Like it or not, Instagram-friendly restaurants in London are a thing. Instagram has had a huge impact on the capital's restaurant scene over the last decade, and even the best London restaurants have had to come up with stunning centrepieces, innovative and immersive dishes and theatrical presentations worthy of capturing a like-driven millennial audience.
We’ve all had to get used to pausing throughout dinner whilst your Insta-obsessed friend reels off snap after snap. It may seem crazy to the restaurant traditionalists out there, but for many people, getting the perfect picture of the food or interiors is as important as the meal itself. Restaurants have had to move with the times to accommodate this, meaning that nowadays a new opening is just as much about the look as the food.
Fail-safes include elaborate flower displays, foliage, millennial pink, OTT light installations and smashing loos, but restaurants are constantly pushing the boat out to stand out further and be the next big thing. If you're mates with Damien Hirst and you can get him to make you a giant sculpture, you're probably quids in. The presentation of the food is also a key element of making a restaurant look as Instagrammable as possible. Sadly, smears of purée and dots of gel just don’t cut the mustard any more. Hot chocolate sauce poured over a chocolate sphere? That is so two-thousand-and-late, people.
But it’s important to not get too carried away and let it all become style over substance – food should, in our opinion, still be the main focus of a restaurant. We’ve put together a list below of the best Instagram restaurants in London that manage to balance captivating visuals as well as tasty grub. So, next time you’re searching for a restaurant which will guarantee you a delicious meal but also has all the elements you would want for that ideal snap, be sure to check these out.
Why: The forward-thinking Mexican fare isn't the only reason to visit this Marylebone marvel. The moody burnt orange colour scheme was heavily influenced by colourful Mexican architect Luis Barragan, and is a lovely tonal match for the mahogany, leather and terracotta throughout the restaurant.
Most Instagrammable feature: The raw steel and stained glass spiral staircase.
Where: 9 Seymour Street, W1H 7BA
Book now: KOL
YOPO at The Mandrake, Fitzrovia
Why: Regular ‘grammers are likely no strangers to The Mandrake Hotel, but among the many snappable interiors, rainforest-chic YOPO is probably our favourite. It’s impossible not to admire the full steam ahead commitment to the jungle theme, complete with sprawling canopy and taxidermy.
Most Instagrammable feature: The lost world taxidermy.
Where: 20-21 Newman Street, W1T 1PG
Book now: YOPO at The Mandrake
Spring, The Strand
Why: Skye Gyngell’s bright and breezy restaurant in Somerset House is a picture of elegance, with marble, gold accents and plants galore providing a photographer’s paradise.
Most Instagrammable feature: The custom-made bubble chandeliers.
Where: Somerset House, WC2R 1LA
Book now: Spring
Sushisamba, Covent Garden
Why: What Sushisamba Covent Garden lacks in views compared to its City-based Heron Tower sibling, it sure makes up for in photogenic material. Funky tiles, a gold-mirrored ceiling, shrubs-galore and a ‘living bar’? Pff, who needs views?
Most Instagrammable feature: The plant-overloaded bar.
Where: 35 The Market, WC2E 8RF
Book now: Sushisamba Covent Garden
Why: If you’re someone that loves a bit of natural wood grain, get yourself over to Uchi in Clapton - this authentic Japanese restaurant boasts a compact menu of hot and cold dishes, all served in a calm, serene space. Leave your shoes at the door, and shuffle about in complimentary slippers.
Most Instagrammable feature: Your own feet, with complimentary slippers on.
Where: 144 Clarence Road, E5 8DY
Book now: Uchi
14 Hills, The City
Why: Sat on the 14th floor of a Fenchurch street skyscraper, D&D's 14 Hills could be described as a forest in the sky thanks to the vast amount of foliage in all corners of the restaurant. If you add to this fact that the window gives you a view right out over London, there's no denying that this is one of The City's go-to Instagram spots.
Most Instagrammable feature: The indoor trees, dangling with lanterns.
Where: 120 Fenchurch Street, EC3M 5BA
Book now: 14 Hills
La Goccia Bar, Covent Garden
Why: Sure, the sprawling outdoor terrace at La Goccia gets all the attention, but have you ever had a peek at the inside of the bar? From the paint-splattered armchairs to leopard-print stools, it’s a ‘grammers dream!
