Best restaurants in the City of London

Looking for somewhere decent to eat in an EC postcode? We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to and compiled a list of the best restaurants in The City of London, in and around the Square Mile. Whether you’re looking to entertain clients, celebrate a milestone or impress an upcoming date, this pocket of London has it all – from French bistros through to lively bars.

Updated on 23 May 2024

Until the late 1990s, the City of London was pretty much a no-go area for serious foodies. Sure, there were wine bars aplenty and a handful of high-end lunch venues for client entertaining. But for anything in the slightest bit contemporary, fashionable or fun, Square Mile diners had to take their expense accounts to the West End.

The Square Mile diners, in fact, was how SquareMeal started. Keen to provide a guide on where to grab a decent bite to eat after work should your office be found around St Paul’s, the team here got to work creating a failsafe list of recommendations for locals to rely on. Thirty years on and we might have expanded out of The City of London, but we’ve maintained our soft spot for this little corner of the capital.

And how things have changed in those thirty years since we got to work uncovering the first hidden culinary gems of EC. Now, there are over 1000 restaurants in City of London, many of which are not just cutting edge in the culinary department, but also located in some of the most dramatic settings. We’d go as far as to say it’s a dining destination in its own rights these days. From the high-end thrills of skyscraper dining and haute-cuisine sophistication to more affordable sharing plates of tapas and dim-sum, here is our handpicked selection of the best restaurants in the City of London.

From the high-end thrills of skyscraper dining and haute-cuisine sophistication to more affordable sharing plates of tapas and dim-sum, here is our handpicked selection of the best restaurants in the City of London.

Sweetings

Sweetings

39 Queen Victoria Street, City of London, London, EC4N 4SA

One of just a small handful of old-timers left in The City, Sweetings will transport you to years gone by. Shellfish platters, oysters and simply cooked, generous seafood mains are what keep people coming back.

£50 - £79
Fish
Duck & Waffle

Duck & Waffle

110 Bishopsgate, City of London, London, EC2N 4AY

Cracking vistas of the capital's skyline from this 40th-floor restaurant makes it a great place to grab breakfast while you watch the sun come up. Open through ‘till midnight, late-night dining is also available. 

£50 - £79
International
Koya City

Koya City

10-12 Bloomberg Arcade, London, EC4N 8AR

This buzzy udon noodle bar in Bloomberg Arcade is a lesson in Japanese minimalism thanks to cool wooden interiors and hanging spotlights suspended above the counter. Alongside freshly-made noodle bowls, guests can also tuck into a range of small plates at this City site.

Under £30
Japanese
The Melusine

The Melusine

Unit K, Ivory House , Tower Hill, London, E1W 1AT

On a nice day in St Katharine Docks, the lapping water and tinkle of boat rigging could lull you into feeling like you’re somewhere on the Med. Add a glass of white wine and a few plates of the freshest seafood and you’re practically there.

£30 - £49
Fish
Brigadiers

Brigadiers

1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, City of London, London, EC4N 8AR

Sibling site to Michelin-starred Gymkhana, Brigadiers offers up a similar level of interesting Indian fare. The niche here is Indian barbecue, so expect grills front and centre. Live sport plus pool tables also feature.

£50 - £79
Indian
Bravas Tapas

Bravas Tapas

St Katharine Docks, London, E1W 1AT

Bright and airy interiors combine with a richly robust menu of classic Spanish flavours for the perfect relaxed venue. The whipped-to-order-aioli is a signature, and don’t skip the grilled octopus either – it is very good.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Lina Stores Bloomberg Arcade

Lina Stores Bloomberg Arcade

19 Bloomberg Arcade, City of London, London, EC4N 8AR

Lina Stores' third restaurant offers an intimate mezzanine, lively ground floor and authentic Italian cuisine, including duck and porcini ravioli, tagliolini with black truffle, grilled prawns and tiramisu.

£30 - £49
Italian
Bleeding Heart Bistro

Bleeding Heart Bistro

Bleeding Heart Yard, Farringdon, London, EC1N 8SJ

Classic French cookery and old-world interiors combine here to create a comfortable ambiance, making it the perfect spot for entertaining. Expect dishes like moules marinière or lapin à la moutarde followed by chocolate mousse.

£30 - £49
French
La Dame de Pic at Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square

La Dame de Pic at Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square

Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, Tower Hill, London, EC3N 4AJ

Run by the inimitable Anne-Sophie Pic (whose restaurant in France holds three Michelin stars), this is fine-dining at its best. Luxurious ingredients and eye-widening flavours make this the perfect place for all-out, impressive, celebratory meals.

