Best for... restaurants

Som SaaTop pop-ups to try in November

London's latest blink-and-you’ll-miss-them pop-ups, food events and residencies

American FlagThe best places to eat like an American in London

Whether you were born in the USA or just pledge plate allegiance, here's how to eat like an American in London this weekend.

Casa NegraLondon’s best Mexican restaurants and bars

Take a trip down Mexico way with Square Meal’s guide to the best Mexican restaurants and bars.

spooky pubs_halloween 2013Pick a haunt: spooky pubs for Halloween 2013

Fancy a drink in spirited surroundings this Halloween? Many London hostelries have truly horrible histories and could fit the bill in more ways than one.

Oysters - Wright BrosWhere to eat native oysters in London

Now that we're back in a month with an 'R' in it, London's best-known shellfish restaurants have started shucking. Find out where to enjoy native oysters.

VoltaireThe best Champagne bars in London

Celebrate the end of the summer in London style, at one of the bars on the capital's unrivalled Champagne scene.

Best for… restaurants with gardens

Summer in the city can be hot, hot, hot – so here’s our pick of the best restaurants with gardens, greenery, or bucolic views for alfresco meals.

burger and lobster 2012Where to find London’s best burgers

Forget stem-cell burgers: we list the gourmet burgers, tasty independents and reliable chains that guarantee a more enjoyable meal.

4 JulyGet into the independent spirit on 4 July

Homesick expat or just feel like getting patriotic with our transatlantic buddies this 4 July? Check out some of our top American restaurants and events.

da PolpoThe best aperitivi in London

The Italian tradition of aperitivo hour has gradually found its way into the London lexicon. Here are our picks of the best aperitivo offerings.

mac and cheese montageLondon’s best mac and cheese

Square Meal asked its two American interns to work their way round the capital’s macaroni and cheese offerings to find the best mac ‘n’ cheese in London.

opera feature 2013_la rondineLondon’s opera season 2013: pre-theatre and post-theatre dining

There’s no more extravagant stage experience than the opera and, beginner or buff, there’s something for everyone in London this season – not to mention some tasty pre-/post-theatre dining options within soprano-shouting distance of the action…

tree of love 2 nickySquare Meal to the rescue this Valentine's Day

Still not decided where to take your beloved this Thursday? Use Square Meal’s Tree of Love to find the perfect restaurant for your Valentine's Day date.

xoyo 2013London nightclubs: access all areas

Ever been turned away from the latest cool club? Avoid the late-night walk of shame with our disco dos and don’ts.

10 Greek StreetBest new restaurants of 2012

Square Meal rounds up the most outstanding newcomers of the past 12 months, mixing our own analysis with comments from you, our readers.

what rachel ate bloggers 2012Food bloggers to follow in 2013

Explore the world of London bloggers – both influential and up-and-coming – with our list of leaders of the pack and ones to watch.

great british chefs 2012Get smart with the best foodie apps

More and more diners are enjoying their restaurant experience with a smartphone to hand. Square Meal has compiled a list of the best food-related apps.

La Bodega NegraLondon’s best late-night restaurants

If you’ve ever found yourself looking for a late-night bite, here’s our pick of restaurants in London that keep their doors open for rumbling stomachs.

duck and waffle 2012London’s best winter bars with views

Whatever the time of year, a great view of London can take your breath away. Make time to see the capital from a different perspective.

cookery schools_theo randallBest for… restaurants with cookery classes in London and the UK

As the UK’s appreciation for fine food increases, so too has our appetite for learning new skills in the kitchen. It’s no longer enough to watch Hugh wrestle with rhubarb on the telly; we want to be out there, learning first-hand from the professionals. And it seems as if the restaurants are starting to realise this, as increasing numbers launch their own classes. And where better to brush up your culinary skills than in a top-flight restaurant?

The Seagrass 2012Welcome to secret London: hidden restaurants and bars

Visitors and tourists visiting London can be overwhelmed with choice when it comes to eating and drinking out in the capital’s restaurants and bars. Choose badly and you can find yourself in some miserable tourist-trap dining room surrounded only by other tourists. To give visitors to London during the Olympics some insider tips, Square Meal has tracked down a selection of London restaurants that are off the beaten track, such as The Seagrass (pictured). Welcome to the capital’s hidden restaurants and secret bars – some of which even born-and-bred Londoners might not know about.

street food1Beat the tourists: cool restaurants, secret bars, and foodie places to visit when visiting London during the Olympics

If you’re planning to visit London this summer for the Olympics, get the most out of your trip by taking in all that the capital has to offer – including its red-hot dining and drinking scenes. Square Meal’s run-through of the hippest haunts, most atmospheric bars, and most impressive foodie locations will bring out the best London has to offer for both foreign tourists and Brits from outside London. What’s more, we have suggestions for every budget and taste.

