Best in Farringdon

Looking for a restaurant in Farringdon? We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, and compiled a handy list of the best restaurants in Farringdon. Whatever your budget or taste, SquareMeal is here to help, with a selection of the best restaurants in Farringdon for every occasion. Read on for our pick of the top restaurants in Farringdon.

Updated on 19 September 2017

Lino

Lino

90 Bartholomew Close , London, EC1A 7EB

A former linoleum warehouse doesn’t sound like the sexiest of spaces to open a restaurant, but that’s exactly where Lino has decided to set up shop, with its chic all-day restaurant and bar. Lino’s name is one of few subtle nods to the venue’s past life, including exposed pipes and sanded-down wooden doors. Mostly though, this is a stylish proposition, completed by powder-blue and salmon-pink furnishings, and brass fixtures.

The menu is a timely snapshot of London dining culture: it’s big on fermentation and pickling (Lino cultures its own butter and bakes excellent sourdough in-house), it champions vegetables alongside meat – seen in the pairing of flank steak with the humble likes of watercress and horseradish – and the menu lends itself to sharing-style dining.

From the snacks, we were most taken with the crisply-coated croquettes which burst with the umami taste of sauerkraut and Montgomery cheddar – they’re served in a portion of three though, so prepare to fight over the last one. From the more substantial dishes, a lean fillet of grilled mackerel is complemented by oyster mayonnaise and sharp discs of house pickled cucumber, while a velvety meat-free lasagne makes the most of autumnal ingredients: buttery folds of pasta conceal puréed pumpkin and Jerusalem artichoke, topped with a generous helping of parmesan shavings.

At dessert, the school dinner staple of bread and butter pudding is given a much welcomed update, swapping out standard bread for a croissant base and glazed with shimmering marmalade, resulting in a delightfully playful mix of sugar and stodge. Fair pricing and cool, casual staff add to Lino’s appeal – perhaps it’s a little too on-trend or a little too manufactured, but unlike some style-over-substance offerings in the Square Mile, Lino backs itself up with a considered and well thought-out menu.      

Modern European
Morito Exmouth Market

Morito Exmouth Market

32 Exmouth Market, London, London, EC1R 4QE

‘Orange is the New Black’, as they say on TV, which makes the chosen colour for the dinky offshoot of big-hitting Moro totally on-trend. Morito is a tiny spot and it fills up fast (bookings are only taken at lunchtime), but we guarantee you’ll love this immensely stylish little joint. Once you’re in, get stuck into small plates with a decidedly rustic Spanish flavour: salt cod croquetas, Padrón peppers, jamón Ibérico, patatas bravas and other tapas classics are all here, but keep an eye out for the specials too – perhaps pork belly with mojo verde or deep-fried rabbit shoulder flavoured with rose harissa. The plancha turns out lamb chops spiced up with cumin and paprika, while desserts might include a divine chocolate and olive oil mousse. The enticing all-Iberian wine list features some splendid sherries and watch out for Morito’s annual ‘seafood and sherry’ festival.

 
£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
St John

St John

26 St John Street, London, London, EC1M 4AY

St John’s utilitarian simplicity was revolutionary back in the day, and its ‘nose-to-tail’ concept raised a few eyebrows too. Once ahead of its time, it’s now of its time – and is still relevant. The industrial minimalism of the starkly white interior places the focus firmly on matters gastronomic (and the company you’re keeping, of course), while the menu reads like a foodie’s dream – “oh, the bone marrow and parsley”, sighs one fan. Alternatively, play it safe with a damn fine pea and ham soup or go for broke – braised cuttlefish and alexanders, lambs’ tongues with chicory and anchovy, or braised hare with swede, kid liver with turnips are “simply great”. As for pud, take your pick from the likes of quince and hazelnut pavlova or apple and blackberry pie. “Everything is good, I never know what to eat”, sums up readers’ heartfelt enthusiasm for Fergus Henderson’s trailblazer turned Michelin-starred City treasure. The wine list is exclusively French, with interesting options by the glass and bottles to take out too.

£30 - £49
British
One michelin star
The Quality Chop House

The Quality Chop House

92-94 Farringdon Road, London, London, EC1R 3EA

There aren’t many Grade II-listed dining rooms in London, but this is one of them, with wooden booths and black-and-white tiled floors recalling its relatively humble Victorian origins. Of course, The Quality Chop House is now a thoroughly modern enterprise, with a second dining room, private facilities and an adjoining butcher’s/food store. The daily menu displays a touch of wanderlust – just like our Victorian forebears – so expect Gloucester Old Spot pork chops with rémoulade, or red mullet partnered by Tokyo turnip and bagna cauda. Mackerel crudo with crème fraîche and chickweed makes a feisty little starter, while desserts such as pear and apple crumble are just the sort of thing you’d hope to see on the menu. Service is perfectly paced thanks to staff who are “enthusiastic and knowledgeable”. The wine list is updated monthly (co-owner Will Lander is Jancis Robinson’s son, so no pressure), and it’s a “damn fine piece of work”.

