London might not be the most Michelin-starred city in the world (that honour goes to Tokyo) but in Europe it is second only to Paris for the number of starred restaurants. In fact, there are over 70 Michelin star restaurants in London. Paris has well over 100, but in fairness, the French capital had somewhat of a head start.
The categorisation dates back to 1926, when Michelin wanted to broaden the appeal of the guide it had launched in 1900 as a way of directing French drivers to amenities such as restaurants and garages. Michelin is first and foremost a tyre manufacturer, lest anyone forget, and the red guides are its most valuable marketing tool. The second and third stars were introduced in 1933 and have been causing chefs sleepless nights ever since. Put simply: winning a Michelin star is the life’s goal of many chefs. And once one star has been won, the second and third stars are the next pinnacles of success to climb.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is the London restaurant which has held three stars the longest, followed by Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. The pair of three stars were joined in 2019 by Sketch Lecture Room and Library - which won its first star way back in 2005, and in 2021 by both Hélène Darroze at The Connaught and Core by Clare Smyth. The guide isn't just about the restaurants at the top, though - some of the top michelin star restaurants London has to offer span a huge range of different cuisines. London is one of the most diverse food cities in the world and even among the upper echelons of the guide you'll find Michelin star Indian restaurants in London, Michelin star Italian restaurants in London, and plenty of great modern British options too.
According to the Michelin Guide, one star signifies ‘a very good restaurant’, two stars ‘excellent cooking that is worth a detour’ and three stars mean ‘exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey’. If you, like us, find yourself searching often for 'Michelin star restaurants near me', read on for all of London's star-holding restaurants, from top to bottom.
Three Michelin star London restaurants
Michelin defines a three-star restaurant as one that offers ‘exceptional cooking that is worth a special journey’. We’d define them as once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list restaurants; food that you wouldn’t want to eat every day (and probably couldn’t afford to) but which will linger long after you’ve taken your final mouthful of petit four.
Michelin itself elucidates the matter by saying: ‘To reach the coveted three-star echelon, it takes more than excellent food. For inspectors, what differentiates a two-star restaurant from one with three is emotion. Every three-star restaurant has a very unique signature and what the team looks for in a three-star meal is an emotional experience that is engraved in one's memory for many years to come.’
The Ledbury, Notting Hill
What: The Ledbury has long been regarded as one of the finest restaurants in the UK, and has held two Michelin stars for much of that time. In 2024 it added a third and final star, cementing its place among the very best in Europe. Chef-owner Brett Graham has never been one for the limelight and menus at The Ledbury remain staunchly mysterious, but you can expect eight courses of meticulous, inventive, spectacular cooking. If you can get a booking, that is.
Where: 127 Ledbury Road, W11 2AQ
Book now: The Ledbury
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair
What: The most famous name in global gastronomy delivers French fine dining of the highest order at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. Menus drip with luxury ingredients, at a correspondingly luxury price point. Service from impeccably polite staff is as silky smooth as the chic, cappuccino-toned dining room, with acres of space between tables and a leafy view over to Hyde Park.
Where: The Dorchester, Park Lane, W1K 1QA
Book now: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Core by Clare Smyth, Notting Hill
What: The former chef-patron of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay has established herself as a star in her own right with her first solo restaurant, Core by Clare Smyth. It’s less formal than her previous digs, with Smyth and her team on show in the glass-walled kitchen producing a flavour-forward menu which gives as much emphasis to vegetables as meat and fish; smaller plates are available in the chic bar.
Where: 92 Kensington Park Road, W11 2PN
Book now: Core by Clare Smyth
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, Mayfair
What: Classic haute cuisine is lightened up for the 21st century at Helene Darroze at The Connaught, where a 2019 refurbishment in flowing curves of soft pastels has lightened up the decor to match – as well as adding a brand-new chef’s table in the heart of the kitchen. Top-end produce from around the UK and the chef’s native Landes in France is treated to subtle spicing, while no meal here should end without a glass of vintage Darroze Armagnac.
Where: The Connaught, Carlos Place, W1K 2AL
Book now: Helene Darroze at The Connaught
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea
What: The flagship restaurant of the most famous chef that Britain has ever produced, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is an exquisite reminder that behind all the celebrity is a chef deserving of his fame. Matt Abe and Kim Ratcharoen head up the kitchen these days, but classics such as the signature lobster and langoustine ravioli represent Ramsay’s modern French vision, while the wine list is a thing of beauty.
Where: 68 Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HP
Book now: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Sketch: The Lecture Room & Library, Mayfair
What: This iconic restaurant is one of London's newer Michelin three stars, and set new standards of opulence when it opened in 2003. Sketch’s first-floor Lecture Room and Library is the capital’s most luxurious dining room and the modern French cuisine, overseen by French superchef Pierre Gagnaire, more than lives up to the setting with impeccably sourced ingredients reinvented anew.
