £85+ Dress Code: Smart.
Leroy | Good value
The folks behind lauded restaurant Ellory surprised everyone when they closed up their (Michelin-starred) shop in London Fields to put down roots in Shoreditch instead. The remixed Leroy, however, is just as fantastic, and so it’s little surprise that they’ve been added to the roster of this year’s new stars. Expect Parisian-heavy pan-European cuisine, in a relaxed, vinyl-spinning environment. READ MORE
Address: 18 Phipp Street, EC2A 4NU Cuisine: French Price: Plates from £10 Dress Code: Comfortable.
Chef James Lowe is an acolyte of Fergus Henderson and the similarities between Lyle’s and St. John are evident: whitewashed walls, simple furniture, and strong flavours from less traditional British ingredients. At lunch the choice is yours, but by night the kitchen decides your dining fate – not that anyone would complain, the “unadulterated flavours” are a welcome addition to the London culinary scene. READ MORE
Address: Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ. Cuisine: Creative. Price: Menu £59+ (dinner) Dress Code: Comfortable.
Mãos | NEW ENTRY
It feels like you can trace pretty much every prominent London chef’s career back to Nuno Mendes in some way. And now the man himself is getting a little glory for his unusual restaurant, Mãos. Seating just 16 a night, it’s designed to feel like a dinner party (albeit with Michelin Star cooking). You’re free to pick out your own wine from the cellar, hang out in the kitchen with Nuno, or just get to know your dining companions over the 14 course, loosely European tasting menu. READ MORE
Address: 41 Redchurch Street, E2 7DJ. Cuisine: Modern European/Pan-Global Price: From £150 Dress Code: Smart Casual
Despite common wisdom regarding the shared location of defecation and digestion, this restaurant in a former restroom has gone on to win chef Tom Sellers numerous accolades. Serving just 12 tables – which is pretty good going for a WC – the dishes at Story tell the tale of British cuisine through an ever-changing menu that is “colourful, playful and easy to eat.” In his new iteration, much of that menu is prepared in front of diners at tableside preparation stations, and music’s curated by his mates, Rudimental. READ MORE
Address: 109 Tooley Street, SE1 2JX. Cuisine: Modern European Price: Tasting menu £100 (lunch)/145 (dinner). Dress Code: Smart Casual.
St. John | Good Value
There’s not much of an animal you can’t find, and eat, at this Farringdon diner. Pioneering the ‘nose to tail’ eating movement, St. John serves up every inch of the animals that come through its kitchen. Bone marrow, testicles, cheeks, and ears, are all available – and it’s not offal, it’s actually “appealingly simple, full of flavour and very satisfying”. The refreshing lack of ceremony and ever-changing menu makes Michelin dining a relaxed and exploratory event. Their daily bakery, installed in a chimney, is also worthy of note, particularly for the doughnuts. READ MORE
Address: 26 St John Street, EC1M 4AY. Cuisine: British. Price: Starters ~£10, mains ~£25. Dress Code: Comfortable.
Trinity | Good Value
The holy trinity of haute cuisine would be beautiful surroundings, delicious dishes, and a Michelin star. Well, Trinity lives up to its name by having all three. It’s a sleek and fresh affair overlooking Clapham Common, giving it “a genuine neighbourhood feel”, and serves up clean, sophisticated, and modern cooking that leads Michelin to believe it’s “a kitchen at the top of its game.”