OLYMPIC PARKWhere to eat during the London Olympics

With tens of thousands of tourists descending on the capital for the London Olympics, it pays to be prepared when it comes to eating and drinking near the Games’ main events. If you want to venture further afield than the Olympic Park for a quick lunchtime pit-stop or an after-race snack, Square Meal reveals some hidden gems, all just a quick sprint from the action (or reachable with a little help from London Transport).

Olympic Stadium CGI largeWhere to drink during the London Olympics: bars and pubs near the Olympic Park

After all the excitement of a day at the Games, get a different kind of fix by sampling east London’s buzzing social scene. Whether you want a time-warp experience, modern eclecticism, or an evening people-watching the trendy, artsy crowd of Bethnal Green, head to one of the area’s best pubs or most buzzing bars for a dose of London life.

wimbledon hospitality 2011Where to eat during Wimbledon

Wimbledon and all that it entails – Murray mania, the threat of rain, and mass consumption of strawberries – is here again. Whether you’ve aced a spot courtside or are cheering on the Brits from Murray Mount, there’s plenty on offer for those who breach the confines of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. And if you’re out and about in the capital this fortnight, you’ll also find tennis-tastic restaurants getting into the spirit of the game.

alfresco bubbles_Trafalgar Vista Bar_2012Best London bars for alfresco bubbles

Celebrate the best of British summer at these alfresco Champagne bars.

escape the olympics_deckchairsEscape the London Olympics

As the five-ring circus rolls into town and the hordes of sports fans descend, Londoners may find themselves hard pressed to enjoy a quiet pint or a leisurely meal. One solution: head for the hills. Keith Barker-Main suggests some alternative drinking and dining locations within easy striking distance of the capital.

Hawksmoor steakLondon’s best steak restaurants

Raise the steaks this Father’s Day and bring out your dad’s inner caveman by treating him to a slap-up meal at one of London’s top steak joints. From high-end hunks of beef (and fantastic cocktails) at all-round winner Hawksmoor (pictured) to glamorous dining at 34, Square Meal will help you make the cut on 17 June.

Azerbaijan_Eurovision 2011_AySel and ArashRestaurant recommendations for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012

Europe’s diversity is perfectly showcased by the Eurovision Song Contest – a super-camp soirée of flashing lights, fixed smiles and false notes, spiced up with a mixture of cross-border nepotism and tension. This year's contest is hosted by Azerbaijan (whose 2011 entry, Arash and AySel, pictured, clinched them the title). Whether you’re backing the UK or giving douze points to an adopted European country, get into the spirit of the annual songfest with a European tour of London’s restaurants. Square Meal shows you how.

Ye White HartWhere to watch the Queen’s Jubilee flotilla: riverside pubs in London

If you’re feeling patriotic this Sunday, raise a glass to HRH Queen Elizabeth to celebrate her 60-year reign. The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will see more than 1,000 boats take to the water in a 14-mile river procession that starts from Hammersmith Bridge and finishes at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. Even if you’re not a royalist, the flotilla will be worth watching – it’s reported to be the largest procession since Tudor times. Square Meal picks some of the best bars and pubs along the river route – plus a few restaurants for refreshment.

OttolenghiLondon’s best vegetarian restaurants

If you're celebrating National Vegetarian Week (20-26 May), try veggie restaurants that mix global flavours with inventive fusion cooking.

begging bowl 2012London's best Thai restaurants

Although takeaway Thai food might be a familiar crutch after a busy working day, Thai New Year (12-15 April) is an excuse to treat yourself to a slap-up, sit-down meal meal and break from the norm. From modest hidden gems to popular upmarket eateries, London has no shortage of Thai restaurants to choose from – and Square Meal has rounded up some of the best.

Penny Porschen ParlourSugar, spice and all things nice...

Lent is nearly over, so this weekend, treat yourself, or someone you know, to a slice of indulgence in something they consider nice – but naughty.

