Gluten-free restaurants in London

Eating out in London if you’re gluten intolerant or have coeliac disease can be a tricky business, and these days more and more of us are saying goodbye to gluten as a lifestyle choice. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of London’s best coeliac-friendly restaurants, so you’ll be able to eat out in the capital with confidence. London’s best gluten-free restaurants either offer a gluten-free menu, or are blessed with clued-up staff who can direct you to a tasty range of gluten-free food. If you’re searching for a good London restaurant for a coeliac sufferer, or a gluten-free restaurant menu in London, you’ve come to the right place.

Posted on 15 September 2017

Gluten-free restaurants in London


Dishoom Shoreditch

Dishoom Shoreditch

£30 - £49
Indian

7 Boundary Street, London, E2 7JE

"Completely incredible food and service"; "reminds me of Mumbai"; "one of my favourite pop-in places" – readers simply can't get enough of Dishoom and its "wonder colonial decor". Whether it's a breakfast of bacon naans and chilli jam (with bottomless chai tea during the week) or dinner with "creative" Asian-themed cocktails such as the Bollybellini, this branch of the four-strong group delivers in spades. We're hooked on the keema pau (minced spiced lamb in a buttered bun) and the signature black dhal, but other items are well worth a punt – including the mahi (fish) tikka, the fried batura bread with chickpeas or the famous chicken berry Britannia (a biryani riff with cranberries), with kulfi on a stick to finish. The only problem is getting a table in the first place: bookings are only taken for groups of six or more, otherwise you need to queue. Even so, this is a "must-visit".

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Honest Burgers Soho

Honest Burgers Soho

Under £30
Burgers

4A Meard Street, W1F 0EF

Driven along by two energetic young owners, no-frills, independently minded Honest Burgers has gone down a storm wherever it chooses to pitch its admirable cut-price offer. Fans rate it as one of the best burger joints in town, with a growing reputation for its custom-built patties – ‘meaty hunks of wonder’ made from 35-day aged beef (from The Ginger Pig), timed to perfection and served on a glazed brioche bun with triple-cooked, skin-on chips and rosemary salt. Free-range chicken burgers and mixed veggie ‘fritters’ are also available, and the fact that prices are well below a tenner is a bonus. No bookings, but the queues move quickly and it's worth knowing that Honest Burgers is licensed – if you fancy a bottle of Redchurch Shoreditch Blonde beer, a jar of Hendrick's G&T with cucumber or a carafe of Plumpton Estate Sussex rosé.

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Dishoom King

Dishoom King's Cross

£30 - £49
Indian

5 Stable Street, London, N1C 4AB

Deliberately evoking a railway café in old Bombay during the 1920s, this branch of Dishoom attracts young hipsters and die-hard Indian food fans in equal measure. The multi-tiered restaurant gets packed as efficient staff dart between close-set tables – although you may need to wait in the cocktail bar with a Bombay Martini until there’s a space available. Like its siblings in Shoreditch and Covent Garden, the signature black dhal is legendary, along with fiery-crusted lamb chops served with refreshing, yoghurt raita for dipping. Otherwise, bowls of ‘Ruby Murray’ go well with floppy roti bread, and the menu also runs to street snacks, kebabs, biryanis and desserts such as kulfi on a stick. Drink fruity lassi, exotic ‘coolers’, a bottle of London Fields IPA or something from the modest wine list while you bob to the Indian music and revel in the fun of the place.

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Dishoom Carnaby

Dishoom Carnaby

£30 - £49
Indian

22 Kingly Street, London, W1B 5QB

A vibrant menu? Check. Queues for dinner? Check. Kitsch Bombay nostalgia? Check. It’s business as usual at Dishoom’s fourth branch, but that’s good. Styling in this sprawling ground-floor bar-restaurant is inspired by the 1960s: Brimful of Asha in four dimensions. Professional staff galvanise the buzzy atmosphere. Mild spicing characterises a menu of small plates, grills and biryanis, the Carnaby sali boti special combining lamb with velvety meat gravy, showered with crisped potato shavings. Comfort food is a highlight: whether deeply creamy black dhal or a ‘Frankie’ naan parcel loaded with paneer and mint chutney. The spiced cocktail list includes bottle-aged options; wines focus on Europe; and the house chai (served to the hour-long queue outside) is delicious. With evening reservations for six diners or more only, Dishoom is ideal for parties: it certainly has the requisite vibes, flavours and drinks.

