A whole bottle of wine is just too much for some people when dining out in London’s restaurants so it’s handy to know which London restaurants serve good quality wines by the glass. Square Meal has put together this very handy guide to London restaurants offering the best selection of wines by the glass, making the choice so much easier. There’s no need to worry about whether your London restaurant of choice offers some decent wine by the glass with this helpful list which features only the best London restaurants offering a great selection of wines by the glass.
Ordering wine by the glass rather than the bottle is big business these days in London’s restaurants and many places now offer this facility, however not all offer top quality wines by the glass. This Square Meal list of the London restaurants offering the best selection of wines by the glass features restaurants who offer only the finest of wines by the glass, ensuring quality at all times. If you can’t find your ideal restaurant in London here though, do take a look at restaurant suggestions in the West End including Covent Garden & Soho; restaurants in the City and restaurants in West London including Chelsea & Knightsbridge.
Every one of the restaurants in London offering the best choice of wines by the glass featured in Square Meal’s list of London restaurants offering the best selection of wines by the glass have been tried and tested by critics and our own customers so check out the reviews with Square Meal today. Each Square Meal listing features an independent review, as well as reviews from those who have visited, together with unique special offers such as free drinks and discounts.
127-129 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 7LP
Debonair Kensington Wine Rooms has a fun, buzzy feel that’s no doubt fortified by the copious quantities of wine by the glass it dispenses – some four dozen are available via an Enomatic system. Pitch camp at the bar, charge up your special pre-paid card, then sip your way through a list that runs from everyday sips to serious ‘event’ vintages at intimidating prices. Wine matches appear alongside each dish on the evening menu in the adjoining dining area: Cornish crab, avocado and spiced crackers with a Gusbourne Estate Chardonnay from Kent; sea bass atop crab, pea and crème fraîche risotto with a 2014 Puligny Montrachet ‘Les Enseigneres’; onglet steak and hand-cut chips accompanied by a 2104 Stellenbosch (RSA). ‘Bar plates’ and lunch specials for a tenner offer the best value, brunch brightens up the weekend, and regular wine events are a big draw.
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4 Bathurst Street, London, W2 2SD
With its classic French menu, superb wine list, romantic art-nouveau interior and warm welcome, Thierry Tomasin’s bistro de quartier is a destination for diners bored with gimmicks. Readers applaud its “fantastic service and attention to detail”, while the kitchen delivers some beautifully executed, familiar food with some “really original” touches. From baked shallot and snail tarte Tatin with mulled wine reduction or scallops with morels, shaved cauliflower and dandelion leaves to guinea fowl with hop shorts and beer sauce or olive-crusted lamb fillet with lentil purée, roast parsnip and liquorice-spiked wine sauce, everything depends on “superb ingredients”. The menu is constantly refreshed with occasional exotics (roast duck with Szechuan pepper and pak choi, say), but you can eat what you like – from a full-on dinner to a single dish and a glass of wine. Given Thomasin’s background as London’s top sommelier, the wine cellar is mind-blowing (Cheval Blanc ’28 at £2,500 anyone?), but house tipples are excellent and available to take away.
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193 Hackney Road, London, E2 8JL
While Sager + Wilde’s Bethnal Green branch, with its busy, buzzy courtyard bar, is the business for East End cocktails and food, we recommend this quieter original Hoxton gig for bon vivants keen to connect with modestly marked-up, top-notch wines from indie vineyards. Oenophile husband-and-wife team Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde's maiden venture is a charismatic, quirky, pared-down, post-industrial modern wine bar with a constantly evolving list that delivers pleasant surprises from biodynamic growers working on often unfamiliar small estates. Cue a classy Carignan from South Africa's Western Cape and a sensational organic Saumur by Domaine Guiberteau – a deceptively complex, lively Loire red that's perfect lightly chilled for summer evening drinking. Pair your chosen tipple with small plates such as chorizo and bean hotpot, hake, potato and pepperwort ceviche or S+W's cheese toasties in their various permutations – the stuff of local legend.
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27 D'Arblay Street, London, W1F 8EN
Part of a wave of traditionally breezy Spanish eateries that turned the West End into a rather delicious barrio, Copita is as accomplished and popular as ever. The name translates as ‘little glass’, but with numerous sherries and affordable Spanish wines to sample, the ethos here is ‘little and often’. Such an offering cultivates a congenial mood as punters perch on wooden stools amid tile-clad walls and glowing candles. A daily changing list of tapas might include anything from crisp, gooey mushroom croquetas or pizza-style coca bread layered with soft roasted peppers and duck egg to scallops dolloped with cauliflower purée and chorizo. In similarly trendy vein, you might also find bao buns, playfully stuffed with silky Ibérico ham and spiced pepper sauce. To finish, nibble on a caramelised custard tart – paired with a copita of light Moscatel, naturally. Service is smiley and prices are fair, making this a welcome pit stop.