Champagne, Wine & Other DrinksSomething to celebrate? London's best Champagne bars

Even in straitened economic times, every budget needs room for the occasional indulgence. If you’re looking to celebrate or treat yourself with a glass of bubbly, Square Meal has compiled a list of the best Champagne bars in London, where the fun of the fizz makes up for the strain on your wallet.

music festivalsPub rockers: London’s rock ‘n’ roll pubs

From Dylan and The Sex Pistols to Coldplay and Amy Winehouse, London’s pubs have provided a springboard for scores of famous musicians. Keith Barker-Main takes at trip down memory lane, visiting watering holes that have played a part in the capital’s rich rock ’n’ roll heritage.

London’s most romantic restaurants

Square Meal has selected London’s most romantic restaurants for all occasions, from first dates to proposals to anniversaries.

Pitt Cue CoBest cheap-and-cheerful restaurants in central London

London can be prohibitively expensive. Don’t despair: with increasing numbers of the capital’s inhabitants dining out more regularly, London’s restaurateurs are waking up to the idea of serving good-value, good-quality food in a fun, casual environment. Dine well for under £35 with Square Meal’s pick of the best cheap-and-cheerful restaurants in London.

Min JiangLondon’s best dim sum restaurants

From dumplings to steamed buns, dim sum has a dedicated following. Most people head to Chinatown to get their fix, although there are surprising finds dotted all over the capital – and just beyond. Dim sum has gone mainstream, too: the Ping Pong chain gives a user-friendly introduction to the delicacy. Aficionados and newcomers alike should read on for Square Meal’s pick of London’s most authentic dim sum restaurants.

oxford circus oxford street shoppingJanuary sales shopping pit stops: restaurants near Oxford Street and Regent Street

How do you avoid the hungry hordes when you hit the high street for a spot of sales shopping? Here are Square Meal’s top 10 tips for lunching in style.

nopi food 1 2011London’s 10 best diet-friendly restaurants

Even if you’re not dieting or detoxing this month, the odds are your friends are. Plan nights out at London restaurants that won’t lead anyone astray.

barracuda new years eve 2011Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2011 in style

At this time of year, the pressure’s on to find a way to see out 2011 with a bang. Whether you’re looking for a gourmet meal with entertainment at one of the capital’s top-end establishments, a masked ball in a plush hotel, a riverboat cruise, or the perfect spot from which to watch the fireworks, get to grips with Square Meal’s pick of the best ways to spend New Year’s Eve 2011.

The LanghamRestaurants that open on Christmas Day 2011

If you’re not up for taking on the turkey challenge this year, or you’re looking for a fun alternative to the traditional Christmas lunch, there’s still time to book yourself and your loved ones into a restaurant to remember this Christmas. Surprising numbers of London restaurants are open on 25 December, serving festive menus that require no pre-planning, no fuss and no washing-up – on your part at least.

Highgate House Xmas 2011Christmas cheer in London: Christmas menus and events

With the nights getting crisper and festive lights twinkling in restaurant windows, it’s time to dose up on Christmas spirit in the capital. Whether you opt for carols in the City, mulled wine and spice-laden cocktails, a celebratory Champagne breakfast, or a trip back in time on the Orient Express, get festive in style with Square Meal’s guide to Christmas menus and events in London.

Best sustainable restaurants in London and the UK

Increasingly savvy diners are not only asking restaurants whether their chicken is free range, their tuna line-caught and their scallops hand-dived; more and more now want to know where ingredients have come from, what eco-credentials a restaurant possesses, and how establishments treat their staff in terms of training and tips. The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) awards one-, two- or three-star ratings to member restaurants that perform highly in these categories, and works with them to improve their sustainability. Here is Square Meal’s pick of the best SRA-certified sustainable restaurants in London and the UK.

the bull and last 2011Fire your imagination: London’s best winter pubs

Are the short days and cold evenings of winter reasons to be depressed? On the contrary, says Keith Barker-Main, as he sups cask-conditioned real ales in front of roaring fires. Check out his brilliant baker’s dozen.

street food2Street eats: best street food in London

Whether you want a Korean-Mexican mash-up, a bistro lunch, or just a good old burger – London’s gang of mobile street vendors has got it covered.

Altitude FireworksRestaurants near London fireworks displays

Read Square Meal’s suggestions for the best food-and-fireworks combos in your area for Guy Fawkes Night.

