Vegetarian-friendly restaurants in London

Looking for a vegetarian-friendly restaurant in London? We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, and compiled a handy list of the best vegetarian-friendly restaurants in London. Whatever your budget or taste, SquareMeal is here to help, with a selection of the best restaurants in London which cater for vegetarians just as well as their meat-loving mates. Read on for our pick of for the top veggie-friendly restaurants in London.

Updated on 19 December 2017

Discover the best vegetarian friendly restaurants in London with Squaremeal. Vegetarians can sometimes find it problematic when eating out, especially when in a group where not everyone is vegetarian. Finding a restaurant that suits both meat eaters and veges, offering both sides a good selection, can prove difficult and often results in lots of research prior to reserving a table.

Squaremeal’s excellent guide to the best vegetarian friendly restaurants in London takes all the hard work out of searching for a restaurant that also caters for vegetarians. Take a look through this handy guide to London’s top vegetarian friendly restaurants and select your table from a wide range of great restaurants.

Kricket Soho

Kricket Soho

12 Denman Street, London, W1D 7HH

Cooked up by Rik Campbell and Will Bowlby, casual Kricket is a “modern memoir to time spent living and working in Mumbai”. The duo’s original shipping-container eatery at Pop Brixton has been making waves since 2015, but this is a proper restaurant with snazzy London embellishments including an open kitchen and dining counter, plus tables in the darker, atmospheric basement. The succinct small-plates menu changes daily, and Kricket’s game is a gentle one – the heavy pepper dusting on the signature Keralan-fried chicken is as fiery as it gets. Bhel puris come with a swirl of tamarind stickiness, crunchy puffed rice and dollops of yoghurt, while bright yellow kichri combines rice and lentils with morsels of haddock and lightly pickled cauliflower – all beautifully presented. Barbecue-blackened sweet potatoes and crunchy samphire pakoras make a convincing case for vegetarianism, while spice-infused cocktails and cheeky rum masala chai pep up the drinks list. With its fair pricing, cool vibe and bright, eager-to-please staff, Kricket is settling in very comfortably.

£30 - £49
Indian
Murano

Murano

20 Queen Street, London, London, W1J 5PP

Angela Hartnett’s flagship restaurant is Mayfair dining at its very best – “fabulous” food, “unobtrusive” staff and a first-rate wine list manned by a “brilliant” sommelier. The sleek white-and-beige dining room with the odd art-deco flourish may still have echoes of its Gordon Ramsay days, but Hartnett’s Brit-Italian cooking keeps Murano apace with London’s vanguard. The ultra-flexible menu lets you choose up to five courses at will, from an exquisite scallop crudo with plump greengages and crunchy oats, piqued by a lemon verbena foam to gorgeous parcels of rabbit meat and sage in a clear broth or a star dish of confit pink fir apples, crispy skins and a creamy Tunworth cheese foam. The huge wine list stays true to Hartnett’s Italian heritage, and you can keep costs down by ordering the “excellent-value” set lunch. “Murano is perfect for any occasion”, confirms one fan.

Over £80
Italian
One michelin star
The Dairy

The Dairy

15 The Pavement, London, SW4 0HY

This unpretentious bar/bistro is already a busy squeeze, although a central Clapham location isn’t its only trump card. Open all day from breakfast onwards, it also has a 2am late licence at weekends, when cool brand lagers and cocktails such as wild fennel and apple Hendrick’s are what to drink. Wines include a distinguished Lebanese Château Musar as well as everyday Tempranillo from a selection called ‘sleek, charming and fleshy’ – a description that might equally apply to the well-scrubbed clientele. Chef/owner Robin Gill’s adventurous, intricately presented tapas-style plates deploy ingredients from The Dairy’s garden – so expect smoked cod with sorrel, slow-cooked beef rib with ‘burnt’ onions and bone marrow or plates of black radish, Pink Lady apple, curd and hemp seeds – plus nibbles such as chicken liver mousse with rhubarb at the bar. Don't forget to check out recent addition Counter Culture, replacing the deli next door.

