London is chock full of novel and daring dining experiences that will tickle the fancy of tourists, and even locals who have “seen it all”. There’s always a new pop-up or a truly out there concept that will prompt queues to form around the block. From ping pong eateries to full on circus show extravaganzas, this fantastic city has got so much to offer.
Do you fancy dining in the dark? Or karaoke-ing to your heart’s content? Or perhaps you’d rather leave the singing to someone else, while you tuck into a delicious feast of contemporary European fare. There are so many fun places to eat in London; this list will inspire you to make the most of this amazing city and clear your diary to visit them all.
From the truly incredible and Instagram-worthy to the downright unusual and bizarre, you can get front row seats to the best food and entertainment London has. It can almost be overwhelming to choose the most fun places to celebrate a special occasion (or any excuse really), when there are so many options.
Luckily for you, we’ve whittled down the best fun places to eat in London so you can leisurely make your way to one of our recommendations down below. The list has been sorted into categories depending on your mood and preferences; we’ve got casual, classy, dance-y, and ones that will sort your plans for a group trip out. Your food and entertainment London experiences are about to seriously get levelled up.
SKIP TO THE BEST SECTION FOR YOU
So before you type ‘fun places to eat near me’ into Google, why not check out our curated list and have a truly exciting food experience at one of these restaurants. Get ready to have tonnes of fun!
Dinner and a show
Who doesn't love a spot of entertainment with their meal? Especially when it involves mind-blowing circus performances and exciting cabaret shows. London plays host to some of the best acts and performers in the world, and combined with some smashing food, you're in store for a great evening.
The Courtesan, Brixton
Why: Not only does The Courtesan feature a tantalising line-up of dumplings - scrumptiously filled with wasabi king prawns, mushroom, deep-fried sea bass, and plenty more – but it also plays host to some mesmerising Burlesque performances. Courtesan Lates pays homage to global influences as much as the eclectic food does, so be prepared for a heady swirl of fun.
Where: 69 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU
Circus, Covent Garden
Why: Come down to Circus for a proper dinner and show experience, as this cabaret venue will blow you away with its amazing line-up of contortionists, fire breathers, aerialists, and more. The pan-Asian dishes on offer are just as theatrical, with the likes of lemon ponzu red prawns and white miso black cod entertaining the taste buds, while the pop-up circus kicks off on stage.
Where: 27-29 Endell Street, WC2H 9BA
Proud Cabaret, City
Why: Proud Cabaret is a glamourous jazz club dressed in vintage speakeasy era décor, where you can let yourself be immersed in the world of opulence and burlesque. This 1920s Parisian-style cabaret venue is great for birthday parties, and the themes for the shows change regularly, ranging from Gatsby to Broadway. Order from the list of tempting cocktails and tuck into a globally inspired menu.
Where: 1 Mark Lane, EC3R 7AH
Why: Aeronaut is the epitome of fun with its seemingly endless offering of entertainment, from circus acts to games nights and VR experiences - the Cirque du Soleil-style performances in particular are a real crowd-pleaser. Aeronaut doesn’t do things by halves, and this applies to the menu too; mains will see you drooling over the likes of pineapple and homemade Sriracha glazed chicken, and Guinness marinated racks of ribs.
Where: 264 Acton High Street, W3 9BH
London has a thriving music scene and an equally exciting restaurant industry, so why not get the best of both worlds and dine at one of these places, while being entertained by some top-quality musicians. These live music venues will put you in a great mood, with a smile plastered on your face.
Bel Canto, Bayswater
Why: Treat yourself to some live opera singing as you feast on a sumptuous spread of French cuisine at Bel Canto. Dinner here is an intimate affair, and you will be the audience to professional opera singers who have trained at prestigious conservatories and academies around the world - making for an unforgettable dining experience with a contemporary menu.
Where: The Corus Hotel, 1 Lancaster Gate, W2 3LG
The Piano Works, Farringdon and West End
Why: The Piano Works promises a jam-packed schedule of fun at its two locations (Farringdon and the West End), where you can expect to be wowed by live musicians, pianists, and bands. Each night is themed and the cocktail lists are based off the top ten songs requested by the audience, making for a vibrant atmosphere, frenetic with energy. The food menu, offering Buddha bowls and stacks of ribs, will keep you properly nourished as the night goes on.
Where: 113-117 Farringdon Road, ECR1 3BX; 47 Whitcomb Street, WC2H 7DH
The Gremio de Brixton, Brixton
Why: The Gremio de Brixton is ideal for punters looking for some casual entertainment to go with their food. This buzzy tapas eatery serves up some traditional Spanish bar vibes, replete with local bands and DJs showing off their best beats. The décor is rustic and charming, and the Iberian sharing plates are thoughtfully put together, and pair nicely with a cold beer or red wine.
Where: The Crypt, St Matthews Church, SW2 1JF
Blues Kitchen, Brixton, Shoreditch, and Camden
Why: Come hang out at the Blues Kitchen (located in Brixton, Shoreditch and Camden) for a hearty dose of American soul food. Dine on classic southern dishes such as shrimp jambalaya and beef brisket, and wash it down with a strong bourbon – there are over 100 to choose from. Once your stomach has been lined, it’s time for some night train soul tunes or check out the blues gospel for a feel-good Sunday brunch.