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7 St John Street, London, EC1M 4AA
‘Quick and easy, unfussy and unpretentious’, gregarious Vinoteca’s winning formula matches the oenophile virtues of a top-notch wine emporium with a penchant for smart brasserie cooking. Wine flights and by-the-glass selections are unmissable, and the full list of around 250 bins is stuffed with helpfully annotated bottles from every corner of the winemaking globe – although judicious food-matching suggestions are the mini-chain’s ’biggest USP’. British cheeses and European charcuterie are mainstays of the menu, but the regularly changing line-up runs from crispy confit duck, pear, orange and walnut salad (recommended with a glass of Weissburgunder 2011) to Cornish hake with cockles, arroncina beans, lemon and samphire – perfect with a Kumeu River Chardonnay 2007 on the side. Light airy interiors, funky lighting and retro posters create just the right mood, and the bill is always easy on the wallet.
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12 St George Street, London, W1S 2FB
An abundance of “old world charm” distinguishes Anthony Demetre’s gregarious Mayfair hotspot, especially when crowds are packed in for the cracking ‘working lunch’. At first glance, the long, panelled dining room (hung with contemporary art) might suggest a certain fussiness, although nothing could be further from the kitchen’s collective mind. Stylish flavour-forward simplicity is the mantra, with seasonal produce shaping the daily menu – witness hand-chopped beef tartare with Maldon oyster mayo or an autumnal broth of kale, sweet onion and artichoke. Wild honey is used to lacquer roast Goosnargh duck and to enrich an ice cream (with honeycomb and meringue wafers) – although one reader reckons nothing can trump the English custard tart. Game is a speciality in season: you can try slow-cooked hare, grilled venison haunch and other niche goodies without needing to know which way to pass the port. The wine list could benefit from a similarly accessible approach.
More detail about Wild Honey
13-15 Seymour Place, London, W1H 5BD
‘Quick and easy, unfussy and unpretentious’, gregarious Vinoteca’s winning formula matches the oenophile virtues of a top-notch wine emporium with a penchant for smart brasserie cooking. Wine flights and by-the-glass selections are unmissable, and the full list of around 200 bins is stuffed with helpfully annotated bottles from every corner of the winemaking globe – although judicious food-matching suggestions are the mini-chain’s ’biggest USP’. British cheeses and European charcuterie are mainstays of the menu, but the regularly changing line-up runs from crispy confit duck, pear, orange and walnut salad (recommended with a glass of Weissburgunder 2011) to Cornish hake with cockles, arroncina beans, lemon and samphire – perfect with a Kumeu River Chardonnay 2007 on the side. Light airy interiors, funky lighting and retro posters create just the right mood, and the bill is always easy on the wallet.
More detail about Vinoteca Marylebone
78 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3JL
“I love the space” declares an advocate of this multifunctional bar-restaurant, which fuels Shoreditch’s creatives from breakfast until bedtime. The ground-floor bar acts as a café/workspace (with plug sockets) during office hours, but at night the cases holding teas and coffees behind the bar swing around to reveal spirits. Diners head for the huge basement, which feels cavernous when quiet. Here, a carefully edited menu of international crowd-pleasers awaits. To start, spiced crispy squid with chilli pepper sauce and lime mayonnaise is a masterclass in texture and tang. The Josper grill dominates main courses, working its magic on meat from the renowned Ginger Pig butchery, including prime steaks and rump of spring lamb. Fish specials are cooked daily, while weekends bring brunches and roasts. Correspondents report variable service, so best use any waits to peruse the wine list where the impressive choice includes more than 25 by the glass.
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10-13 Grosvenor Square, London, W1K 6JP
Its lower-case logo might seem somewhat passé, but fans still reckon this handsome Grosvenor Square stalwart from the Gordon Ramsay stable is keeping up with the times. The menu puts its faith in upmarket Asian fusion and unerringly balanced small plates involving British ingredients – think Cumbrian beef combined with aubergine, peanut satay and smoked ponzu or English chicken croquettes with broccoli and bravas sauce. Purists may scoff, but a separate sushi offering has plenty to recommend it, from kingfish with pecan nut and dashi vinaigrette to simple tuna tartare rolls with avocado and black sesame – not forgetting a set deal with bottomless bubbles on Sundays. Cocktails pick up on the Asian fusion theme, and the wine list offers the fun of a blind-tasting flight alongside more serious options. We recommend the chef’s table too.