£30 - £49
International
The Gate Islington

The Gate Islington

370 St John Street, London, EC1V 4NN

Located opposite Sadler’s Wells Theatre, this second branch of the ground-breaking Gate takes the same clean-lined, eclectic approach as the Hammersmith original. Design-wise, the attractive corner site is very much of its time with bare filament bulbs, wooden floors, enamel pendant lights and windows all round, while owners Michael and Adrian Daniel continue to thrill with their cross-cultural, globally inspired vegetarian food: grilled halloumi in chermoula with freekeh, pomegranate and mint salad; sesame-coated smoked tofu with coriander pesto, pickled vegetables and seaweed; leek, trompette and Stilton tart; tortillas with two fillings, guacamole, sour cream and black-bean salsa – no hippie stodge here. Desserts are slightly more conservative – raw vegan cheesecake with prune jam, for example. Also look out for daily lunch/pre-theatre deals, weekend brunch, an all-day bar menu and an eclectic wine list bristling with organic, biodynamic and vegan bottles.

£30 - £49
Vegetarian
Blanchette Soho

Blanchette Soho

9 D'Arblay Street, London, W1F 8DR

This quirky slice of rural France offers twists on the classics in a homely setting featuring cottage furniture and flamboyant pastoral scenes painted on tiled walls. Meanwhile, the private dining room downstairs takes it to another level, with its murals depicting a jungle scene. The mid-priced menu offers a range of seasonal small plates peppered with European influences: smoked mussels are paired with black pudding and artichoke purée; a combo of monkfish and pumpkin sparkles with buttery flavours, undercut by the zing of sun-dried tomatoes, while carnivores might veer towards braised lamb shoulder with anchovy, rosemary and soubise sauce. A varied selection of French charcuterie and cheese invites a wine-focused visit, supported by a carefully curated Gallic list that makes room for some Spanish and Italian tipples. It's all very amiable and charming, right down to the cow-shaped milk jugs. With a couple of street tables and a front window that can be opened completely, Blanchette was built for languorous summery days.

French
Cub

Cub

153 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6PJ

Avant-garde cocktail king Ryan Chetiyawardana (of Dandelyan fame) has replaced his Hoxton hit White Lyan with basement cocktail bar Super Lyan and reinvented the ground floor as this zippy drinks-led diner. Run in conjunction with Doug McMaster of Brighton’s zero-waste restaurant Silo, similarly eco-minded Cub sets out to blur the boundary between food and drink, both of which are prepped, assembly line-style, at a long bar-cum-pass. A daily menu of 10 or more attractively presented conceptual taste experiences (plus extras) comes with an earnest colloquy on ethos, sustainability and provenance. Paired with a Belvedere vodka, cider vermouth and carrot-top long drink, a combo involving a single yellow tomato, Muscat grapes and lemon verbena offers refreshing relief after a challenging dulse broth that resembles oil-slicked burnt Bovril. Collectively, the dishes meld into one long salty-sweet haze: chervil root and red-fleshed apple with ‘turbo whey’ might precede a ‘meh’ mushroom-on-mushroom medley – veggie options loom large here. Ultimately, the drinks outpoint the food: a coffee and Cognac digestif (plus two sharp fruity pastilles) ends a meal that, however fascinating, has us ogling an Indian takeaway across the street.

£30 - £49
British
Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar

Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar

1 Aldwych, London, London, WC2B 4BZ

“ENEKO BASQUE KITCHEN & BAR IS CLOSED DURING THE REFURBISHMENT OF ONE ALDWYCH HOTEL. IT WILL REOPEN IN SPRING 2019. FORWARD BOOKINGS CAN BE MADE BY CALLING 020 7300 0300.”

With three Michelin stars awarded to his Bilbao restaurant Azurmendi, Basque chef Eneko Atxa’s arrival in London is quite an event. One Aldwych’s basement has been transformed, with part of the roof removed to create a double-height ceiling, allowing light to flood in while offering intimate dining beneath what is now a mezzanine. Dressed with chestnut tables and deep-red corner booths, the space is striking and appealing, if not cutting-edge stylish. The food is more accessible than at the chef’s continental establishment (Atxa will visit here once a month), with a succinct menu split traditionally into starters, mains and sides.

