Cool and trendy restaurants in London

Welcome to our essential list of the coolest restaurants in London where you’ll find all the latest cutting-edge foodie hotspots. If you want to eat out at places that are up to date with the latest culinary trends, or have been dying to try that dish you've seen all over your Instagram feed, you're likely to spot it here. Our curated pick of the best trendy restaurants in London is full to the brim with foodie places where you might just spot a celebrity or two, as well as ones that boast the most fashionable interiors.

Updated on 16 May 2022

The definition of a cool restaurant in London varies depending on who you ask, so we’ve identified a few specific criteria that will help you narrow down your search. Firstly, every single one of the trendy restaurants below must offer gorgeous interiors. You know the kind that makes you want to go home and retile your bathroom with pink grout? These swoon-worthy fit-outs are the calling card of many of London’s coolest restaurants, and we can’t help but fall for their charm.  

The second essential element of a cool restaurant – we think – is of course the menu. Does it throw up unusual choices? Does it use beautiful, seasonal ingredients? Are its dishes inventive, surprising or pioneering? There’s no doubt that for a restaurant to be bang on the money, the food has got to be impeccable.  

Cool doesn’t have to mean fancy, though. This list includes plenty of casual restaurants that are endlessly edgy, as well as a bunch of lively restaurants known to host DJ sets and epic brunches as part of their standard offering. In our opinion, in order for a restaurant to make the cut, it has to be a guaranteed good time, which is why this trendy list can also be considered a hymn sheet to some of the most fun restaurants in London

Ready to take your street cred up a notch? Have a scroll and see which restaurant you want to book for an evening worth gloating about. 

Gunpowder Spitalfields

Gunpowder Spitalfields

11 White's Row, Spitalfields, London, E1 7NF

Occupying a tiny site right behind Spitalfields Market, Gunpowder is a small but mighty restaurant, turning out stellar Indian-inspired small plates. It’s a frenetic, buzzy space and the dishes pack a real punch. 

£30 - £49
Indian
Lino

Lino

90 Bartholomew Close , London, EC1A 7EB

While a former carpet and linoleum warehouse doesn’t sound like the most appealing of restaurant options, Lino has managed to make its home a truly tantalising proposition, filling the space with industrial-style lighting and dusty pink chairs.

Modern European
Lucky and Joy

Lucky and Joy

95 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, London, E5 0NP

With 80s interiors, this east London Chinese restaurant manages to carefully ride the fine line of retro, hitting the references just right so that nothing is too gimmicky. Interiors are stripped back and café-like, while dishes are moreish and satisfyingly savoury.

Under £30
Chinese
The Little Yellow Door

The Little Yellow Door

6-8 All Saints Road, London, London, W11 1HH

Decorated in the style of a student flat share complete with a faux living room, kitchen and utility area, needless to say this boho-chic restaurant and bar doesn't take itself too seriously. 

£30 - £49
Bars
International
Native at Browns

Native at Browns

39 Brook Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 4JE

The fashion set have officially earmarked Native as cool, and who are we to argue with that accolade? The gorgeous, ‘grammable interiors make the perfect setting for seasonal sharing plates, and there’s a terrace too.

£30 - £49
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
Duck & Waffle

Duck & Waffle

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

It may sit just two floors above flashy Sushisamba, but the vibe at Duck & Waffle is far more relaxed (although it still boasts the same enviable views). Open 24/7, Duck & Waffle deals in upmarket comfort food, including its eponymous dish, which sees waffles topped with a confit duck leg and a glossy-yolked fried egg.

£50 - £79
International
Peg

Peg

120 Morning Lane, Hackney, London, E9 6LH

Painfully cool Peg is the kind of trendy London restaurant that all others aspire to be more like. Found in the spiritual home of cool - Hackney - this restaurant is all stripped back, industrial interiors and no-frills food.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Japanese
Wine Bars
SquareMeal London Top 100
Padella

Padella

6 Southwark Street, London Bridge, London, SE1 1TQ

Arguably one of London’s most famous no-bookings restaurants, securing a table at Padella is notoriously difficult. It’s worth the queue though, as once you’re inside you can delight in the restaurant's perfectly simple menu.

Under £30
Italian
SquareMeal London Top 100
Sushisamba City

Sushisamba City

Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate (38-39th floor), City of London, London, EC2N 4AY

London’s first Sushisamba is best known for its stunning vistas, 38 floors above the City’s bustling streets. The blended menu of Peruvian, Brazilian and Japanese dishes is just as enticing though, boasting the likes of wagyu gyoza, and kobe ribeye from a robata grill.

£50 - £79
South American
Japanese
Seabird

Seabird

32-40 Blackfriars Road, Southwark, London, SE1 8PB

For all out wow-factor, Seabird in Southwark delivers on both views and food. The gorgeous rooftop space looks over London’s sweeping skyline, while the menu features fresh Portuguese-inspired plates. Don't miss the oyster bar.