Address: 4 The Polygon, Clapham Common, SW4 0JG. Cuisine: Modern. Price: Lunch £35+, dinner £65+. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Hakkasan Hanway Place | Good Value
The original Hakkasan, designed by Christian Liaigre, epitomises Chinoiserie decadence – which will match your mood perfectly when you’re delving into Peking duck with caviar, or grilled wagyu beef with king soy sauce. The Guangzhou region is represented well with aromatic and sensuous editions of classic Cantonese dishes – which is why this Chinese canteen has been Michelin starred for over 15 years. READ MORE
Address: 8 Hanway Place, W1T 1HD. Cuisine: Chinese. Price: Tasting menus £32-70. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Pied à Terre
Were you to get ‘gourmet restaurant’ as a clue in Pictionary, your creation may well resemble Pied à Terre. It’s smart, refined, and the dishes – a mix of Dorset crab, smoked quail, suckling pig, and poached turbot – tick almost every box in the Michelin Eye-Spy. Once the proud owner of two stars, it nevertheless continues to serve “creative, flavoursome cooking” with ingredients sourced exclusively from small independent suppliers.
NOTE: Pied à Terre are celebrating their renewed star with a £49.50 5-course menu, Mon-Thurs, throughout October.
Address: 34 Charlotte Street,W1T 2NH. Cuisine: Creative. Price: Lunch prix fixe £32+, tasting menu £105/£145. Dress Code: Smart.
Portland | Good Value
Portland is laid-back, relaxed, and cool. There’s nothing too fancy here, just a simple set up of hearty dishes that are “crisp and unfussy but with depth and real understanding”. Only four years old, Portland is a recent addition to both London and the Michelin guide, but the finesse of the food belies their youth. They’ve also curated a strong, and ever changing, wine list which includes a ‘single bottle list’ for rare and esoteric finds. READ MORE
Address: 113 Great Portland Street, W1W 6QQ. Cuisine: Modern. Price: Lunch prix fixe £29.50+, tasting menu £69. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
The Ninth | Good value
Chef Jun Tanaka’s first restaurant (but his ninth place of employment) is a cosy and simple affair with exposed bricks, barely-glowing bulbs and intimate banquettes. The food does the work here, and Tanaka’s small plates of Mediterranean tapas, cooked with French techniques, will likely see you chomping through a ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth serving. READ MORE
Address: 22 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NB. Cuisine: Mediterranean. Price: Lunch menu £22+, dinner ALC – mains ~£25. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Kitchen W8 | Good Value
Owners Rebecca Mascarenhas and Phil Howard wanted to create a neighbourhood restaurant in Kensington. A good start then was to install a Kitchen in W8. Next step was to build around it a simple, but inviting dining room, and finally serve into it English cooking with a French soul. The result: a Michelin star and rather contented locals.
Address: 11-13 Abingdon Road, W8 6AH. Cuisine: Modern. Price: Set menu £26.50+, tasting menu £75. Dress Code: Smart.
A famous protégé of Ramsay, Marcus Wareing’s flagship also takes the chef’s name as its own – and on first name terms is how you’ll feel inside The Berkeley’s relaxed dining room. Leather wingback sofas, tiled walls, and an easy service allows a simple menu, “with a refreshing lack of complication”, to shine. Wareing judges the pros on Masterchef, so you’d expect his kitchen to deliver on technique – and the menu is awash with the cardinals of cookery executed to perfection.
Address: The Berkeley, Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL. Cuisine: Creative. Price: Lunch set menu £50, dinner £75, tasting menu £115-135. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
KEW & RICHMOND
The Dysart Petersham | NEW ENTRY
Once a boozer, now an upmarket restaurant, The Dysart has made its home in a picturesque, mullion-windowed mock tudor building overlooking Richmond Park. Head chef (and Roux Scholarship winner) Kenneth Culhane has been quietly tinkering away here for the last five years, and has finally won recognition for his elevated gastropub-style dishes layered with flavour. READ MORE
Address: 135 Petersham Road, Surrey TW10 7AA. Cuisine: Modern European. Price: Set menu £26-29.50 Dress Code: Comfortable
The Glasshouse | Good Value
Another Bruce Poole endeavour after Chez Bruce, The Glasshouse is another understated, and highly decorated neighbourhood restaurant. The name is fitting for its Kew location, and the botanicals housed down the road have no doubt inspired the menu’s flavours. A surfer in his spare time, head chef Greg Wellman knows the sea, which elevates the fish dishes on offer, but every item comes with the assured quality of a team who run three Michelin-level hangouts.