Prices aren’t quite as steep as an Aldwych hotel restaurant permits, with value more apparent once the food arrives: a theatrical starter of oysters, crabs and wild prawns rests atop smoking seaweed; an ordinary-sounding talo dish (a thin corn tortilla) is festooned with tomatoes, flowers, herbs and pearls of oil, pulsating with flavour. Our highlight was a lightly battered chunk of fall-apart hake, enlivened by a thick, red-pepper sauce swimming with confit vegetables. Not one dish we tried disappointed in taste or looks; presentation is paramount. Liquid accompaniment is provided by a well-edited, if expensive, all-Spanish wine list; staff will lead you to appetising pairings. Atxa has certainly done his London research, producing an unfussy menu and setting with broad appeal. Dish descriptions are perhaps too sparse, and prices creep up, but diners wanting an introduction to The Basque Country’s scintillating cuisine (or simply a delicious meal) won’t be disappointed.

£50 - £79
Spanish
Pollen Street Social

Pollen Street Social

8-10 Pollen St, Mayfair, London, W1S 1NQ

Secreted beside a discreet Mayfair alleyway since 2011, Jason Atherton’s imperious Michelin-starred flagship, Pollen Street Social, remains “bang on the money” – a “masterpiece of fine dining” and a worthy winner of the SquareMeal Restaurant of the Year 2017. Step through the glass door and the good vibrations hit you straight away, while the clean-lined metropolitan dining room shows its cosmopolitan class with dramatic lampshades and eye-catching arty exhibits. Atherton may oversee a global empire these days, but he still puts in the shifts at PSS, and is often to be seen at the pass – a world-class hands-on restaurateur in his rightful place. Culinary influences and cross-fertilisation abound, but everything is underpinned by indigenous ingredients, from a witty Cockney riff involving smoked eel, buttermilk, beetroot reduction and jellied eel to South Downs fallow deer with pear, cocoa and chocolate vinegar or “staggeringly good” Lakeland lamb with beetroot, blackcurrant, savoy cabbage and a mini hotpot on the side – scintillating, exuberant food of the highest order, with maximum flavour delivering maximum satisfaction. To start, the ‘fruits of the British sea’ is a delirious array of maritime delights presented on a special stand – we love the oyster ice cream dressed with an oyster leaf, the lobster cocktail, and the Orkney scallop with pickled radish and jalapeño; to finish, the dessert bar promises close encounters with the likes of Brogdale pear sorbet, goats’ cheese ice cream, honey and bee pollen. Service plays it ‘social’ without ever losing its professional cool, and there are treasures galore on the ever-expanding wine list curated by the group’s whizz-bang sommelier Laure Patry. “Few places are such a treat” concludes one admirer of Pollen Street Social– amen to that. 

£50 - £79
British
One michelin star
Casita Andina

Casita Andina

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.

£30 - £49
Peruvian
Counter Culture

Counter Culture

15 The Pavement, London, SW4 0HY

This totally on-trend tapas bar comes from chef-of-the-moment Robin Gill, who has transformed the old deli attached to his big-hitting Dairy into a 15-seat temple to inventive cooking, with just one chef behind the counter and one person out front. Counter Culture takes bookings, it’s BYO and it’s great value too. Standouts from the eight-dish menu are many and varied: earthy salsify ketchup, scooped up on a Quaver-like curl of pork crackling; a jumble of beef tartare, caviar and radishes, all gleefully rubbed around the plate to mop up bone-marrow salad cream; charred mackerel with spiced cabbage and capers. Virtually nothing goes to waste and nearly everything is made on site using labour-intensive methods – check out the curing room and smokehouse, shelves of fermenting bottles and beehives on the roof. The restaurant’s website calls Counter Culture ‘The Dairy’s naughty little brother’; we’d add that it’s also very nice.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Lazeez Tapas

Lazeez Tapas

29 Duke Street, London, W1U 1LF

An island of downtown Beirut in the heart of Mayfair, this Lebanese tapas restaurant is as useful to the expanding Middle Eastern crowd as to the local businesses and residents. Stop by for sharing platters of falafel, tabbuleh, hummus and motabaal, and classy kebab wraps, or settle down for a whole range of classic mezze-style tapas, followed by classic lamb meshawi, chicken shawarma or slow cooked okra stew. The wine list stays on message with a short, yet curated choice of Lebanese wines. There’s plenty of seating inside, but on warm evenings, the terrace with its hookah pipes proves remarkably popular.