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Honest Burgers Liverpool Street

Honest Burgers Liverpool Street

Under £30
Burgers

12 Widegate Street, E1 7HP

Driven along by two energetic young owners, no-frills, independently minded Honest Burgers has gone down a storm wherever it chooses to pitch its admirable cut-price offer. Fans rate it as one of the best burger joints in town, with a growing reputation for its custom-built patties – ‘meaty hunks of wonder’ made with beef from Honest Burgers' own butchery, timed to perfection and served in a bun with homemade chips.

Free-range chicken burgers and mixed veggie ‘fritters’ are also available, while pocket-friendly prices are an added bonus. No bookings, but the queues move quickly and it's worth knowing that Honest Burgers is licensed – if you fancy a bottle of Long Play IPA or a glass of French rosé.

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Dishoom Covent Garden

Dishoom Covent Garden

£30 - £49
Cafes
Indian

12 Upper St Martins Lane, London, WC2H 9FB

Now with branches in Shoreditch, King’s Cross and Soho, Dishoom is going from strength to strength as its take on the café culture of old Bombay hits the spot with hungry Londoners. Quirky vintage styling includes bright Bollywood posters and formal family portraits, while pendant lamps and monochrome tiles keep things bang up to date in the bustling dining room. Drop in any time: you’ll find bacon naan rolls and sweet chai for breakfast, ahead of a reliable all-day menu that readers recommend as a “great standby for last-minute” dining. Highlights at Dishoom include an aromatic biryani dish of chicken berry Britannia, spiced lamb keema scooped up with buttery pau buns, and the “fantastic” house black dhal. The drinks list keeps up the good work, with lassis and craft beers, plus “different and delicious” cocktails to enjoy in the basement bar if you’re waiting for a table. “Reasonable prices” and “prompt service” too.

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Casita Andina

Casita Andina

£30 - £49
Peruvian

31 Great Windmill Street, London, W1D 7LP

Combining a taste of the Andes with a predominantly gluten-free menu, this well-judged, vivacious restaurant is the latest offering from Peruvian champion Martin Morales (of Ceviche fame). The steep staircase and close quarters might suggest a house party, with bright accessories providing flashes of colour, though the neutral walls and furnishings help ease any claustrophobia. If the idea of gluten-free doesn’t inspire you, rest assured that flavour isn’t sacrificed. The menu is packed with intriguing and delicious-sounding possibilities, from chilli-marinated cauliflower to lamb’s sweetbreads with dark beer sauce, but don’t miss the mildly spiced black pudding on quinoa toast or chilli-pressed watermelon and black quinoa salad – an addictive balance of fruit juice and chocolatey accents. Well-trained staff can navigate you through these honestly priced small plates, although the Peruvian chocolate ball is a must-order finale, filled with elderberry gel and scattered with puffed chocolate rice. To drink, we reckon exemplary Pisco Sours are preferable to the more experimental cocktails.

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Duck & Waffle

Duck & Waffle

£50 - £79
International

110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY

Although it’s only two floors above Sushisamba, and shares the same incredible views, Duck & Waffle has a noticeably more relaxed vibe compared to its Japanese-fusion neighbour – and with 24/7 opening as its trump card, it’s also a shoo-in for “active Londoners” living la vida loca. Food-wise, the “creative menu” plays fast and loose with the world larder, and the daring, innovative flavours are guaranteed to please (and challenge) the taste buds. Irresistible snacks of sweet/savoury bacon-wrapped dates and crispy polenta with Parmesan and truffle get things rolling, while goat meatballs in thyme broth or warm ox-cheek doughnuts with apricot jam maintain the gutsy theme – although “nothing beats the eponymous house speciality”, a mouth-watering pile-up of waffles, confit duck leg and a fried egg. If you make it to dessert, we recommend the rich salted caramel choux buns. Chatty, knowledgeable staff are also happy to advise on the ‘wham-bam’ cocktail list: “Worth every penny”, concludes one fan of Duck and Waffle.