£50 - £79
British
Wine Bars
Club Gascon

Club Gascon

57 West Smithfield, London, EC1A 9DS

Famous as one of the best places to eat duck and foie gras since opening in 1998, Club Gascon is moving with the low-waste and sustainable times, re-opening from a refurb with a ‘Garden’ section of the menu featuring six veg-focused starters and mains. Rest assured, however, that if slow-cooked egg with plankton, seaweed and bitter leaves doesn’t float your boat, all things duck still form the core of the menu – and are far and away the best things to eat here, foie gras especially: a smooth-as-butter terrine served with banyuls, fig and Argan oil to start or, spectacularly, served with a Bailey’s and mandarin sauce for pudding, beguilingly sweet and savoury; thick lobes of pan-fried foie gras sitting under a shell crammed with razor clams is another flavour bomb. Non-ducky options such as roasted sturgeon with leeks, bone marrow and Craster sauce, and roast grouse with popcorn, Guinness and oyster sauce seemed less appealingly individual and more fine-dining-by-numbers, but a kitchen that excels with pudding ensures things end on a high note, from a pre-dessert variation on prunes and Armagnac that left us wanting much, much more to a ‘millionaire’ dessert made from 72% Colombian chocolate with black olive, lemon gel and thyme ice cream, so rich it demanded to be savoured slowly. Eye-opening wine matching remains a strength, while the restaurant’s new look has a timeless modernity that should last for another 20 years. 

 

£50 - £79
French
One michelin star
£50 - £79
Bleeding Heart Restaurant

Bleeding Heart Restaurant

Bleeding Heart Yard, London, EC1N 8SJ

The name references a murder hereabouts back in the 16th century, but there’s nothing gruesome about this glorious cellar restaurant – often described as one of London’s more romantic dining destinations. A series of subterranean rooms shows off bare-bricks and earthy colours, with flickering candles and real fires upping the mood – “I wouldn’t have it any other way”, notes a fan. The menu seduces with gently modern interpretations of French and European classics – think paupiette of smoked salmon enriched with Dorset crab and parsley sauce, “outstanding” steak tartare or pumpkin and butternut squash ravioli enriched with herby butter sauce. It’s a measure of the kitchen’s confidence that it can work its way through wild mushroom risotto, lemon sole meunière and côte de boeuf, before ending on a triumphantly patriotic note with crème brûlée and nougat glacé. The winning wine list is a bumper tome with classy French connections – the perfect accompaniment to something ripe from the monumental cheese trolley. In short, a “truly traditional” dining experience.  

£50 - £79
French
Under £30
Sushi Tetsu

Sushi Tetsu

12 Jerusalem Passage, London, London, EC1V 4JP

A quick glance at the website is essential before a visit to the tiny Sushi Tetsu as the chances are it may be may be fully booked. Still, once you’ve secured a perch and made it through the door, you’ll see a handful of punters, with chef/proprietor Toru Takahashi on the other side of the counter, calmly preparing the sushi and sashimi with near forensic precision. This is a husband-and-wife outfit, with spouse Harumi completing the perfect circle that is Sushi Tetsu. Since you’ve gone to all the trouble of bagging a seat, you might consider going for the bespoke ‘omakase’ menu at 96 quid a pop: what you get depends on what the chef decides is good enough, so glistening sea urchin, turbot, snow crab, black bream, octopus and (hopefully) seared otoro fatty tuna might be on the cards, all embellished with the necessary accoutrements (wasabi, soy, mirin, seaweed and chilli). From the rice to the saké, everything is impeccable.    

£50 - £79
Sushi
Anglo

Anglo

30 St Cross Street, London, London, EC1N 8UH

Anyone bemoaning the increasing dominance of big restaurant groups in London should visit this Farringdon newcomer. Anglo is a pocket-sized, pared-back British bistro serving high-end food in simple surrounds at just £45 for a no-choice, seven-course dinner (lunch is à la carte). It’s overseen by rising star Mark Jarvis, whose eclectic CV ranges from The Bingham, to Le Manoir and Zuma. He has no airs and graces, though: delivering food to the table himself and giving mercifully brief explanations of the dishes, followed by a touching smile. You’ll be smiling, too: the tasting menu brings big plates of small portions – exciting, beautifully fashioned assemblies of rare intensity. The flavours of each course segue harmoniously into the next, but we were particularly smitten by the bracingly acrid edge of a burnt leek tartlet; a delicate, petal-scattered scallop tartare with a deeply flavoured dashi; and the contrast between the saline tang of fat little mussels and the rich meatiness of ruby-red Devon beef – not to mention the cloud of house-whipped butter to spread on soft sourdough. To drink, nearly everything on the snappy European wine list costs less than £40 and is mostly available by the glass; there are beer and cider pairings, too. Our only complaint concerns the long waits between courses and glasses being topped up. On the other hand, the pleasure of not feeling rushed is yet another reason to cherish this endearingly independent one-off.