£30 - £49
Lebanese
Ottolenghi Islington

Ottolenghi Islington

287 Upper Street, London, N1 2TZ

Armed with one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks & a daunting shopping list of esoteric ingredients, you could try your hand at any of the dishes on offer in his highly desirable cafés. But why would you, when it would mean missing out on the visuals? The chic, all-white interiors & counters loaded with salads, savouries, cakes & oversized meringues – heck, even the queues – are as much a part of the experience as the food. Not that the zingy, eclectic flavours ever disappoint. Ottolenghi’s distinctive cuisine sans frontières makes for a melting-pot menu that might feature Indian roasted aubergine with turmeric yoghurt, Middle Eastern lamb kofta with manouri, pistachio & saffron yoghurt, or a Franco-Italian wild mushroom quiche with pecorino. Brunch & dinner menus are available at Islington only.

£30 - £49
Cafes
Honey & Co

Honey & Co

25a Warren Street, London, W1T 5LZ

Freshness and subtle spicing are the hallmarks of Honey & Co’s relentlessly popular re-invigoration of Middle Eastern dining. Punters pack the diminutive room surrounded by shelves deep-laden with preserves, produce and cookbooks, while the kitchen delivers “adventure and flair” right through the day. Like the space itself, staff are warm and inclusive, showing a passion for a menu that blends comfort and care. Mezze is the smart sociable choice, with tables heaving under bowls of pillowy hummus, carrot falafels, braised aubergines, feta borek, house pickles, labneh, olives and home-baked breads – all before the mains arrive. Our roast lamb on a zingy grape and bulgur salad was highly enjoyable, though minced lamb with a tahini and yoghurt crust proved an indulgence too far. The iced teas are a booze-free delight and the cheesecake with Greek thyme honey is irresistible. Meanwhile, breakfast pastries are a “favourite pick-me-up” for one regular.

£30 - £49
Middle Eastern
Cafes
OXO Tower Restaurant

OXO Tower Restaurant

Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, London, London, SE1 9PH

“Great place for the four Cs: celebrating, chilling, chatting and crowd-watching”, says a fan of the Oxo Tower’s restaurant – a perfectly located terrace venue on the eighth floor of the monolith, which still boasts “one of the best views in London”. The menu promises sophisticated dishes in the modern idiom, from seared peppered beef with smoked sweetcorn purée, tenderstem broccoli and roast asparagus to sea bream poached in vanilla anise accompanied by a stuffed courgette flower. To finish, why not share a cherry soufflé with vanilla ice cream and Black Forest gâteau. The wine list, from Harvey Nics, is a cracker (although you won't find many bargains) and afternoon tea also looks “very tempting” – no wonder fans say it’s “definitely a place to take a person you want to impress”.

£50 - £79
British
Afternoon tea
Indian Accent

Indian Accent

16 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4HW

Few restaurants have arrived in the capital as garlanded with awards as the London outpost of Indian Accent. The New Delhi original is the only restaurant in India on the World’s 50 Best list and is regularly voted the country’s top place to eat; similar plaudits have rained down on its New York sibling since it opened in 2016. Here in London, we’re a little more used to the idea of a high-end Indian restaurant and there was a danger that Indian Accent, which has taken over the old Chor Bizarre site in Mayfair, might feel a little late to the party, but chef Manish Methrota’s sure-footed updating of traditional Indian cooking – respectful of heritage while being unmistakably individual – is a very welcome addition. And at four courses for £65, it is currently a bit of a bargain for the quality on offer in this location. 

Highlights for us included soy keema mopped up with soft little pillows of pao buns (vegetarian options are excellent); tenderly succulent pork ribs, beautifully marinated with onion seeds; an Indian spin on crispy duck, with ghee roast lamb proving just as juicy; and smoked bacon kulcha that we would gladly have made an entire meal of, dipping into the deeply flavoured dal. Service (especially from those staff flown in from New York) is on the ball, eye-opening wine matching is a strength, and the room is a stunner, with striking green upholstery set against a marble and pearl backdrop that practically glows with the expense lavished on it. In short, this Indian Accent is well worth adopting.  