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MOMMI

MOMMI

£30 - £49
Peruvian
South American
Japanese
Fusion

44-48 Clapham High Street, London, SW4 7UR

Replacing a branch of Belgo, Mommi is an altogether more exotic Clapham offering with its Japanese and South American sharing plates: a formula pioneered by Nobu. The large corner site comprises a bar – with high tables and bare bricks covered in colourful prints – and a restaurant with banquette-lined booths (great for groups). There’s also a robata grill and sushi counter where you can watch chefs in action. Raw-bar options include chirashi sushi, sashimi, tartare, tataki and ceviche at reasonable prices. Pretty plates arrive garnished with edible flowers, though we received poor cuts of fish that tended to be chewy. Only a sea bass and salmon ceviche stood out for its zesty dressing and fresh flavour. Hot dishes were more consistent, with top marks going to melt-in-the-mouth braised short-rib teriyaki with quinoa lime picante and spicy smoked paprika oil. Staff are friendly, though waits were long on a busy Friday. That said, Mommi’s ambitions stand out among Clapham’s identikit bars and pubs, and the feel-good factor is evident. DJs spin tunes at weekends, when two-for-one cocktails pack-in a party crowd. Try a Machu Pistachu with rye whiskey and pistachios. Appetising alternatives include an all-South American wine list and interesting craft beers.

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Masala Zone Bayswater

Masala Zone Bayswater

£30 - £49
Indian

75 Bishops Bridge Road, London, W2 6BG

It wasn’t so long ago that ‘going for a curry’ meant throat-wrenching vindaloos, warm lager & lurid flock wallpaper. Masala Zone makes such provincial clichés seem like ancient history. This sparky, London-only group of Indian ‘brasseries’ is known for its smart service, ethnic soundtrack & folk art-bedecked interiors – the Rajasthani puppets at the Covent Garden branch are a must-see. As the cheap-but-chic member of the Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy and Amaya stable, bowls of bog-standard chicken tikka masala are beneath its dignity. No, Masala Zone is all about fresh, balanced meals inspired by Indian home cooking, market stalls & palace chefs. Kick off with street-food nibbles such as samosas, papdi chaat or jumbo prawns from the grill, ahead of a textbook thali featuring your choice of curry & daily changing accompaniments.

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Masala Zone Islington

Masala Zone Islington

£30 - £49
Indian

80 Upper Street, London, N1 0NU

It wasn’t so long ago that ‘going for a curry’ meant throat-wrenching vindaloos, warm lager and lurid flock wallpaper. Masala Zone makes such provincial clichés seem like ancient history. This sparky, London-only group of Indian ‘brasseries’ is known for its smart service, ethnic soundtrack and folk art-bedecked interiors – the Rajasthani puppets at the Covent Garden branch are a must-see. As the cheap-but-chic member of the Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy and Amaya stable, bowls of bog-standard chicken tikka masala are beneath its dignity. No, Masala Zone is all about fresh, balanced meals inspired by Indian home cooking, market stalls and palace chefs. Kick off with street-food nibbles such as samosas, papdi chaat or jumbo prawns from the grill, ahead of a textbook thali featuring your choice of curry and daily changing accompaniments.

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Farmstand

Farmstand

Under £30
British

42 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5AJ

This handsome and healthy diner focuses on the grab-and-go breakfast and lunch trade, but it also works as a quick and easy pre-theatre pit stop. Owner Steven Novick’s inspiration for his London debut is the roadside produce stalls (‘farmstands’) of his native Wisconsin, which means wholesome, locally sourced ingredients are paramount. Food is served on trays in compostable packaging, and everything on the succinct menu is free of wheat, dairy and gluten. Our grilled harissa chicken was plump, satisfying and clearly of a high quality, and we paired it with cinnamon-roasted heritage carrots and raw Romanesco cauliflower, peppered with mustard seeds. Portions are generous and food options change with the season, while drinks include Crate beer, Celia gluten-free lager, cold-pressed juices and Workshop coffee. You can grab a table next to the central takeaway cabinet, but we recommend pulling up a stool at the vast marble windowsill for prime West End people watching.

