Can’t get enough of European cuisine? Have a look at our pick of London’s best modern European restaurants. Whether you’re a food novice or seasoned gourmand, our list of must-try modern European restaurants in London is not to be missed.
Modern European cuisine is a term that has only risen to prominence in recent years - that seems obvious given the name, but it's still fair to ask the question, what is modern European food? What distinguishes modern European from modern British, or International cuisine? The terms are amorphous with a lot of overlap, but generally speaking, modern European cuisine takes a wide-spectrum of influences from all over Europe, and has a more contemporary approach to traditional flavours. In practice, that means menus that include influences from around the Mediterranean, Spain, England and sometimes even further into central and eastern Europe.
Modern European food, in London at least, is the zeitgeist, and as a result many of the most acclaimed restaurants of the moment are pigeon-holed as modern European, simply because they have a more free, boundary-defying approach to flavours. There’s no hard and fast rule - in fact, you’ll see plenty of influences from further afield too, and it's a style born out of chefs wanting to innovate and create interesting new dishes.
Modern European restaurants tend to be a good choice if you’re looking for a certain style of food or quality of experience. Whilst many of the below serve tasting menus, there are also some that do good, old-fashioned a la cartes. Wine lists take a similar tack, venturing all over Europe to source excellent bottles, and at the moment there’s a particular focus on smaller, independent wineries and organic producers, over the better known domaines of France and beyond.
From Spanish to French to British, our choice of London’s best modern European restaurants has everything you’re looking for. Scroll down to see the best modern European restaurants in London.
Launceston Place, Kensington
What: Ben Murphy’s cooking at Launceston Place is as good as it has ever been - there was a time when his cooking was much more avant-garde and boundary-pushing, but time has also brought a touch of restraint, and with it has come some really exceptional modern European cooking. The cutesy menus are a nice touch, and though relaxed this remains a great choice for those who want a traditional date experience with white tablecloths, suited service and a hushed dining room to chat in.
Where: 1a Launceston Place, W8 5RL
Book now: Launceston Place
The Five Fields, Chelsea
What: Highly regarded for its warm, genuine service and pinpoint cooking, The Five Fields is a true neighbourhood restaurant in Chelsea, masquerading under starched white tablecloths. Provenance plays a huge part on the menu here - most of the produce comes from The Five Fields own gardens in Sussex, including vegetables, rare herbs, flowers, honey and more, and the output does justice to the excellent ingredients.
Where: 8-9 Blacklands Terrace, SW3 2SP
Book now: The Five Fields
What: Angler is one of those restaurants that has been so good for so long that it often gets a little forgotten about, but Gary Foulkes’ modern European cooking here does invigorating things with a fish and seafood-heavy brief. It’s helped too by Foulkes’ personal love for Asian flavours, which brings fresh new angles to great British seafood.
Where: South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, EC2M 2AF
Book now: Angler
The Midland Grand Dining Room, King's Cross
What: Patrick Powell and Harry Handelsman have teamed up over a few quality London restaurants - first Chiltern Firehouse, then the excellent Allegra in Stratford - but The magnificent Midland Grand Dining Room might just be their best yet. Set inside the enormous gothic halls of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Powell brings a modern take on classic French cooking to a spellbinding dining room. A must-visit.
Where: St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, NW1 2AR
Book now: The Midland Grand Dining Room
What: You can’t talk about modern European and British cooking in London and not talk about Richard Corrigan. There’s something about Corrigan’s cooking that emanates joy and conviviality, but the execution is spot on too, and dishes are still bound in traditional techniques and flavours. In truth, you’ll be very happy at Bentley’s and Portrait too, but Corrigan’s old-fashioned luxury makes it our favourite.
Where: 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 7EH
Book now: Corrigan’s
The Silver Birch, Chiswick
What: This Chiswick neighbourhood made a big splash in 2023 when it coaxed down head chef Nathan Cornwell from The Barn at Moor Hall. Cornwell has stamped his authority on the menu, bringing the same precision and attention to detail that earned The Barn a Michelin star, and turning this lesser known spot into arguably one of the best in west London.