£50 - £79
Indian
The Greenhouse

The Greenhouse

27a Hay's Mews, London, London, W1J 5NY

It has sported two Michelin Stars since 2004, so expectations invariably run high at The Greenhouse. However, the arrival of new head chef Alex Dilling (ex-Hélène Darroze at The Connaught) has taken the set-up to a different level. Of course, some things never change: the sense of Zen-like calm as visitors arrive at this Mayfair “oasis” via a beautifully landscaped garden; the spacious and light dining room, and the highly professional attitude of the staff. What felt notably different, though, was the buzz – it was encouraging to see almost every table occupied on a midweek evening.

Dilling’s culinary approach involves sourcing the very best ingredients, combining them with an innovative flourish and presenting them beautifully. A super-soft yet deeply flavoursome smoked sturgeon mousse with crab and dill set the tone, and there were several high points to follow: we were bowled over by a breath-takingly original truffled egg concoction and a plate of Brittany turbot with boudin noir, girolles and young sorrel.

The vegetarian options also impressed, as did the wine pairings, drawn from one of London’s more voluminous lists (clocking in at 3,400+ bottles). On the downside, our A5 Gunma Wagyu beef was rather bland, and impatient diners may be troubled by the relatively long waits between courses. Still, The Greenhouse remains a bastion of serious fine dining – just be prepared to fork out handsomely.  

Over £80
Modern European
Two michelin stars
£30 - £49
Savoy Grill at The Savoy

Savoy Grill at The Savoy

The Savoy, Strand, London, London, WC2R 0EU

The legendary Savoy Grill has hosted a long list of famous diners since it opened in 1889, including Oscar Wilde, Charlie Chaplin and Frank Sinatra. You'll feel like an A-lister too, seated in the plush dining room beneath glittering chandeliers: "I love the experience whenever I go here," declares one devotee. Now a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, the menu pays its dues to the Savoy's culinary heritage, featuring omelette Arnold Bennett and peach Melba (both created here), as well as French staples that would be familiar to the hotel's first chef, Escoffier. But the main event is the "wonderful meat": generous grills and chops, with classic sauces such as marrowbone and shallot, feature alongside braises, roasts and pies, plus daily treats from the trolley – Wednesday is our favourite day for lunch, when beef Wellington is the star of the show. A traditional wine list lends support, while polished staff include "a helpful and knowledgeable sommelier". In short, the Savoy Grill delivers.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Locanda Locatelli

Locanda Locatelli

8 Seymour Street, London, 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. 

£50 - £79
Italian
One michelin star
Rabbit

Rabbit

172 Kings Road, London, SW3 4UP

Having found fame with The Shed in Palace Gardens Terrace, the three brothers behind Rabbit deserve real plaudits for launching such a unique, characterful and youthful offshoot. From the liberal use of rough-cut timber to the odd pair of antlers, the style is emphatically country-meets-city, while the kitchen is set up to get the best from ample produce arriving from the family’s Sussex farm. Start with a ‘mouthful’ of confit rabbit and chervil on crispbread, then move on to sharing plates of seasonal ingredients imbued with flashes of cheffy creativity: big dollops of broad bean hummus studded with shards of brittle lemon-and-ale crisp; seared ox liver with rainbow chard and a punchy peppercorn sauce; a pork chop with fennel salsa, nasturtium leaves and crackling dust. For dessert, we recommend the chunks of honeycomb on mascarpone with tarragon sugar. To drink, try a seasonal cocktail or a vintage from the family’s own Sussex vineyard.

£30 - £49
British
The Ivy

The Ivy

1-5 West Street, London, London, WC2H 9NQ

Celebrating its centenary in 2017, The Ivy is a celeb-friendly fixture of the glamorous West End scene. Yet, behind the iconic harlequin stained glass, the old girl certainly isn't showing her age – thanks to a glittering 2015 makeover that gave pride of place to a beautiful vintage-styled bar. Although the hype around the refurb has died down, there's still a warm glow of approval from readers, who praise the "utterly impeccable" service, "unflappable staff" and "buzzy, not noisy" atmosphere. The eclectic menu is a winning mix of Ivy perennials such as the "truly wonderful" crispy duck salad and classic shepherd's pie, alongside on-trend raw dishes like "delicious" yellowfin tuna sashimi with avocado or salmon ceviche with tiger's milk, as well as ultra-trad confit duck or grouse with bread sauce. The kitchen’s special talent lies in the fact that it manages to cook such a varied range of dishes equally well. "The Ivy will always have a place in my heart", declares one fan, while another reckons it’s “a delight all round”.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Roast