Where: 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG
Book now: Lecture Room and Library
Two Michelin star London restaurants
Many diners would struggle to detect any difference between a two- and three-star restaurant, not least because Michelin’s definition is so similar: a two-star restaurant means ‘excellent cooking that is worth a detour’. Generally, you’ll find more of a white-tablecloth experience than you would at one-star level; tasting menus of highly creative, beautifully presented food, often matched to wine pairings from a superb cellar and delivered by staff well versed on every aspect of the restaurant operation, usually feature, too.
What: Gymkhana has long been redefining Indian food in the capital, and after nine years of holding onto a Michelin star, it finally won a second in 2024. London is no stranger to outstanding Indian fine dining, but Gymkhana sits atop the pyramid as a true trailblazer.
Where: 42 Albemarle Street, W1S 4JH
Book now: Gymkhana
What: Winning two Michelin stars less than six months after opening, Brooklands at The Peninsula hotel is truly a force to be reckoned with. It’s from none other than acclaimed chef director Claude Bosi, who knows a thing or two about winning Michelin stars, and brings more of his renowned French fine dining to this rooftop restaurant. Enjoy incredible views through its floor-to-ceiling windows while enjoying dishes like Devonshire monkfish with smoked eel and red pepper miso.
Where: 1 Grosvenor Place, SW1X 7HJ
Book now: Brooklands
Trivet, London Bridge
What: Trivet (named after the cooking utensil, yes) is the brainchild of chef Jonny Lake and Sommelier Isa Bal who both previously worked under Heston Blumenthal in the early noughties. The a la carte menu is widely inspired by the pair’s travels, and though it's rather more relaxed than what you'd get at The Fat Duck, the precision and quality of cooking is second to none. This is a great choice for oenophiles too, as Isa Bal assembles a quite brilliant wine list that explores lesser known wine regions around the world.
Where: 36 Snowsfields, London, SE1 3SU
Book now: Trivet
Alex Dilling at Hotel Cafe Royal
What: Cast your mind back a few years and you’ll remember that Alex Dilling held two Michelin stars at The Greenhouse, so it’s perhaps no surprise that his eponymous return to London is straight back in at the same level. Dilling’s restaurant was an instant hit with us as well, getting a gold award as well as a place in the top echelons of SquareMeal’s Top 100 London restaurants.
Where: 68 Regent Street, W1B 4DY
Book now: Alex Dilling at Hotel Cafe Royal
Ikoyi, St James's
What: Ikoyi started as a restaurant based around West African flavours and ingredients, but it has since evolved into something entirely unique and impossible to pigeon hole. An innovative cooking style based around Sub-Saharan spice, umami and British micro-seasonality, Jeremy Chan's magnificent two Michelin-starred restaurant takes the absolute pinnacle of British produce and presents it in astonishing, sometimes challenging and totally unique ways.
Where: 1 St James’s Market, SW1Y 4AH
Book now: Ikoyi
The Clove Club, Shoreditch
What: The Clove Club, set inside Grade-II-listed Shoreditch Town Hall, has been a important part of East London's culinary rise - alongside fellow Young Turk James Lowe at Lyle's the two put Shoreditch on the map, and The Clove Club now holds two Michelin stars as of 2022. The tasting menu champions quality British produce in elegant, minimal ways, and the vegetarian tasting menu is one of the most innovative in London.
Where: 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT
Book now: The Clove Club
What: Chef Andrew Wong has re-invented regional Chinese cooking for Londoners at his double Michelin-starred Pimlico flagship. The Taste of China tasting menu is the best introduction to Wong’s approach, but you can also expect standout versions of high-street Chinese classics such as crispy chilli beef, as well as revelatory lunchtime dim sum. A. Wong is the only Chinese restaurant outside of China to hold more than one Michelin star, so it attracts food tourists from all over the world who come for a taste of this exceptional restaurant.
Where: 70 Wilton Road, SW1V 1DE
Book now: A. Wong
What: French chef Claude Bosi made his name at Hibiscus in Ludlow (where he also won two stars) and continues his Michelin journey through England at Bibendum. The Chelsea landmark is a fitting setting – it used to be the HQ for Michelin tyres – and Bosi stays in top gear across menus that take in set lunch, a la carte, vegetarian and tasting options.
Where: Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, SW3 6RD
Book now: Bibendum
Da Terra, Bethnal Green
What: The playful brainchild of former Simon Rogan chef Rafael Cagali, Da Terra continues the star-studded restaurant heritage of Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel and takes it one step further, snagging two stars as well as SquareMeal's London Restaurant of the Year award in 2022. The tasting menu blends fine dining with playful touches in the likes of Lego figurines discharged from a bed of pebbles or beer brewed from surplus bread.