Where: 142 Chiswick High Road, W4 1PU
Book now: The Silver Birch
What: Monica Galetti is still best recognised as ‘Scary Monica’ from MasterChef, but for those not in the know, she’s as legit as they come in the kitchen, with over a decade spent as Michel Roux Jr's right hand at Le Gavroche. Mere is her first solo restaurant and it’s a beauty inside and out, with a menu that effortlessly marries flits between her classical French cooking background and Samoan and Kiwi heritage.
Where: 74 Charlotte Street, W1T 4QH
Book now: Mere
The Ninth, Fitzrovia
What: Back after a fire and subsequent renovation, absence really has made the heart grow fonder in regards to The Ninth. Jun Tanaka turns out some truly beautiful food here, taking on myriad influences from Italy, France and beyond, including some of the best pasta dishes anywhere in London and an absolutely stunning French toast dessert.
Where: 22 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NB
Book now: The Ninth
Orasay, Notting Hill
What: Jackson Boxer’s Brunswick House could feasibly have made it onto this list, but Orasay has a special place in our hearts. Notting Hill sprung back to foodie prominence in 2022 and 2023 but Orasay was always here, with Boxer creating magnificent dishes that taste as good as they look.
Where: 31 Kensington Park Road, W11 2EU
Book now: Orasay
20 Berkeley, Mayfair
What: This beautiful Mayfair townhouse is a picture of modern European dining - elegant, stylish, with dainty courses that take broad influence from all over Europe but use British ingredients throughout. Meanwhile, the styling is quintessentially English, and an army of smart staff swan around quietly attending to tables. 20 Berkeley is exactly what you want from fine dining in Mayfair.
Where: 20 Berkeley Street, W1J 8EE
Book now: 20 Berkeley
What: Every year brings a new clutch of superstar chefs into London, and 2023 was the year that Yannick Alleno, fearless leader of the three Michelin-starred Pavillon Ledoyen in Paris, finally arrived in the capital. Pavyllon - at the Four Seasons Park Lane, of course - is no callous chef tie-in - Alleno is taking this very seriously indeed, and the food here is of the absolute highest calibre. Be aware though, the prices are astronomical even by London standards, though there is a comparatively reasonable set lunch menu on offer.
Where: Four Seasons Hotel Park Lane, W1J 7DR
Book now: Pavyllon
Portland, Great Portland Street
What: Will Lander’s Portland is a rare thing - a thoroughly grown-up, yet relaxed restaurant, that effortlessly walks between elegant fine dining without a hint of stuffiness. This is the most modern of the Woodhead Group’s restaurants (which also includes 64 Goodge Street, Quality Chop House and Clipstone) and we would argue it’s the most beautiful too - the dark-wood flooring, Scandi furniture and wall-mounted watercolours are very debonair.
Where: 113 Great Portland Street, W1W 6QQ
Book now: Portland
Pollen Street Social, Mayfair
What: Now well over a decade old, Pollen Street Social doesn’t have quite the aesthetic flash that some newer arrivals have, but the cooking is still astonishingly good, as evidenced by Pollen Street’s place in the top 10 of our Top 100 London Restaurants list. The chef’s counter is the place to be for an exceptional one-to-one experience, and though Atherton oversees a global empire these days, he makes an occasional appearance on the pass here too.
Where: 8-10 Pollen Street, W1S 1NQ
Book now: Pollen Street Social
Wild Honey St James’s
What: Wild Honey’s digs inside the Sofitel St James Hotel aren’t winning any prizes for looks, but there’s no denying the quality of the cooking here. Smart, innovative cooking is executed to perfection, from silky-smooth purees to wafer-thin tartlets, and there’s talent in the pastry kitchen too. Eating off the a la carte isn’t cheap - you’re in St James’s after all - but there are much more reasonable lunch and pre-theatre menus available.
