Late night eats: Dining after dark in London restaurants

Because sometimes McDonald's just won't cut it

Updated on 02 October 2019 • Written By Aneesa Anwar

Late night eats: Dining after dark in London restaurants

As much as London would like to call itself the city that never sleeps, unfortunately a lot of it does. Just when your night out is coming to an end and all you want is some greasy carb-filled goodness to line your stomach and cushion the next day’s hangover, most restaurants are getting ready to shut their doors.

Now you could of course visit a well-known fast food chain to get you fill. But sometimes you just want something a little more upmarket to end your night. Thankfully a selected few of London’s trendiest restaurants are open in to the early hours so if you just can’t get rid of that Duck and Waffle craving or fancy ending your night with some sashimi, take a look at this list before you head out on the town.


Balans Soho Society

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 at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

What: Buzzing at all hours of the day, and a large part of the night (12pm/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

What: It’s not London that started the trend for calling itself 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 Hanway Place

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 at Ace Hotel

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; which consequently means 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

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 at La Bodega Negra to get the party started, and the dining and drinking hedonism carries on until 1am. 
Where: 9 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JF



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, as well as the diner-style dinners and fun-times cocktails offered at the loucher end of the day. Twenty-four hour breakfasts are a particular forte at VQ.
Where: 325 Fulham Road, SW10 9QL


Meat Liquor

Why: After a night out, sometimes only a carby meat-filled burger will hit the spot. At Meat Liquor not only will you get the meatiest of burgers slathered in cheese, but all its meat is marinated in, you guessed it, liquor. Now may be the time to try the hair of the dog method as your hangover cure of choice. Its open until midnight too so if that late night burger craving hits, you know the place to pay a visit.
Where: 6 St Chad's Place, WC1X 9HH


Ronnie Scott's

Why: Hailed as one of the oldest jazz clubs in the world, you don’t even need to leave the club to get a late night bite here. Dishes from the main menu include bouillabaisse of lobster, globe artichoke and jamon iberico. If you’re after a 1am pick me up however, the small plates, sandwiches and sharing plates are served all night at the bar in Ronnie Scott's.
Where: 47 Frith Street, W1D 4HT


Sushisamba City

Why: How does sushi at 1am sound? If the idea of eating raw fish that late at night is appealing to you then you’ll be happy to know that Sushisamba is open from Wednesday to Saturday until 2am meaning you can leave the club and head straight for the sashimi. On the menu you’ll find small plates of shrimp tempura, ezo samba rolls and tako sashimi.
Where: 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY


Beigal Bake

Why: A legendary staple on Brick Lane, Beigel Bake is open 24 hours a day serving up the best salt beef bagels in town. In fact heading to this uber popular spot at night may be the best time to go if it’s a quick snack you are after because queues for this bakery get long. For many it is worth the wait, but if you stumble in at 5am queues won’t be an issue.
Where: 159 Brick Lane, E1 6SB


Three Eight Four

Why: Reasonably priced food is usually a must when you are after it at 12am, which is why Three Eight Four is ideal for late night small plates. You can try chilli and garlic squid, chicken wings and a s’more sharer with melted chocolate covered marshmallows to finish. It has a bar too so if you want to carry on drinking you can enjoy a cocktail or two here.
Where: 384 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LF  


Polo Bar 

Why: Open 24/7, whether you are after a stack of pancakes at 2am or a burger at 9am, Polo Bar has you covered. Putting emphasis on the all-day menu you can pop in for a bite to eat before heading down to Liverpool Street Station (which is just opposite by the way) to make your way home. Opening in 1953 this restaurant has had over 60 years to perfect its comfort food.
Where: 176 Bishops Gate, EC2M 4NQ


Want to go somewhere that will impress your out of town friends? Check out our list of cool and trendy restaurants