Where: 8 Patriot Square, E2 9NF
Book now: Da Terra
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Knightsbridge
What: The London outpost of everyone’s favourite molecular gastronomist, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal recreates historic British dishes for modern palates. The dining room may feel as hotelish as the Mandarin Oriental location but the view of Hyde Park is lovely and there’s plenty of theatre from the glass-walled kitchen. Don’t miss the endlessly photographed meat fruit, nor the tipsy cake for pudding.
Where: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA
Book now: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Kitchen Table, Fitzrovia
What: James Knappett's chef's table experience plays host to no more than 20 diners. They sit on high stools around an open kitchen where Knappett and his team prepare and serve a daily changing menu, chalked up on the blackboard with one-word descriptions so that what arrives on the plate is an almost total surprise.
Where: 70 Charlotte Street, W1T 4QG
Book now: Kitchen Table
La Dame de Pic, Tower Hill
What: The first UK outpost of three-Michelin-starred French chef Anne-Sophie Pic is every bit as ambitious as that pedigree implies. La Dame de Pic is housed in the grand surrounds of the Four Seasons hotel in the City where highlights include Pic’s signature berlingots (pasta parcels of goats’ cheese and mascarpone) and her elaborate millefeuille dessert.
Where: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, EC3N 4AJ
Book now: La Dame de Pic
Restaurant Story, London Bridge
What: Tom Sellers' Restaurant Story has a not-so-typical approach to fine dining, with no menu presented to customers on arrival. Instead, the chefs will build you a meal based entirely around your preferences, and without fail you will be guaranteed exquisitely presented dishes packed full of flavour, and the odd twist too.
Where: 199 Tooley Street, SE1 2JX
Book now: Restaurant Story
One Michelin star London restaurants
Michelin defines its one-star establishments as ‘a very good restaurant’. Typically, this is the level at which you’ll find more informality in terms of service and decor than you would at three- or two-star level, though this isn’t always the case – there are some very formal one-star Michelin restaurants out there.
1890 by Gordon Ramsay, Covent Garden
What: Housed within London’s iconic The Savoy, Gordon Ramsay’s contemporary fine dining restaurant pays homage to French chef and restaurateur Georges Auguste Escoffier, who became the hotel’s chef director in 1890. Served within a regal 26-cover dining room, diners are invited to sample its exemplary tasting menu featuring things like confit Hens yolk with smoked sardine, white beetroot and sauce Albert, and Cornish crab with mooli and yuzu hollandaise.
Where: The Savoy, Strand, WC2R 0EU
Book now: 1890 by Gordon Ramsay
What: Tomos Parry shows no signs of slowing down with this third venture (he also lays claim to Michelin-starred Brat and Brat x Climpson’s Arch). Expect more of his signature smoky wood-fired cooking, which combines Parry’s Welsh heritage with Spanish sensibilities.
Where: 16-18 Beak Street, W1F 9RD
Book now: Mountain
Dorian, Notting Hill
What: This fine neighbourhood restaurant comes from an A-list team: we’re talking alumni from Core by Clare Smyth, The River Cafe, Kitchen Table and more. It’s no surprise then, that Dorian is now the proud owner of a Michelin star, earning praise from whomever is lucky enough to dine there. The menu changes regularly, but previous dishes have included expertly cooked steaks, veal sweetbread with langoustine and game consomme, and a morel and perigord truffle rosti.
Where: 105-107 Talbot Road, W11 2AT
Book now: Dorian
What: Pavyllon comes from Yannick Alleno, one of the world’s most celebrated chefs with a whopping 15 Michelin stars. His first restaurant in the UK opened to barn-storming acclaim in one of London’s most prestigious hotels - The Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane. The menu reinvents classic French ideas with witty, contemporary touches, such as confit pollock pilaf rice with onion emulsion and crispy chicken skin. Grab a seat at the counter for the best view in the house.
Where: Hamilton Place, W1J 7DR
Book now: Pavyllon
What: Capitalising on the trend for open-fire cooking, HUMO takes things one step further by boldly denouncing the use of gas or electricity in the kitchen. Instead, it relies on a four-metre-long grill for heat, over which chefs sear, smoke, char and blister meat, fish and veg to achieve varying degrees of smoky flavour.
Where: 12 St George Street, W1S 2FB
Book now: HUMO
What: Akoko is a contemporary West African restaurant in Fitzrovia where founder Aji Akokomi’s heritage is infused into every dish. Everything is created with purpose and meaning, from the monochromatic terracotta interiors to the detail-oriented dishes. Opt for the full tasting menu to experience Akoko at its best.