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5 William IV Street, London, WC2N 4DW
Offering an authentic slice of Gallic charm just off Trafalgar Square, Terroirs is a regular hit with readers who rate the "buzzy and lively" atmosphere, hearty charcuterie platters and garlicky snails. The seasonal menu changes daily, but always focuses on the freshest ingredients, with confident flavour combinations allowing them to shine through: we’d single out a starter of simply grilled mackerel paired with a punchy celeriac rémoulade, as well as melt-in-the-mouth Ibérica pluma (a neck cut) accompanied by earthy cavolo nero and rich pepper sauce. Exemplary steak tartare, the signature pork terrine and duck rillettes slathered on crusty baguettes are also good calls, ahead of cheeses and desserts such as poached pear with bergamot custard and pecan brittle. Like its siblings Soif and Toasted, Terroirs is big on ‘natural’ wine, with a joyous list featuring sustainable, organic and biodynamic bottles from artisan producers. Ask the clued-up staff for recommendations and buy your favourites to take home.
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62-63 Long Lane, London, EC1A 9EJ
Located next to Smithfield Market, this petite debutante has a large trick up its sleeve: over 150 Italian wines by the glass. The acquisition of a Coravin preservation system means the entire list can be sampled – just ask the clued-up staff to recommend something suitable from the bottles lining the walls and the ceiling. To go with the wine, there’s a concise menu of Italian standards, from starters of grilled octopus or breaded veal to mains including salted cod. Our creamy chicken liver linguine was presented simply but revealed plenty of full-bodied flavour, while a bowl of springy dough balls was moreish and good value. For dessert, don’t miss the tortino al cioccolato, an indulgent, warm combo of cream, cake and chocolate. Just add sharing platters and an informal vibe for a fascinating Italian wine trip.
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8 Hanway Place, London, W1T 1HD
“Wow, wow and wow!” exclaims a fan of Hakkasan, who reckons it’s definitely the “sexiest restaurant” he’s ever frequented. Certainly, there’s a “sultry charm” to this “sensual”, barely lit basement, with clubby VIP vibes, easy-on-the-eye staff and black-lacquered interiors making it “perfect for a hot date”. Kick off with Asian-inspired cocktails at the bar, then try definitive versions of takeaway classics and “impressive” ‘small eats’ such as jasmine tea-smoked ribs or “amazingly light” Shanghai dumplings boosted by chilli and vinegar. To follow, readers rave about the gigantic spicy prawns with asparagus, almonds, lily bulbs, spring onion and water chestnuts (“a riot of colourful tastes and textures”), but we’re hooked on the salt and pepper squid, the duck braised with truffle and the “riveting” crispy lamb salad with peanut dressing. No one escapes the top-end pricing, but readers agree that “you pay for what you get”. Multiple tasting menus can keep the bills in check, although the ambitious wine list might push them back up again. Either way, it’s “absolutely outstanding”.
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1 Upper James Street, London, W1F 9DF
“That restaurant with the Champagne buttons” is more than just a gimmick, although ostentation is undoubtedly blingy Bob Bob Ricard’s primary selling point: “I feel like I’m in Gatsby’s dining room”, notes one fan. Luckily, the palpable sense of enjoyment lends warmth to the glitz and gold, which is everywhere you look. Cloistered royal blue booths explain why celebs enjoy hiding out here, as does a sumptuous menu of comfort food – think mighty beef Wellingtons and deep-filled, steaming pies. A new executive chef has introduced some lighter (but no less lavish) additions to the menu in the shape of, say, lemon sole stuffed with scallop mousse or lobster in a sparky Champagne sauce. The Sunday roast lunch stars prime USDA Black Angus beef, drizzled with truffle gravy, while the pricey wine list favours treats from the French regions. Service glides effortlessly, and although prices are reasonably high, it’s worth it for the fun you’ll have.
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109 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XB
If you go looking for an ‘authentic’ bistro in Paris, you may be disappointed; checked tablecloths, Edith Piaf and verbal menus that sound like an Inspector Clouseau sketch have gone the way of confidence in the Euro. But come to Bermondsey and you can step into a corner of France that is forever Amélie. The blackboard menu (just three choices per course) is in French; the chairs are bentwood; the floor is chequer-tiled, and the kitchen generally makes a good fist of things when it comes to delivering true bourgeois flavours. Follow our lead and get stuck into a plate of charcuterie before dipping into the menu itself – perhaps mackerel in white wine or saucisson en brioche with Madeira sauce ahead of salmon coulibiac with beurre blanc or pork shoulder with lentils, plus a dessert such as raspberry soufflé or plum tart. There’s a brief all-French wine list too, and service is certainly friendlier than the Paris norm.
More detail about Casse-Croûte