The problem with London? Just when you start unwinding and really getting into your evening out, the lights go on and its taxi time. There are, however, restaurants that offer a late-night service – you just need to know where to find them. Here’s our lucky seven late-night restaurants for those times when you want to go gastro late into the night – or even through until the next morning.

Words: Nicky Evans

Balans Soho Society restaurant bar London Soho

Balans Soho Society, Soho

What: After nightfall, this London-wide chain of laid-back all-day brasseries dedicates itself to the artfully lost evening. The Soho branch closes for a scant two hours’ beauty sleep, meaning you can mix burgers with breakfasty treats, and cocktails with coffee, until 5am; or pop in for a hangover breakfast if you’re still wandering Soho’s street the morning after the night before. Late-night deliveries also available.

Where: 60-62 Old Compton Street, W1D 4UG

Bar Boulud

Bar Boulud at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Knightsbridge

What: Buzzing at all hours of the day, and a large part of the night (12M/1am), this luxe destination in the basement of the Mandarin Oriental mixes clever design with top-drawer Franco-American brasserie food, on-the-ball service and a formidable wine list. This is the place to find off-duty chefs unwinding over a late supper – and if the food’s good enough for them…

Where: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, SW1X 7LA

Duck & Waffle Local London restaurant bar Covent Garden

Duck & Waffle, City

What: It’s not London that’s nicknamed the city that never sleeps; nevertheless, at Duck & Waffle you can pull an all-nighter in true New York style. The 40th floor restaurant’s round-the-clock service will take you effortlessly from dusk til dawn, throwing in a sunrise that lights up the whole cityscape for good measure. Toast your stamina with a breakfast mimosa.

Where: 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY

Hakkasan London Chinese restaurant

Hakkasan Hanway Place, Fitzrovia

What: With its black-lacquered interiors, barely-there lighting and sexy vibe, Hakkasan is ideal for night owls, and from Thursdays to Sundays it’s open until 12.15am. The luxed-up Cantonese cuisine, sizzling cocktails, blingy price tag and hip atmosphere make this evergreen destination the perfect location for dates that you don’t want to end – or any occasion when you want to feel like a VIP.

Where: 8 Hanway Place, W1T 1HD

Hoi Polloi Meat main

Hoi Polloi at Ace Hotel, Shoreditch

What: This all-day hotspot has a work hard, play hard mentality that suits forever-young London – the kitchen doesn’t down tools until 12M. The interiors are a design obsessive’s dream; consequently the space is packed with fashionable creatives who imbue it with a money-can’t-buy buzz from cocktail o’clock until the stroke of midnight. Follow them to the after-party…

Where: 100 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JQ

La Bodega Negra

La Bodega Negra, Soho

What: A feverish search for a sex shop might sound like a throwback to a different sort of Soho all-nighter, but pick the right place and you’ll find Will Ricker’s Mexican-themed den of decadence awaiting you in the cellar. Tequila and mezcal are the liquors of choice to get this party started, and the dining and drinking hedonism carries on until 1am. 

Where: 9 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JF

VQ London restaurant chain 24hour dining

VQ, Chelsea

What: 24/7 dining is the name of the game at this Chelsea favourite, which blazed a trail for all-day, all-night fun when it opened more than 20 years ago. Its modern, minimalist interior works for both bright-as-a-button breakfasts and brunches and the diner-style dinners and fun-times cocktails offered at the loucher end of the day. Twenty-four hour breakfasts are a particular forte.

Where: 325 Fulham Road, SW10 9QL

Planning to be up all night? Find more late-night London restaurants in our comprehensive list. 

This article was published 10 August 2017