Most Instagrammable feature: The crimson paint-splattered armchairs for us.
Where: 1 Floral Court, WC2E 9FB
Book now: La Goccia Bar
Upstairs at The George, Fitzrovia
Why: Burrow your way past drinkers in the downstairs pub and head up the stairs to find this renovated Georgian stunner. James Knappett (of Kitchen Table) handles the upmarket British classics here, so you know the food is as good as the interiors.
Most Instagrammable feature: One of the many restored fireplaces, and hanging tapestries.
Where: 55 Great Portland Street, W1W 7LQ
Book now: Upstairs at The George
Sessions Arts Club, Farringdon
Why: Sessions Arts Club has caused quite a stir with its tasteful, shabby-chic restoration of an old courthouse. Much of the interior has been carefully rescued from markets and salvage yards, but the sky-high ceilings and foliage preserve the building's regency glamour.
Most Instagrammable feature: The whole place is amazing, but rumour has it there's an infinity pool hiding on a terrace somewhere in the building.
Where: 22 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0NA
Book now: Sessions Arts Club
The Water House Project, Bethnal Green
Why: Not what you expect to find down a gloomy backstreet in Bethnal Green, The Water House Project is quite something - a tasting menu experience that blends kitchen and dining rooms, and delivers food that looks as good as it tastes.
Most Instagrammable feature: Gabriel Waterhouse’s beautiful, minimal cooking.
Where: 1 Corbridge Crescent, E2 9DS
Book now: The Water House Project
MiMi Mei Fair, Mayfair
Why: MiMi Mei Fair evolves as you proceed through different rooms, from the Orient Express vibe downstairs, to the opulence of painted silk wallpaper and thick tasselled curtains upstairs. This is an ultra-glamorous destination with high-end Chinese food to match.
Most Instagrammable feature: The hand-painted mural in The Parlour. The black chinoiserie wallpaper in the loos is a close second.
Where: 55 Curzon Street, W1J 8PG
Book now: MiMi Mei Fair
Why: There’s lots of cool stuff going on at this Latin-American open-fire cooking den, from art deco mosaic walls to patterned upholstery on the chairs. It’s a beautiful space, not least thanks to the stunning chandeliers.
Most Instagrammable feature: Bespoke chandeliers made up of over a thousand cut glass decanters.
Where: 47 Great Marlborough Street, W1F 7JP
Book now: Sucre
The Aubrey, Knightsbridge
Why: An eccentric, off-kilter blend of stately Georgian and Japanese izakaya vibes, The Aubrey is a welcome addition to London's restaurant scene. The restaurant is a real labyrinthe of different spaces, from the plush, dusky-red lounge and dining room to the ambient lighting of the salon and curio lounge.
Most Instagrammable feature: Explore the myriad rooms - they all have their own character.
Where: 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA
Book now: The Aubrey
Maya at The Hoxton, Old Street
Why: Rooftop restaurants were made for the ‘gram and this one is no different. With interiors from the team at SoHo House, Maya at The Hoxton makes for some serious photo fodder. Think a plant-filled roof terrace, rattan lampshades, velvet couches and curved booth seating.
Most Instagrammable feature: The roaming guacamole cart.
Where: 1 Willow Street, EC2A 4BH
Book now: Maya at The Hoxton
Ave Mario, Covent Garden
Why: a jaw-dropping combo of scarlet banquettes and multicoloured Murano glass, Ave Mario might just be Big Mamma’s loudest and proudest restaurant yet. That shade of red was taken from the Pope’s slippers, by the way.
Most Instagrammable feature: Worn terracotta tiling and vintage Fiorucci posters.
Where: 15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QG
Book now: Ave Mario
Petersham Nurseries Cafe, Richmond
Why: One of London’s Instagram originals, the Petersham Cafe in Richmond is still a stunning space to hang out in, and that’s before we mention the pared-back, ultra-seasonal Mediterranean cooking - still some of London’s best.
Most Instagrammable feature: The very green terrace.