Where: 40 Acre Lane,SW2 5SP; 134-146 Curtain Road, EC2A 3AR; 111-113 Camden High Street, NW1 7JN
Room 43, Clapham
Why: Head to Room 43 for some delicious Persian eats, located within a rustic, stripped back restaurant, and a more relaxing take on entertainment. Beers are locally crafted, and the food features a nice selection of mezze and more hearty mains. The chicken skewers, marinated in saffron and yoghurt, are succulent and go well with the lentil and mango salad. Let yourself chill out as the house jazz band curates the mood, and punters can even partake with the freestyle jam session.
Where: 43 Lavender Hill, SW11 5QW
Activity bars and restaurants
Got a competitive streak? Uncover your hidden talents and impress your friends with your mad ping pong skills or kick it up a notch and belt out a tune at karaoke. Why not up the stakes even further, and have the loser buy dinner for everyone? Proceed with caution, fun ahead.
Why: This snug little basement bar is home to one of London’s best karaoke setups. The back wall at Bao Borough is actually a huge screen, and your party will be furnished with microphones aplenty to help them let out their inner Cher. Hungry tummies are catered for by way of the Taiwanese menu that champions – naturally – bao but also includes fried chicken and other tasty treats.
Where: 13 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD
Bounce, Farringdon and Old Street
Why: Bounce (with locations in Farringdon and Old Street) is ideal for competitive ping pong throw-downs in between bites of slow-cooked pork ribs and southern fried popcorn prawns. For more substantial dining, get a pizza pie topped with charred artichoke, roast tomato tapenade, Sorrento olives, and tenderstem broccoli as you soak up the buzzy, colourful atmosphere.
Where: 121 Holborn, EC1N 2TD; 241 Old Street, EC1V 9EY
Flight Club, Shoreditch, Bloomsbury, and Victoria
Why: Make your way to Flight Club for a round of darts and plates of smashing food you’ll fight over. There’s Korean sesame pork, fried mac 'n' cheese croquettes, salmon ceviche tacos, and more to chow down on while you’re not exploring the two floors of darts heaven. Players of all levels are welcome to join in on the fun, although there is a signature trophy cocktail up for grabs!
Where: 2a Worship Street, EC2A 2AH; 55 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1BS; 6 Sir Simon Milton Square, SW1E 5DJ
Bunga Bunga, Battersea and Covent Garden
Why: Karaoke! Pizza! Bingo! Bunga Bunga (located in Battersea and Covent Garden) is a one-stop shop for fun and good food. There’s loads going at this Italian joint, but it would be silly not mention the pizza, which has been given the thumbs up by us, loaded with indulgent toppings and made fresh to order. Plus the cocktail list is buzzing with crazy concoctions such as the Fiat 500, a life-sized sharer, featuring Belvedere Pink Grapefruit vodka, which will have you singing.
Where: 37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW11 3BA
Novel concepts often get a bad rap but these ones are actually worth the hype – the food is delicious, and why not get a great picture for the 'gram while you're at it? Grab your pals and get going, because you've always wanted to do something like this.
Why: Themed on the classic Monopoly board game, Top Hat finds its home next door to its immersive gaming experience partner. Once you’ve whizzed rond the life-size board, you’ll have worked up quite the appetite. Luckiliy help is at hand, as here drinks and food are plentiful, and loosely themed around the game. Interiors also pay homage to the classic family pastime through subtle nods like using tube-line fabric on upholstered items.
Where: 213-215 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7PN
Why: Billing itself as a truly one-of-a-kind gastronomic show, Park Row offers guests an immersive dining experience centred around DC comic books. There are various restaurant and bar setups to choose from within the space, but the main hub is the Monarch Theatre. Here you’ll find a combination of fine-dining food presented alongside 360 projections and carefully crafted staging that combine to take you on a tale of good and evil.
Where: 77 Brewer Street, W1F 9ZN
Dans Le Noir, Farringdon
Why: Want to put your taste buds to the test? Make your way into Dans Le Noir, but try not to get lost, because you’ll be dining in the dark at this quirky restaurant. Dans Le Noir challenges the norm, and promises to change your perception of food, as you dine on its globally influenced French cuisine and wine chosen by an in-house sommelier. If you’re feeling very adventurous, go for the surprise menu.
Where: 30-31 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DU
Ballie Ballerson, Shoreditch and Soho
Why: Ballie Ballerson is the ultimate kidult place to hang out in the city, where you can grab a Hubba Bubba Margarita and some ‘foodie fooderson’ in the shape of a truffle honey pizza topped with emmental, scarmorza, and parmesan. Once you've had your fill of food, you can jump around in a ball pit full of glowing balls all evening with friends. Is there a better way to relieve your childhood? Not in our books.