Where: 21 Berners Street, W1T 3LP
Book now: Akoko
Sushi Kanesaka, Mayfair
What: Tucked inside 45 Park Lane hotel, Sushi Kanesaka is Shinji Kanesaka’s first UK venture, and what a success it is! Shinji is one of the world’s best sushi masters, and you can experience his cooking via a 17-ish course tasting menu at this intimate counter experience in Mayfair.
Where: 45 Park Lane, W1K 1PN
Book now: Sushi Kanesaka
Humble Chicken, Soho
What: Humble Chicken is far from the understated dining experience the name might suggest, with tasting menus that range between 12 and 16 courses, and Japanese-European inspired plates that are designed to provide a kitchen theatre experience. The omakase-style dining leaves all decisions up to the chefs, so expect a constant flurry of innovative dishes from one-bite snacks to sweet treats.
Where: 54 Frith Street, W1D 4SJ
Book now: Humble Chicken
What: Located within luxury hotel Flemings Mayfair, Ormer is a tribute to everything that the seasons have to offer. Combining creativity with an undeniable skill set, Executive Chef Sofian Msetfi has helped this restaurant gain a number of accolades since opening. The decor is sophisticated with a contemporary edge, and mirrors the style you can expect on the menu.
Where: Flemings Mayfair, 7-12 Half Moon Street, W1J 7BH
Book now: Ormer
What: Aulis is strictly quality over quantity, with space for just twelve guests at any one time. Guests are exposed to an interactive dining experience where each plate of food is made in front of you, whilst also being explained by the chefs. It’s Simon Rogan’s only restaurant in the capital and has been named as a tribute to one of the first key team members in the early days at Simon’s three Michelin-starred restaurant L’Enclume.
Where: 16a St Anne's Court, W1F 0BF
Book now: Aulis
What: What started out as a pop up has turned into a key part of London’s restaurant scene, earning itself loyal fans with a heartwarming story and an innovative menu that champions West-African cuisine. Offered as a tasting menu only, you can expect a multi-course menu of anything from fermented rice cake to goat cutlet with coffee and yaji dressing. Joké Bakare has taken the city by storm and is showing no signs of slowing down yet with her latest win of a Michelin star.
Where: 3 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 8AX
Book now: Chishuru
What: A brainchild of the Clove Club group, Luca is a pillar of the Farringdon food scene serving up some of the best Italian plates in East London. Having forged a strong reputation over the years, it lends itself to both a casual weeknight dinner and one for special occasions.
Where: 88 St John Street, EC1M 4EH
Book now: Luca
What: Taku is a small restaurant with a big personality. With only 16 seats available along the counter, this high end Japanese restaurant hands all decision making over to the chef with its omakase style dining. Literally meaning ‘I’ll leave it up to you’, guests can expect to choose between 17 and 20 course tasting menus, which change daily depending on what ingredients are available.
Where: 36 Albemarle St, W1S 4JE
Book now: Taku
What: Cycene is a restaurant by Blue Mountain School in collaboration with executive chef Theo Clench. Its aim is to replicate the feeling of a dinner in a private home, with both the ambience and service offering diners an intimate and personal experience. Theo, who was formerly the executive chef of Akoko and head chef at Portland, has created a 10-course menu marrying classic techniques with influences from eastern Asia and Australasia. For those lucky enough to dine here, guests begin their evening with a drink in the ground floor bar, before moving into the 15-cover dining room for a meal they’ll never forget.
Where: 9 Chance St, E2 7JB
Book now: Cycene
What: Designed to take guests on a journey through the British Isles, St Barts aims to showcase small-scale farmers and producers throughout the UK. With a team that come from Fenn in Fulham and Nest in Hackney, the pair have drawn on previous experience to bring a restaurant that is both humble and mind blowingly good.
Where: 63 Bartholomew Cl, EC1A 7BG
Book now: St. Barts
Evelyn’s Table, Soho
What: This intimate 12-seat counter is tucked away in the basement of The Blue Posts pub in Soho and comes from the same team behind The Palomar and The Barbary. Evelyn's Table won a star under the direction of Luke Selby, but now it's run by James Goodyear, who blends Japanese, Scandinavian and British influences with great elegance.
Where: 28 Rupert Street, W1D 6DJ
Book now: Evelyn’s Table
Wild Honey St James, St James’s
What: Visit Wild Honey St James’s for classic French fare cooked by esteemed chef Anthony Demetre - and his skill is not to be trifled with. Menus span brunch, lunch and dinner, and each features some exemplary Modern European cooking from a true master chef, as well as signature dishes like the restaurant's honey ice cream, served with honeycomb from the restaurant's very own hives. You'll find Wild Honey inside the Sofitel St James hotel.
Where: 8 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5NG
Book now: Wild Honey St James
What: KOL brings a fine dining element to Mexican cuisine, an approach that’s altogether quite rare in the capital, and blends that with what might be one of the most aesthetically pleasing dining rooms in London. Choose from one of the tasting menus and sample tacos and tostadas on a whole new level, and don't miss the signature langoustine tacos if they're on the menu.
