Best restaurants in Westminster

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

All restaurants in Westminster

Updated on 12 December 2018

Gustoso Ristorante & Enoteca

Gustoso Ristorante & Enoteca

35 Willow Place, London, London, SW1P 1JH

“A great local find” chime fans of Gustoso – a “sweet” neighbourhood ristorante that also offers the oenophile pleasures of an enoteca, plus an interior piled with provisions. From the same Claudio Pulze stable as Al Duca and Osteria dell’Angelo, this place is also greatly appreciated for its relaxed, family-friendly vibe, gentle prices and uncomplicated trattoria food – from sliced-to-order Parma ham to homemade pasta and more besides. Aperitifs and nibbles are available at the bar, while the full menu offers authentic flavours ranging from thin-cut vitello tonnato or a risotto with cuttlefish ragù to fritto misto, beef tagliata or pork fillet with savoy cabbage, raisins and apple sauce. To finish, try nougat parfait with hazelnut and chocolate sauce or pick from the selection of artisan cheeses. “Happy, willing staff” get good notices, and there’s a substantial list of Italian regional wines.

Under £30
Mediterranean
Italian
Quilon

Quilon

41 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AF

Serene and peaceful, with shell motifs and an undulating wave-like ceiling pointing up the maritime theme, this Michelin-starred South Indian specialist is perfectly positioned under the mighty Taj Hotel in Victoria – a comfortable refuelling point for residents, local businesses and well-heeled visitors. Seafood is the undoubted high point of the menu, and dishes such as crab cakes gently spiced with curry leaves, ginger and chilli or giant juicy shell-on prawns cooked in an onion, tomato and coconut masala are well worth a trip across town. There’s also plenty for meat eaters and vegetarians: slow-cooked lamb shank, steeped in herbs and spices is meltingly good, while a dish of snow peas and asparagus, sautéed with coconut, mustard, curry leaves and chilli is supremely moreish. Service isn’t exactly slick, but it’s well-meaning, kind and enthusiastic. The wine list has been carefully designed to match the food – look out for plenty of aromatic whites and soft easy-drinking reds.

£30 - £49
Indian
The Soak

The Soak

Terminus Place, London, London, SW1W 0RP

This all-day restaurant and bar is part of the Grosvenor Hotel, the grand Edwardian pile that is part of Victoria station. But while The Soak benefits from the impressive double-height surrounds, an imposing central bar and cosy asphalt blue booths mean the space doesn’t feel stuffy, while there’s relaxed and unfussy service from sweet staff – though it’s worth noting that prices will remind you that you’re in a central London hotel.

The restaurant’s name is a not-so-subtle nod to its ethos, which is all about fermenting, pickling and soaking. Meals kick off with slices of sourdough bread and a smattering of pickled vegetables, including sharp bursts of tomato and paper-thin slices of radish. Starters proper might include crisply crumbed lamb belly fritters, slow-cooked and served with a slick of black garlic mayo.

To follow, a meat-free dish of kohlrabi with courgette, celery and spelt is a smoky delight with a risotto-like consistency, while lamb comes up trumps again when it is served as slices of breast resting on roasted tomato and drizzled with a smoked tomato consommé. Side dishes such as semi-confit tomatoes with courgettes wrapped in a lacy batter show just as much thought.

Come dessert, The Soak’s philosophy is subtly referenced in Champagne-soaked strawberries atop a white chocolate mousse, but we opted for the unbridled decadence of a dark chocolate and honeycomb baked Alaska. We also enjoyed exploring the cocktail list, which includes tipples infused with the bittersweet tang of house-made kombucha.

Weekend brunch and live music in the evenings are further reasons to ‘soak’ up the atmosphere of this charming and capable all-dayer, while late opening at the weekend might have you missing the last train home. And if the idea of all that fermenting doesn’t tickle your pickle, come for breakfast, when the menu features the conventional likes of French toast and eggs any style.