£50 - £79
Portuguese
Fish
SquareMeal London Top 100
Hoppers Soho

Hoppers Soho

49 Frith Street, Soho, London, W1D 4SG

The original Hoppers may no longer be the newest kid in town, but it’s still popular as ever. Its best dish has got to be the eponymous hopper: a bowl-shaped pancake made from rice which boasts a gooey egg at its centre.

£30 - £49
Indian
Maya

Maya

The Hoxton, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 4BH

A collaboration between Soho House and the Hoxton Hotel group, this rooftop Mexican restaurant is the lovechild of two much-lauded hospitality brands. Expect authentic Mexican dishes made with European ingredients, and a roaming guacamole cart.

£30 - £49
Mexican
Blacklock Soho

Blacklock Soho

The Basement, 24 Great Windmill Street, Soho, London, W1D 7LG

It was once nigh on impossible to nab a table here, but Blacklock has since expanded to four locations. Its speciality is its ‘all in’ option, which sees guests served a pile-up of charcoal-grilled pork, beef and lamb chops resting on doughy flatbreads. Yum.

£30 - £49
British
Apricity

Apricity

68 Duke Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 6JU

Chantelle Nicholson’s sustainably-focused restaurant is pioneering for many reasons, from using low-waste cooking techniques to its upcycled interiors. The chairs are even made from recycled Coca Cola bottles! 

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
Circolo Popolare

Circolo Popolare

40-41 Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1PB

This humungous Italian trattoria in Fitzrovia is known for its noteworthy interiors, including bundles of twinkly lights and walls lined with 20,000 real spirit bottles. The food menu is as over-the-top as you’d expect too, featuring metre-long pizzas and a 1L ice cream sundae.

£30 - £49
Pizza
Italian
No.11 Pimlico Road

No.11 Pimlico Road

11 Pimlico Road, London, SW1W 8NA

This cool Chelsea restaurant has pretty-as-a-picture interiors perfect for snapping, and serves a broad menu of cult pub classics like sharing platters, moules frites, burgers, steaks and ice creams. Kids are welcome too, if you’re looking for somewhere to take the whole gang.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Aquavit

Aquavit

1 Carlton Street, Piccadilly Circus, London, SW1Y 4QQ

The Scandinavians basically invented cool, so it’s not surprising Aquavit has stood the test of time. Here you’ll find hearty meatballs and mash, all kinds of iterations of crayfish and the most heavenly smoked cods roe butter to go with your bread.

£50 - £79
Scandinavian
MNKY HSE

MNKY HSE

10 Dover Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4LQ

This Mayfair celeb-magnet is one of those rare venues that manages to balance style with substance, so while all of the usual crowd-baiting tricks are here (think Insta-friendly interiors and fun presentation), the restaurant’s kitchen backs this up with some very tasty food.

£50 - £79
South American
Bars
Rochelle Canteen

Rochelle Canteen

16 Playground Gardens, Shoreditch, London, E2 7FA

Rochelle Canteen has transcended the trends and has been a favourite of ‘those in the know’ since it opened in 2004, remaining cool over since. The secret here is uncomplicated cooking and clean, vibrant flavours.

£30 - £49
Modern European
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
Brat

Brat

64 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, London, E1 6JJ

With a wood grill at its centre, this Michelin starred restaurant by Tomos Parry has shirked the usual trappings of fine dining, trading starched linens for a more utilitarian approach. The stripped back interiors let the food do all the talking – like the Basque-style turbot.

£50 - £79
Spanish
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Kiln

Kiln

58 Brewer Street, Soho, London, W1F 9TL

The clue is in the name at this buzzy Soho joint. Kiln is a tiny Thai spot which is full of fire – fiery dishes that is - such as as glass noodles topped with Tamworth pork belly and brown crab meat.

£30 - £49
Thai
Burmese
SquareMeal London Top 100
Hicce

Hicce

102 Stable Street, King's Cross, London, N1C 4DQ

Former Murano head chef and Great British Menu finalist Pip Lacey is the woman behind this casual restaurant in the mightily popular Coal Drops Yard development. It focuses on wood-fired cooking, serving up plates which have been grilled, steamed and smoked.

£50 - £79
International
SquareMeal London Top 100
Westerns Laundry

Westerns Laundry

34 Drayton Park, Islington, London, N5 1PB

Achingly cool Westerns Laundry comes from the same people who own hit bakery Jolene. Stripped back interiors and a candlelit courtyard draw a trendy north London crowd who lap up the seafood sharing plates.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Fish
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Garden Café Lambeth

The Garden Café Lambeth

Lambeth Garden Museum, 5 Lambeth Palace Road, Lambeth, London, SE1 7LB

We’re almost hesitant to include The Garden Café on our list. You see, part of its charm is the illusion that this is a cool restaurant that flies slightly under the radar. The minimalist dining room looks onto a pretty courtyard oasis and the small plates are undeniably delicious.