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Masala Zone Camden Town

Masala Zone Camden Town

£30 - £49
Indian

25 Parkway, London, NW1 7PG

It wasn’t so long ago that ‘going for a curry’ meant throat-wrenching vindaloos, warm lager & lurid flock wallpaper. Masala Zone makes such provincial clichés seem like ancient history. This sparky, London-only group of Indian ‘brasseries’ is known for its smart service, ethnic soundtrack & folk art-bedecked interiors – the Rajasthani puppets at the Covent Garden branch are a must-see. As the cheap-but-chic member of the Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy and Amaya stable, bowls of bog-standard chicken tikka masala are beneath its dignity. No, Masala Zone is all about fresh, balanced meals inspired by Indian home cooking, market stalls & palace chefs. Kick off with street-food nibbles such as samosas, papdi chaat or jumbo prawns from the grill, ahead of a textbook thali featuring your choice of curry & daily changing accompaniments.

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Honest Burgers Oxford Circus

Honest Burgers Oxford Circus

Under £30
Burgers

4 Market Place, W1W 8AD

Driven along by two energetic young owners, no-frills, independently minded Honest Burgers has gone down a storm wherever it chooses to pitch its admirable cut-price offer. Fans rate it as one of the best burger joints in town, with a growing reputation for its custom-built patties – ‘meaty hunks of wonder’ made from 35-day aged beef (from The Ginger Pig), timed to perfection and served on a glazed brioche bun with triple-cooked, skin-on chips and rosemary salt. Free-range chicken burgers and mixed veggie ‘fritters’ are also available, and the fact that prices are well below a tenner is a bonus. No bookings, but the queues move quickly and it's worth knowing that Honest Burgers is licensed – if you fancy a bottle of Redchurch Shoreditch Blonde beer, a jar of Hendrick's G&T with cucumber or a carafe of Plumpton Estate Sussex rosé.

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Locanda Locatelli

Locanda Locatelli

£50 - £79
Italian
One michelin star

8 Seymour Street, London, W1H 7JZ

Eating at Giorgio Locatelli’s Michelin-starred flagship brings you one step closer to la dolce vita – so writes a fan who adores this polished purveyor of “old-school glamour” and pure-bred Italian regional cooking. Beaded curtains, cream leather and dramatic domed mirrors create just the right amount of chic elegance, while neatly designed alcoves offer privacy for those who are at Locanda Locatelli for discreet assignations. Meanwhile, the kitchen delivers value, authenticity and culinary cred as it fashions an array of vivacious dishes inspired by provenance-led cucina rustica. Superlative hand-crafted pasta is the undisputed headline act (ring-shaped calamarata with monkfish, samphire, dry capers, chilli and lemon, for example), but everything at Locanda Locatelli is imbued with seasonal freshness – from a grilled vegetable salad with stuffed peppers, pine kernel and basil to roast grouse with stewed lentils and game chips. To round things off, try the Neapolitan ‘baba’ with Chantilly and orange cream or gorge on some artisan cheeses, offered lovingly with Italian honey. Service seldom falters and prices are “not ridiculous” – although you’ll need to shell out a pretty penny to do the patrician wine list full justice. 

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Honest Burgers Camden

Honest Burgers Camden

Under £30
Burgers

34a Camden Lock Market, Camden Lock Place, NW1 8AF

Driven along by two energetic young owners, no-frills, independently minded Honest Burgers has gone down a storm wherever it chooses to pitch its admirable cut-price offer. Fans rate it as one of the best burger joints in town, with a growing reputation for its custom-built patties – ‘meaty hunks of wonder’ made from 35-day aged beef (from The Ginger Pig), timed to perfection and served on a glazed brioche bun with triple-cooked, skin-on chips and rosemary salt. Free-range chicken burgers and mixed veggie ‘fritters’ are also available, and the fact that prices are well below a tenner is a bonus. No bookings, but the queues move quickly and it's worth knowing that Honest Burgers is licensed – if you fancy a bottle of Redchurch Shoreditch Blonde beer, a jar of Hendrick's G&T with cucumber or a carafe of Plumpton Estate Sussex rosé.

