Most of the time, a visit to a restaurant is cause for celebration enough - there’s nothing quite like the feeling of sitting down, knowing you’ve got two hours of eating ahead of you. But for those extra special occasions (or if you’re just feeling a bit fancy) there are chef’s tables and counters. What is a chef’s table exactly? Usually a chef’s table refers to a special, private dining table, often in close proximity to the kitchen, where you get more personal service from the kitchen or the head chef themselves. That said, this is a rough idea - chef’s tables vary massively in size and experience, and we’ve built our list of the best to be as wide-ranging as possible, including everything from cosy, private dining rooms to bookable seats at dining counters.
Chef’s tables have been growing in popularity over the last few years. In general, food and restaurants have moved in a more experiential direction - valuing the total experience more than just the food. Chef’s tables at heart are about the experience - you expect to have very personal experience from the chef or chefs in the restaurant, with dishes delivered to you by the kitchen, and often explained to you. At most of the below restaurants chefs are comfortable in coming and having a chat with you, extending the feeling of being part of the kitchen experience.
We’ve also included a handful of counter dining restaurants - these are not private dining rooms (though in some cases they can be privately booked for the right price). Rather, you book a number of seats along the counter, and you get to see all the food being prepared and cooked right in front of you, then served to you by the chefs.
So, if you’re in the mood for some theatrics, scroll down and check out our selection of the best chef’s tables in London.
What: One of London’s most consistently excellent restaurants, Corrigan’s also boasts a range of private dining rooms. Right next to the kitchen you’ll find the intimate Library which also doubles as a chef’s table. The Library contains lots of Richard’s favourite cookbooks for you to browse, and it’s right next to the kitchen so you get front row seats to all the action.
Where: 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 7EH
Book now: Corrigan’s
What: Benares’ eight seat chef’s table sits right in front of a panoramic kitchen window, which provides a full view of the live kitchen theatre. The area itself still feels very private, and there are lots of little personal touches from the kitchen too. Not to mention, of course, that Benares is still right up there among London’s best luxury restaurants.
Where: 12a Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, W1J 6BS
Book now: Benares
Kitchen Table, Fitzrovia
What: With two Michelin stars and a hefty waiting list, Kitchen Table remains one of the most in-demand bookings anywhere in the capital. This four hour food odyssey takes you through some twenty courses, all made in front of you and hand-delivered by James Knappett and team.
Where: 70 Charlotte Street, W1T 4QG
Book now: Kitchen Table
What: From the moment you arrive for drinks on the gorgeous roof terrace, it’s clear that Michelin-starred Angler knows how to host its diners. Superb views come as standard up here, and the chef’s table provides a variety of views, from London skyline to kitchen theatre. Executive chef Gary Foulkes and team deliver some stupendous cooking, which includes a variety of influences, from modern European and Mediterranean to Asia, where Foulkes spends a lot of his time.
Where: South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, EC2M 2AF
Book now: Angler
What: Tom Aikens’ latest restaurant is easily his most personal yet, with a series of dishes that explore his background and influences in very intimate ways. There are two chef’s tables here - a six-seater upstairs and a five-seater downstairs, where you’re likely to be served by Aikens himself.
Where: 38 Groom Place, SW1X 7BA
Book now: Muse
Humble Chicken, Soho
What: This tiny Soho site once belonged to Barrafina, but it is now home to Humble Chicken, where Angelo Sato and team cook up one of the most unique, delicious tasting menus in London. A mixture of impossibly-precise, technical cooking and full-throttle Asian flavours, Humble Chicken is an incredible experience, made all the better by how close you get to all the action.
Where: 54 Frith Street, W1D 4SJ
Book now: Humble Chicken
A. Wong, Pimlico
What: Andrew Wong’s exceptional restaurant remains the only Chinese restaurant outside of China to hold two Michelin stars. The kitchen table puts you front and centre at the bar, right in front of Andrew himself, who never misses a service at the pass of his restaurant.
Where: 70 Wilton Road, SW1V 1DE
Book now: A. Wong
Evelyn’s Table, Soho
What: The diminutive basement counter first made a name for itself alongside the Selby brothers, who first won a Michelin star here. Evelyn’s Table has retained the award under new head chef James Goodyear, and he is front and centre at this very personal ten-seat counter, which remains one of London’s most in-demand bookings.
Where: 28 Rupert Street, W1D 6DJ
Book now: Evelyn’s Table
What: Simon Rogan’s intriguing chef’s table development kitchen hybrid has really come into its own under the leadership of head chef Charlie Tayler. It’s not cheap, but following the closure of Roganic, it’s the only place you can experience a taste of Rogan’s innovative cooking in the capital. The 12-seat table is available for private hire too, in case you’re planning something special.
Where: 16A St Anne's Court, W1F 0BN
Book now: Aulis
What: Fresh from a stint as Jason Atherton’s development chef, Andy Beynon’s first solo restaurant scooped a Michelin star just 20 days after opening back in 2021. The oft-changing menu is largely fish and seafood-focused, and the counter seats up to 18 for each sitting, tucked away in trendy London Fields.
Where: 20 Sidworth Street, E8 3SD
Book now: Behind
Counter 71, Shoreditch
What: Adding to London’s embarrassment of riches when it comes to counter dining options, Counter 71 comes from former Fenn head chef Joe Laker. Laker explores his love of British ingredients across 15 precise courses, delivered along the length of a beautiful green marble counter.
Where: 71 Nile Street, N1 7RD
Book now: Counter 71
What: Noma alumni Santiago Lastra was always bound to do great things when he decided to open his debut solo restaurant in London, and KOL has become just that - arguably one of the most beautiful restaurants in the capital, as well as the most popular. Awards have quickly followed, and Lastra’s modern, Noma-Mexico take on classic flavours is spellbinding. The chef’s table is a beautiful space too, all dark timber, plaster, terracotta and greenery, and comes with a nine-course tasting menu personally delivered by Lastra and team.
Where: 9 Seymour Street, W1H 7BA
Book now: KOL
Kebab Queen, Covent Garden
What: Easily one of, if not the, most unusual chef’s table in London, Kebab Queen is hidden away under Maison Bab in Covent Garden. What looks like a regular kebab shop is in fact, a chef’s counter, and each course is served straight onto the (totally clean, we promise) counter in front of you to be eaten with your hands.
Where: 4 Mercer Walk, WC2H 9FA
Book now: Kebab Queen
Launceston Place, Kensington
What: Ben Murphy’s elegant west London restaurant is consistently underrated, especially now that Murphy’s cooking has eschewed the experimental for something a bit more classic. Grab a seat at the chef’s table inside the chic townhouse and you’ll likely be served by Murphy himself.
Where: 1a Launceston Place, W8 5RL
Book now: Launceston Place
If you're looking for something a bit special but you're not quite ready to push the boat out on a full, private chef's table, check out our list of the best tasting menus in London, all of which are still guaranteed to provide a night you won't forget in a hurry.