£30 - £49
Modern European
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
VE Kitchen

VE Kitchen

39 Northcote Road, Clapham, London, SW11 1NJ

VE Kitchen serves a colourful and fresh plant-based menu with decor just as impressive to match. Pretty pastel walls, pink velvet stools and mismatched sculptural lighting give this restaurant insta-worthy credentials.

£30 - £49
Vegetarian
Vegan
Burgers
Brasserie
Bistro
Amazonico

Amazonico

10 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, W1J 6AA

Amazonico London follows on from its successful Madrid sibling which has been known to host notable guests - from celebs to politicians. The interiors are jungle-themed and the menu is a mix of Asian, Mediterranean and Brazilian food. 

£50 - £79
Sushi
South American
International
Facing Heaven

Facing Heaven

1a Bayford Street, Hackney, London, E8 3SE

Cult hangout Mao Chow has been reborn as Facing Heaven just around the corner in Hackney, where it serves vegan Chinese food, natural wines and baijiu cocktails under neon lighting. 

Under £30
Chinese
BiBi

BiBi

42 North Audley Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 6ZR

Gorgeous interiors, a bustling open kitchen, and a menu of unusual but additive Indian plates inspired by the chef’s childhood makes this a winner. For Mayfair it’s surprisingly lowkey, and the service is top-class too.

£50 - £79
Indian
SquareMeal London Top 100
La Bodega Negra

La Bodega Negra

9 Old Compton Street, London, London, W1D 5JF

From the outside, Bodega Negra looks like a slightly seedy sex shop, but head downstairs and you’ll discover an underground Mexican bar serving margs and tacos all night long. This is Soho's worst kept secret. 

£30 - £49
Mexican
Berenjak

Berenjak

27 Romilly Street, Soho, London, W1D 5AL

Any restaurant that the JKS Group touches turns to gold, so it’s no surprise then that Berenjak has a clutch of in-the-know fans. Serving affordable small plates and majoring in kebabs, Berenjak has plenty of showstoppers on the menu that beg to be devoured. 

£30 - £49
Persian
Middle Eastern
SquareMeal London Top 100
MiMi Mei Fair

MiMi Mei Fair

55 Curzon Street , Mayfair, London, W1J 8PG

Bringing together lavish 1920s interiors with high-end Chinese Food, MiMi Mei Fair has been an instant hit on London’s scene. Don’t miss the roast duck that’s carved tableside and there’s a secret basement bar too.

Over £80
Chinese
SquareMeal London Top 100
NoMad London

NoMad London

Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7AH

The Nomad Hotel’s restaurant feels a bit like being on a film set. It’s housed underneath a soaring glass ceiling while romantic wraparound balconies and trailing foliage spill down onto the dining room below.  

Crispin

Crispin

Pavilion, White’s Row, City of London, London, E1 7NF

Taking their grub seriously, the team at Crispin are constantly working to evolve their menu. The ‘one of everything’ gives you a little taste of all the kitchen’s favourite dishes – like the potato-topped toast with anchovies and green sauce.

International
Kricket Soho

Kricket Soho

12 Denman Street, Soho, London, W1D 7HH

Having graduated from a shipping container in Pop Brixton to a restaurant proper, Indian small plates joint Kricket serves up signature dishes such as fiery Keralan-fried chicken and crunchy Bhel puris which explode in the mouth with a swirl of tamarind stickiness.

£30 - £49
Indian
14 Hills

14 Hills

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

Interiors adorned with fake foliage have been in vogue for a quite a while now, and 14 Hills capitalised on the trend at the perfect time. Jungle-like interiors and city views from the 14th floor make this D&D restaurant double cool. 

£50 - £79
British
Smokestak

Smokestak

35 Sclater Street, London, E1 6LB

Taking industrial-chic to a new level, this dark and dingy Shoreditch restaurant is a no-frills affair. The food however, is very much on the indulgent side with a menu consisting of barbecue sharing plates including an epic brisket bun with pickled red chilli.

£30 - £49
North American
Barbecue
Temper Soho

Temper Soho

25 Broadwick Street, Soho, London, W1F 0DF

Lively barbecue joint Temper took London's restaurant scene by storm when it first opened back in 2016. Head here to feast on grilled meats served on flatbreads that soak up the juices, as well as tacos with unconventional fillings.

£30 - £49
South American
Barbecue
Bao Soho

Bao Soho

53 Lexington Street, London, W1F 9AS

Known for the queues that form outside its door nightly, a visit to Bao is practically a rite of passage for Londoners. The signature fluffy bao buns here are filled with the likes of confit pork belly, fried chicken or lamb shoulder.