Roast

Floral Hall, Stoney Street, London, London, SE1 1TL

“What’s not to like about ‘meat and vegetables’?” quips an admirer of Roast – a determinedly patriotic eatery dedicated to the glories of traditional British cuisine. Built on a mezzanine floor in Borough Market’s iconic Floral Hall, it promises “fantastic views” from its handsome, light-filled dining room. We’ve been many times for breakfast and never been disappointed, although booking ahead is essential. If you’re more interested in lunch or dinner, you’ll find “reliable” and expertly sourced dishes prepared with a fair degree of dexterity, from Portland crab salad or Scotch eggs with piccalilli to braised ox cheek on creamed onion sauce or whole grilled sea bass with fennel and capers. The menus are keenly seasonal, so also expect spring lamb, summer fruits and game too (“this is the only place to eat grouse after the Glorious 12th”, insists one fan). “Always enjoyable” Sunday roasts naturally get the nod, and the Brit-accented drinks list is also on the money.

£50 - £79
British
Nopi

Nopi

21-22 Warwick Street, London, 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".

£50 - £79
Mediterranean
Fusion
Dishoom Covent Garden

Dishoom Covent Garden

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.

£30 - £49
Cafes
Indian
Darwin Brasserie at Sky Garden

Darwin Brasserie at Sky Garden

Level 36, 20 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3BY

Sitting beneath Fenchurch Seafood Bar & Grill on level 36 of the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ building, this casual and bright new venture has the better views of London thanks to its position further back from the Sky Garden’s dramatic atrium roof. The ethos behind the entire building is purportedly environmental friendliness, which may explain why the brasserie is named after Darwin – although a menu that includes the (increasingly resurgent) Knickerbocker Glory doesn’t suggest evolution. The list of straightforward European dishes includes a superbly balanced shallot tarte Tatin with a silky scoop of goats’ cheese. British beef, pork or lamb might follow, or a generously filled, rich venison pie accompanied by jewel-like, piquant mustard fruits. Staff are clued up and experienced, but now that skyscraper dining is no longer a novelty in London, the Darwin needs to boost the quality of its menu if it’s to become the natural selection of high-rise fans.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London, London, W1K 1QA

The combination of a superstar name and three Michelin stars means that expectations are always sky-high at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester; in return, diners are treated to “an exercise in superlative service and presentation”, with hushed tones barely disturbing the reverential calm in the classic creamy-toned dining room – an “oasis of serenity” away from the bluster of Park Lane. Head chef Jean-Phillipe Blondet is his master’s voice, delivering a measured parade of profound and deeply flavoured dishes hinting at the “culinary genius” behind the scenes – just consider the “heavenly” sauté gourmand of lobster accompanied by homemade pasta and truffled chicken quenelles or the signature ‘contemporary’ vacherin with a coconut boule, pomegranate seeds and exotic fruits. In between, the ever-fabulous rib and saddle of venison with coffee sauce and a peanut-stuffed parsnip vies with fish classics such as fillet of turbot with beetroot and clams marinière or line-caught sea bass with braised chicory. Prices, as you’d expect of somewhere called Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, take no prisoners, and the platinum wine list promises a galaxy of French stars with hefty mark-ups – although fans still think that dining here is “time exceptionally well spent”.   

Over £80
French
Three michelin stars
Farmacy

Farmacy

74-76 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5SH

The hot new thing in Notting Hill, Farmacy is putting the joy into healthy food with delicious plant-based cooking free from dairy produce, refined sugars and additives. Filled with sunshine and flowers, the large airy room is a magnet for well-off locals of all ages during the week, with queues from further afield at the weekend. Along with soups, juices and snacks, there are hearty ‘earth bowl’ dishes of various sorts: try quinoa with avocado, seaweed, sauerkraut, greens, sweet potato and sesame ginger dressing. Burgers are made from millet, beans and mushrooms, ice cream from naturally sweet African tiger nut, and pizzas involve spelt sourdough and macadamia ‘cheese’. The menu is studded with on-trend ingredients, while drinks include proper cocktails and sulphur-free biodynamic wines. Despite her glamour and connections, owner Camilla Al-Fayed (of Harrods fame) is no spoilt little rich girl with a new toy: this is ‘clean eating’ in a fun and fashionable setting – and it works. 