Address: 14 Station Parkway, TW9 3PZ. Cuisine: Creative. Price: Lunch £39.50, dinner £57.50 Dress Code: Smart.
Headed by Italian culinary couple, Giorgio and Plaxy Locatelli, this airy and neutral restaurant has been serving up Michelin munch for over two decades. Their menu meanders through most of Italy; offering up staples from Naples and pasta from Parma. “Unfussy preparation and superb ingredients allows natural flavours to shine,” and a truly authentic experience through a nation of food await this happy couple’s guests.
Address: 8 Seymour Street, W1H 7JZ. Cuisine: Creative. Price: Starters ~£20, mains ~£30. Dress Code: Smart.
Roganic | Good value
Roganic originally opened as a pop up… but after two years, it was about time to go permanent. After five years, that’s finally happened, headed by chef Simon Rogan (whose Lake District spot L’Enclume holds two stars). Expect something of an epic to unfold before you, with eleven-course tasting menus of beautifully composed dishes floating through the pared-back, minimalist restaurant.
Address: 5-7 Blandford Street, W1U 3DB. Cuisine: Creative. Price: Set lunch £35, tasting menus £65/£85. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
This modern European restaurant focusses firmly on the texture of its creations. Thankfully, they’re anything but rough. Icelandic chef Aggi Sverrisson has curated a concise menu that, with every dish, combines varying consistencies and feels to hit all the senses. Neutral tones in the dining room allow the food to take centre stage, and the artful arrangements are definitely a sight to behold. The tone of the tuck is distinctly Nordic, with British and European ingredients locating it, metaphorically at least, somewhere in the North Sea.
Address: 34 Portman Street, W1H 7BY. Cuisine: Modern European. Price: Starters from £21.50, mains from £36.50. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Trishna | Good Value
Not content with one frontage, Trishna opted for two, giving this specialist in Indian coastal cuisine a semi-al fresco feel all year round. The Southwest coast gets the most attention in the Taste of Trishna menu, but all the dishes are “vibrant, satisfying and executed with care”. The pared back aesthetic and original wood panelling give off a relaxed, sociable vibe; which proves a great setting to explore their overflowing wine list featuring niche producers and boutique wineries. READ MORE
Address: 15-17 Blandford Street, W1U 3DG. Cuisine: Indian. Price: ALC, or lunch £28.50+, dinner £65+. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Alyn Williams at The Westbury
The rosewood panels add a warmth to this formal diner that keeps the atmosphere cheery and light. It’s as if someone dared to turn the brightness up on an Agatha Christie. The same goes for the dishes, which are “creative and even playful”, taking a fairly straightforward approach to modern cuisine but with a wry twist.
Address: 37 Conduit Street, W1S 2YF. Cuisine: Modern. Price: ALC, or tasting menu £90. Dress Code: Smart.
Amaya | Good Value
Amaya serves up the (often overlooked) grilled cooking of India – and inside you literally will overlook them as the kitchen stands in full view of the customers, showcasing every step of the process from preparation to plate. Dishes are “visually appealing and very satisfying”. Made to share, this is a Michelin experience quite unlike other entries on the list, and remains a gourmet theatrical event that looks as good as it tastes.
Address: 19 Motcomb Street, SW1X 8JT. Cuisine: Indian. Price: Weekend £32, tasting menu £45. Dress Code: Smart.
Marie Antoinette herself would feel at home in this opulent dining room. We’d recommend eating more than just the cake though, because this creative French menu contains a treasure trove of rich and luxurious dishes. It’s a place of indulgence, and the Wedgwood friezes and vast chandeliers simply cry out for you to unbuckle your belt and scoff till even a wafer thin mint is too much.
Address: Hyde Park Corner, SW1X 7TA. Cuisine: French. Price: Menu du jour £42, tasting menu £80-100. Dress Code: Smart.
