My favourite restaurants: Theo Randall

Five hot restaurant recommendations from the TV star and cookbook author.

Updated on • Written By Pete Dreyer

Map view
Close map
My favourite restaurants: Theo Randall

A fixture on food television, a renowned cookbook author, not to mention the head chef of Theo Randall at the InterContinental, Theo Randall is one of Britain’s most recognisable chefs. His cooking style has been highly influential over the years too - after four years at Chez Max in Surbiton, his career in earnest began at world-famous Chez Panisse, where he worked under lauded American chef Alice Waters for 12 months in San Francisco.


When he returned, he became a fixture at The River Cafe - Theo would spend the next ten years there, becoming head chef and playing a huge part in turning the Hammersmith restaurant into the institution it is today. Alongside Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, Randall shaped the signature style of The River Cafe, and that style - great ingredients, treated simply and with respect - would become synonymous with his own cooking, as well as having a huge influence on the nation’s food culture at large.

In 2006, Theo left The River Cafe to finally open his own restaurant with his own name over the door - Theo Randall at the InterContinental. By this point Theo’s star had risen - he was a regular on BBC weekend cooking show Saturday Kitchen, and had a number of his own cookbooks sitting on shelves. The InterContinental had secured a huge name to run the flagship restaurant in the hotel, and Randall brought his signature style to the restaurant, blending quality British ingredients and the highest quality Italian imports to create luxurious dishes that still pay homage to the classics. Approaching 20 years at the hotel, Theo Randall at the InterContinental remains among the capital’s most respected restaurants.

Naturally, Theo Randall’s decades of experience in food put him high on our list of people to ask for restaurant recommendations, and he didn’t disappoint! Read on for five of his top restaurant picks.

Clipstone, Fitzrovia

clipstone bar and dining room

Theo says: ‘I have been going here for years and it never disappoints. It is such a lovely restaurant, great food and very professional confident service. I love the open kitchen and always try to bag a table outside on a warm evening.’
Where: 5 Clipstone Street, W1W 6BB
Book now: Clipstone

Elystan Street, Chelsea

elystan street dining room

Theo says: ‘Seriously good seasonal food from one of the best chefs in the business. I have known owner, Phil Howard, for years. His cooking and flavour combination just gets better and better. The dining room is light and simple combined with great service and a really good wine list. This is a very complete restaurant.’
Where: 43 Elystan Street, SW3 3NT
Book now: Elystan Street

Sabor, Mayfair

sabor el asador counter

Theo says: ‘I have only been here once but remember every mouthful I ate. This is the best Spanish food I have ever eaten. Nieves Barragan’s suckling pig is something you have to try.’
Where: 35-37 Heddon Street, W1B 4BS
Book now: Sabor

Pompette, Oxford

pompette dining room

Theo says: ‘Pascal and Laura Wiedemann own and run this gem of a restaurant in Summertown, Oxford. The food is real classic French to the highest standard. There is nothing on this menu that I could not eat every day. The wine list is excellent with a specials board of wines by the glass with some real bargains!‘
Where: 7 South Parade, OX2 7JL
Book now: Pompette

Counter 71, Shoreditch

counter at counter 71

Theo says: ‘Exquisite food served on the counter. The chef is Joe Laker, and the food is made using the finest ingredients available. A great place to enjoy amazing food and wine. Also love it because one of my ex-chefs (Sammy Edwards) works there.’
Where: 71 Nile Street, N1 7RD
Book now: Counter 71

Looking for more recommendations? Check out some top favourites from Vivek Singh, Roberta Hall-McCarron and Stuart Ralston for more of the UK’s must-visit restaurants.

Join SquareMeal Rewards

Collect points, worth at least £1, every time you book online and dine at a participating restaurant.

Start Collecting Points

Already a member? Sign in