Where: Church Lane, TW10 7AB
Book now: Petersham Nurseries Cafe
NoMad, Covent Garden
Why: This cavernous green space at NoMad is filled with natural light – which as any papper knows is tres importante for getting the shot. Aside from the glass roof there are green velvet banquettes, fluted pendant lights and marble tables (which of course make a great background to the food when you’re sneaking a few snaps).
Most Instagrammable feature: The restaurant as a whole.
Where: 28 Bow Street, WC2E 7AW
Book now: NoMad
The Ivy Asia St Paul’s, St Paul's
Why: Go big or go home, we think that’s how the saying goes? The Ivy Asia St Paul’s does everything in excess, creating the most wonderful backdrop for any pictures you want to take while dining (in fact, staff actually offer to take pictures of you while you're here). At the centre of the room there’s a giant faux blossom tree, while the floor is lit from beneath and encrusted in slices of green stone.
Most Instagrammable feature: The central blossom tree.
Where: 20 New Change, EC4M 9AG
Book now: The Ivy Asia St Paul’s
Sexy Fish, Mayfair
Why: This one’s a favourite of the rich and famous who are out to be seen. Aside from the possibility of celeb spotting, Sexy Fish also offers up a great place to snap photographs until your heart’s content. You might be forgiven for thinking this is a dining room with style over substance, but the food lives up to the setting with cracking pan-Asian cooking.
Most Instagrammable feature: The central bar with its sculptural fish mobile.
Where: Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, W1J 6BR
Book now: Sexy Fish
Wild by Tart, Belgravia
Why: Wild by Tart was founded by one of London’s top catering firms who bost Stella McCartney and Louis Vuitton amongst their clients. With such discerning customers already on the books they could hardly come to the restaurant market with average décor. The combo of laidback linens, rattan chairs and natural light makes this an Instagram dream.
Most Instagrammable feature: One of the foliage surrounded seating nooks.
Where: 3-4 Eccleston Yards, SW1W 9AZ
Book now: Wild by Tart
Native at Browns, Mayfair
Why: If it’s good enough for the fashion set, it’s good enough for us. This gorgeous hidden space is found at high-end retailer Brown’s, offering a welcome respite from retail therapy. At Native at Browns you’ll find mosaic floors, a beautifully tiled bar and woven seating, all equating to a gorgeous picture for your feed.
Most Instagrammable feature: The central tiled bar, or the outdoor terrace.
Where: 39 Brook Street, W1K 4JE
Book now: Native at Browns
The Ned, The City
Why: Okay, this isn’t actually one restaurant, but a collection of restaurants all found within The Ned hotel at Bank. Each of the restaurants have their own specific vibe, but all have Instagrammable qualities in common. If you fancy something laidback you can’t beat getting a bite to eat in Millie’s Bar, where there’s pink banquette seating and the most perfect people watching. The downside? It's reserved for members only, but there are plenty of other bars and restaurants open to the masses.
Most Instagrammable feature: The grand entrance hall with its central band stand.
Where: 27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ
Book now: The Ned
Brasserie Zedel, Picadilly Circus
Why: The grand dining room at Brasserie Zedel is as impressive as it is unexpected. Reached via a subtle entrance on Piccadilly, the epic space below is cavernous. With a touch of old world glamour, the décor will transport you to the glory days of traditional French dining. Expect marble pillars and gilded touches as well as a menu covering all the classics – from steak hache through to duck confit. If you have time, grab a cocktail in the neighbouring Bar Américain before your meal.
Most Instagrammable feature: The whole of the main dining room.
Where: 20 Sherwood Street, W1F 7ED
Book now: Brasserie Zedel
Why: Up on the 14th floor of Southwark's Hoxton Hotel, Seabird boasts incredible views over London, and plenty of plush furniture to nestle into as you enjoy the seafood-led menu. The highlight has to be the impressive terrace which comes decorated with elegant trees and allows you to dine in the clouds. FYI, Seabird has just started serving some of the best brunch in London - we'd recommend booking a table asap.
Most Instagrammable feature: The tree-lined terrace.