Under £30
Taiwanese
Chinese
Isabel

Isabel

26 Albemarle Street , Mayfair, London, W1S 4HY

Isabel is home to a dining room which could have been ripped straight from Architectural Digest, so it’s no surprise that the restaurant is loved by London’s fashion crowd. Its glossy interiors include shiny monochrome tables and a striking brass disc studded ceiling.

£30 - £49
International
Sessions Arts Club

Sessions Arts Club

The Old Sessions House, Farringdon, London, EC1R 0NA

Surely one of the trendiest places in London right now, Sessions Arts Club's stunning dining room is housed inside a Grade II listed building and has all the vibes of a private members club (without actually being one).  

£30 - £49
Modern European
Gloria

Gloria

54-56 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3QR

Zany, silly and tonnes of fun, Gloria burst on to London’s restaurant scene in early 2019 and has since achieved a cult following. Part of the Big Mamma Group, Gloria revels in campy excess and it does so brilliantly.

£30 - £49
Italian
Hakkasan Hanway Place

Hakkasan Hanway Place

8 Hanway Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1HD

Hakkasan is the perfect spot for a hot date. Sleek interiors and impossibly good looking staff all add to Hakkasan’s exclusive vibe, while the outward bravado is backed up by a menu of Cantonese classics. 

Over £80
Chinese
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Pachamama Marylebone

Pachamama Marylebone

18 Thayer Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 3JY

London is sadly low in Peruvian restaurants which gives Pachamama a bit of an edge before you’ve stepped through the door. With a pisco bar and party atmosphere thanks to regular DJ slots, this is the place to come for brunch with a group of friends looking to have a good time.

£30 - £49
Peruvian
Bubala

Bubala

65 Commerical Street , Shoreditch, London, E1 6BD

Stripped back interiors hold space for only 30 diners, so eating here very much feels like you’re among others ‘in the know’. Plus, it's totally veggie! Think potato latkes with garlic sauce and thick slices of fried aubergine doused in zhoug. 

£30 - £49
Middle Eastern
Vegetarian
Bob Bob Ricard

Bob Bob Ricard

1 Upper James Street, London, W1F 9DF

Okay, Bob Bob Ricard isn’t exactly new anymore but those ‘push for Champagne’ buttons have timeless appeal. Offset the bubbles with something from the long list of comfort food classics – like a beef Wellington.

£50 - £79
International
Cafe Cecilia

Cafe Cecilia

Canal Place, London, E8 4FX

Since Max Rocha opened Café Cecilia in 2021, it’s become known as the place to be and be seen in East London. Why? We think its menu of seasonal, unpretentious sharing plates might have something to do with it.  

£30 - £49
British
Boiler & Co

Boiler & Co

5 Canvey Street, London, SE1 9AN

Great British Menu star Kerth Gumbs heads up the kitchen at Boiler & Co, where British ingredients and Caribbean-inspired ideas combine to form his gastronomic menu. The food is like nothing we’ve tried before, and the cocktails are just as good.  

£30 - £49
Caribbean
British
KOL

KOL

9 Seymour Street, Marylebone, London, W1H 7BA

Part theatrical experience, part restaurant, KOL is Marylebone’s latest Mexican restaurant. Watch as the chefs cook over grills in the centre of the room and enjoy innovative twists on classic cooking, like langoustine tacos.

£50 - £79
Mexican
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Hackney Coterie

Hackney Coterie

230B Dalston Lane, Dalston, London, E8 1LA

Hipster hangout Hackney Coterie deals in thoughtful, curious plates that steer clear of obvious crowd-pleasers. The kitchen’s dedication to low-waste cooking results in complimentary kimchi-salted potato skin snacks and the sweet service is stand-out.

£30 - £49
International
SquareMeal London Top 100
Langan’s Brasserie

Langan’s Brasserie

Stratton Street, London, W1J 8LB

Langan's may have had its heyday back in the 70s when it was launched by Peter Langan and Sir Michael Caine, but it still lays claim to the old-school glamour and notoriety that made it famous in the first place. 

£50 - £79
British
Brasserie
French

Now that you’ve browsed through some of the most hip and happening restaurants in London, we’re almost certain you’re going to be interested in London's most instagrammable restaurants too, which are sure to make your jaw drop thanks to their fabulous decor. In fact, if your version of cool involves totally OTT interiors that scream ‘photograph me’, then this list of pink restaurants in London has got to be part of your research.  

You know what else makes a restaurant cool? Awesome views. That’s where our guide to London’s best rooftop restaurants comes in, where you can oggle at the city’s spectacular skyline while tucking into dinner. We’ve also got some of the best rooftop bars in the capital that are sure to make that cocktail taste even sweeter.