Where: 8 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5NG
Book now: Wild Honey St James
What: Leroy sets up in the mould of a Parisian ‘cave’, with a compact menu of relaxed bistro-style seasonal plates and a hefty organic wine list. The semi-open kitchen has a few counter seats too, and the food is delightful and unfussy. It goes a little unheralded but Leroy is well worth its Michelin star.
Where: 18 Phipp Street, EC2A 4NU
Book now: Leroy
What: Ignore the slight confusion over the name (many, no doubt, will have ended up at a fertility clinic around the corner which shares the exact same name) and Apricity has established itself as one of the best restaurants in this part of town. Chantelle Nicholson has always had dazzling green credentials but her cooking here is far from righteous - it’s generous and decadent. Plus, it really does practice what it preaches - even the chairs are made from recycled cola bottles.
Where: 68 Duke Street, W1K 6JU
Book now: Apricity
What: The neighbourhood restaurant we all wish we had nearby, who knows how many people have been tempted to digs in Clapham by this highly respected modern European stalwart. Chef patron Adam Byatt’s cooking is rooted in French classicism, but he also loves Italy and the Mediterranean, and you’ll see all these influences wrapped up in beautiful dishes on the menu at Trinity, which remains staunchly a la carte and all the better for it.
Where: 4 The Polygon, SW4 0JG
Book now: Trinity
Spring, Covent Garden
What: Who better to take over the high-ceilinged, natural light-bathed space at Somerset House than Skye Gyngell, who’s gentle, ingredient-focussed cooking at Petersham Nurseries made her an instant sensation. Spring is a showcase for incredible produce grown at Fern Verrow farm, and the restaurant is one of the most beautiful in London - perfect for dates and special occasions.
Where: Somerset House, WC2R 1LA
Book now: Spring
What: When the executive chef and head sommelier of The Fat Duck left the restaurant in 2018, it was the easiest bet in food that whatever they did next would be something special. Trivet doesn’t have the same mystique as The Fat Duck, but sure enough, it’s an exceptional restaurant, full of assured cooking, clever influences and arguably the most interesting wine list in London.
Where: 36 Snowsfields, SE1 3SU
Book now: Trivet
The Ledbury, Notting Hill
What: Brett Graham’s two Michelin-starred magnum opus is a perennial chart-topper and it only seems to have improved since reopening in 2022. It’s among the most expensive per head dinners in London, but exceptional and innovative menus make it a completely unique experience - there really is nothing else like The Ledbury.
Where: 127 Ledbury Road, W11 2AQ
Book now: The Ledbury
What: Perilla has gently built a reputation as one of the best restaurants in London - perhaps even the UK - from a slightly off-the-beaten-track location in Newington Green. Chef Ben Marks is a product of Phil Howard’s kitchen at The Square, and his cooking at Perilla showcases a unique eye when it comes to dish construction and plating, alongside ironclad technique. The residents of Newington Green and Canonbury are very lucky indeed to have Perilla on their doorstep.
Where: 1-3 Green Lanes, N16 9BS
Book now: Perilla
Evelyn's Table, Soho
What: This 15-seater counter sits in the basement of renovated Chinatown boozer The Blue Posts. Zoe and Layo Paskin (of The Palomar and The Barbary) are the ones responsible, and currently they have the brilliant James Goodyear rattling the pans behind the counter. Goodyear counts Le Manoir, HIDE, Mugaritz and Maaemo among his previous haunts, and his cooking across five courses on the blind tasting menu is some of the most exciting in London right now.
Where: 28 Rupert Street, W1D 6DJ
Book now: Evelyn's Table
On the hunt for the best restaurants in London? These restaurants are a good start, but you might want to check out our list of the Top 100 Restaurants in London - it includes many of the above and plenty more tried and tested restaurants from all over the capital. If you're looking for a spot to impress a date, a mate or a colleague, these are surefire hits.