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Sartoria

Sartoria

£50 - £79
Italian

20 Savile Row, London, W1S 3PR

Time moves relatively slowly when it comes to Mayfair’s classic restaurants, and Sartoria’s thorough refurb (along with the arrival of chef/patron Francesco Mazzei from L’Anima) is still news on Savile Row. The place now looks pin-sharp, of course, if a little stately with its heavy furniture and hotel-neutral palette – although Mazzei’s emphatically “wonderful” cooking elevates the experience to something approaching “faultless”, with back-up from an “incredible” wine list. He’s not afraid of simplicity, stuffing romanesco peppers with salt cod or pairing brown and white crab with green apple and pickled radish. Like his well-dressed patrons, he’s not averse to the luxurious, either: try Grana Padano risotto with saffron and duck livers, generous veal milanese for two, or slow-roasted Black Pig belly with pickled vegetables and black pudding. To finish, insist on zabaglione – think of it as keeping a craft skill alive, not drinking a bowl of expensive custard. Meanwhile, in the late-licence bar, it’s snacks and Negronis a go-go.

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Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Over £80
French

Church Road, Great Milton, Oxfordshire, OX44 7PD

We’ve said it before, but Le Manoir is damn near perfect in every department – a sentiment echoed by legions of fans, who seldom stint on the superlatives when it comes to Raymond Blanc’s fine-tuned take on country-house luxe. This immaculate Oxfordshire mansion is quite simply “faultless”, the “perfect treat” and a dream ticket for out-of-town indulgence with its ever-courteous staff, silkily choreographed service and “exceptionally creative” French-inspired cooking. Blanc’s vision of ‘sustainable harmony’ is buoyed by produce from Le Manoir’s showpiece organic gardens, and the result is a “superb, well-balanced menu full of seasonal flavours and surprises” – from veal sweetbread with spring asparagus, peas and morels to the ever-popular risotto of garden vegetables with tomato essence and chervil cream, salt-baked pigeon with cabbage, wild garlic and bacon or confit Gigha halibut with squid, chorizo and smoked red pepper. This is clear-minded, limpid cooking from a kitchen that knows all about consummate technique. There’s also room for gasp-inducing extras, peerless patisserie (millionaire shortbread with salted caramel ice cream, say) and lovingly ripened cheeses from M. Blanc’s home region (and beyond). Of course, it costs a fortune (particularly if you take a serious dip into the aristocratic wine list), but readers concur that the experience is “worth every penny”.

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Masala Zone Earl

Masala Zone Earl's Court

£30 - £49
Indian

147 Earl's Court Road, London, SW5 9RQ

It wasn’t so long ago that ‘going for a curry’ meant throat-wrenching vindaloos, warm lager and lurid flock wallpaper. Masala Zone makes such provincial clichés seem like ancient history. This sparky, London-only group of Indian ‘brasseries’ is known for its smart service, ethnic soundtrack and folk art-bedecked interiors – the Rajasthani puppets at the Covent Garden branch are a must-see. As the cheap-but-chic member of the Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy and Amaya stable, bowls of bog-standard chicken tikka masala are beneath its dignity. No, Masala Zone is all about fresh, balanced meals inspired by Indian home cooking, market stalls and palace chefs. Kick off with street-food nibbles such as samosas, papdi chaat or jumbo prawns from the grill, ahead of a textbook thali featuring your choice of curry and daily changing accompaniments.

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Ceru South Kensington

Ceru South Kensington

£30 - £49
Mediterranean

7-9 Bute Street, London, SW7 3EY

Serial restaurateur Barry Hilton is behind this mid-range, all-day celebration of Levantine cuisine. It's a casual, vibrant option borne out of a series of pop ups around London, set in a colourful and cosy space. You can go for a casual bite on a stool alongside the open kitchen, or grab a booth and make a meal of grilled meat, seafood, salad and veggie options, served sharing-style in small portions. With the feel of a chain-in-waiting, Ceru presents the odd quirk (there's afternoon tea with Middle-Eastern ingredients) but predominantly plays it safe with flavours and ideas. Having said that, the signature lamb shoulder steak arrives doused in a punchy, 12-spice sauce which arrests the taste buds, while the pancar (roasted beetroot dip with pistachio crumbs) provides a delicious tangy alternative to the omnipresence of hummus in Middle-Eastern restaurants. Keen pricing, generous portions and a kids’ menu ensure Ceru's likeability, while Greek, Turkish and Lebanese wines by the glass invite experimentation. 