Where: 9 Seymour Street, London, W1H 7BA
Book now: KOL
What: Korean-European fusion might sound like an odd mix, and while it’s unorthodox, Sollip has proved that it can absolutely work. Husband-and-wife team Bomee Ki and Woongchul Park blend classic French technique with Korean flavours across a nine course tasting menu, in an ultra-minimal dining room that lets the food do the talking.
Where: 8 Melior Street, SE1 3QP
Book now: Sollip
What: Jamavar in Mayfair is decorated with colonial flourishes and lots of Indian glamour, including brass finishes and large block patterns. There are a la carte and tasting menus available as well as a curated wine list from regions all over the world. It’s a great option if you're interested in Indian cooking that really pushes the boundaries.
Where: 8 Mount Street, W1K 3NF
Book now: Jamavar
What: Vibrantly spiced small plates prepared in an open kitchen are the calling card of Amaya, which is owned by the same family as Chutney Mary and Veeraswamy. Vegetarian dishes such as tandoori broccoli are a highlight, as too classic Western ingredients given an Indian makeover; the tandoori foie gras is better than any version you’ll eat in a French restaurant.
Where: Halkin Arcade, 19 Motcomb Street, SW1X 8JT
Book now: Amaya
Angler, Liverpool Street
What: Chef Gary Foulkes turns the freshest fish into elegantly presented plates at Angler. House speciality tartares are a standout but cooked seafood, such as poached lobster with ajo blanco, is handled equally as well. The light-filled setting on the seventh floor of South Place Hotel is almost as much of an attraction as the food, not least for its summertime terrace.
Where: South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, EC2M 2AF
Book now: Angler
What: Intimate chef's table restaurant Behind, based in Hackney, is the brainchild of Jason Atherton's former development chef Andy Beynon. The fish-focused tasting menu on offer has sustainability at its heart and includes indulgent dishes such as Cornish blue lobster and yuzu served on an English muffin.
Where: 20 Sidworth Street, E8 3SD
Book now: Behind
What: Having been open since 2003, Mayfair's Benares has been serving up inventive plates of contemporary Indian food for the best part of 20 years. Using predominantly British ingredients, the restaurant manages to produce refined dishes which show off every ingredient on the plate, while also brilliantly balancing the different spices and flavours.
Where: 12a Berkeley Square, W1J 6BS
Book now: Benares
What: SquareMeal’s 2019 Restaurant of the Year is the first solo restaurant of Tomos Parry. The young Welsh chef blends Basque ideas of cooking with fire with in an open kitchen – the signature dish is turbot cooked whole in a cage – with a cool Shoreditch sensibility which has seen Brat become as popular with the fashion crowd as it is with foodies. A single Michelin star belies just how important Brat is as part of London's new-school restaurant scene.
Where: 64 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
Book now: Brat
Casa Fofò, Clapton
What: This understated neighbourhood eatery may look rather unlikely from the outside, but Casa Fofò's daily set menu is not only packed full of intriguing and innovative dishes, but is also brilliantly priced given the level of cooking on show. The food here takes its influence from all over the world with everything from touches of Asian flare to big Meditarrean flavours on show.
Where: 64 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
Book now: Casa Fofò
Chez Bruce, Wandsworth Common
What: There’s a reason why Chez Bruce, one of London’s most-loved dining rooms, has been playing to full houses since 1995: quite simply, a meal here will leave you feeling better about the world. Lunch, especially, is exceptional value for money, while the intensely seasonal menus keep big flavours to the fore. Well worth the trip to Wandsworth even if you don’t live in south London.
Where: 2 Bellevue Road, SW17 7EG
Book now: Chez Bruce
City Social, City of London
What: Jason Atherton’s 24th-floor restaurant in Tower 42 combines skyscraping views with sky-high standards in the kitchen. It’s not all about the views at City Social, though, which is as worthy of its moniker as Pollen Street Social and Social Eating House: this is a restaurant that is as much about having fun as appreciating food, with a brilliant bar to begin (or end) your evening with.
Where: 24th Floor, Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1HQ
Book now: City Social
Club Gascon, Smithfield
What: The restaurant that introduced Londoners to the joys of south-west France started life in the 1990s as a rough-and-ready bistro. Club Gascon is a lot smarter these days - but no less creative. All things duck still form the core of the menu (the foie gras with Bailey’s sauce is one of the most astonishing things we’ve ever eaten) but there’s also now a dedicated vegetarian menu while brilliant puddings end things on a high note.