Gymkhana | Good Value
Inspired by colonial India’s high society sports clubs, the decor here is a delightful blend of dry wit and whimsy. The dishes range from gently seasoned game through tandoori seafood and, of course, a strong selection of curries. Naturally punch adorns the bar, and their cocktails are curated to tell the tales of inspiring women of India. READ MORE
NOTE: Gymkhana is currently closed until further notice due to fire damage.
Address: 42 Albemarle Street, W1S 4JH. Cuisine: Indian. Price: Menu £25 (weekday lunch) – Carte £25/71. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Hakkasan’s second London outfit took less than a year to be awarded its Michelin star. Sticking to the intimate feel of its older sibling, expect wooden screens, geometric patterns, and edgy lighting. But while the mood is modern, the food is classic: Cantonese cuisine lines every menu and can be “delicate one minute; robust the next.” They even have London-exclusive options.
Address: 17 Burton Street, W1J 6QB. Cuisine: Chinese. Price: Lunch menu £32+, tasting menu £60-120. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
If Damien Hirst had grown up in Hangzhou his bedroom would resemble Kai’s interior. Unashamedly glitzy, the furnishings are a playful blend of Chinese heritage and modern art. Unsurprisingly, that statement is made in the cooking as well. Self-titled “Liberated Chinese Cuisine” is served up by Chef Alex Chow, which seeks to respect the legacy without being restricted to it. The philosophy’s worked, and Kai has received a slew of awards alongside its Michelin star.
Address: 65 South Audley Street, W1K 2QU. Cuisine: Chinese. Price: ALC or set menu £79-94. Dress Code: Smart.
Murano | Good value
This modern Italian eatery is deliberately informal and in the chef’s own words, focuses on “fun” rather than “fine”. This gentle tone extends to the food which has “an appealing lightness of touch”. This really is Michelin food without the fuss, a welcome addition to the list of more formal venues.
Address: 20 Queen Street, W1J 5PP. Cuisine: Italian. Price: Lunch menu £32+, dinner menu £55 Dress Code: Comfortable.
Pétrus serves, shock horror, French cuisine and has, shock horror, a claret motif running through its design. Despite the name, the Bordeaux winery are not involved in the running of the restaurant themselves – it was merely Ramsay and (then head chef) Marcus Wareing’s favourite plonk. Following some er, creative differences, the pair went on to have a rather public spat over custody of the venue. Ramsay won and, though oft criticised for trying to pander to the tyre manufacturer, his very obvious “Michelin” menu still continues to impress. Their infamous wine cellar makes a splash as well with Chateau Pétrus going back to 1928; including a 1961 magnum worth £39,000.
Address: 1 Kinnerton Street, SW1X 8EA. Cuisine: French. Price: Lunch menu £55, tasting menu £120. Dress Code: Smart.
Pollen Street Social
Jason Atherton’s first solo venture still delivers on his promise of relaxed and informal fine dining. Set behind a stately Georgian frontage, the interior is cosy, clean and simple. The food… is anything but. The plates are small but extremely well put together, prioritising British ingredients and flavours, in his creative menu. READ MORE
Address: 8-10 Pollen Street, W1S 1NQ. Cuisine: Creative British. Price: Set lunch £39.50, tasting menu £115 Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Sabor | Good value
Coming to you from the formidable pairing of a former Barrafina chef and general manager, Sabor made it onto the 2019 list after only eight months. Located on Heddon St., it’s a sizeable two-floor affair whose rough bare brick walls (sporadically garnished with genuinely beautiful mosaic tiles), unvarnished wooden floors, and cast iron fittings all contrive to create the impression that the place was plucked out of a small Spanish town and dropped neatly in the centre of Mayfair – as do the excellent regional dishes taken from across the country. READ MORE
Address: 35 Heddon Street, W1B 4BR. Cuisine: Spanish. Price: Tapas dishes from £6 Dress Code: Comfortable.