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Refuel at The Soho Hotel

Refuel at The Soho Hotel

£50 - £79
Modern European

The Soho Hotel, 4 Richmond Mews, London, W1D 3DH

Residents at the discreet Soho Hotel can expect to receive whatever they wish for – be it a chilled flute of vintage Champagne at the zinc-topped bar, a devil-may-care cocktail in a squishy armchair or a chic meal without the need to brave the queues. On-spec diners also appreciate the modern lines and warm colours of the welcoming but “English eccentric” dining room – think checked and spotted upholstery, teddy bear motifs etc. The menu of breezy international dishes offers seasonal riffs for business or pleasure – from crispy ham hock fritters with apple, radish and Pommery mustard or seared tuna with sweet soy, wasabi emulsion and coriander via thyme-roasted chicken breast with sun-dried tomato pesto, fillet steak with béarnaise sauce or gnocchi primavera to comforting puds such as lemon meringue pie. Refuel is also recommended for a “civilised” afternoon tea.

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Orrery

Orrery

£50 - £79
French

55 Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 5RB

This D&D London-owned, Conran-era classic has celebrated its 21st birthday with a gentle refurbishment that has effectively kept the grey-toned colour scheme the same as before. It remains one of the most elegant dining rooms in London, especially pretty at lunchtime when light floods through the arched windows overlooking St Marylebone churchyard, and in summer when the rooftop terrace is one of the capital’s best-kept secrets. Chef-patron Igor Tymchyshyn has worked here since 2008 and hasn’t ever deviated from the restaurant’s modern French template. Starters of perky cured mackerel with cucumber and horseradish or a really excellent Dorset crab with mango and wasabi might be followed by a signature tournedos Rossini with almost as much foie gras as steak. A trolley whiffy with 30 well-kept cheeses has always been what the place is most famous for – as too a 22-page wine list with some big names among the two dozen by the glass, with fine wine prices slashed on Mondays. Service is as formal as the business-friendly setting of well-spaced, white-clothed tables demands, without losing sight of friendliness. A set menu (£39) with four choices per course avoids the stiff cost of the à la carte (£59), while the tiny bar is a rare for the area cocktail spot.

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Honest Burgers Tooting

Honest Burgers Tooting

Under £30
Burgers

72 Tooting High Street, SW17 0RN

Driven along by two energetic young owners, no-frills, independently minded Honest Burgers has gone down a storm wherever it chooses to pitch its admirable cut-price offer. Fans rate it as one of the best burger joints in town, with a growing reputation for its custom-built patties – ‘meaty hunks of wonder’ made with beef from Honest Burgers' own butchery, timed to perfection and served in a bun with homemade chips.

Free-range chicken burgers and mixed veggie ‘fritters’ are also available, while pocket-friendly prices are an added bonus. No bookings, but the queues move quickly and it's worth knowing that Honest Burgers is licensed – if you fancy a bottle of Long Play IPA or a glass of French rosé.

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E&O

E&O

£50 - £79
£30 - £49

14 Blenheim Crescent, London, W11 1NN

The paparazzi don’t stalk this Notting Hill landmark as they did in the glory days of models and movie stars, but a slick, well-heeled crowd is still drawn to Will Ricker’s concept of fashionable pan-Asian small plates. Mouth-watering dim sum include scallops with lemongrass, black cod and king prawn gow gee, various dumplings, ribs and the ever-popular chilli-salt squid, while the roll call of sushi, sashimi, curries, tempura and larger plates of whole crispy sea bass with ‘three flavours’, Wagyu strip-loin or Korean lamb with kimchi will make a sizeable but delicious dent in your bank balance. The restaurant’s interior is restrained and minimalist, with dark wood and crisp white linen, although a lively flash of pink in the bar announces great cocktails and a terrific buzz. Outside are neat banquettes set into the frontage, along with a few pavement tables where you can smoke and dissect your latest deal or shopping spree.

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Honest Burgers Portobello

Honest Burgers Portobello

Under £30
Burgers

189 Portobello Road, W11 2ED

Driven along by two energetic young owners, no-frills, independently minded Honest Burgers has gone down a storm wherever it chooses to pitch its admirable cut-price offer. Fans rate it as one of the best burger joints in town, with a growing reputation for its custom-built patties – ‘meaty hunks of wonder’ made from 35-day aged beef (from The Ginger Pig), timed to perfection and served on a glazed brioche bun with triple-cooked, skin-on chips and rosemary salt. Free-range chicken burgers and mixed veggie ‘fritters’ are also available, and the fact that prices are well below a tenner is a bonus. No bookings, but the queues move quickly and it's worth knowing that Honest Burgers is licensed – if you fancy a bottle of Redchurch Shoreditch Blonde beer, a jar of Hendrick's G&T with cucumber or a carafe of Plumpton Estate Sussex rosé.

