The definitive list of 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 24 June 2024

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. 

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
Lasdun

Lasdun

National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

The South Bank finally has a restaurant of real note - Lasdun - which sits tucked away inside the National Theatre. A tribute to Brutalist architect Denys Lasdun, Lasdun boasts a certain geometric majesty, and is worthy of much more than just pre-theatre dinners.

£50 - £79
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
BiBi

BiBi

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

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
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
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
Lagom

Lagom

Hackney Church Brew Co, Hackney, London, E8 1DU

Head to the back of Hackney Church Brewing Co to find Lagom, where chef Elliott Cunningham is manning the flames of an open wood fire and knocking out delicious steaks, smash burgers and more.

£30 - £49
Barbecue
mu

mu

432-434 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London, E8 4AA

Easy-going modern Japanese plates and live jazz in a shabby chic restaurant in Dalston - it doesn’t get more cool and trendy than that does it?

£50 - £79
Japanese
Lyle

Lyle's

The Tea Building, Shoreditch, London, E1 6JJ

Famously serene, Lyle’s whitewashed walls and sleek Scandi lines are the definition of wabi sabi restaurant style. The cooking is rightly lauded too.

Over £80
British
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
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 Water House Project

The Water House Project

1 Corbridge Crescent, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9DS

The Water House Project feels less like a restaurant and more like an open house for a property you can’t afford. The seasonal monthly tasting menus are superb, but you’ll probably leave with some interior design inspo as well.

Over £80
Modern European
SquareMeal London Top 100
Cafe Cecilia

Cafe Cecilia

Canal Place, Hackney, 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
SquareMeal London Top 100
Yasmin Soho

Yasmin Soho

1 Warwick Street, Soho, London, W1B 5LR

A quaint rooftop bang in the middle of London, and some very smart Middle Eastern cooking make Yasmin a pretty unique prospect by all accounts. If you’re looking for somewhere cool to show off to a visitor, we reckon Yasmin fits the bill perfectly.

£50 - £79
Middle Eastern
Mediterranean
Bars
Lita

Lita

7-9 Paddington Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 5QH

Lita fits nicely into a very mid-2020s archetype of food cooked over fire and ultra-desirable handmade wooden furniture, but it has a trump card in chef Luke Ahearne, who might just be cooking some of the best food in London right now.

Over £80
Modern European
Mediterranean
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
Cadet

Cadet

57 Newington Green, Highbury, London, N16 9PX

Over the park from another Newington Green trendy favourite, Jolene, Cadet is a no-bookings wine bar that hides some truly fantastic cooking behind the scenes. Don’t leave without trying a slice of pate en croute.

£30 - £49
French
Wine Bars
SquareMeal London Top 100
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.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Plimsoll

The Plimsoll

52 St. Thomas's Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 2QQ

Cult-favourite pop-up Four Legs has been hanging out at The Plimsoll for a while now, churning out cracking menus as well as arguably London’s best burger. Without doubt one of the hardest places to get (and keep hold of) a table in London.

£30 - £49
Pubs
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
Arcade Battersea

Arcade Battersea

1st Floor 330 The Power Station, Battersea, London, SW11 8DD

Arcade’s newest food hall delivers an array of delicious options, all housed inside the glorious, newly-renovated Battersea Power Station. This is what we want our food courts to look like from now on. 

Under £30
Nepalese
Middle Eastern
Mexican
Vegetarian
Thai
Taiwanese
Japanese
Chinese
Burgers
Barbecue
International
Indonesian
Indian
Fusion
Coya City

Coya City

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

Colourful, South American chic and a hefty menu of easy-eating ceviche, steak, tacos and tiraditos make Coya endlessly popular.

Over £80
Peruvian
South American
Crispin

Crispin

Pavilion on the Corner, Spitalfields, 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.

£30 - £49
Modern European
SquareMeal London Top 100
Bistro Freddie

Bistro Freddie

74 Luke Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 4PY

Bistro Freddie lives up to the name with candlelit bistro tables and a menu full of comfort food you just want to dive into.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
International
French
Bistro
Los Mochis

Los Mochis

2 Farmer Street, Notting Hill, London, W8 7SN

Los Mochis seamlessly blends two worlds, mixing a colourful Mexican aesthetic with slick, modern Japanese design. Moody, buzzy interiors are a big part of the interest, but the food is bold, exciting and delicious too.