“Nowhere is grander than The Ritz”. It’s hard to disagree, and its gilded Louis XVI decor is the perfect backdrop from which to enjoy its fancy French fare, made with the best of British ingredients. The dishes are classics, but the subtle contemporary elements have lifted this London landmark into the exclusive Michelin club.
Address: 150 Piccadilly Street, W1J 9BR. Cuisine: Classic French. Price: Menu ‘surprise’ £125. Dress Code: Smart.
A landmark institution of the London scene, currently under the stewardship of chefs Clement Leroy and Aya Tamura, The Square continues to operate at the top. The dining room is minimal; sleek, and crisp, reflecting the art galleries that share its postcode. The food is no different. Delicate, artful, and small; the flavours are fulsome and the portions slim. It’s sticking to its haute cuisine reputation so don’t expect loosened ties or summer shirts here. It’s fine, serious dining. And unapologetically so.
Address: 6-10 Bruton Street, W1J 6PU. Cuisine: French. Price: Set lunch £37, tasting menu £110. Dress Code: Smart.
The UK’s oldest Indian restaurant has been serving up scoff since before the country’s independence. Created in 1926, it took a whopping 90 years to earn that Michelin star, and you can now enjoy its pan-Indian dishes in a dining room of colour and spice knowing that the grub on your plate is the culmination of nearly a century’s worth of refinement.
Address: 99 Regent Street, W1B 4RS. Cuisine: Indian. Price: Set lunch £32.50, dinner ALC. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Endo at the Rotunda | NEW ENTRY
One of the year’s most hotly anticipated openings, Endo is the first solo venture from legendary chef Endo Kazutoshi, a third generation sushi master. Up on the 8th floor of the BBC Television Centre, with cloud-like paper installations suspended from the ceiling, you’ll join 23 other diners in experiencing a 15-18 course omakase menu, prepped by sushi chefs before your very eyes. READ MORE
Address: White City House Television Centre, 101 Wood Lane, W12 7FR. Cuisine: Japanese. Price: £60 lunch, £180 dinner. Dress Code: Smart Casual
SOHO & COVENT GARDEN
Small plates with big flavour are the order of the day at this cosy tapas joint on Dean Street. Expect to queue, expect stools, and expect to be blown away – for their dishes “burst with flavour”. The food changes daily but the flair and passion of the Iberian peninsula can be found whenever you visit. READ MORE
Address: 26-27 Dean Street, W1D 3LL. Cuisine: Spanish. Price: Tapas dishes from £8. Dress Code: Comfortable.
Social Eating House | Good Value
With dimmed lighting and heavy overtones of the Lower East Side, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped inside a film noir. It’s cool and mellow in Jason Atherton’s joint, but the food packs a punch. Simple dishes done well give the whole experience a straight-talking feel where pretension can sling its hook – and should you wish to delve a little deeper, an excellent speakeasy cocktail bar awaits you on the top floor. READ MORE
Address: 58 Poland Street, W1F 7NR. Cuisine: Modern. Price: Set lunch £22, tasting menu £75. Dress Code: Comfortable
Aquavit | Good Value
This Nordic dining hall is a brighter, warmer, more relaxed affair than its two starred New York elder brother but there is nothing, ahem, Loki about this London branch. It’s still “immeasurably appealing”, serving up the clean and measured Viking vittles that made its NYC counterpart so famous, and all within a warm and welcoming wood-panelled Scandi setting. Expect a smorgasbord of, well, smorgasbords… READ MORE
Address: St James’s Market, 1 Carlton Street, St James’s, SW1Y 4QQ. Cuisine: Scandinavian. Price: Set lunch £27+, dinner ALC. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Ikoyi | Good value
Earning the first star to go to a spot serving African cuisine, Ikoyi is a beautiful eatery that focusses on ingredients from West Africa. It comes to you from childhood friends Iré Hassan-Odukale and Jeremy Chan, the latter of whom earnt his chops at fine dining spots like Dinner and Noma. Now he’s applying that finesse to classic dishes like jollof rice, pairing it with bone marrow and groundnut miso, while cocktails are overseen by the Three Sheets team, and wine by the buyer for Lyle’s and Gymkhana… READ MORE
Address: 1 St. James’s Market, SW1Y 4AH Cuisine: Nigerian. Price: Lunch/pre-theatre £35, dinner tasting menu £75-100. Dress Code: Comfortable.