£50 - £79
Modern European
M Victoria Street

M Victoria Street

Zig Zag Building, Victoria Street, Westminster, London, SW1E 6SQ

The second behemoth establishment from Martin Williams (ex-Gaucho) has landed in chain-heavy Victoria Street, incorporating cavernous basement dining rooms, public and private members’ bars and a mezzanine wine shop upstairs. As at the original City operation, dining is divided into two distinct areas: M Raw serves Japanese and Peruvian small plates from an open-kitchen; M Grill is devoted to meat, complete with an amphitheatre-style dining room. Choose either the raw or grilled route before taking your seat. A muted slate colour palette, softened by dusky blues and copper finishes, will please the corporate crowd, as will a standalone bar serving wallet-busting cocktails. The raw-bar menu of sushi and sashimi has been boosted by Wagyu steak tartare, which arrives under a smoke-filled cloche, laced with sweet-sour apple and topped by a glowing orb-like egg yolk. Over at M Grill, punters can opt for beef from one of six countries (Italian is a new addition); our rosy slab of USDA black Angus fillet (£49) sliced like butter. Delve further into the meaty menu and you’ll discover pig’s head served as salty crisp pulled-pork croquettes, slow-cooked cheek and moreish pig’s ear crackling. The dessert list is short yet not especially sweet; dulce mousse with buckwheat, bacon and sweetcorn ice cream is an acquired taste. Oenophiles fare better, thanks to a varied global wine list and the option to try before you buy. M looks set to nail the corporate market, but whether locals too will meet here remains to be seen.

£50 - £79
Steak
The Cinnamon Club

The Cinnamon Club

The Old Westminster Library, Westminster, London, SW1P 3BU

Despite expanding his ‘Cinnamon’ brand and his portfolio, Indian celeb chef Vivek Singh hasn’t taken his eye off the ball here in Westminster. Cinnamon Club remains the mothership and still hums with an influential hotchpotch of politicians, lobbyists, hacks and opinion formers.

A recent refurb improved the interiors while still referencing the grand old library premises, and Singh’s authentic but contemporary cooking remains consistently delicious. This is modern Indian dining at its best and readers love it: “faultless food, never disappoints”, cheers one fan. We’re also enamoured of the “wonderful setting and stunning flavours” and have enjoyed countless hits, from tandoori octopus with fennel salad to fenugreek-infused roast cod with curry leaf and lime crumble.

Textures and contrasts also make an impact: seared sea bass comes with luscious red lentils, coconut ginger sauce and crisp puffed buckwheat, roast saddle of lamb has saffron sauce and pickled root vegetables for company, and rice vermicelli partners wild king prawns flavoured with mango and coriander. To finish, France meets India in irresistible desserts such as lemon and ginger brûlée with masala-spiced sablé biscuits. The fact that sommeliers are on hand to guide diners through the wine list says a great deal about this supremely accomplished Indian destination.

£50 - £79
Indian
Ibérica Victoria

Ibérica Victoria

5-6 Zig Zag Building, 68 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6SQ

Spanish powerhouse Ibérica has moved tapas on from a tick list of ordinary nibbles to specialities worth toasting with a glass of vintage cava. The group’s executive chef Nacho Manzano (winner of three Michelin stars) directs the kitchen, reprising his own signature dishes and putting them alongside some new-century tapas. Current Ibérica classics range from a gazpacho of red berries, beetroot and anchovy to spring onion tempura with lemon aïoli and soy, an oxtail ‘sandwich’ with potato cream, and near-legendary chorizo lollipops with pear aïoli, while the selection of cheeses, cured meats and preserved fish honours Spain’s centuries-old gastronomic traditions. Meanwhile, set menus and sharing dishes (including various paellas) provide another way in to the experience. Drinks cover the spectrum of Spanish booze from beer, cider and sangria to bespoke G&Ts, vermouths, countless sherries and sparklers by the glass.

£30 - £49
Spanish
The Rex Whistler Restaurant at Tate Britain

The Rex Whistler Restaurant at Tate Britain

Tate Britain, Millbank, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

A restaurant as full of culture and character as any exhibit in the glorious Tate Britain, this aptly named eatery comes wrapped in a full-size Whistler mural depicting a stylised hunt for mythical rare meats. Once described as ‘the most amusing room in Europe’, it’s now home to some dedicated British cooking from a serious-minded kitchen: carefully assembled heritage tomato salad, salmon terrine and slow-cooked beef are typical lunch dishes, alongside more contemporary ideas including whipped goats’ cheese with honeycomb, figs, sorrel and mustard dressing or Hampshire chalk-stream trout with squash, girolles, ceps and watercress. To conclude, expect fine British cheeses and nostalgic desserts such as baked apple with dried fruits, toffee sauce and custard. In other words, a repertoire that suits tourists and culture vultures down to a T. Decades of careful wine buying mean that Hamish Anderson’s brilliantly curated list is a thing of beauty – priced for enjoyment rather than mere admiration.