Where: 57 West Smithfield, EC1A 9DS
Book now: Club Gascon
Cornerstone, Hackney Wick
What: Tom Brown's delightful Hackney small-plates restaurant serves an enticing seafood-focused menu which oozes luxury. Expect to be treated to beautifully simple dishes at Cornerstone, but also expect every ingredient to be elevated to dizzying heights. You'll find chunks of lobster hiding beneath your sea bream and crumpets soaked indulgently in shrimp butter, and why would anyone complain about that?
Where: 3 Prince Edward Road, E9 5LX
Book now: Cornerstone
The Dysart Petersham, Richmond
What: A former pub, The Dysart Petersham was transformed into a destination restaurant in 2012 thanks to the cooking of 2010 Roux Scholar Kenneth Culhane. Locally sourced ingredients include produce from the restaurant's garden and nearby woods while the classically French cooking is brought up to date with Asian twists; good-value wines, too.
Where: 135 Petersham Road, TW10 7AA
Book now: The Dysart Petersham
Elystan Street, Chelsea
What: Phil Howard’s casual follow up to The Square, Elystan Street places a heavy emphasis on comfort, both in the cooking and the chic surrounds. The twice-baked cheese soufflé exemplifies an approach that places as much importance on greedy deliciousness as gastronomic fireworks. Knowledgeable staff deliver friendly, personal service while the wine list is a thing of unusual beauty.
Where: 43 Elystan Street, SW3 3NT
Book now: Elystan Street
Endo at Rotunda, Shepherd’s Bush
What: The darling of London's burgeoning omakase scene, Endo at Rotunda serves a mere 15 diners each night, with a blind omakase menu that breezes through sushi, hot dishes and tempura. A seat at the handmade hinoki wood counter is a rare chance to enjoy dinner made, literally, by the hands of a master sushi maker, all washed down with an international wine list, signature cocktails and rare sakes.
Where: 101 Wood Lane, Shepherds Bush, W12 7FR
Book now: Endo at Rotunda
Five Fields, Chelsea
What: Chefs Taylor Bonnyman and Marguerite Keogh join forces at fine-dining restaurant The Five Fields, which cossets guests in typical Chelsea manner with welcoming staff, top wines and creative cooking. Starters are practically a feast in their own right while much of the super-fresh produce comes from Bonnyman’s farm in Sussex and there’s a terrific, contemporary wine list from a top team of sommeliers.
Where: 8-9 Blacklands Terrace, SW3 2SP
Book now: The Five Fields
Galvin La Chapelle, Spitalfields
What: The Galvin brothers’ City outpost, Galvin la Chapelle, serves sumptuous modern French food in the Grade II-listed surrounds of St Botolph’s Hall; try the signature dish of lasagne of Dorset crab. Service is attentive without being in-your-face while wine pairings make choosing from the showstopper of a list a cinch.
Where: 35 Spital Square, E1 6DY
Book now: Galvin la Chapelle
The Goring, Belgravia
What: This hotel dining room has impeccably regal connections but there’s nothing stuffy about the on-trend cooking at The Goring, such as cured sea trout tartare with seaweed vinaigrette and specialist tomatoes. Spare some time for a cocktail or glass of fizz in the hotel’s supremely comfortable bar.
Where: 15 Beeston Place, SW1W 0JW
Book now: The Goring
What: Re-opened and refurbed after a fire, Gymkhana is better than ever now. The ground-floor looks much the same but the basement is now chicer and sleeker. The food, meanwhile, still wows with superlative biryanis, curries, small plates and the best tandoori grills and chops you’ll eat in London. To drink, there are well-chosen wines and expertly mixed cocktails.
Where: 42 Albemarle Street, W1S 4JH
Book now: Gymkhana
Harwood Arms, Fulham
What: London’s only Michelin-starred gastropub comes from the same stable as Brett Graham's former two-Michelin-starred restaurant The Ledbury. The Harwood Arms is a proper pub, though, with real ales on the pump, roasts on Sunday and some exalted British food the rest of the time: Herdwick lamb with creamed courgettes and basil, say, or proper puds like strawberry and camomile trifle.
Where: Walham Grove, SW6 1QP
Book now: The Harwood Arms
Hide Above, Mayfair
What: The top-floor segment of Ollie Dabbous’ three-floor restaurant and bar, Hide Above offers boundary-pushing modern British cooking: charcuterie wrapped around a bony feather, or a coddled egg served in the shell. The surroundings are just as visually pleasing (not least the view over Green Park) and full of clever design touches, while premium wines come from Dabbous’ backer Hedonism.
Where: 85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB
Book now: Hide Above
What: London’s first Michelin-starred Chinese, Kai Mayfair offers supremely refined dishes that you won't find anywhere else served up in smart interiors that stay just the right side of kitsch. There are some classics of the sweet and sour pork ilk but mostly it’s all about the creative likes of pan-fried foie gras with caramelised cashews, white pepper, spring onion, grapes and passionfruit dressing.