£50 - £79
British
Moro

Moro

34-36 Exmouth Market, London, London, EC1R 4QE

The word “love” crops up repeatedly in Moro’s plaudits – a sure sign that it’s still held in high regard after rocking on for two decades. From day one, Sam and Samantha Clark’s ground-breaking eatery made an impact with its zinc-topped bar, pavement tables, wood-fired oven and compelling Spanish/North African cuisine. The whole shebang still thrills, although nothing can trump the food: heady spicing and subtly matched flavours are at the heart of things, from a lamb and saffron broth with wee dumplings, or a rustic salad of warm white beans and celery topped with bottarga, to luscious chocolate and apricot tart. In between, the wood-fired oven makes easy work of sesame chicken (served with couscous), while the charcoal grill offers up lamb with fava bean and bitter leaf purée. Alternatively, pick some small plates from the tapas bar menu – perhaps fried spiced chickpeas or anchovies on toast. The wine list shows the same geographical interests as the menu, and the sherry line-up warrants proper consideration. “Fabulous, I just love this place”, raves one fan.

£30 - £49
North African
Tapas
Spanish
The Modern Pantry Clerkenwell

The Modern Pantry Clerkenwell

47-48 St John's Square, London, London, EC1V 4JJ

Given that she was born in Canada, raised in New Zealand and has parents with Belgian/Danish roots, it’s no surprise that fusion queen Anna Hansen takes her foodie inspiration from far and wide. Like her former gaff, The Providores, this Clerkenwell townhouse eatery is a place of two halves, with a buzzy ground-floor café/traiteur and a serene upstairs dining room with clean-lined contemporary decor. Breakfast and brunch are popular shouts, although the kitchen delivers “tremendously flavoursome food from start to finish”. Aubergine dengaku is a Japanese favourite, served with pickled mushrooms, while other dishes take a more European approach – a salad of buffalo mozzarella, roasted fennel and roasted peach, perhaps. After that, expect a riot of flavours: chermoula-infused sea trout comes with pea and yuzu purée, onglet steak gets its oomph from miso and tamarind, and pavlova comes fired up with Asian flavours. As expected, the wine list is a fascinating globetrotting compendium.

£30 - £49
International
Fusion
Luca

Luca

88 St John Street, London, EC1M 4EH

The second outing from The Clove Club’s Isaac McHale, Johnny Smith and Daniel Willis proves that the Young Turk trio are more than one-hit wonders. Luca, they say, is a ‘Britalian’ restaurant – ie Italian cooking recast with British ingredients. It’s a clickbait-friendly concept, although the most striking feature of the place is its styling, which suggests 1950s Italian design adapted for current London restaurant trends: no tablecloths, fabulous lighting and a pasta-making room that transforms into a private dining space once the day’s work is done. Meals follow the classic four-course format, but go easy on breakout stars such as the Parmesan fries (actually gloriously gooey churros) if you want to make it to dessert. Pasta was the unequivocal highlight for us, from spaghettini laced with Morecambe Bay potted shrimps (blitzed into a buttery, bisque-like sauce) to classic pumpkin and chestnut ravioli, still with some stiff al dente bite. Elsewhere, we also liked softly crusted roast scallops sitting on an earthy splodge of Jerusalem artichoke purée, with ’nduja butter bleeding down the gutters of their shells, and a hefty rump of Hereford beef lined with a crisp sliver of pancetta – although a delicious plate of Hebridean lamb chops with rosemary breadcrumbs and mashed swede seemed more ‘gastropub’ than ‘gastronomia’. The only real let-down was service, which was standoffish, slow off the mark and dodgy in the wine department. Alternatively, nibble on sandwiches, salads and small plates in the bar, which is as beautifully designed as the rest of the restaurant. 

£50 - £79
Italian
The Eagle - Farringdon Road

The Eagle - Farringdon Road

159 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3AL

The kitchen may be a bit of a squeeze (it’s only big enough for two), but since launching in 1991, The Eagle has maintained a reputation for gastropub food of the best sort. It’s was the first of a new breed when it opened its doors, a trailblazer that’s still deserving of your attention. The daily menu is scrawled on blackboards, you order at the bar, the decor is “unreconstructed corner pub” and there’s an impressive range of beers, while the intelligent wine list offers everything by the glass. It’s an all-round winning format. The robust flavours of southern Europe and the Med are prominent, but not exclusive, and everything is spot on from an onglet steak served rare with roast potatoes to grilled mackerel with an Asian spin. After that, desserts such as buttermilk pannacotta with spiced plums round off proceedings in fine style.  

£30 - £49
Gastropub
£50 - £79