BFI ImaxThe BFI London Film Festival: restaurants near the city’s cinemas

The BFI London Film Festival (12-27 October) has pitched up for 2011 with a packed schedule, and will be showing films at various locations across the city, including Southbank, Leicester Square, central London, South Kensington and Brixton. If you’re looking to make a day or night of your trip to the flicks, Square Meal has suggestions for where to eat before or after the film – and why.

electric diner 2013 breakfastLondon’s best brunches

Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, but on a bank-holiday weekend, brunch is where it's at. Here's our pick of London’s best brunches.

Grouse at Grill at the Dorchester 2013Twelve glorious restaurants serving grouse

The Glorious Twelfth marks the start of the grouse shooting season. Find out where you can enjoy roast grouse and book a table via

pizza east 1London’s best pizza

Give yourself a dose of la dolce vita this lunchtime with our list of the best pizzas in London. Whether you’re hankering after the flavours of a recent holiday, or yearning for the sunshine and sass of this Mediterranean food mecca, there’s nothing better than a pizza done properly. Here are the pizzerias that most deserve a slice of your lunchbreak.

ara wine promotion_ozone coffeeLondon’s best coffee shops

Looking for an extra spurt of energy to get you through the working day? Make a pitstop at one of the capital’s top coffee shops. From full-on flat whites to creamy cappuccinos, our selection of London’s best coffee shops will have you going from 0 to 60 in, well, about half an hour or so.

Best restaurants for jazz and live entertainment

London has more than its fair share of restaurants that seek to entertain diners as well as feed them. Find bawdy burlesque shows, sexy striptease, live music or dance, and all that jazz with Square Meal’s pick of some of the best restaurants and bars with entertainment in town.

cross keys Restaurant 1Restaurants with retractable roofs

Given Britain's finicky climate, there’s no knowing what the weather will do from one minute to the next. Many London restaurants have long since given up on the idea of offering sustained alfresco dining, opting instead to install a retractable roof. Here are some of the best restaurants and bars for ‘semi’ open-air dining.

London’s best beer gardens

When the sun is shining, London’s beer gardens are the place to be. Whether you’re popping into the pub for a quick after-work drink, enjoying a weekend lunch in the sun, or holing up in your local for a lost afternoon, here are 10 of London’s best beer gardens in which to soak up the sunshine.

PicnicsPick up a picnic hamper from London's restaurants

Tired of spending your lunch hour cooped up in the office when you could be catching a few rays, or at least getting some fresh air? Pick up a picnic hamper or posh takeaway from one of London’s top restaurants and enjoy a spot of fine dining al fresco. Alternatively, treat yourself to gourmet food to go during a festival, road trip or another of this summer’s events.

museum children summer holidaysRestaurants at London museums and tourist attractions

While force-feeding your kids some culture over the summer holidays or nourishing your own inner self, make sure you don’t neglect the needs of the outer one. Find a restaurant pit stop that’s worth its weight in gourmet gold at London’s top museums, galleries, gardens and other cultural attractions.

London’s best French restaurants

France is still regarded by many as a standard-bearer for the ultimate in good food, and London has no shortage of Gallic bistros and fancy French fine-dining restaurants. If you’re yearning for a trip to the other side of the Channel, here are 10 of the capital’s best French restaurants. Bon appétit.

VistaPride London 2011

This weekend, central London is the place to be if you’re out, proud and up for a party – but just coming as a spectator is almost as much fun. Gay Pride in the capital promises a new parade route, an open-air club in the heart of Soho, performances by a range of artists in Trafalgar Square (pictured), and a wealth of after-parties. Shrinking violets need not apply.

Cadogan ArmsLondon's best Sunday lunch

Use Square Meal’s list of the best places for Sunday lunch in London to find the perfect spot for a slap-up roast dinner with family and friends – from central-London restaurants (such as The Cadogan Arms, pictured) to foodie pubs off the beaten track.

gelupo ice creamLondon’s best ice cream parlours

Sunshine or no sunshine, the capital boasts plenty of purveyors of top-quality ice cream, enough to warrant more than the odd cone or two this summer. From the classic and cool, to the wacky and avant-garde, Square Meal has the inside scoop.

Penis restaurantThe world's weirdest restaurants

We’ve scoured for the globe and found the world’s five weirdest restaurants, featuring everything from stir-fried horse penis to monkey waiters.