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Masala Zone Soho

Masala Zone Soho

£30 - £49
Indian
Under £30

9 Marshall Street, London, W1F 7ER

It wasn’t so long ago that ‘going for a curry’ meant throat-wrenching vindaloos, warm lager and lurid flock wallpaper. Masala Zone makes such provincial clichés seem like ancient history. This sparky, London-only group of Indian ‘brasseries’ is known for its smart service, ethnic soundtrack and folk art-bedecked interiors – the Rajasthani puppets at the Covent Garden branch are a must-see. As the cheap-but-chic member of the Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy and Amaya stable, bowls of bog-standard chicken tikka masala are beneath its dignity. No, Masala Zone is all about fresh, balanced meals inspired by Indian home cooking, market stalls and palace chefs. Kick off with street-food nibbles such as samosas, papdi chaat or jumbo prawns from the grill, ahead of a textbook thali featuring your choice of curry and daily changing accompaniments.

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Cinnamon Bazaar

Cinnamon Bazaar

£30 - £49
Indian

28 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, WC2E 7JS

Cinnamon Bazaar spices up Covent Garden's foodie hotspot, Maiden Lane, with this appealingly vibrant and relaxed bonne bouche that is Vivek Singh’s [Cinnamon Collection] most casual format restaurant to date. The budget menu revolves around different sized sharing plates, snacks and chaats (street food), with sides such as creamy black dal, mopped up with roti or paratha. Dishes have settled into a consistently well-executed groove, with recent favourites including: papdi chaat topped with yogurt, watermelon chaat with amaranth seeds, date chutney and masala cashew nuts, and a heart-warming samosa that marries vegetables, curried white peas and a tangy tamarind chutney. For mains, we recommend double-cooked 'Koorg-style' pork belly, succulent and judiciously spiced, if it’s on the menu, and a melt-in-mouth lamb kebab with flaky saffron paratha. Other innovations include an Indian-style afternoon tea or chaat trolley, as well as cocktails, courtesy of star mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) – we loved the mango-infused Gin Julep. Colourful drapes and painted walls in the high room recreate the bustle of an Indian market, with plenty of noise and service that is kindly and knowledgeable even when busy. 

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The Stable Whitechapel

The Stable Whitechapel

£30 - £49
Pizza

16-18 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1EW

Named after its first venue located in the stables of the Bull Hotel, Bridport, this indie chain is all about hand-crafted organic sourdough pizzas and West Country ciders – a clever edit of the region’s heritage that regularly draws in crowds of hungry and thirsty punters. Inside, a laid-back, help yourself vibe prevails, while the menu offers cheekily named pizzas loaded with regional specialties.

Otherwise, gorge on one of the hand-crafted pies, followed by chocolate brownie with salted caramel sauce and clotted cream for pudding. As a self-proclaimed ‘cathedral to cider’, The Stable also offers a prodigious line-up of artisan brews and there are cider brandies, perries and local ales too.

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Indigo at One Aldwych

Indigo at One Aldwych

£50 - £79
British
Under £30

1 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BZ

“INDIGO IS CLOSED DURING THE REFURBISHMENT OF ONE ALDWYCH HOTEL. IT WILL REOPEN ON 9 APRIL 2019. FORWARD BOOKINGS CAN BE MADE BY CALLING 020 7300 0400.”

Chef Dominic Teague has masterminded a quiet revolution at One Aldwych’s smart mezzanine restaurant, which now offers a gluten- and dairy-free menu (though dishes aren’t prepared in a gluten-free kitchen). Ingredients such as almond milk feature alongside native meats and fish on a British menu with international flourishes. Warm buckwheat and samphire bread showcased the kitchen’s credentials, followed by a well-executed starter of partridge breast, prettily presented in a swirl of cauliflower purée with a savoury jus and fruity blackberries. Next, Brixham monkfish shone brightly in a fragrant Thai-style broth of lemongrass, coriander and coconut milk, though gluten-free gnocchi were rather dry in their autumnal melee of roast butternut squash and pumpkin oil. Nevertheless, accomplished desserts (a forte) finished the meal on a high. Friendly staff offer prompt service in the comfortable space overlooking the buzzy Lobby Bar below. A good-value set menu (£22/£27 for two/three courses) is another plus.