Where: 65 South Audley Street, W1K 2QU
Book now: Kai Mayfair
Kitchen W8, Kensington
What: Part of the same stable as Elystan Street and Church Road Barnes, Kitchen W8 touts an outstanding take on contemporary European cuisine whilst transmitting the vibe of a neighbourhood restaurant. This neighbourhood being Kensington, that means tastefully muted interiors, Old World wines, good-value set lunches and an a la carte full of delicious dishes.
Where: 11-13 Abingdon Road, W8 6AH
Book now: Kitchen W8
La Trompette, Chiswick
What: A template for what civilised neighbourhood dining should be like, La Trompette is smart, serene, sophisticated and civilised – somewhere you might equally come for a light lunch or a celebratory supper. Daily changing menus could bring caramelised calf’s sweetbread with girolles, almond and hyssop followed by wild sea bass with summer beans, octopus and salsa verde.
Where: 3-7 Devonshire Road, W4 2EU
Book now: La Trompette
Locanda Locatelli, Marylebone
What: Giorgio Locatelli’s flagship is no longer the hot ticket it was in the early noughties but Locanda Locatelli is probably now the restaurant it was always meant to be, a chic space of gracious hospitality where all the attention is focused on what’s on the plate rather than who is on the next table. It remains a must-visit for superlative pasta and one of the best bread baskets you’ll ever come across.
Where: 8 Seymour Street, W1H 7JZ
Book now: Locanda Locatelli
What: Chef James Lowe was part of the same hospitality collective that produced The Clove Club and although Lyle’s bare and spare restaurant is clearly influenced by the aesthetics of new Nordic cooking, the ultra-seasonal ingredients are fiercely British. No-choice dinner menus might yield pork belly with anchovy and baby-gem lettuce, or Stitchelton and Little Rollwright cheeses with honeycomb.
Where: The Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
Book now: Lyle’s
What: She may have a slowly expanding group of more casual cafés to her name but Angela Hartnett’s Murano proves she can still do fine dining with the best of them. The setting – all starchy tablecloths, suited staff and the namesake Murano glass – might look intimidating but Hartnett’s natural warmth shines through every aspect of the operation, not least in the Italian-inspired cooking.
Where: 20 Queen Street, W1J 5PP
Book now: Murano
Muse by Tom Aikens, Bloomsbury
What: Tom Aikens isn't a chef short of experience when it comes to Michelin star kitchens, but having taken a five-year break from the London fine-dining scene Muse once again sees him awarded a star. The intimate 25-cover space serves a series of tasting menus which take their inspiration from different points in Aikens' past, artfully presented - often by Aikens himself on the pass.
Where: 38 Groom Place, SW1X 7BA
Book now: Muse
The Ninth, Fitzrovia
What: Two bare-brick rooms are the contemporary backdrop for cooking from chef Jun Tunaka, whose ninth kitchen is his first solo project. A fire at the restaurant forced it to close in 2022, but thankfully it has reopened as of 2023 (with a welcome little refurb) and Tanaka's food is as wonderful as ever. The Ninth’s sharing concept might yield rabbit lasagne, oxtail croquettes or, for something lighter, ‘raw and cured’ and ‘vegetable’ sections of the menu. Bargain set lunch, too.
Where: 22 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NB
Book now: The Ninth
Pétrus by Gordon Ramsay, Belgravia
What: From the circular wine store loaded with the titular Bordeaux château to the supremely elegant cooking, Pétrus by Gordon Ramsay is gastronomic gold. Part of Ramsay’s empire but a restaurant with its own personality, Pétrus delivers a noughties-style fine-dining experience of formality and good manners, from tasting menus enjoyed at perfectly set tables to the expertise of the knowledgeable front-of-house team.
Where: 1 Kinnerton Street, SW1X 8EA
Book now: Pétrus by Gordon Ramsay
Pied à Terre, Fitzrovia
What: A fixture of London’s high-end dining scene since 1991, Pied a Terre is the most famous restaurant on one of London’s most famous restaurant streets. The kitchen continues to dazzle with inventive modern cooking – tasting menus are a speciality, the wine list is as thick as a bible while innovations such as the first-floor chef’s table demonstrate a restaurant that isn’t content to stand still.
Where: 34 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NH
Book now: Pied a Terre
Pollen Street Social, Mayfair
What: Pollen Street doesn't boast the same views as Jason Atherton's high-flying City Social in The City, but his flagship restaurant is home to truly exceptional cooking and equally generous service. Pollen Street ranked in the top ten of SquareMeal's Top 100 London Restaurants list in 2023, and it has held a Michelin star for some years now, showing that it still sits right in the highest ranks of London's restaurant scene.