IcebarLondon’s must-visit restaurants and bars

If you live for those ‘have you ever been to…?’ conversations, and love nothing more than letting rip with a good anecdote, then this is the list for you.

the capital 2013 afternoon teaLondon’s 10 best afternoon teas

What better way to spend a day in London than to take a luxurious and dainty afternoon tea in a quintessentially English location? From tea sommeliers and finger sandwiches to cream horns and baby-pink fondant fancies, here’s Square Meal’s guide to the best cream teas in the capital.

London MarathonWhere to watch the London Marathon

If you’re supporting London Marathon runners this Sunday, here is Square Meal's pick of restaurants near the 26.2-mile course’s main viewing points.

CaminoSomething Spanish: London's best tapas restaurants

In the mood for a taste of España? Treat your tastebuds to the best tapas in London with our list of the top 15 tapas restaurants not to be missed.

London's best girlie spots for Mother’s Day

Show your mum she’s worth her weight in gold by treating her to a lazy brunch, gourmet set lunch or decadent afternoon tea.

Loft ProjectLondon’s best pop-up restaurants

Do away with your preconceptions: today's pop-ups, supper clubs, and their newer siblings, chef residencies, are an altogether more spruced-up and luxurious experience than their anything-goes boho ancestors. From slick, one-table affairs to fine-dining tasting menus cooked by superstar chefs, there’s something for everyone in London’s underground dining scene. If you decide to turn your back on Michelin stars for one night, you’ll be riding sky-high with these pop-up restaurants, supper clubs and temporary chef residencies.

river cafeWest London's 10 best riverside restaurants

Square Meal has scoured the four-mile stretch of west London's riverbank, from Putney Bridge to Hammersmith Bridge, for perfect pubs and favourite restaurants at which to enjoy the river views - or watch the all-important Boat Race when the time comes. Here are 10 of the best.

rooftop310 best restaurants and bars for views of London

Make the most of London’s beautiful skyline with the top 10 restaurants offering picturesque views. From the go-to spots for vistas of the river to the places that capture the capital’s iconic landmarks from their best side, Square Meal maps out the city as you’ve never seen it before.

st patrick's day 2012 istockTop five bars and restaurants for Irish craic

St Patrick’s Day doesn't have to be a riot of green hats and Guinness. Find out how to celebrate Ireland’s national day with a touch more class.

Mark's Bar at HixLondon's best bars for non-alcoholic cocktails

If you’re staying off the sauce for Lent, or prefer to go out without feeling worse for wear the next day, don't take the fun out of your bar ordering.

Cafe du village jazz brunchLondon's best pancake destinations

You don't have to stop tossing pancakes just because Shrove Tuesday is over. Make them a fixture of your breakfast table with the help of Square Meal's top five pancake joints. Whether you choose a stack of American-style pancakes drizzled with maple syrup, or a delicate French crêpe with a hint of lemon and sugar, treat yourself to a flippin’ marvellous feast and make every day a Pancake Day.

Flat IronNo reservation, no problem: London’s best no-bookings restaurants

Restaurants with a no-bookings policy divide opinion at Square Meal: some of us hate to queue in tense anticipation while some of us embrace the supposed spontaneity that this dining model affords our social lives. If you can’t decide where to eat out this weekend, or want to take a chance on something new, here’s our pick of the capital’s hottest no-reservations restaurants – plus a few golden oldies that are well worth the queues.

WahacaFamily-friendly restaurants

Taking the family out for a meal you'll all enjoy can be a tricky business. Square Meal has the answer, with our pick of the best family-friendly restaurants.

OXO2 2012London's hottest bars and restaurants for LFW

Fashionistas might not be renowned for their love of food, but they will be strutting their stuff in the capital’s hottest venues this weekend.

rooftopLondon's 10 best roof terraces

Come summer, some watering holes are guaranteed to put you on top of the world. We've searched out 10 of the best rooftop bars in London, from famous haunts such as Kensington Roof Gardens, to bijou suntraps you won't have heard of. Pack your Prada shades, roll up the sleeves and soak up the sun, drink in hand, before the summer inevitably turns bad.

Burger and LobsterLondon's best North American restaurants

Where do you go if you’re a homesick Yank in the UK this Thanksgiving? Find patriotic pick-me-ups at the best North American restaurants in London.

Serpentine Bar & KitchenLondon's best alfresco restaurants and cafés

The British really know how to make the most of a sunny spell, whatever season it happens to fall in. If the sun is shining, whether it's summer, winter, spring or autumn, make the most of it with Square Meal's run-down of London's top park cafés, waterside restaurants, pub gardens and alfresco courtyards. After all, it could be here today, rain tomorrow...