£30 - £49
British
Roux at Parliament Square

Roux at Parliament Square

11 Great George Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AD

Reliable and predictable, this Roux outpost runs like a well-oiled machine. Though Michel Roux Jnr is the figurehead, the kitchen is headed up by MasterChef: The Professionals winner Steve Groves, whose cooking is beyond reproach. Sit in the bar over cocktails or a glass of wine with something light to eat (an open smoked salmon sandwich, say); otherwise, join the corporate types and Westminster lobbyists in the dining room for the whole caboodle. The menu is chock-full of grand ingredients such as langoustine with prawn tortellini, Goosnargh chicken with liquid sweetcorn and delicate Parmesan dumplings to start, while mains range from roast turbot with dill and seaweed butter to the star turn of silky-soft confit suckling pig scented with star anise. Ripe cheeses and smart puds follow (roast peach with raspberries, Muscat and oats, say), while the steeply priced wine list is built to impress.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Tozi

Tozi

8 Gillingham Street, London, SW1V 1HJ

Bright, modern and gregarious, this light and airy Italian ‘tapas’ restaurant was quickly adopted by the local populace, and has maintained its place thanks to snappy service, a great menu and an on-the-ball kitchen. The line-up looks as cheap as chips and regulars take full advantage at lunchtime, dropping by for pizzette topped with Taleggio, mushrooms and sausage or tomato, mozzarella and goats’ cheese, plus some elegant salad on the side – avocado, Parmesan and radish with baby gem, or asparagus and quail’s egg with black truffle, perhaps. The menu’s long enough to make it a three-day-a-week ritual, with smarter dishes such as roasted cod with clams or lamb Milanese useful for client entertaining. In the evening, there are larger, grander dishes to share – think chargrilled wild sea bass with salsa verde or rib of beef with rosemary and garlic. Alternatively, head to the attractive bar for Prosecco on tap and other potable pleasures.

£30 - £49
Italian
A. Wong

A. Wong

70 Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1DE

Located in a strange, transient part of Pimlico, Chinese big-hitter A Wong is an eye-opener for those used to provincial versions of the genre. Done out with blonde bentwood chairs and tables, it looks more Ikea café than Asian destination, and there’s plenty of bustle too. That said, there’s expertise and precision in the kitchen, along with a menu of regional specialities that begs to be explored. Dim sum rule at lunchtime; some items such as Chinese chive pot stickers are reasonably familiar, but we’re sold on the more esoteric stuff – both the rabbit and carrot glutinous puffs and the steamed-rice rolls stuffed with gai lan and poached yolk deserve to be tried. In the evening, you could settle for gong bau chicken with peanuts and Szechuan aubergine, although Cantonese honey-roast pork with wind-dried sausage and grated foie gras or Yunnan wild mushroom, truffle and red date casserole are hard to ignore. Tables turn quickly and there’s occasionally space at the kitchen bar.

£30 - £49
Chinese
One michelin star
Quirinale

Quirinale

1 Great Peter Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3LL

Elegant Quirinale has all the trappings that suited-and-booted Westminster lobbyists and government flunkies appreciate: quiet, discreet service, a “traditional” Italian menu that aims to please without taking centre stage, and a kitchen that always delivers. The comfortable basement dining room has a buzzy feel at lunchtime with light flooding in through a huge skylight, while night-time sees a more relaxed, unhurried atmosphere as the lights are dimmed. The menu is blessedly short, but full of well-presented classics notable for their “excellent flavours”: start with beef carpaccio or smoked tuna with citrus and fennel, before tackling spaghetti with clams and bottarga, veal cutlet Milanese or cod fillet with tomatoes, capers and olives. For dessert, perhaps plump for tiramisu or a chocolate brownie. Champagne and port are essential additions to the otherwise Italian wine list, and a helpful sommelier is on hand to guide customers through its byways.

£50 - £79
Italian
The Other Naughty Piglet

The Other Naughty Piglet

The Other Palace, 12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA

If your heart sinks at the words ‘theatre restaurant’, this wine-focussed charmer will make you think again. The story goes that The Other Palace Theatre owner Andrew Lloyd Webber visited Brixton favourite Naughty Piglets and loved it, asking the husband-and-wife team Margaux Aubry and (chef) Joe Sharratt to open in his theatre. Housed on a mezzanine level reached by a majestic marble staircase, the restaurant itself is more down-to-earth, offering a selection of wooden counter seats and larger, communal tables. Decorated with rows of wine bottles and dimmed lights in the evening, the amber-hued, glass-walled space becomes brighter in the day. The same, globetrotting menu is served at lunch and dinner, with highlights on our visit including sticky-sweet grilled pear with crumbly blue cheese and artichokes crisps, as well as black pudding cake with strips of moist cuttlefish layered on top. Each delicate dish is a successful celebration of textures and, in keeping the menu succinct, the kitchen has ensured that every plate is of the same high quality. Prices are reasonable too (complimentary mineral water on tap is a nice touch) and the natural wine list lavishes attention on France and interesting, New-World bottles. We found service unrelenting, perhaps unsurprising for a theatre restaurant, so we recommend telling the staff if you’re not in a rush. In the context of Victoria’s sudden restaurant explosion, this likeable, delicious newcomer is bubbling to the top of the pile.