Where: 40 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8NY
Book now: Seabird
Circolo Popolare, Fitzrovia
Why: Not only is Big Mamma's Circolo Popolare one of London's most Insta-friendly restaurants, but it's also surely one of the biggest. The massive dining room is a Sicilian trattoria on steroids, featuring a huge amount of foliage dangling from above, backlit walls of bottles, and beautifully crafted furnitire. The seriously extra food is also definitely more than worth a few snaps.
Most Instagrammable feature: The walls stacked from top to bottom with bottles.
Where: 40-41 Rathbone Place, W1T 1HX
Book now: Circolo Popolare
Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury
Why: Dalloway Terrace changes the display on its terrace to reflect the season, so expect grandiose flowers in spring and summer, crisp and frosty decorations during winter and golden brown leaves in the autumn. Twinkling fairy lights always complete the look and the retractable roof and outdoor heaters mean it’s enjoyable any time of year.
Most Instagrammable feature: The seasonally-changing flower displays on the terrace.
Where: The Bloomsbury Hotel, 16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN
Book now: Dalloway Terrace
Sketch: Gallery, Mayfair
Why: Sketch Gallery's bubblegum pink, eternalised on Instagram feeds worldwide, is gone, replaced by a solar yellow colour scheme that marks a new chapter for the trendsetting restaurant and gallery. The major redesign comes courtesy of British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare CBE and architect India Mahdavi - a series of Shonibare's works have joined the gallery, celebrating African culture. Is this the end for Millenial Pink? We'll soon find out.
Most Instagrammable feature: A toss up between the yellow gallery itself and the loos – so why not pap both?
Where: 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG
Book now: Sketch: Gallery
Corner Room, Shoreditch
Why: The east-end hotspot that is Corner Room has earnt its popularity due to two things. One, its wall of artistically hung retro pendant lamps – this is where you go to get your Insta material. Two, incredible small plates showcasing modern European food.
Most Instagrammable feature: The famous ‘light wall’ of pendant lamps.
Where: Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, E2 9NF
Book now: Corner Room
Brasserie of Light, Fitzrovia
Why: In addition to serving up fantastic food from an international menu, Brasserie of Light boasts plenty of features that would work for a pic for the ‘gram. Let's not overlook the gigantic Damien Hirst-designed Pegasus sculpture that hangs from the ceiling (it has a 30-foot wingspan), the dusty pink ladies’ toilets that are selfie-ready, and the food which is prettily and artistically presented.
Most Instagrammable feature: The Pegasus sculpture.
Where: Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
Book now: Brasserie of Light
The Collins Room at The Berkeley, Knightsbridge
Why: The room itself is as pretty as a picture with hues of silver and mint complementing art deco mirror details, but it’s the restaurant's London afternoon tea in The Collins Room that steals the show, Insta-wise. Broadly espousing a fashion theme, it features details such as Prada’s red and white handbag in edible form or Stella McCartney’s famous striped dress.
Most Instagrammable feature: The Prêt-à-Portea afternoon tea.
Where: The Berkeley, Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL
Book now: The Collins Room at The Berkeley's
The Berkeley Bar and Terrace, Knightsbridge
Why: The bar and terrace at the stunning (and let’s be honest, already an Instagrammer’s dream) The Berkeley, not only whips up a wide selection of rare wines, Champagne and dark spirits, but also gives plenty of Insta material.
Most Instagrammable feature: The soft coral snug with its mural of faces and dusty pink seats.
Where: The Berkeley, Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL
Book now: The Berkeley Bar & Terrace
Why: The kitsch cuteness overload at Mayfair’s Jikoni is almost unbearable but somehow manages to just strike the right balance of clashing prints. The food of executive chef Ravinder Bhogal is a merry medley of the cuisines of Asia, the Middle East, East Africa and Britain, and so are the interiors. Rich fabrics, ethnic patterns and native artefacts work as pretty Instagram details.
Most Instagrammable feature: The sofa seats, stuffed with richly-patterned cushions, pretty tablecloths and intriguing crockery.
Where: 19-21 Blandford Street, W1U 3DH
Book now: Jikoni
The Ivy Chelsea Garden, Chelsea
Why: OTT destination The Ivy Chelsea Garden is popular with the Instagram crowd, much due to its colourful interiors and luscious garden terrace, which is quite the place to be in the summer. If you can get a table, that is.