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Radio Alice Shoreditch

Radio Alice Shoreditch

£30 - £49
Pizza

16 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NT

This low-key pizzeria in Hoxton Square is all low lighting and distressed walls, resulting in a subtle, underground vibe. Differing from most pizza places in London, here the bases are cooked first and cut into slices, and then the toppings are added, with the idea being that the flavour of some toppings can be compromised by heat. On our visit we started out with a gooey helping of burrata, then (as suggested by the knowledgeable staff) mixed and matched one cheese-based and one tomato-based pizza. A topping of prosciutto di parma was soaked in an orange-infused oil, the zestiness unexpectedly complementing the meat. The spicy pork sausage with tomato and black pepper also went down well, but we can’t help thinking that overall, toppings would have worked better if they had been cooked through in the oven, with the pizza. While it doesn’t quite top the standard pizza procedure, Radio Alice makes for a worthwhile alternative. Expert gelato, reasonable prices and a focus on the organic also add to its appeal.

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Honest Burgers Brixton

Honest Burgers Brixton

Under £30
Burgers

Unit 12, Brixton Village, SW9 8PR

Driven along by two energetic young owners, no-frills, independently minded Honest Burgers has gone down a storm wherever it chooses to pitch its admirable cut-price offer. Fans rate it as one of the best burger joints in town, with a growing reputation for its custom-built patties – ‘meaty hunks of wonder’ made from 35-day aged beef (from The Ginger Pig), timed to perfection and served on a glazed brioche bun with triple-cooked, skin-on chips and rosemary salt. Free-range chicken burgers and mixed veggie ‘fritters’ are also available, and the fact that prices are well below a tenner is a bonus. No bookings, but the queues move quickly and it's worth knowing that Honest Burgers is licensed – if you fancy a bottle of Redchurch Shoreditch Blonde beer, a jar of Hendrick's G&T with cucumber or a carafe of Plumpton Estate Sussex rosé.

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Masala Zone Covent Garden

Masala Zone Covent Garden

£30 - £49
Indian

48 Floral Street, London, WC2E 9DA

Restaurant group MW Eat reopened this popular Masala Zone late in 2016. Following an extensive renovation, it now makes an exuberant backdrop for business lunches and private parties. Our favourite new touch is the striking collection of 350 ceremonial Rajasthani puppets that hang from the ceiling in the main dining area. You’ll find the private dining room downstairs. This exotic space echoes the rich decor on the floor above and gives groups access to all of the kitchen’s best-known dishes. Look out, in particular, for traditional Indian street food, family-style sharing thalis and regional curries.

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Leggero

Leggero

Italian

64 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4UQ

Formerly La Polenteria, this Soho casual diner has been rebranded Leggero. The restaurant’s USP remains its 100% gluten-free Italian menu, which is veggie, vegan and allergy-friendly. Leggero translates from Italian as ‘light’, but dishes are as indulgent as can be expected from the national cuisine. Home-made pastas and ravioli take centre stage, while there’s a brunch option for weekenders too.

First image credit: Hannah Green.

  DUE TO OPEN MONDAY 6 MARCH DUE TO OPEN MONDAY 6 MARCH

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Nopi

Nopi

£50 - £79
Mediterranean
Fusion

21-22 Warwick Street, W1B 5NE

Aimed higher than his eponymous deli/café chain, Yottam Ottolenghi's "gleaming" spin-off hits its target with ease: the cream-coloured ground floor is a serene space artfully decorated with white tiles, polished marble and brass fittings, while downstairs offers large communal tables and an open kitchen. However, readers save most praise for Nopi's "exquisite", "healthy" and supremely tasty food: raw cauliflower is paired with sprouts, nectarines and Gorgonzola, sea trout gets a global makeover with koji rice, watercress pesto and labneh, while beef short-rib keeps more familiar company with smoked beer glaze and horseradish. Whether you're sharing dishes or going it alone with one of the more expensive mains, it's all about creativity and depth of flavour. Signature cocktails also pick up on the kitchen's eclectic ingredients. Some bemoan high prices and petite portions, but most reckon that Nopi is "worth every penny".

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