£30 - £49
Mexican
Japanese
Fusion
Akara

Akara

Arch 208, London Bridge, London, SE1 9AD

We’re huge fans of Akoko, and Akara offers a more relaxed entry point into Ayo Adeyemi’s dynamic West African cooking. The signature akaras are delicious, but there’s lots more on the menu worth trying too.

£50 - £79
West African
Papi

Papi

1F, Hackney, London, E8 3DQ

The energy at Papi is frenetic, joyful chaos, as messrs Matthew Scott and Charlie Carr sling out utterly unique dishes and cleverly matched wines. One of East London’s hottest properties right now.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
Dorian

Dorian

105-107 Talbot Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2AT

Brash and bustling Dorian has been a smash hit in Notting Hill, mixing edgy modern design with some really exceptional bistro cooking.

£50 - £79
British
One Michelin star
Bistro
SquareMeal London Top 100
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
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
Sune

Sune

129A Pritchard's Road, Hackney, London, E2 9AP

Hospitality power couple Honey Spencer and Charlie Sims head to Broadway Market for this achingly cool modern bistro and wine bar. Sune sits right in the zeitgeist but few restaurants nail this combination with such class and conviviality.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
Julie

Julie's

135 Portland Road, Holland Park, London, W11 4LW

Has this Notting Hill celeb-magnet ever not been cool and trendy? After a few up and down years, Julie’s is back for good thanks to dream team Tara MacBain, Owen Kenworthy and Emma Underwood. The vibes are back too - Julie’s is let-your-hair-down fun and chic in the best way, but the brasserie-style food is also superb.

£50 - £79
Brasserie
French
Booking Office 1869

Booking Office 1869

Euston Road, King's Cross, London, NW1 2AR

The grand, towering ceilings, giant palm trees and sleek furniture of this 19th century ticket hall are quite something. Order a cocktail at the 22-metre-long bar and ogle at the interiors for half an hour - it’s worth every penny.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
OMA

OMA

2-4 Bedale Street, London Bridge, London, SE1 9AL

David Carter’s restaurant track record is as good as anyone, and OMA might just be his most aesthetically pleasing spot yet - the upstairs dining room is all sleek lines and jutting, angular furniture, and the view over Borough Market is a nice bonus. If this is the new face of Greek food in London, we’re here for it.

£50 - £79
Mediterranean
Greek
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
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
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
Bébé Bob

Bébé Bob

37 Golden Square, Soho, London, W1F 9LB

From the team behind Bob Bob Ricard comes bright young thing Bebe Bob, a rotisserie chicken-focussed concept designed to draw the crowds. Of course there's caviar, Champagne and beautiful interiors to keep people coming back for more. 

£50 - £79
British
French
Evernight

Evernight

3 Ravine Way, Battersea, London, SW11 7BH

Sumptuous, inventive modern Japanese food meets slick contemporary interior design at Evernight - the best of Nine Elms restaurant offerings for our money.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Sushi
Japanese
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
TOU

TOU

Upstairs @ The Globe Tavern, 8 Bedale Street, London, SE1 9AL

Ana Goncalves and Zijun Meng seem to have found a clever format - ultra-concise menus of things that just work perfectly together. First it was Solis - a chicken and steak plus chips operation in Battersea Power Station that we loved dearly, now it’s TOU, where crispy, squishy katsu sandos meet fried chicken and sparkly pet nats.

£30 - £49
International
JOIA

JOIA

1 Electric Boulevard, Battersea, London, SW11 8BJ

JOIA has pride of place at the top of art’otel Battersea, with stunning views overlooking the Power Station. It’s beautiful inside and out - the pastel shaded art deco styling really appeals to us.

Portuguese
Tapas
Spanish
Fish
Cloth

Cloth

44 Cloth Fair, Farringdon, London, EC1A 7JQ

Flickering shadows, candlesticks, somewhat dainty British bistro plates and a wine list the size of a dictionary, Cloth doesn’t sound cool on the surface, but it has a restrained charm and beauty that we just keep coming back to.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
French
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.

Over £80
Mexican
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100

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.

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