£30 - £49
Vegetarian
Vegan
Foley

Foley's

23 Foley Street, London, W1W 6DU

After a trial run as a pop-up in Shepherd’s Bush, chef Mitz Vora has launched this permanent venue on Fitzrovia’s Foley Street – where small plates of unusual global flavour combinations are the draw. Dining takes place on two floors: a windowless basement, all stripped-back chic, where you can sit at a counter overlooking the prep action in the kitchen; or a more buzzing ground-floor dining room. Whichever space you choose, you can expect a predominantly young professional clientele fuelled by shots (Picklebacks and rum Slammers) or something from the short but wide-ranging cocktail list. Ticking trendy boxes without ever feeling try-hard, the menu pulls together the likes of cornflake-crusted fried chicken, pickled shimeji mushrooms, corn and chorizo; or perhaps aubergine with pomegranate, dates, chilli lime yoghurt and feta – vegetarians are well catered for. Our charred morsels of chicken, sticky with Korean barbecue sauce, came alive with a kick of the sour vinegar dip; and chicory tacos filled with tuna ceviche had flavour aplenty, thanks to hints of coconut and the crunch of peanuts. Don’t skip the disarmingly different desserts, including lemongrass pannacotta and a winning combination of chocolate-chip banana cake, bacon and strawberry jam. Like the food, the wine list is a well-balanced, good-value selection, and staff are friendly and plentiful. A small bar overlooking the street is a pleasingly social touch, adding to the vivacity that Foley’s has brought to the area.

£30 - £49
International
The Palomar

The Palomar

34 Rupert Street, London, W1D 6DN

“What an experience!” shouts a fan of The Palomar – a fun-loving foodie hangout driven by funky chef Tomer Amedi’s infectious joie de vivre. The whole place feels like a house party, complete with hard drinks, kooky cocktails, loud beats, kitchen banter and “laid-back staff”. A grill-focused menu references the cuisine of modern Jerusalem, so be prepared for highly original food with a seasonal slant: we’re hooked on the ‘chicken under pressure’ with citrus, lentils and courgettes, the ‘Josperised’ octopus with chickpea msabacha, and the Persian pappardelle with artichoke, lemon and mangetout. Elsewhere, the bread is “fantastic” and the chopped liver is “sublime”, while the pick of the puds has to be ‘kiss kiss bang bang’ – a wicked confection of pomegranate ‘basbousa’ semolina cake, halva ice cream and almond palmier. You’ll need to queue for a seat at the no-bookings counter, but it’s worth it just to watch the kitchen’s livewire performances. When it’s really firing (and that’s most of the time), The Palomar is Soho at its best – and the perfect spot if you want to “impress your friends”.

£30 - £49
Middle Eastern
International
Gauthier Soho

Gauthier Soho

21 Romilly Street, London, W1D 5AF

Step through the unassuming, glossy-black door and you’ll discover a high-end French restaurant in what looks and feels like a moneyed Soho resident’s front room – albeit one with lots of tables. This is the elegant domain of Alexis Gauthier, an Alain Ducasse protégé with a penchant for vegetarian and vegan cuisine alongside more conventional offerings. The seasonal carte might include pancetta tortellini in a deeply aromatic chicken jus, pink-roasted loin and rack of Welsh lamb with spiced butternut squash, dates, pistachio and braised spelt or sparkling-fresh wild halibut with salsify and girolles, each labelled with a calorie count – a detail that typifies Gauthier’s nutrition-conscious ethos. More indulgent diners shouldn’t miss the “heavenly” Louis XV chocolate praline, while oenophiles will have plenty of fun with a hefty list that favours the Old World; also, marvel at the “amazing” breads and “fabulous array” of French cheeses. Super-polite service, hushed voices and loud prices signal old-style, special-occasion dining.

£50 - £79
French