Over £80
French
Two Michelin stars
14 Hills

14 Hills

120 Fenchurch Street, City of London, London, EC3M 5BA

One of the more impressive looking establishments on the list, 14 Hills is sure to wow you and your guests. Brimming with foliage, this chic destination boasts a food and wine menu to match. 

£50 - £79
British
Blacklock City

Blacklock City

13 Philpot Lane, City of London, London, EC3M 8AA

An industrially styled dining room plays background to a menu of richly meaty mains. The must order? The ‘All in’ - a stack of beef, lamb and pork chops served on meat-juice-soaked, crisp flatbread. Absolute heaven.

£30 - £49
Steak
British
Goodman City

Goodman City

11 Old Jewry, City of London, London, EC2R 8DU

Carefully sourced steaks are cooked over the grill and priced by weight which gives this City restaurant a very American feeling. A selection of sides and steak-friendly wines completes the setup for a carnivorous crowd-pleaser.

£50 - £79
North American
Steak
Angler

Angler

South Place Hotel, Moorgate, London, EC2M 2AF

The proud holder of a Michelin star, Angler in The City also boasts an outdoor terrace and a stunning seafood-focused menu. Don’t skip a tartare to start and go all-in on lobster for mains.

Over £80
Fish
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Caravaggio

Caravaggio

107-112 Leadenhall Street, London, London, EC3A 4DP

Despite its retro Art Deco inspired interiors, Caravaggio manages to stay relevant through its modern menu, which dispels the stereotype of City Italians. Starters might feature Jerusalem artichoke soup while mains could bring a saffron risotto.

£30 - £49
Italian
Helix at The Gherkin

Helix at The Gherkin

30 St Mary Axe, City of London, London, EC3A 8EP

Sitting on the 39th floor of the Gherkin, diners come for the views but stay for the food. With a focus on seasonal, British produce, experience beautifully executed dishes against the backdrop of the city skyline.

£30 - £49
British
International
The Anthologist

The Anthologist

58 Gresham Street, City of London, London, EC2V 7BB

A classic all-day bar and restaurant, The Anthologist boasts plenty of space, a huge menu and plenty of choice when it comes to drinks. As such, everyone - including children - is well catered to. 

£30 - £49
Bars
Restaurant St Barts

Restaurant St Barts

63 Bartholomew Close, Barbican, London, EC1A 7BF

One of London's superlative tasting menu experiences (and the only London restaurant to hold a Michelin star and a Michelin Green star), St Barts explores the history and diversity of classic British ingredients. The dining experience moves you through a few different spaces in this beautiful old site, which looks out onto the gardens of the 12th century church of St Bartholemew the Great.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
M Threadneedle Street

M Threadneedle Street

2-3 Threadneedle Walk, 60 Threadneedle Street, City of London, London, EC2R 8HP

A slick, dimmed dining room gives way to a brightly lit focal point; the meat cabinet, showcasing top-class steak. Kick things off with plates from the raw menu before plumping for Japanese or Argentinean steaks.

£50 - £79
Steak
Cinnamon Kitchen City

Cinnamon Kitchen City

9 Devonshire Square, Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 4YL

Vivek Singh’s signature style sings here with bold, colourful dishes of contemporary Indian food. Watch the chefs at work via the open kitchen as you await plates of things like Keralan curry or chicken biryani.

£30 - £49
Vegan
Afternoon tea
Indian
Halal
Coya City

Coya City

31-33 Throgmorton Street, City of London, London, EC2N 2AT

Coya’s Peruvian food has proved perennially popular thanks to a menu of vibrant flavours, colours and textures. Part of the appeal lies in the bar's very good pisco sours, which help mealtimes to go swimmingly.

Over £80
Peruvian
South American
José Pizarro Broadgate

José Pizarro Broadgate

36 Broadgate Circle, Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 1QS

Really very good tapas is what José Pizarro is well known for, and his City site doesn’t disappoint. Don’t miss the house croquetas, the carved-to-order jamón ibérico or the octopus a la plancha – all heavenly.

£50 - £79
Tapas
Spanish
SUSHISAMBA Heron Tower

SUSHISAMBA Heron Tower

Heron Tower, City of London, London, EC2N 4AY

A slightly unconventional combination of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian food somehow miraculously works here, thanks to deft handling from the kitchen. Floor to ceiling views of London’s skyline are guaranteed to impress out of towners.