Most Instagrammable feature: The foliage-covered garden walls.
Where: 197 King's Road, SW3 5ED
Book now: The Ivy Chelsea Garden
Bob Bob Ricard, Soho
Why: You might know it as the restaurant with the ‘press for Champagne button’, and although we do agree that anywhere with such a button is worth visiting, Bob Bob Ricard is more than a gimmick. The food is exceptional and besides the button itself, the luxurious Gatsby-like interiors will make your followers mega jealous.
Most Instagrammable feature: The button. Go on, push it!
Where: 1 Upper James Street, W1F 9DF
Book now: Bob Bob Ricard
Harrods Dining Hall, Knightsbridge
Why: The Harrods Dining Hall is a haven both for foodies and for Insta-chasers. Formerly known as the Meat & Fish Hall, the Dining Hall is a collection of restaurants that each boast luxurious design, all housed among gleaming tiles and columns.
Most Instagrammable feature: The oval-shaped wine bar, sitting below a mural-painted ceiling.
Where: 87-135 Brompton Road, SW1X 7XL
Book now: Harrods Dining Hall
Why: East-end Italian Gloria is another Big Mamma Group smash hit, dishing out Instagrammable plates such as the giant carbonara served in a hollowed out pecorino cheese, and that insane lemon meringue pie, all to a loud gleeful soundtrack. It's a quirky haven.
Most Instagrammable feature: The 70’s Capri-style interiors that are, in one word, extra.
Where: 54-56 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3QR
Book now: Gloria
Berners Tavern at The London Edition, Fitzrovia
Why: The evergreen and handsome dining room at Berners Tavern is effortlessly chic and elegant. Combined with Jason Atherton's exceptional modern European menus, this is one of London's real special occasion treats.
Most Instagrammable feature: The dining hall with its mosaic of framed paintings.
Where: 10 Berners Street, W1T 3NP
Book now: Berners Tavern at The London Edition
The Dining Room at Mare Street Market, Hackney
Why: Instagrammers will have a field day at the crystal chandelier-studded, antique-filled, plant-lined Dining Room at Mare Street Market. From vintage furniture, giant mirrors and taxidermy giraffe heads, there’s almost too much to take in in a single visit.
Most Instagrammable feature: An overview of the whole room – but make sure to get the giraffe in
Where: 117 Mare Street, E8 4RU
Book now: Dining Room at Mare Street Market
The Coral Room, Bloomsbury
Why: The Coral Room at the Bloomsbury Hotel is indeed coral, styled in a 1920s fashion – and extremely pretty. Luxurious design details, well-turned cocktails (that also look the part), and delicious food make this a hit with the Bloomsbury crowd.
Most Instagrammable feature: The shimmering art-deco bar.
Where: 16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN
Book now: The Coral Room
Clos Maggiore, Covent Garden
Why: Unquestionably one of London's most romantic restaurants, there are more reasons than one to visit Clos Maggiore. Our favourite of them is the flower-studded conservatory, known as ‘the pretty room’, where twinkling fairy lights make for a romantic setting at night, and beaming sunlight gives everything a dreamy atmosphere during the day. The French cooking is also worth the visit.
Most Instagrammable feature: The ‘pretty room’ conservatory.
Where: 33 King Street, WC2E 8JD
Book now: Clos Maggiore
Juno Rooms, City
Why: There is so much to love at Juno Rooms, from Japanese cherry blossoms and an incredibly handsome private dining room to the palm-printed booths – there’s even a neon sign thrown in for good measure. Popular as an after-work cocktail spot for City workers, this Square Mile bar is as Instagram-ready as they get.
Most Instagrammable feature: The Japanese cherry blossoms.
Where: 67-69 Watling Street, EC4M 9DD
Book now: Juno Rooms
Need more to fill your feed with? In our list of London’s most Instagrammable loos, you can find out where to have a wee and boost your Instagram account all at the same time, while this list of pink restaurants in London are the must-go places for a pretty-in-pink profile. Prefer to eat somewhere that doesn't try so hard? These cool and trendy restaurants in London are where you'll want to be seen.