Where: 8-10 Pollen Street, W1S 1NQ
Book now: Pollen Street Social
What: A more upmarket sibling to Clipstone and The Quality Chop House, Portland serves high-end cooking in dressed-down surrounds but with the same emphasis on interesting but approachable wines. Expect clever pairings of in-season ingredients and great-value set lunches: confit chicken wings with sweetcorn, lemon thyme and black truffle, say, or Cornish skate with baby parsnips, mussels and sea herbs.
Where: 113 Great Portland Street, W1W 6QQ
Book now: Portland
What: The restaurant within the London outpost of India’s Taj Hotel group delivers a dining experience every bit as prestigious as that heritage suggests. Quilon is a south Indian specialist, which means that seafood is the menu’s highlight, but thoughtful vegetarian options are almost as strong. Meat eaters aren’t neglected either, though, and there’s a spice-friendly wine list.
Where: 41 Buckingham Gate, SW1E 6AF
Book now: Quilon
The Ritz Restaurant, Piccadilly
What: Chef John Williams isn’t afraid to match the luxury of the setting with luxury on the plate in this jaw-droppingly opulent room at the legendary Ritz hotel. Menus in The Ritz's restaurant drip with the likes of lobster and caviar, turbot and foie gras, while venison Wellington or crepe suzette prepared tableside add an extra flourish of theatre. The summertime terrace is one of London’s best-kept secrets.
Where: The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR
Book now: The Ritz
The River Café, Hammersmith
What: London’s feel-good restaurant par excellence, nothing beats a summertime table in The River Café’s garden, with the Thames flowing past beyond the wall, trees swaying on the other side of the riverbank and plant-filled pots providing fresh pickings for the ultra-seasonal menus. It’s not cheap, but we’d recommend you go for the full four courses to get the most out of Ruth Rogers’ intensely flavourful cooking.
Where: Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, W6 9HA
Book now: The River Cafe
What: Choose between a ground-floor tapas counter and upstairs Asador at Nieves Barragan Mohacho’s Sabor. The chef takes diners through a culinary odyssey of her native Spain, from a feast of whole suckling pig to share upstairs to more bitesize morsels at the counter, where the bombas de chocolas – a trio of chocolate doughnuts – is the crowning glory of a brilliant meal.
Where: 35 Heddon Street, W1B 4BS
Book now: Sabor
What: It's all in the name when it comes to serial restauranteur Victor Garvey's Soho offering SOLA, which brings a slice of LA to Central London. Showcasing wonderful produce to its fullest potential, a huge amount of effort goes into every dish here and it shows not only in the fantastic flavours on display but also in the striking presentation.
Where: 64 Dean Street, W1D 4QQ
Book now: SOLA
St John, Farringdon
What: Chef Fergus Henderson can transform even the most unpromising-sounding British ingredient into the finest thing you’ve ever eaten, which is why the signature dish at St John is bone marrow with parsley salad: often imitated, never bettered. A kitchen that really knows how to cook elevates pies and puddings into new realms of wonder, while a devotion to seasonality ensures that even the simplest dishes taste completely divine.
Where: 26 St John Street, EC1M 4AY
Book now: St John
What: Adam Byatt's Trinity is one of the best restaurants not just south of the river but anywhere in London. British ingredients are given a subtly Mediterranean accent but the only definition cooking this individual needs is ‘delicious’. If you’re not fussed about the Michelin star, Upstairs at Trinity is less formal. Nice terrace in summer, too.
Where: 4 The Polygon, SW4 0JG
Book now: Trinity
What: The first London project from JKS (Gymkhana, Brigadiers, Hoppers et al), Trishna serves highly accomplished cooking free from the daintiness that can afflict some modern Indian food. Fish and seafood are particular strengths – try the vivivdly green tandoori hariyali bream – though meat biryanis are just as good and, like all of the food here, authentically spiced.
Where: 15-17 Blandford Street, W1U 3DG
Book now: Trishna
What: Elevating Japanese food to the highest level, Mayfair's Umu provides a quirky yet luxurious experience from the off as you have to press a discreet button on the front door to access the restaurant. The artistically presented dishes at Umu are matched by the quality of cooking and can be perfectly paired with many a glass of sake.
Where: 14-16 Bruton Place, W1J 6LX
Book now: Umu
What: London’s oldest Indian restaurant is as essential a part of life in the capital as it was when it opened in 1926. Veeraswamy’s blingy room might not be to all tastes but there’s no faulting the depth of flavour nor elegant presentation of classics such as chicken tikka, duck vindaloo or slow-cooked lamb shank. Wine matching and dessert cocktails are further pluses.
Where: Victory House, 99 Regent Street, W1B 4RS
Book now: Veeraswamy
Looking for more of London's most highly rated restaurants? Check out all the London restaurants that have received a SquareMeal Gold Award.