Under £30
International
Wine Bars
Aster

Aster

150 Victoria Street, Victoria, London, SW1E 5LB

This restaurant and café is the work of D&D London (Coq d’Argent, Launceston Place et al), spread across two floors at the Nova development. Aster is the domain of Finnish chef Helena Puolakka, who has created a succinct, mid-priced menu of delicate Nordic dishes. The seasonal selection brims with seafood, including a hot-smoked Arctic char scattered with Greenland prawns. The char was as fresh and plump as you would hope, deftly balanced with the earthy tones of aubergine caviar. Elsewhere, soft morsels of milk-fed lamb were served alongside lingonberries and stocky minced meat wrapped in cabbage, making for a tight combination of complementing flavours. All portions were on the light side (perhaps characteristically so for this cuisine), making Aster a restaurant for the delicate of appetite. The restaurant’s look is a disorientating mix of industrial and softer elements, but the ground-floor café feels more cohesive with its earthy tones and marble bar, where the menu covers the same ground more casually and adds salads, smorgasbords and pies. A sumptuous array of wines by the glass (including fine drops via Coravin) and pre-theatre menus make this a good shout if you’re catching a show nearby.

£50 - £79
Scandinavian
Hai Cenato

Hai Cenato

2 Sir Simon Milton Square, Victoria, London, SW1E 5DJ

The buzzing centrepiece of the shiny new Nova development near Victoria station, Jason Atherton’s homage to his favourite New York pizzerias is tricky to locate, but once inside you’ll find a slickly designed, noisy space lined with plate-glass windows and a wall of chef caricatures that’s proving popular with restaurant nerds. The line-up of sourdough pizzas includes plenty of “big hits”, from goats’ cheese and zucchini to a “hearty” combo involving lamb neck and aubergine, but that’s just the beginning. The kitchen also deals in “simple flavoursome food” done to Atherton’s usual high standards: confit guinea fowl and Barolo risotto offset by bitter radicchio; corzetti pasta topped with “decadently sticky” venison ragù; perfectly timed whole gilthead bream stuffed with saffron, lemon and fennel – cooking with real heart and soul. Sides of chilli-kissed cavolo nero almost steal the show, although the dish destined for signature status is salted caramel gelato sandwiched in a warm brioche bun. Sure, it feels a tad corporate, but with seven-day opening and a first-floor cocktail bar (The Drunken Oyster), Hai Cenato is a brilliant all-purpose addition to the Victoria scene. 

£30 - £49
Italian
Caxton Grill at St Ermin’s Hotel

Caxton Grill at St Ermin’s Hotel

2 Caxton Street, London, SW1H 0QW

This hotel restaurant claims to serve locally served produce and puts its money where its mouth is by using ingredients grown on a rooftop garden and honey from the hotel’s beehives. A fresh and healthy kid’s menu is a further plus.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Lorne Restaurant

Lorne Restaurant

76 Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1DE

Ex-River Café sommelier Katie Exton has taken full advantage of Victoria’s blossoming food scene with this 48-cover modern Brit, in collaboration with chef Peter Hall (formerly at The Square). Light-filled Lorne is a calming oasis of washed-out colours, with house plants lining the walls and a menu dedicated to seasonal, local produce. Dishes change daily, but we were impressed by an unashamedly rich starter of cuttlefish seasoned with fennel and pickled onions, coated in a creamy romesco sauce. Mains saw a generous serving of tender, corn-fed chicken, supported by a side of onion tart and a hunk of roasted cauliflower. 

Finally, a chocolate crémeux dessert avoided excessive heaviness thanks to refreshing drizzles of passion fruit and crisp mouthfuls of honeycomb: typical of what one reader calls “great on-point cooking”. Meanwhile, Kate Exton’s oenophile expertise shows in a globe-trotting list with some “spectacular” food-matching opportunities – there’s also a downstairs bar and wine cellar that’s worth perusing. With its chatty staff and truly relaxed atmosphere, Lorne is a very welcome addition to the neighbourhood.    

£50 - £79
British