The hugely anticipated return of lauded chef Ollie Dabbous came in the form of this three-storeyed gastronomic behemoth last year. Decked out in elegant neutral tones, Hide wins a star for its breakfasts (feat. birch sap croissants), afternoon teas (feat. herb candy floss on a twig), delicate à la carte dishes (like tartare of heritage beetroot with blueberry vinegar, rose petals, crushed pistachio, and horseradish raw cream) and its elaborate 6-9 course tasting menus… READ MORE
Address: 85 Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 7NB Cuisine: Modern European. Price: Lunch £48, tasting menu £110-140. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Chez Bruce | Good Value
Despite sounding like a TV game show from the 90s, Chez Bruce is actually a very quaint and traditional diner. In fact, its head chef, Bruce Poole, has largely ignored the calling of the box in order to focus on keeping his restaurants at the top of their game – which he has done. Wholesome French cooking, with heavy influences from the Mediterranean, adorns the menu and is “prepared with innate skill” in “an easy-going atmosphere”. They also take their cheese board very seriously, which is grate news.
Address: 2 Bellevue Road, SW17 7EG. Cuisine: French. Price: Menu £35/55. Dress Code: Smart.
Like the Great Wall, Andrew Wong’s 10 course ‘Taste of China’ spans the nation and may leave you visible from space after scoffing it. China has an impressive 2000 years of culinary history, and with fourteen national borders, its cuisine has absorbed many influences. Expect a culinary expedition featuring the likes of Wuwei smoked duck ‘bird’s nest’ and Yunnan seared beef with mint and chilli, or go off-road and pick from their à la carte dim sum…
Address: 70 Wilton Road, SW1V 1DE. Cuisine: Chinese. Price: ALC, or tasting menu £100. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Dining Room at The Goring
It’s a jolly good show by the Dining Room at The Goring, which places old-fashioned British nosh front and centre of everything it does. “The perfect spot for those who like things done properly” sits within an elegant Regency style chamber, and will have you humming Land of Hope and Glory between mouthfuls.
Address: 15 Beeston Place, SW1W 0JW. Cuisine: British. Price: Lunch £52+, dinner £64+. Dress Code: Smart Casual.
Quilon | Good Value
Quilon sits so close to Westminster, and is so popular with politicians, it has its own division bell to ensure that masala-munching MPs make it back in time to vote. The dining room features original watercolours from Indian artist Paresh Maity, and this deftness of touch finds it way into the food as well. The focus is on India’s southwest, so seafood forms the core, but the meat and vegetable dishes are also pretty special.
Address: 41 Buckingham Gate, SW1E 6AF. Cuisine: Indian. Price: Menu £31/60 – Carte £42/52. Dress Code: Smart.
Seven Park Place
This intimate diner is tucked away inside the St James’s Hotel, and only nine tables sit within its richly decorated walls. The decor is a mix of floral patterns and jewels, and looks a bit like your nan’s dining room – were she insanely wealthy and completely on point with her fashion. It’s meant to reflect the menu, which is “confident” and “allows natural flavours to shine”. You’ll get British ingredients (much of them sourced from the Lake District) turned into classic French fare.
NOTE: The restaurant is currently undergoing renovations until 4th November, but you can still dine from the full menu in the Library.
Address: 7-8 Park Place, SW1A 1LS. Cuisine: Modern French. Price: Lunch menu £30, dinner tasting menu £95. Dress Code: Smart.
Main image: Endo at the Rotunda
Want a second opinion? Check out our London Restaurant Bible