£50 - £79
Peruvian
Sushi
South American
Japanese
Brazilian
City Social

City Social

24th Floor, Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, Liverpool Street, London, EC2N 1HQ

Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton’s calling card is playful food that carefully balances substance as well as style. Here you’ll be treated to great views and a menu of classic dishes given a modern twist.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
One Michelin star
Yauatcha City

Yauatcha City

Broadgate Circle, Spitalfields, London, EC2M 2QS

People flock to Yauatcha for the brand’s precision-made dim sum (buttery venison puffs are a must). There is also a short menu of more substantial Chinese classics like stir-fried beef rib-eye with black bean sauce.

£50 - £79
Chinese
Dim Sum
Galvin La Chapelle

Galvin La Chapelle

35 Spital Square, Spitalfields, London, E1 6DY

The converted church setting of Galvin La Chapelle makes any old evening feel like a grand occasion. Dishes include classics like truffle pasta and tarte tatin, and on Sundays, there’s a great roast to boot.

Over £80
Vegetarian
Vegan
French
One Michelin star
Origin City

Origin City

12 West Smithfield, Farringdon, London, EC1A 9JR

This slick restaurant near Smithfield Market specialises in nose-to-tail cooking, with all the meat reared on the restaurant's own 600-acre organic farm in Scotland. Butchery and aging is all done in-house as well, and that translates to some of the best classic meat cooking anywhere in the City. Origin does a fantastic Sunday roast as well, complete with excellent house cocktails.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Scottish
Vegetarian
British
Fish
The Mercer

The Mercer

34 Threadneedle Street, Liverpool Street, London, EC2R 8AY

Straightforward British cookery makes this a solid banker for when you need a crowd-pleaser to impress clients with. Built for business, expect plenty of formality plus smartly dressed tables and well-paced service.

£50 - £79
British
Luc

Luc's Brasserie

17-22 Leadenhall Market, London, EC3V 1LR

Uncomplicated French food in an unpretentious setting is what Luc’s is all about. Think roast hake, entrecôte steak, Toulouse sausages with lentils or a niçoise. An all-French wine list adds a certain je ne sais quoi.

£50 - £79
French
Hawksmoor Guildhall

Hawksmoor Guildhall

10 Basinghall Street, City of London, London, EC2V 5BQ

You know what you’re getting with a Hawksmoor – top quality steak, expertly cooked over the grill. The result is rich, perfectly seasoned meat accompanied by tempting sides like creamed spinach or crisp, beef fat chips.

£50 - £79
Steak
British
Straits Kitchen at Pan Pacific London

Straits Kitchen at Pan Pacific London

Pan Pacific Hotel, Liverpool Street, London, EC3A 7AB

Celebrating some of Singapore’s best flavours within contemporary dishes, Strait’s Kitchen at Pan Pacific London is just a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street Station and is an ideal spot for an impressive work meeting or a memorable dinner.

£50 - £79
Singaporean
Eastway Brasserie at Andaz

Eastway Brasserie at Andaz

Andaz London Liverpool Street Hotel, Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 7QN

Found within the Andaz London Liverpool Street Hotel, Eastway Brasserie has a relaxed yet buzzy atmosphere - a perfect spot to catch up with friends or meet with colleagues without feeling too formal. Lots of natural light and impressive pillars give the restaurant a glam Parisian feel.

£30 - £49
Brasserie
International
Townsend Restaurant

Townsend Restaurant

77-82 Whitechapel High Street, Aldgate, London, E1 7QX

Housed in the distinctive Whitechapel Gallery, Townsend is a modern British cafe and dining room, offering an ever-changing seasonal menu. Expect the likes of Portland crab tart with tarragon mayo or trout with poached winter vegetables and green sauce.

£30 - £49
Modern European
British
Coq d

Coq d'Argent

1 Poultry, City of London, London, EC2R 8EJ

A long-standing favourite, Coq d'Argent is charmingly luxurious with its fine French menu and traditional, old-school service. A roof terrace adds allure on summer evenings – a perfect spot for pre-dinner drinks.

£50 - £79
French

As it turns out, finding a decent bite to eat in The City isn’t tricky at all, with quite literally hundreds of restaurants to choose from within its postcode. Once you’ve tried each of the top picks in the area, why not spread your wings just that little bit further? These are, in our humble opinion, the best restaurants in Shoreditch - The City’s trendy next-door neighbour. There you'll find some slightly more hipster options, as well as plenty of refined eateries that are sure to impress your friends and colleagues alike. 

Alternatively, you can head into the centre, where we can guide you to the best restaurants in Covent Garden - another of London's food capitals. Consistently buzzy, this area is always changing, especially when it comes to restaurants. In our experience, there's practically a new opening as much as twice a week here. Check out our list so you can keep up!

Join SquareMeal Rewards

Collect points, worth at least £1, every time you book online and dine at a participating restaurant.

Start Collecting Points

Already a member? Sign in