Where: 97-113 Curtain Road, EC2A 3BS; 53-54 Berwick Street, W1F 8SP
Inamo, Covent Garden, Soho, and Camden
Why: Inamo (Covent Garden, Soho and Camden) is one for the techies. This pan-Asian restaurant is a futuristic experience that allows you to order food and play games via an interactive table. You can watch your sashimi be prepared through the Chef Cam and play retro video games from your seat. The entertainment at this restaurant is top-notch and the food is on par too, with a lovely selection of sharing plates such as tender squid dumplings, miso black cod, and chicken satay on offer.
Where: 11-14 Hanover Place, WC2E 9JP; 134-136 Wardour Street, W1F 8ZP; 265 Hampstead Road, NW1 7QX
The Schoolhouse, Clapham
Why: Nostalgic for school days? The Schoolhouse promises a menu that goes back in time and makes it better, with tuck shop themed bites and comfort food served on school dinner trays by the restaurant’s ‘prefects’ – the food here is so much more delicious than we remember school meals being. The cocktails are similarly inspired, with Teacher’s Coffee and Mules served by mixologists in white lab coats.
Where: 137-139 St Johns Hill, SW11 1TD
Why: Hop on board this bus for a four-course fine dining meal cooked out of the mobile kitchen, for an experience that is pretty high up on the novelty scale. Catch some pretty views as you tour around London, thanks to the glass roof. It’s an impressive feat, and Bustronome pulls it off well – plus the menu is constantly evolving as new chefs are invited on board to develop dishes regularly.
Where: Coach bay 40B, Victoria Embankment, WC2N 6PB
Good for groups
It's always the same problem when you get a large enough group together: where do we go? Luckily, we've figured it out for you, so text the group chat that you've got it sorted, and head on to these cool places. You can thank us later, for saving you the headache of planning the group night out.
Kenza, Liverpool Street
Why: For a more laidback vibe, while still delivering on high quality food, Kenza is the ideal place to be for dinner and entertainment. The hangout-style interior is laden with Lebanese tapestries and lanterns. Dine like royalty as you order the feast menu and let the North African beats charm you away as the snakes arrive and the belly dancers weave around the room; sometimes there are fire eaters too.
Where: 10 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YP
London Cabaret Club, Holborn
Why:London Cabaret Club is great for group bookings, for those special occasions that you want to mark with a memorable experience. This cabaret venue promises an immersive theatre experience, led by a star-studded cast of West End regulars who will take you on a journey back to the roaring twenties, Gatsby-style. The food is good too, with set menus boasting several courses of scrumptious dishes such as truffle and wild mushroom risotto or beef fillet drizzled in a red wine jus.
Where: Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, WC1B 4DA
Get your 'gram seriously popping with these beauties. You won't feel ashamed for whipping out your camera at dinner, because everyone else will want to as well. Induce #FOMO as you dine at these amazing restaurants, and let these stunning interiors take your breath away.
Ave Mario, Covent Garden
Why: Younger sibling to Gloria and Circolo Popolare, Ave Mario is the third site from Parisian group Big Mamma. The team know how to create a party atmosphere, and Ave Mario is no different to the more established sites, in its irreverent, tongue-in-cheek way. Here you’ll find a buzz like nowhere else in London and a menu of Italian favourites. From the bottled lined walls and the open kitchen through to the quirky pottery, everything here has been given a touch of theatre. Dessert hasn’t escaped either, with a towering ice cream sculpture carved tableside for diners to enjoy a sweet spectacle to finish things off.
Where: 15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QG
Why: Gloria is a fun-filled extravaganza that celebrates Italian food in the best way, the over-the-top food has been extolled many times over for its modernist approach to tradition. The interiors are brightly decorated in bright pops of clashing colour to create a 70’s Capri-style trattoria that will bring a smile to your face. Grab a Negroni topped with truffle foam and immerse yourself in the exciting atmosphere of Gloria's impossibly seductive dining room.
Where: 54-56 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3QR
Shaka Zulu, Camden
Why: As London’s largest South African restaurant, Shaka Zulu definitely sets out to impress. This stunning venue, adorned in tribal wooden murals, was even given the royal seal of approval by a Zulu King. It’s not just a pretty sight though, as the restaurant offers a delicious menu of South African delicacies – traditional potjie, boerewors slathered in sheba sauce, beef bobotie - and you can dance it all off as the live entertainment brings the two-storey restaurant to life.
Where: The Stables, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AH
Circolo Popolare, Fitzrovia
Why: Circolo Popolare is another crowd-pleasing favourite from the Big Mamma Group behind Gloria, except this one is a bit easier to get a seat at. The restaurant is stunningly decorated; everywhere you turn fills your line of sight with something delightful, from the ceiling flowers to the walls jam-packed with liquor bottles, and Sicilian knick-knacks all over the place. The food is equally as rich with colour and flavour – think pastas swirled out of wheels of Pecorino and heaving towers of puddings.
Where: 40-41 Rathbone Place, Rathbone Square, W1T 1PB
Love living the high life? You'll want to check out our guide to the best rooftop bars in London.